While touring the Emerald Isle and enjoying a pint of Guinness in a traditional Irish pub, Arthur D. Ortega of Albuquerque had a hard time explaining to the proprietor where New Mexico is. After his references to Santa Fe, Roswell, the Trinity Site, and Los Alamos fell flat, Ortega said two little words that made the Irishman’s eyes grow as big as four-leaf clovers: Breaking Bad. “Walter White! Heisenberg!” the gent exclaimed in appreciation for the most famous TV show ever set in Albuquerque.

New Mexico Magazine Managing Editor Kate Nelson tumbled into her own “Missing” moment while visiting her mother in a senior living center in Kansas. Nelson told a health aide there that she lives in New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Santa Fe—figuring both cities were fairly well known. But the health aide responded, “I’ve been meaning to go there, because they say you can get antibiotics without a prescription.” After an awkward silence, Nelson said, “Uh, maybe in Mexico, but not in New Mexico.” At which point the awkward silence turned into a chronic case of confusion.

Sandie Spinelli severt says that when she and her husband told their Ohio friends that they’d be stationed at Cannon Air Force Base, in Clovis, folks worried about the newlyweds moving to a foreign country. “They felt really embarrassed when I showed them that we would still be in the USA, sandwiched between Arizona and Texas,” Spinelli Severt says. “Loved living there.”

Read more incredible tales from the "Missing" vault. 

Story Sidebar

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