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

Jackie Salazar of Alcalde recently decided to offer her services as a volunteer at Pope Francis’s visit to World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia this September. She received this e-mail reply: “Regrettably, due to our background screening requirements, we will be unable to accept volunteer requests from people who do not reside in the United States.” Salazar let the Philadelphia-based volunteer coordinator know that New Mexico was part of the United States and received an apology, as well as plenty of information on how to volunteer.

NBC Nightly News covered the Disneyland measles outbreak this past January. As Judith Barnitt of White Bear Lake, Minnesota, watched Brian Williams talk about its progress, he pointed to a map of the United States and Mexico. When he mentioned each state, it lit up. When he mentioned New Mexico, the whole country of Mexico lit up, but of course, not the state of New Mexico.

When Steven Kretschmer first started dating his now wife, Sarah, it was a long-distance relationship. He was living in Clovis and she was in Sandusky, Ohio. During one visit, she planned to come in July to see the state’s beautiful sites and attend Billy the Kid Days with Steven in Mesilla. Sarah told one of her friends about the trip. Her friend proceeded to ask her if she was going to have to “cross the big water.” Without missing a beat, Sarah responded, “If you mean the Mississippi River, then yes—but New Mexico is a state.” Her friend was a bit embarrassed by her mistake, but they had a good laugh.

During the 1970s, Douglas E. Swartzendruber lived in Los Alamos and worked at the LANL’s Health Research Lab. “These were the days before online publishing and Internet access to research journals. Thus, whenever we published a paper, we would get many postcard requests for a reprint.” Invariably, among the cards would be several that carried 37 cents international postage rather than the 8 cents required. Many requests came from the Northeast, but most states were represented. Swartzendruber often signed the reprint and highlighted the “USA” after “Los Alamos, NM.”

Leandro Thomas Gonzales of Jémez Springs was eating dinner at a pub near London, England, when a loud and very intoxicated man, with three of his equally intoxicated buddies, pointed at Gonzales and yelled out, “You’re a damn Yankee.” Gonzales tried to ignore him, but the man walked over. “Didn’t you hear me? You’re one of those #@^& no-good Yankees.”

Gonzales responded, “I’m no Yankee, so stop calling me that.”

The man said, “You’re from the United States, aren’t you? You’re a Yankee.”

“I’m from New Mexico!” Gonzales said, loudly.

The man, looking confused, turned around to consult with his friends. They all came over, apologized, and then asked him questions about New Mexico. Gonzales described the beautiful countryside and delicious food, but he thought better of mentioning that New Mexico was part of the United States, as it obviously would have worked against him.

Lori Faye Bock, an animal portrait artist based in Abiquiú, publishes a line of note-cards sold throughout New Mexico.

Seeking to expand her business by partnering with regional chains, she learned that she was required to obtain product liability insurance.

She contacted one of the most prominent providers via e-mail and received this reply: “Please contact the service center for Mexico. The contact information can be found at the below link...”

Craig Cathey knew that he’d have to update his auto registration after moving from Dallas to Alto. After settling into his new home, he contacted the lienholder and asked them to send the original title so the Texas title could be voided and a New Mexico title could be issued. When he gave them his address, the representative replied, “Oh, we can’t do that. You will need to pay off the loan. You haven’t already moved the car out of the country, have you?”

“Maybe you didn’t understand,” Cathey said. “I live in Alto, New Mexico.” The rep replied: “I know, but you can’t take the car out of the country until you pay off the loan. That is a violation of the law.”

“New Mexico is a state in the United States of America,” Cathey explained. “It is right next to Texas, which happens to be the state you are in right now.” About three days later, he received the car title.