Rebecca Price is a big fan of country singer Kasey Musgraves, but when listening to the artist’s award-winning song “Dime Store Cowgirl,” she had to laugh at this line: “Driven through New Mexico where the saguaro cactus grow.” As an Arizona resident, Price knows the true home of the iconic saguaro. “Maybe Arizona just didn’t fit the rhythm,” she says, “but I wish she’d change that line.”
Gene Klingler has been on the medical staff at Philmont Scout Ranch, outside Cimarron, for more than 50 years, and he’s noticed a particular quirk of the Villa Philmonte house museum. “As the docents take the visitors through, they stop on the landing leading to the second floor, where there is a beautiful three-panel stained glass window depicting the Santa Fe Trail. In one panel—you guessed it—there is a stately saguaro.” Klingler and the docents delight in seeing which visitors spot it.
Terri Fortner of Farmington was in the San Diego airport, making a purchase with her credit card, when she was asked to show her ID. “I didn’t know you had licenses like that,” the cashier said. Fortner was momentarily confused. “Well, being from another country and everything,” the cashier continued. Oh, Fortner thought as she realized that her very first “Missing” moment was taking flight.
GET US TO EARL’S!
A couple from Georgia who were visiting the historic Plaza in Santa Fe asked resident Judy Eckhart if she knew the way to Earl’s, which they believed was “somewhere between Albuquerque and Gallup, Texas.” Though she didn’t realize they were looking for Earl’s Family Restaurant in Gallup, New Mexico, Eckhart did what she could to reorient the couple, explaining that they were in Santa Fe, northeast of Albuquerque, and that Gallup is on the opposite end of our state from Texas, right next to Arizona. But do we get the grand canyon? David M. Karberg of Rio Rancho was reading the alumni update section of his alma mater’s Cleveland State Magazine when he noticed a graphic outline of the state of New Mexico. He read closely, looking for the update from the Land of Enchantment. But the article cited only alumni events in Dallas, Sarasota, and Scottsdale. “It appears that Scottsdale, Arizona, is located somewhere near Carrizozo,” Karberg says.
Mary Jo Bieberich recently got a sweet giggle out of a batch of bizcochitos, which she bakes every year for the Taco Picnic and Chile Roast, sponsored by the Washington, D.C., chapter of the UNM Alumni Association. She was rolling out the cookie dough when her neighbor, sitting at the table with a glass of iced tea, asked about the ingredients in the recipe. Bieberich showed her a package of ground anise marked anis polvo and mentioned that she had bought the spice during her last trip to New Mexico. “Oh! They let you bring that into the States?” the neighbor exclaimed. Bieberich says she just let it be. That, after all, is how the cookie crumbles. Pecuniary peculiarity Jessie Goolsby of Abernathy, Texas, found an AOL article that ranked the states in terms of which ones had the most and least debt. New Mexico fell in with the 11 healthiest states. Or at least we think it was New Mexico. The photo with our listing held enough skyscrapers to populate a place the size of, say, Mexico City—which surely the editors wouldn’t have mistaken for a town in New Mexico ... right?
We asked our Facebook fans to share their “Missing” moments. Hundreds replied. Here are a few.
Jimi Kay Gray: A clerk in Scott County, Minnesota, repeatedly requested I send immigration documents along with my birth certificate. “You were born in New Mexico, so I will need a copy of your green card,” she said. Since I don’t have a green card, I sent her supervisor a map of the United States with New Mexico highlighted.
Julie Vargas: I’ll always remember that in sixth grade our teacher was trying to place a Scholastic Book Clubs order when the company told her that they did not ship outside of the United States.
Krista Creekpaum: Upon moving to Pennsylvania, my second-grade son was asked if he knew the Pledge of Allegiance. He responded, “In English or Spanish, first?” The teacher thought he was being a smart aleck, but he always said both in his school in New Mexico.
Sabrina Shull: We moved to Arizona in the mid-1990s. When registering me for school, my mom was asked if she had “papers.” She took the lady by the hand to the library and proceeded to show her that New Mexico was Arizona’s neighbor.
Stephanie Pamatian: When we moved to Ohio from New Mexico in the middle of my high school year, the homeroom teacher was a little excited to show off her Spanish, announcing, “We have a new student today all the way from Mexico! Can I hear a big ‘Hola, Stephanie’ for her?” After that, I got lots of “Do you use American money?” questions, “How good your English is!” comments, and “We love the beaches there!” compliments.
HAVE A “MISSING” MOMENT?
Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org or Fifty, New Mexico Magazine, 495 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501. Include your name, hometown, and state. Thanks!