April 12, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

I'm fighting a serious case of spring fever. It's a beautiful
day outside and frankly I'd rather be out there than in front of
this computer. It looks like this column will be a collection
of different thoughts this week, since I can't seem to stay
focused on any one thought for very long.


Have you noticed the strong influx of drug ads in the electronic
media? Everything from pills to improve your sex life to pills
to grow your hair back. Every ad seems to end the same way;
"Ask your doctor if this drug is right for you."

Wait a minute. If this drug is right for me, shouldn't my
doctor be telling ME instead of visa versa?

ME -- Doc, it hurts when I do this.

DOC -- I'll put you on Protozackerinalabarbitol.

ME -- I guess the medical journals say that's pretty good stuff.

DOC -- Nope. I saw an ad for it on Letterman last night.


I heard on the news yesterday that the airlines are getting
better at serving the public. The same news story said fewer
people are flying.

Hello! If there are fewer bags to lose, the airlines are going
to lose fewer bags!


I saw a homeless person standing on the corner of a busy
intersection in Las Cruces this week. He held a cardboard sign
that said, "Need money for beer. Why lie about it?"


Our cats are about a year old. They used to be as wild as a
a roadhouse on Saturday night, but lately they have taken to
sleeping all day on my favorite chair.

Yesterday I mentioned to Peggy the fact that these two guys
were pretty worthless. I think they heard me.

This morning they came in the house for their all-day nap, but
they left 3 dead mice out on the doorstep.


Peggy put a dent in the back bumper of the pickup. I asked how
it happened and she said, "I was mad at you about something and
I was distracted and I backed into a tree."

I should be ashamed of myself.


I have two thermometers outside. One is outside the office
window and in the sunshine in the mornings. This morning at 8
it read 70 degrees. The other is just outside the kitchen
window and is in the shade in the mornings. This morning at 8
it read 45 degrees. Obviously is was 57.5 degrees outside at
8 this morning.

Don Vanlandingham

We actually got a half-inch of snow early in the week, but it
melted rapidly. At least it helped in the moisture department.

Highs are around 60. Lows in the low 30s.

Fire use restrictions are still in effect for the Lincoln
National Forest.
Dear Newsletter:

Gianni Bellatani from Italy asked for a picture post card of

I'm sure he (or is that a she?) didn't especially just want to
see an old cabin, but I had to send it anyhow.

The attached is a postcard published around 1948 or so of "A
Cloudcroft Cabin", presuming it to be a typical cabin in that
little town. As it happens, that cabin has been in my family
for 60 years (initially owned by my parents Dr. & Mrs. Leigh
Wilcox). Its original owner, dentist Louis Breck, held it for
its first 50 years of existence.

It is indeed typical of the first cabins built in Cloudcroft,
many of which stand today along "Middle Hill" (now called Wren)
and Squirrel Ave.

Suzannah Wilcox Barnebey
Austin, TX

[Thank you for this great image. Readers can view it here:]


Some say it is to protect motorists. Others say it is another
way for authorities to raise fine revenues. In any case, a
controversial "safety zone" has been established between
Cloudcroft and Alamogordo on Highway 82.

Starting July 1, double fines can be issued to those cited for
speeding in this area.

Law enforcement officials are saying the plan is being
implemented due to the higher-than-average accident rate on
that stretch of highway.
Ponderosa Pines Golf Course offers cool, beautiful mountain
golf at affordable prices. Located 9 miles Southeast of
Cloudcroft on Hwy 130. Call (505) 682-2995 or email
ponderosapines@zianet.com for more information.
Kids can climb on a life size horse and saddle, dress up in
western costumes, work on puzzles and games, ride old-fashioned
mechanical horses, and pretend to drive a real wagon.

R.D. and Joan Dale Hubbard founded the Hubbard Museum of the
American West in 1992. It has grown from its original incredible
collection of Anne C. Stradling’s Museum of the Horse to being a
truly first class historic Western museum. The famous Stradling
collection includes bits, spurs, bridles and saddles from around
the world, and an amazing collection of carriages, wagons and
horse drawn vehicles spanning hundreds of years.

The Museum is open every day from 10am to 5pm. It is closed
Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.


Q - What is the oldest existing business in Cloudcroft?

A - We posed the question to Mr. History...Pat Rand of the
Cloudcroft Museum.

The Lodge Pavilion was built in 1899. The Lodge itself was
opened in 1901. The Lodge burned in 1909 but was re-opened in

Besides being the highest golf course (above sea level) in
North America, The Lodge golf course is also one of oldest,
established at the turn of the last century.
April 12-14 -- Trinity All-Arabian Horse Show, Otero County
Fairgrounds, for more information, call (505) 437-9367.

