My Turn: Know your latitude

A question that pops up naturally when meeting someone for the first time is, “Where are you from?”

Like most people, I have different answers depending on the situation and where I might be. If I’m out of state, New Mexico is the obvious answer. Focused variations could include eastern New Mexico or south Roosevelt County, and it would also be correct to say the Dora School district, Precinct 4, and the Milnesand and Pep communities.

When we had a visitor from Argentina several weeks ago, I was stumped when she asked, “What’s your latitude?”

Betty Williamson

Betty Williamson

I had no idea. In all of the time I’ve lived on our little planet, it never occurred to me to wonder.

Those of you with global positioning systems probably know exactly how to answer that question. After a fair amount of searching, I found that Pep (my nearest town) sits at a latitude of 33 degrees, 43 minutes north of the equator and a longitude of 103 degrees, 24 minutes west of prime meridian.

I rather like the idea of knowing precisely where I sit on the globe. If only I had a memory for numbers, I would use that the next time someone innocently asks, “So, where you from?”

Alas, I do not.

Betty Williamson still remembers the keen disappointment she felt when she found out state lines were not actually visible. You may contact her at

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