The nice folks at New York–based Hot Sox sent us a PR pitch for their new Santa Fe–themed novelty socks—one style for men, one for women. Only one problem: The appropriately sunset-colored socks featured images of cacti, including the saguaro that, as faithful readers know, grows only in Arizona and parts of Mexico. A PR rep got back to us to say other sharp-eyed folks had alerted the company to the problem, caused in part by designers eyeing “vintage postcards, which often show similar cacti.” True enough, but this is how geographically mortified Hot Sox was: They’re stopping production and redesigning the socks with an accurate image.
The company offered us some consolation socks in the meantime. Given the persistence of the “Missing” matter, we briefly considered asking for their version of Edvard Munch’s The Scream.
Ken Kawata and his family traveled from their home in Las Cruces to Arizona. While on vacation there, he says, “we enjoyed the magnificent saguaro cactus, the native of the Sonoran Desert.” So his eagle eye caught the error when he later saw a Reader’s Digest article proclaiming Las Cruces’ Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks National Monument as a must-see spring getaway. The photo accompanying the article had—you guessed it—saguaros poking their arms up into the sky. “How generous of them to rearrange the botanical geography,” Kawata says.
Gary Gordinier of Rio Rancho drove to Austin for a recent business meeting, but as it grew dark along the way, he decided to spend a night in the town of Fredericksburg, Texas, and enjoy dinner at a German restaurant. The food was fine, but he was puzzled when his young waitress commented on his English, saying that it was very good. He nevertheless thanked her. But then she asked if he’d had any trouble getting across the border. “No more than usual,” he managed to answer.
MAILING IT IN
Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper carried a photo roundup of this April’s March for Science around the world. It included an image of Danielle Peltier, a student at New Mexico State University who’s studying geology, chemistry, and anthropology. The caption stated that her school is in “Las Cruces, Mexico.” We hate to say it, but maybe what the world needs now is a March for Geography.
Kathy Krickhahn was finalizing the sale of her Missouri farm and talking to her realtor about her move to Santa Fe County. The two had chatted about it before, so imagine her surprise when the realtor asked, “Will you be able to use American dollars there?” “I’ve been reading and enjoying ‘One of Our Fifty Is Missing’ since my first trip to Taos in 1986,” Krickhahn said. “But I never imagined I would stumble across my very own example.” She assured her friend that her americanos would be happily accepted just about anywhere in the great state of New Mexico.
Kate Livingston lives in the town of Chaparral, near New Mexico’s border with Mexico, so she’s no greenhorn at “Missing” moments. Still, she caught a first when she called her bank and got a representative who peppily said her name and added, “I’m from Texas.” Sharing the happy vibe, Livingston replied, “Hi, my name is Kate and I’m from New Mexico.” Whereupon the rep apologized and, with no explanation, transferred her to a Spanish-speaking employee. Let us emphasize that the original rep had proudly stated that she was from Texas, a state comfortably close enough to New Mexico (right next door) that one might suspect its residents know a thing or two about it.
Daniel A. Bain lives in Hazelwood, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis, and attempted to use the post office there to mail a birthday package to his sister, who lives in Santa Fe. The gift was a nice necklace (spoiler alert, Sis), so he wisely decided to insure it, only to be told by the federal employee behind the desk that insurance might not cover all aspects of recovery or replacement to a foreign country.
“What?” Bain replied. The postal employee then said that insurance of a package to another country could be obtained, but additional mailing charges would apply, and he needed to check with his supervisor on all that. “But this is to New Mexico,“ Bain said. No luck. Soon, though, the supervisor joined them and informed the clerk that Santa Fe, New Mexico, was indeed within the United States and that all standard mailing and insurance procedures for domestic packages would apply. As he walked back to his car, Bain said, “I thought of the ‘dumb’ in dumbfounded more than once.”
Hamilton Brown, class of 1958 at a boarding school he politely declined to identify, noticed in its spring alumni magazine that New Mexico was listed among the 31 nations that students have visited on travel-abroad programs. The Arroyo Seco resident was pretty sure what country he lives in, so he wrote a letter to the editor acknowledging that “New Mexico is exotic,” but encouraging the staff to not only send the school’s students but visit themselves. “You don’t need visas. You won’t be stopped by customs officials on your return, and both Visa and Mastercards are welcome everywhere. If you would like, I will even send you a flag of the State of New Mexico to hang in the dining hall with the other countries.”
VIVA LOST VEGAS
Our May review of Joseph A. Lordi’s photographic history Las Vegas, New Mexico (see Books), spurred us to look up more information about the author. On the Amazon page that promotes Lordi’s original 2010 version, it said he had published “a picture book about Las Vegas, Nevada, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.” We beg our readers to note once again the title of the book. Or take it from an astute online reviewer identified only as “NM educator”: “The editorial description refers to Las Vegas, Nevada, when clearly the photos are of Las Vegas, New Mexico, as is the title. This book is about the ‘other’ Las Vegas, founded long before Sin City.”
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!