April 14 -- 14th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March, White
Sands Missile Range, for an application booklet call
505-678-3374, register on-line at www.wsmr.army.mil.

April 15 -- Congressional Candidate Forum. Cloudcroft Village
Council Chambers at 6pm. Speakers are Democratic candidates
Ruben Smith and John Arthur Smith.
Reservations required, call (505) 682-2504.

April 20-21 -- Rattlesnake Roundup. Otero County Fairgrounds.
For more information call (505) 437-7116.

April 26-28 -- Cloudcroft Dance Theatre, Artesia.
For more information, call (505) 687-3192.

April 27 -- Moonlight Bicycle Ride, 8:30pm, White Sands
National Monument, advance registration required.
For more information, call (505) 479-6124 or (505) 679-2599.

April 29 -- Congressional Candidate Forum. Cloudcroft Village
Council Chambers at 6pm. Speakers are Republican candidates
Ed Tinsley, Steve Pearce, Earl Greer, and Leo Martinez.
Reservations required, call (505) 682-2383. (Note date change!)

May 4-5 -- High Altitude Classic Bike Race.
For more information, call (505) 682-1229.

May 11 -- Old Timer's Reunion, Cloudcroft High School, 12pm.
For more information, call (505) 682-2932.

May 15-31 -- Cloudcroft Art Society annual Miniature Art Show.
At the art gallery in the Burro Street Exchange.

May 24-26 -- Cloudcroft Light Opera Company Melodrama.
Zenith Park Pavilion, 7:30 pm.
For information call (505) 682-3317 

May 25-26 -- Mayfair. Juried Arts and Crafts Show. 
Zenith Park, 10am to 5pm. Horseshoe Tournament, Food, Drinks.
For information call (505) 682-2733.

May 25 -- Street Dance, 7-11pm. Music by Country Line.

May 25-27 -- Wimsatt Rodeo. Gordon Winsatt Memorial Arena,
7 miles east of Cloudcroft on Hwy 82. 1:30pm daily.

June 1 -- National Trails Day. 10K walk.
For information call (505) 682-3040.

June 9 -- Father's Day brunch. Call 682-2566 for details.

June 14-16 -- Western Roundup. Parade, pie auction, BBQ.
Street dance Saturday 7-11pm.

June 15-16 -- Cherry Festival. High Rolls. Arts, food.

June 28-30 -- Bluegrass Festival. Music all day.
Open Air Pavilion, Camp Chimney Springs.

July -- Chili cook-off. Call (505)-437-6259 for specific
dates and location.

July 12-13 -- Melodrama. Covered Pavilion.

July 13-14 -- July Jamboree.

July 13 -- Flower Show at the Community Center, l-5pm. 

July 14 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue.

July 27 -- Train Load of Talent. Covered Pavilion.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the first Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494
for more information.

Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30am every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Second Saturday of each month, 11am to 1pm.
James Canyon Fire Department, 2346 Highway 82.

For information on highway closings for missile testing between
Alamogordo and Las Cruces/El Paso, call (800) 432-4269.

If you have news of public events in the Cloudcroft area, email

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

Enjoy your newsletter so much. Thanks for this service. I
particularly enjoy reading the letters from your readers. It's
really great to see the diverse locations the visitors to our
area are from.

If you are inclined to do public service announcement, I would
like for you to publish the following:

Free Vitals Clinic
Second Saturday of each month
11am to 1pm
James Canyon Fire Department
2346 Highway 82

Thanks for your help.

Barbara Hardison

Dear Newsletter:

As always, enjoyed reading Cloudcroft Online Newsletter. My
wife and I will be in Cloudcroft tomorrow for the weekend and
I will buy a Cloudcroft post card and send it to the person in

Keep up the good work and God Bless You.

Ignacio & Elva Cisneros

Dear Newsletter:

I usually don't read the letters to the editor, but I always
enjoy reading your commentaries. Please don't stop writing
these stories as they are great.

Monte Patterson
Carlsbad, NM

Dear Newsletter:

You wrote, "....I had forgotten how everything glowed in the
city on a clear night...almost as if it were radioactive. The
combination of thousands of street lights and headlights made
it never quite dark..."

Never quite dark is right. To me, light pollution is almost
as bad as noise or smog pollution. Cherish the dark nights, lit
only by the stars and the moon just as God intended it to be.
What a glorious experience it is to camp with no city lights of
any kind to destroy the wonderful night.

Peace and love,
Frank & Sue Melohn
Mesa, AZ

Dear Newsletter:

I can't wait for Thursdays to roll around so I can read the
weekly newsletter from Cloudcroft.

