Wes Wilson moved from Cerrillos to North Carolina and applied for college. His mother, Tish Wilson, says the intake person asked him if he’d ever had any English courses. He responded that, indeed, he had taken college-level English at the University of New Mexico. “That won’t count,” the woman said and signed him up for an English placement exam. “Of course he aced it,” Tish says. “Then they complimented him on what good English he spoke.” Not to mention how quickly he spoke it.


In late 2013, Judy Goering visited a Hampton, Virginia, moving company to set up her relocation to Albuquerque. She was surprised when the sales rep said, “Our company does not provide moving services to a foreign country.” Goering repeated her new address, emphasizing the “new” in New Mexico. The rep gave her a withering look. So Goering said New Mexico was part of the United States. “Where?” the rep asked. Neatly tucked between Arizona and Texas, Goering patiently answered. But even that didn’t work. So Goering moved up the food chain to the rep’s manager, who reiterated the company policy. He, too, insisted that his company would not send its trucks to a foreign country. “I said, ‘Thank you,’ and left to seek out another moving company,” Goering said. Thankfully, that company owned better maps and better sense.


DeWayne A. Miller now lives in San Antonio, but he was born in Artesia and spent part of his career working in Santa Fe. One incident in 1959 sticks with him today. While thumbing through magazines in the newsstand at La Fonda Hotel, he says, a couple asked the cashier, “Where do we change the money?” We assume that unless the visitors wanted to change it into magazines, the cashier wasn’t much help.


Lily Chayarria Lujan was born and raised in Carlsbad, and moved to California in 1968. She remains a loyal reader, so knew she was onto her own “Missing” moment when her 10-year-old grandson asked, “Gramma, what part of Mexico are you from?” She assured the lad that she was from Carlsbad, a city in New Mexico. “What’s the difference—one is old and the other is new?” he asked. Lujan promptly headed out to purchase a geography book and a puzzle of the United States. Good news: The puzzle had all of its pieces.


In June, Albuquerque native Becky Ortiz was logging on to MSN.com from her email in Seattle. There on the bright red BREAKING NEWS banner, she beheld this unusual electoral outcome: “Clinton clinches Democratic Primary in Mexico.” Voters there must have been impressed with the candidate's reported superpower for eating raw jalapeños.


One of our Facebook fans, Bonnie Hopkins-Byers, was in Wisconsin for a conference and told the parking attendant she was finally headed home to New Mexico. The response? “I bet the beaches are amazing there!”

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