Frank Kohler of Scottsdale, Arizona, noticed a woman wearing turquoise jewelry at a class reunion in Baltimore. After admiring her necklace and earrings, he was asked how he knew about turquoise. He replied that he was a collector and frequent visitor to the Indian Market in Santa Fe. The classmate noted that it must be difficult to purchase things here—considering the need to exchange currency. Kohler assured her it was no problem, as New Mexico has been a state since 1912, before Arizona. The fact was lost on his new acquaintance, and rather than try explaining the simple historical fact once more, Kohler chose to excuse himself and hit the buffet. We think you made the right call, Frank.

Many New Mexico schoolchildren could tell you that 101 years ago this month, infamous Mexican bandito Pancho Villa led a raid on Columbus, just three miles this side of the border. That simple fact was not so clear to the editors of the guidebook Discover America: New Mexico (Compass America Guides, 1992), who captioned a photo of the burned-out village as “The raid on Columbus, Ohio, by Pancho Villa in 1916.”

William Sarokin of Mt. Kisco, New York, who spotted the anomaly, shares our thoughts: “Never knew he made it so far north undetected.”

Information technology seems to grow smarter with every passing second. But there are still times when our devices prove to be downright dumb. Michael and Eileen Perea of Las Cruces were excited for their daughter to visit their new home. When she arrived, she opened her iPad to get online and was confronted with a surprising message from her data provider: “Welcome to Mexico!” The message went on to assure her that her data was covered by her domestic plan—even here, south of the border. Something to keep in mind the next time you rely on your phone to provide directions.

Janene Bently of Rociada was looking to book a round-trip bus ticket from Las Vegas to Santa Fe last spring. After contacting a Maryland-based charter company, she got a rate quote that wasn’t entirely surprising—they swapped the original Las Vegas for the newer one in Nevada.

What was surprising was that the itinerary routed them to the mythical Santa Fe, Nevada, as well. “We can understand the mix-up on Las Vegas,” she writes. “But Santa Fe! We had no idea that our capital city now resides in Nevada!”

Reader David Cocain of Edgewood has lived in New Mexico for 30 years, but often returns to his home state of Pennsylvania to visit family and friends. On a recent flight, a gentleman asked where David and his wife hailed from. For the sake of simplicity, they replied “Albuquerque.” The man said he knew of it, “and isn’t that in Texas?” Before they could correct the stranger, he tried to self-correct. “Or is it Arizona?” “It’s New Mexico,” they clarified, “right between the two.”

Once they arrived, they attended a Steelers game, and told some fellow fans they’d come all the way from New Mexico to see the football match. “Oh, we were just there!” the young man sitting next to them said. David asked where they visited, and was met with “Cancún!”

Missed it by that much: It’s only about 2,400 miles from Albuquerque to Cancún.

Albuquerque resident Thomas Dungan was returning home from Los Angeles and chose to ride the rails on Amtrak. As they chugged toward the edge of Arizona the conductor came on the intercom to announce: “Next stop, Gallup, New Mexico.” The car was silent for a moment, until the woman sitting in front of Dungan exclaimed “Mexico!” As the train traveled on, the woman let out another astonished shout: “Look! The signs are still in English!”

It’s true, we New Mexicans do our very best to cater to the English-speaking community.

Roswell’s Phillip Nelson shared a story he heard around town. In it, a woman steps into the Roswell post office and asks the clerk how to get back to the United States and where to find a U.S. post office. “Ma’am,” replied the stunned postal employee, “this is the U.S., and you’re in a U.S. post office.” We’re certain she was relieved to save money on international postage.

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