Reprinted from June 1995
I live in El Paso, Texas.
It is a simple fact that every telephone book has a map indicating the various time zones. And it’s fairly simple to see that not only are we nowhere near Dallas, we are in the Mountain Time Zone.
I’m writing this because we have salesmen call us and say, “I will be coming down to Dallas next week. I’ll be renting a car, so I thought I’d drop over and see you.”
Drop over and see us?
You should hear the gasps that I get when I tell them we are located more than 600 miles from Dallas.
A couple of summers ago there was wide-scale flooding in East Texas. A jeweler friend in California wrote to ask me if we were affected very much by this, or if we’d managed to conduct business as usual.
I wrote back and told her I thought we were closer to Los Angeles than the part of Texas which was flooded.
Another thing that annoys me is the treatment of New Mexico. We live about 5 miles from the New Mexico state line, and we recognize them as part of the United States.
I heard on Paul Harvey’s radio show recently that someone from New Mexico tried to order tickets to the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta and was told, “You’ll have to go through the country you live in. I can’t sell you the tickets.”
The prospective purchaser protested that it was New Mexico, not Old Mexico, to which the ticket agent replied: “It doesn’t matter, New Mexico or Old Mexico, you have to go through the agent for the country you live in.”
What happened to the geography lessons?
People from the East Coast sometimes ask me if we have racial problems here. We don’t.
I have lived here since 1942 and have never known of anything more than name calling as a perceived incident. Those who integrate from other areas of the country to the Southwest come to accept the customs and foods as their own.
We empathize with that commercial on Pace Picante Sauce, where the cook serving picante sauce from New York City draws displeasure and everyone says to “get a rope” to string him up.
Another thing that comes to my attention is the time difference.
Because people in New York City (where they eat tame picante sauce) are on Eastern Time, they think the entire nation is too.
We often arrive at the store to do household chores before work. We run the sweeper, polish the bare floors and shampoo the carpet, dust the figurines and wash the windows.
Inevitably, the phone rings and it’s someone from the East wanting to do business when we are not even awake yet.
I have come to appreciate the ability to dial an 800 number at our convenience. Right now, it is barely 9 a.m. in our sleepy border town and I’ve already had three calls from back East.
I think I will… ah…hum….zzzzzzzz.