Send Us Your Story—Please!
Dear “50” fans: Help sustain this popular feature by sharing anecdotes that you haven’t gotten around to sending in. Just dash it off if you like, and we’ll take it from there.

Submissions will be edited for style and space. Please include your name, hometown, and state. E-mail to, or mail to Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501.

On February 28, Loren Bray of San Diego, California, heard the following during the prizes montage on the Wheel of Fortune game show: “You can experience the Land of Enchantment ... at a spa in Cabo San Lucas!”

In the process of moving from Arizona to New Mexico, Paul Appel attempted to update his car insurance. He called the national toll-free number and was told, “We don’t have an office in New Mexico.” He then noticed that there was an office in his Arizona town. He called the local number, hoping for better results, but was given the same “No can do” response. “Why?” he asked. “Because New Mexico is not in the United States. We can’t help you.” Appel insisted that New Mexico was a state, and asked to speak to the representative’s supervisor. The boss also insisted that New Mexico was a foreign land. Flabbergasted, Appel insisted that they look at an atlas. “New Mexico is the state right next to Arizona!” he exclaimed. After looking at the map, they were obliged to admit that they could indeed update his insurance. Whew.

A frequent visitor to New Mexico, Harold Frodge was enjoying a dinner out in Midland, Michigan, wearing a bright yellow sweatshirt emblazoned with the Zia symbol. A woman at an adjacent table asked, “Isn’t Mexico dangerous?” Frodge replied, “Some parts are, but my sweatshirt is from New Mexico.” The woman paused, and then said, “Oh, yes, the new part is safe.” He writes, “I could have pursued this, but decided to just let it be.”

Anne-Laure Aubry, originally from France, fell in love with New Mexico in 1975 when she was a traveling student. She worked for the United Nations for 30 years, and lived in Mexico, Japan, Kenya, and New York. But when time came to choose a place to retire, she picked Santa Fe. She plans to move into an “old but renovated” adobe house this summer. Before moving, she obtained the necessary documents from the French consulate in New York. “I asked one of the staff which consulate I would depend on as a French citizen living in New Mexico.” The reply? “Mexico City.” (It’s actually Los Angeles.)

After 31 years serving in the federal government in Washington, D.C., Nancy L. Card decided to relocate to Bernalillo. She began the process of obtaining health insurance that was offered by the government, and valid in New Mexico. She chose a company and e-mailed a few questions to the Hartford, Connecticut, headquarters. A few days later, Card received a reply from a gentleman in London, England. He informed her that he was redirecting her inquiries to the domestic desk, and was puzzled that he had been sent her e-mail since he worked at the company’s foreign desk. The Londoner knew New Mexico was in the United States, but apparently someone in Hartford didn’t.

This past September, Millie Parker of Treasure Island, Florida, and a friend traveled to Albuquerque for Parker’s Highland High School class reunion. They toured some highlights within striking distance of Albuquerque: Puye Cliff Dwellings, Bandelier, Santa Fe, Acoma, Kasha- Katuwe, and many other sites. At Acoma, Parker’s friend showed her a message on her cell phone from Verizon: “You will be charged roaming charges if you continue using your phone out of the country.”