Flagstaff, New Mexico?
“USA Today has done it again!” says Paul Rapo of Middle Haddam, Connecticut, referring to a previous article from October 2010 in which the paper misplaced New Mexico. Rapo wrote in to tell us about another error: On December 21, 2011, in “Across the USA” the newspaper ran a story about Flagstaff, Arizona, under the New Mexico heading. It reported that the Navajo Nation was suing the federal government and wanted human remains from Canyon de Chelly returned to the tribe for proper burial. “We have been to Flagstaff, and we have been to Canyon de Chelly, but not on any one of our 30-plus visits throughout New Mexico,” Rapo says. “I can only hope that the Navajo belief that digging up remains causes illness to the living does not extend to the news feature writers of USA Today.”
When Barbara Casey moved from New Mexico to Ohio, almost three years ago, she encountered more than a few people who didn’t understand that New Mexico was a state. Comments such as “I’m so glad that you came back to this country,” and “Do they drive on the same side of the road?” were frequent. But the biggest surprise occurred when she went to set up her new bank account in Cincinnati. “A week later, Homeland Security contacted us,” she remembers. “The bank employee had written down my social security number incorrectly and put down that I had a Mexican driver’s license. Scary.”
Author Max Oliver attended the Western Writers Association Book Sale in Ruidoso last October. While there, he received a phone call from a friend who wanted to meet for coffee in their hometown of Corpus Christi. “I told him I was in Ruidoso,” Oliver remembers. The friend responded: “I didn’t know you were out of the country.” When Oliver clarified that he was simply in New Mexico, the friend asked: “Do you have to show a passport there?” and advised Oliver to be careful until he returned to the U.S.