One of Our 50 Is Missing - February 2012

After more than two decades, thousands of you have shared their experiences of lost New Mexico in the "One of Our 50 is Missing" humor column. Tell us your experiences at fifty@nmmagazine.com.

In Disarray: Lawrence and Deborah Blank, part-time residents of Corrales, were vacationing on the Big Island of Hawaii, where they toured the Mauna Kia Observatories. The Blanks asked their guide if the facility’s Very Long Baseline Array was associated with the Very Large Array. The guide, a Ph.D. astronomer, responded that the Hawaiian dish and the VLA in Arizona look at different wavelengths. The Blanks gently corrected him by explaining that the  VLA is on the Plains of San Agustín, near Soccoro, New Mexico. He responded, “Okay, I guess I stand corrected,” but didn’t sound as if he was on the same wavelength.

Fox Faux Pas: Linda Schifani Tangen, of Albuquerque, was reading Fox News online when she stumbled upon an Associated Press article titled “Navajo Nation Fights Urban Outfitters Over ‘Disrespectful’ Clothing Line.” Being from the Southwest, she started reading. A sentence toward the end of the piece explained that the Navajo “tribe is well-known for its huge reservation that spans 27,000 square miles in Arizona, Mexico, and Utah.” Tangen was stunned that the article had failed to include the very important word New in the description of the Navajo Nation’s location.

“I presume the writer of the article has heard of our wonderful state,” she writes. “As a transplanted Californian (at age 6), I quickly grew to love my new home state, and I could talk about all it has to offer—from the mountains to the high desert to the gleaming white sands—for days.”
(As of press time, the online article had not been corrected.)

Border Patrol: Charles and Diana Waggoner, of Portales, travel frequently by car from Eastern New Mexico University to central Illinois to visit family. During a recent road trip, they were pulled over on the Interstate in Missouri. The policeman exited his vehicle and slowly walked along the passenger side of the Waggoner’s SUV while looking carefully in the windows. When Charles asked why he had pulled them over, the officer said that the passenger-side tires had touched the yellow line on the right side of the highway. The patrolman asked Charles how long he’d been driving, and if he was tired. Then he wanted to know where the Waggoners had crossed the border. Charles assumed that the officer meant the Oklahoma-Missouri state line, so he explained that he and Diana had passed through Joplin about two hours ago. To this the officer said, “No, I mean the Mexican border.” Charles explained very politely that their travel had originated in Portales, New Mexico, and that he and his wife had not crossed the Mexican border. The policeman responded, “Okay, just do not drive too late. You may be getting tired.” Then he returned to his squad car.