Our family had such great times there in the early 70's when we
lived in Hobbs, New Mexico - spent almost every weekend in
Cloudcroft/Ruidoso, tubing in winter, fishing and horse races
in summer.

It's one of the finest places in the world and we've been all
over. Love the peace and quiet of Cloudcroft, but Ruidoso has
had too much population explosion. Try to play golf every August
at the Lodge course and have taken many friends there and
recommended to many others. It's a terrific experience.

Does Mr. Vanlandingham happen to be related to a Mr.
Vanlandingham who lives in BullHead City, Arizona? [No.]

Keep up the humorous heartfelt newsletters - makes my Thursday,
cheers the rest of the week!

T. Harder,
Elkhart, Kansas

Dear Newsletter:

We just wanted you to know how much we enjoy reading your

We first heard about Cloudcroft from my father-in-law who was
stationed close by and he often spoke of Cloudcroft. So the
summer of 1997 we took the trip and now we're hooked for life.

My father-in-law has since passed and every time we go to
Cloudcroft we are reminded of how if it hadn't been for him
telling us, we would have never know such a wonderful and
beautiful place existed.

In my mind I always go back to Cloudcroft when I read your

Thank you so very much! You are greatly appreciated! 

Eddie and Alicia Handy 
Burleson, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Oh boy, here I go again - the mountain man - I guess I like
this guy.

I have a serious question for you, though. IS EVERYBODY IN
CLOUDCROFT FROM TEXAS? When we visited Ruidoso, all of the
plates were white. Everyone we met greeted us with, "I'm
from Texas"

Well, I never met anyone, and said right off the bat, "I'm
from Pennsylvania." Seems like I don't have to excuse myself 
for it, or brag about it, who cares what state you're from,
unless you think that state is a separate state.

OOPS, is that it? When you live in another country, it is sort
of common to say where you came from, but it gets sickening to
hear everyone from Texas tell everyone from elsewhere that
they're from Texas, and THAT'S the WAY WE DO whatever it is

We have a new guy in a group at church, and he announces
constantly, IN TEXAS, this n' that. Well he is HERE NOW. I just
wonder about all of that Texas stuff, and why its "better" than
everywhere else, if so, why are all of the Texans coming to New

Glad to see Mountain Man is going to build a cabin in Cloudcroft.
I would like to do that, if husband could bring himself to live
where temps slide below 70, and IF we could do that, and be
warm weather folk in Cloudcroft, that would be great, too.

Maybe someday.
Beth Scott, Tampa Fl.

Dear Newsletter:

I just wanted to thank you and everyone else that has their
part in this newsletter.

I am so home sick for the those mountains and feel joy reading
your little updates. Being born and raised in Alamogordo, I
couldn't wait to move away to a "real" town. Now, I can't wait
to return.

Living in The Woodlands, TX (just outside of Houston) we have
plenty of green and trees, but it is so darn flat and the bugs!
I do believe everything IS bigger in Texas! (Bigger really
isn't always better.) Please remember to always enjoy those
awesome sunsets (happens twice a year here if lucky), the nice
cool rain water (hot and steamy water falls here), pretty white
poofy clouds (flat ugly gray ones cover here), cool mornings
and evenings (hot, humid, and hot!) and the wonderful sound of
those military jets buzzing overhead (mosquitoes the size of
golf balls buzz here)!

Oh! Don't forget the green chili! (Chili-con-carne tops
everything here.)
Thank you and keep up the great work!

Homesick in Texas,
Cammie Christie-Cooper

Dear Newsletter:

I picked up right away the part about sitting around in a room
with you in a room full of other readers and responders to the
newsletter. The part I REALLY liked was about the steaks on the
grill and the oldies on the stereo. The part about trying to
impress each other was ok -- I'm sure most of the others could
impress ME. 

What I want to know now is, was that an offer? Cause if it was,
I plan to be out there whenever UT will let loose of me this
spring, and I'll be glad to let you know when, in advance, so
you can set something up. I'll even contribute to the steaks
if you're cookin'. And Bill and Pat White should come because
he's almost as funny as you are and I'd like to give Pat a
medal, which I'm sure she probably deserves.

And you're right about the contributors. Between them and you,
I get a real lift every time the newsletter appears in my
e-mail. It takes part of the sting out of the news articles my
political friend forwards to me, about how bad things are. 

All y'all keep on truckin'! (You do know the difference between
y'all and all y'all, don't you? Y'all is ALWAYS two or more
folk -- only Yankees use it in the singular -- but all y'all is
everybody in the room.) 

Sandy Woods

Dear Newsletter:

Well, it's been a little over a year since Shannon and I spent
the first week of our marriage honeymooning in Cloudcroft. We
had tossed around several different honeymoon options, but she
always came back to Cloudcroft. I was a bit dubious of spending
our honeymoon in some little cabin in the sticks, but she
assured me it would be well worth it.

