Arizona Rising

Over New Mexico

I shared with a friend an e-mail I had gotten from my alumni association about a trip to Cuba. I had asked if I could see Ernest Hemingway’s house and he told me it wasn’t on the itinerary and there would be no deviating from the itinerary. I knew my friend would find the exchange interesting. 

“OK,” she replied, “that note was worth everything in the world because of the last line. :-)”

I had to look. 

“Hope all is well with you in Arizona!” 

Except for eight years in Santa Fe and four in the Navy, I have lived my entire life in Pennsylvania. But for those eight years I lived in Santa Fe, acquaintances in Pennsylvania always asked me about life in Arizona. 

I was on a plane returning from Pennsylvania shortly after having moved to Santa Fe and my former state representative said hello. “How’s Arizona?” he asked. Happened every return trip and even after I returned. After we moved back in 2011, I ran into the guy who sold me the SUV I later traded at Beaver Toyota and he welcomed me back—from Arizona. 

And remember The New Yorker cartoon about New Mexico that made its point with a saguaro cactus? As any good New Mexican knows, those cacti grow in Arizona, California and Mexico, not New Mexico. The saguaro blossom is Arizona’s state flower. 

And lest anyone forget, Arizona was created out of New Mexico. New Mexico is the mother of Arizona.
I must admit that after a few years of reading New Mexico Magazine’s “One of Our 50 Is Missing,” I thought the joke had run its course and the magazine could drop the feature. But now I think it should keep it and add another: “We Aren’t Arizona!”

1 comment:

  1. A couple of weeks after posting this, we had a modest snowfall. The next day I went to my barber's for my monthly trim and he said: I bet when it snows you wish you were back in Arizona.