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New ‘Embassy’ for That Other Mexico

July 9, 1996

ATLANTA (AP) _ New Mexico _ that elusive foreign land of enchantment _ has a new embassy in Georgia just for the Olympics.

Bob Romano has converted his home into the Unofficial Consulate of New Mexico, complete with flags and posters supplied by the state’s tourism office.

Romano is poking fun at the Olympian bumble in which ticket agents refused to sell volleyball tickets over the phone to a Sante Fe, N.M., man, telling him he lived outside the United States.

``We want people to stop by, eat some nachos and have a positive Olympic experience,″ Romano said.

Romano also is inviting visitors to sign a petition supporting New Mexico statehood, which actually was granted in 1912.

The consulate front lawn has an Olympic rings display of spray-painted gravel. A sign asks passers-by: ``New Mexico: The Land of Enchantment, State or Country?″

Wade Miller was denied tickets in February by an agent who told him, ``Sir, New Mexico, old Mexico, it doesn’t matter. ... You still have to go through your nation’s Olympic committee.″

He eventually received tickets by using his brother’s address in Phoenix, Ariz.

He said Monday he hopes to pay Romano’s ``embassy″ a visit.

``I guess I’d be some sort of honorary diplomat,″ Miller said. ``I hope everybody votes to let us in.″

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