It was. 

We had such a wonderful time there. The weather was wonderfully
cold; there were lots of things to do; there was nothing that
had to be done. It was wonderful.

It snowed very little until the day of our departure...then it
snowed a ton. For a California boy like me driving in the snow
seemed a bit tricky, but my new bride was able to say just the
right things to make me feel all rugged and manly and that I
could do anything. Funny thing, she continues to do the same
thing every day. 

We have a very full house with "hers" and "mine" and it will be
even more full in a few weeks with "ours." Why do I mention all
this? Because our life together got off to such a great start
by spending a week in Cloudcroft, NM. Every week there is a
nice reminder of our honeymoon waiting for me in my incoming
email box. Strange...we only spent a week out there but I feel
totally connected and in some small way a part of Cloudcroft.
Cloudcroft is a part of us.

We hope someday to share Cloudcroft with our children.

Thanks so much,
David and Shannon Smith
McKinleyville, CA

Dear Newsletter:

My girlfriend and I stayed in Cloudcroft over Christmas Holiday,
and my girlfriend had never seen snow. This trip was a total
surprise. I told her that we were staying in a cabin in 
Cloudcroft, but I had a nice room at the Lodge, which she has
always wanted to stay in ever since I showed her the town last
spring when we camped out at the National Forest.

This was also a special time, because I asked her to marry me
on Christmas Eve, which is our anniversary of 4 years. We really
had a wonderful time, we cut our own Christmas tree, and went
shopping in the town. It snowed, and my girlfriend was so happy!
My parents spent their honeymoon in Cloudcroft, and I thought 
it would be nice to carry out in a way the same tradition.

The lodge was GREAT, there was so much romance in the crisp
clean mountain air, and she said YES! Thank you Cloudcroft!!!

Wallace H. LeMore III

Dear Newsletter:

Mr. Vanlandingham, I too agree that the letters from the
readers are very informative, humorous, cute and touching. Some
even bring a tear to the eye now and then. But I believe that
all will agree with me when I say that you're in no danger of
loosing you place at the head of the letter. Although we've
(the subscribers) enjoyed adding a little wit here and there
as well as sharing some useful ideas, it is your writing that
makes the letter what it is.

Nice kiss, huh? 

I would also like to add a "Well done" for the great job David
Webmaster performs each week in putting the letter together.
David does have a very fascinating last name. Does he wear a
lot of leather and chrome by change?

Hey, Texas Philip: Great idea, I gave the pizza con-tortillas
a try. It weren't bad! I use the extra thick flower ones, you
know, the ones that city folk use for those "Rap-sandwiches"
sort of a Caucasian Burrito. 

Also thanks to Cloudcroft John. Your frozen pizza idea sounds
much better than the plastic wrapped, box-coated frozen one I
discovered in the supermarket.

That reminds me! I've eaten at some mighty fine restaurants
there in New Mexico, but another thing I'm going to miss when
I'm living there full time, is Sonoran style Mexican food.
Unless there is yet an undiscovered Sonoran style restaurant
within forty or say fifty miles of Cloudcroft. If there is,
please let me know. Let me add to this, that I've eaten at
some of the Mexican restaurants in Alamogordo, Las Cruces,
Ruidoso, as well as having Mexican cuisine in Cloudcroft. Not
one bad meal! But remember I was born and raised in Arizona
(Sonoran country).

While I'm on the subject of food: Did I ever mention Wine? A
couple years back, my sister took the wife and I to the vineyard
in Tularosa. The name you ask? What else, Tularosa Vineyards.
We tasted everything they offered. Now I'm not a wine expert,
in fact, I'm not an expert on anything. But I know what I like,
so we bought a case of the 99 Gewurztraminer. I thought it was
wonderful. The last time we were over we had to buy some more
as we're down to the last bottle of 99, and I'm keeping that
one for the day we move in permanently.

The people we met at the vineyard were as nice as anyone we've
met in New Mexico. It is no wonder they called it the land of
enchantment. In fact the only rude individual I've met in all
of my visits, is Chip! Chip is the squirrel I disturbed while
clearing some of the dead fall, on my property. I told him I
was sorry for waking him up so abruptly. But he wouldn't have
any of it. He just stood on an over hanging limb, chewing me
up one side and down the other. And talk about potty mouth, I'm
just glad there weren't any children around. Plus, he kept
pointing out all of my mistakes. I don't know what ever
happened to Chip, I hope he is okay. But should you step
outside your cabin one-day and hear some foul language coming
from one of the trees, don't be sending him my way!

Bill White
Phoenix, Arizona

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Copyright © 2002 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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