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Thursday, October 19, 2006


Following our endorsement interview with Tom Udall, our receptionist remarked that he had gone to high school with Udall's press secretary.

"Oh yeah?" I said.
"Yeah. And I guess she's my dad's brother's daughter."
Me: "Um, wouldn't that make her your cousin?"
He replied: "Oh yeah. I guess she is my cousin."

This amused me for most of the afternoon. I always love it when people realize that other people they know are actually their cousins. It's one of my favorite Northern New Mexico things, and the kind of thing that will never happen to me because I may have lived here 20 years, but I'm not from here; I'm never going to start talking to someone I already know and suddenly learn of a family relation.


So then yesterday, toward the end of the day, one of the front desk people came back to find me and said:

"Supreme Court Chief Justice Serna is here to see you. He has a note for you from your mother."

(Which has officially become the most random and bizarre thing anyone has ever said to me).

I walked up front to greet Justice Serna (he's the one on the far right in this photo. I reminded him I'd interviewed him when he ran for retention (re-election?) the last time and then set about trying to understand why he was delivering a note from my mother.
As my faithful readers may recall (75 of you last Tuesday, thanks for visiting) my mother was in town last week. After she left Santa Fe, she went to Colorado for a Bat Mitzah of one of our relatives (the son of the son of my mother's aunt, I think, which would make him my, um, cousin? second removed?).
Serna also was at the Bat Mitzvah, which, I learned from him, was a beautiful affair with great food and everyone danced, including my mother (so says Serna) and somehow, during the course of all this, it was decided that the chief justice of the state supreme court would ferry a note to me from my mother (who I did, after all, just see). Serna seemed quite delighted with the task (although he also seemed weirdly delighted when he was in here for his interview. Maybe he's just very happy in general?) although I was so confused by this turn of events I'm not sure I said anything very interesting other than, "Thank you for delivering my note, Justice Serna." He also apologized for getting some chocolate on the note. It was in his pocket along with some chocolates they gave out... either at the hotel or the Bat Mitzvah, I can't quite recall.
I have to say that my mother getting Justice Serna to bring me a note was so funny to me that I have been in a good mood ever since.

Anyway, the note (written on a tiny piece of notebook paper, no doubt in between dances:

Oct. 15, 2006

Hi Julia,
Greetings from Evergreen, Colorado. We had a great party yesterday and met wonderful people who are David Mintz's family by marriage. One of his cousins is Justice Serna. Be well and I'll speak to you soon.


The only thing I want to know is: Does this make Justice Serna my cousin? And is it possible that if you just stay in New Mexico long enough you, too, will randomly become related to people?