Vagueness of the term Enchantment

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By Harold Morgan

The acceptance of “Land of Enchantment” as the best description of New Mexico came slowly and reluctantly. The vagueness of the phrase is the problem for the marketer. Just what is “enchantment?”
Recently the Albuquerque Journal asked some state leaders (whatever that means) to consider in 100 words “what it means to be a New Mexican.” The exercise derived in part from the running theme of lousy state leadership from reporter-columnist Win Quigley. A dozen responded, one from the south and one from the semi-north, Española.
One said little in 279 words. That was Roberta Cooper Ramo, attorney and pillar of the Albuquerque establishment. “Cultural diversity” was the thread connecting the others.
Only one got seriously serious, moving beyond the question. That was R. Braiden Trapp, managing editor of the Rio Grande Sun. In exactly 100 words, Trapp noted elements including that New Mexicans “have a strong sense of three diverse histories; but have no knowledge of those histories.”
My kids had one required semester of New Mexico history. In Oklahoma, a place with a much shorter history than New Mexico, I had two comprehensive history units and would have had a third had my parents not decided New Mexico was a much better place.

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