Reader Jarrett Hines of Las Cruces was justifiably concerned when, on a trip back home from Santa Fe, his truck started billowing smoke from under the hood and the A/C stopped working. He was able to make the 265-mile trip without cool air, but promptly contacted General Motors to report the incident.

Clearly, however, the Detroit-based auto giant hadn’t been down Route 66 in a while. “Since we are able to assist only those customers who are within the United States, we recommend that you contact our GM office in Mexico,” they wrote to Hines. And that wasn’t the only failure to communicate.

“Not only does General Motors not know New Mexico is a state,” Hines tells us, “they got my name wrong on the response.”

Our nation’s capital is a place that belongs to all Americans—even if they’re not always recognized as such.

Paulita Carrejo of Apache Creek, New Mexico, told us that her 17-year-old great-grandson was visiting Washington, D.C., with a group of students from all across the nation. Each wore a name tag indicating from which state they hailed. The grandson reported that, during his trip, several people made a point to stop and ask him how he was enjoying his visit to the United States.

The diplomatic youth refrained from suggesting that his questioners consider counting the number of states represented in Congress.

Sometimes our state feels like another country. To some, it seems, it’s like another continent. Having lived in the Southeast for 14 years, Terry Stubbs has stopped trying to clarify when people give her blank stares upon learning she’s from New Mexico.

When she recently revealed her home state, she was met with the standard look of confusion, followed by the question “Oh, is that, uh, in Europe?” Our gal was flabbergasted, and took a moment to collect herself before replying. “Yes,” she told the hemispherically challenged stranger. “Yes, it is.”

On a road trip up the East Coast, White Rock resident Charli Hicks stopped with her family at a bakery in Maine to grab a slice of blueberry pie. Asked where they were from, Hicks’ daughter replied that she was from Texas and her mother was from New Mexico. Perhaps anticipating a “Missing” moment, they clarified that New Mexico is in America, between Arizona and Texas, and below Colorado.

The clerk said she knew exactly where the Land of Enchantment was, and understood the need to clarify—she reported that several patrons each week popped into the bakery wondering whether Maine was a part of Canada. Clearly, more than one of our 50 is missing.

Send it to or Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include your name, hometown, and state. Thanks!