April 19, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

My dad died this week.

His name was Wilburn Charles Vanlandingham, but everyone called
him Babe (derived, I am told, from his glory days as a softball
player). He lived in Ruidoso with his dog Sammy. He was one
month short of his 82nd birthday.

His temperament didn't allow him to work for someone else, so
he was a life-long entrepreneur.

He owned several businesses in his adult life. In the 40s,
after the war, he and a buddy went in together and bought a gas
station in Lubbock. In the 50s and 60s, he owned coin-operated
game, candy and cigarette machines and Juke Boxes (do they
still call them Juke Boxes?). He owned coin-op laundries and
car-washes. He was even a partner and manager of a bowling
alley, but the passion of his life was golf.

He became a golf professional. He was the pro at three West
Texas golf clubs. As a golf pro, you have to work for someone
else (the club's board of directors). He didn't like that.
He'd much rather be out playing the game than selling shoes
and golfballs in the pro-shop and giving lessons to bored

Dad and I were two completely different people. We often
clashed like striped pants and plaid shirts. He was never too
big on my broadcasting career ("why don't you get a REAL job,"
he would say). He was upset when Peg and I decided to chuck it
all in Lubbock and move to Cloudcroft. He never told me, but I
heard he was impressed with my limited, but adequate abilities
as a carpenter. He respected people that could work with their

I thought he was judgmental and narrow-minded. He thought I was
short-sighted and scatterbrained.

We were probably both right.

Family members and I spent the day Saturday at Dad's house
boxing up his belongings and organizing for the funeral.

My brother Dick brought out two pair of shoes from the back
room. He asked me what my shoe size was. (Dick wears one size
smaller than Michael Jordan. They were obviously too small for

There was a pair of running shoes Peg bought Dad last year when
he was in re-hab after his knee surgery. I tried them on. They
fit perfectly. After all these years, I didn't know Dad and I
wore the same size shoe. There was also a pair of hiking boots
he probably bought with the idea of climbing some mountain some
day, that were evidently never worn.

Sunday. The final round of the Master's golf tournament.

I don't normally stop life to watch golf on TV, but The Master's
is special to all that love the game.

Dad brought me to the the game of golf. It is the game of the
gentile. It is the only game in which you are required to
penalize yourself if you violate a rule, whether anyone else
sees your screw-up or not. It is a game that requires complete
and total respect for your opponent. When your opponent is
making a shot, you are required to stand perfectly still and
make no sound. If your opponent just made a putt that cost you
the tournament and 500 thousand dollars, you are expected...
no...REQUIRED...to look him straight in the eye and say "good
shot" and act like you mean it...even if you're about to throw

I grew up on a golf course. It was a great place to study human
nature. People I knew from town that were real jerks would be
polite and considerate when at the golf course.

It is a game that demands respect of the land. It is up to each
and every person that uses a golf course to take care of it and
appreciate the work that others have performed to make your game
pleasurable (I heard Dad tell golfers that abused the course,
"This ain't no Putt Putt!"). If you chew a piece of grass out
of the ground with your chip shot, you shall search for it, find
it and replace it with care. It wouldn't hurt if you came back
a few days later to be sure your ground repair was successful.

If you think I am exaggerating...ask a golfer.

After some Sunday morning chores, I settled in to watch The
Masters on TV. I had my potato chips and Picante sauce lined up
on the coffee table. I lay down on the couch. The dogs were
watching, too. Typically rowdy, they seemed to appreciate the
reverence of the event.

As I watched from my prone position, Tiger Woods took control.

I watched this Superman of the sport do his thing...all the
while aware of the fact I was watching the TV set over the toes
of my dad's hiking boots on my feet.

Dad's shoes and I watched as Tiger moved methodically from hole
to hole, playing flawlessly and demoralizing the best golfers
in the world on his way to his second Master's championship in
as many years.

It was a calming experience for me. After the trauma of the
past few days I was connected for one last time with Dad in our
mutual love of a game.

"He pulled that shot!" I could hear Dad say as his shoes and I
watched. "Doesn't he know that's a deep bunker?" I said to the
shoes and the TV screen as a ball rolled into the sand.

Tiger walked up the fairway on 18. The crowd cheered.

Dad's shoes and I watched as Tiger slipped on the Master's Green
Championship Blazer.

I wasn't sad until the tournament was over and the interviews
had been concluded and the presentations had been made.

At the end, the television camera panned the Augusta Golf
Course. The crowds were gone. The cheering was only an echo.

The placid waters flowing under Ben Hogan bridge were as smooth
and quiet as glass.

The sun was going down.

Good-bye, Dad. Greens and fairways to you.

Don Vanlandingham

I told a friend of mine in the village that spring was
definitely established here on the mountain.

He pointed out that the mesquite bushes hadn't bloomed yet.

"If the mesquite bushes haven't bloomed, we could have more

This guy is smarter than me so I'm not declaring winter as over
until I see those little green buds on the mesquite bushes.

Highs are in the mid 60s. Lows in the mid-30s. Lots of
sunshine. Not a whole lot of wind. The Forest Service still
has camping and smoking restrictions posted.
Dear Newsletter:

Thought you might be interested in the attached pictures. 
The first is a current picture of my cabin made by my neighbor
Lloyd McClellan back in the winter. The second is the same
cabin in a picture made in 1948. It was then owned by the
Perrenot family of El Paso. This was a postcard.

Maxie Davie

[You can view these images here:]


Here are some additional early Cloudcroft postcard images
provided by Marty Ware-Mitchell:



Here's the postcard image provided last week by Suzannah Wilcox


in appreciation for years of fond memories
by Judy S. Dalton

It's a secreted village and yet,
It's proclaimed on the wide internet.
It's wonderful, restful, peaceful, serene --
Cloudcroft is as good as it gets.

There's not a stoplight to frown
On the vehicles cruising the town.
Instead, there are stop signs just here and there
To facilitate getting around.

In the summer, there's splendor to see
Amid pine and aspen trees.
There's flora and fauna and soft, summer rain
And the kindness of face-kissing breeze.

In the winter, a fairy's abode
Appears 'round each bend in the road
As the trees are enchantingly wrapped base to top
With the icicled draping of snow.

Cloudcroft, a mountain-top high,
Is uniquely equipped to slow time.
Surely God has created this refuge aloft.
‘Tis a sanctuary for body and mind. 

Copyrighted 2002 by Judy S. Dalton

A free vitals clinic has been established for area residents
on the second day of each month at the James Canyon Fire
station, from 11am to 1pm. 2346 Highway 82.
Our staff of professional agents is proud of the many years of
real estate service to both buyers and sellers. Stop by. Have
a cup of coffee and a cookie. Pick up free area maps and
brochures and let us show you the area and our community.

For more information, call (877) 478-0462 (toll free), or
(505) 682-4555, or see the link to our web site on the Real
Estate page of Cloudcroft.com:


You can FAX us at: (505) 682-4556.
What do they do and who do they do it to? See their web site.

Q - When do the campgrounds open?

A - Silver and Silver Overflow campgrounds open April 26. The
remaining campgrounds will open in May as business increases,
according to the Sacramento District office of the Forest

REMEMBER -- Campfire and smoking restrictions are still in
effect throughout the Forest, the village of Cloudcroft and
all of Otero County.
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 Wimsatt 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:

As usual, your newsletter came in and I stopped everything to
read it. I don't care how busy I am here at work, I always stop
to read the CC newsletter. It has gotten me through some tough
times here at work (I work for an airline).

I am counting the days until the end of the month. We are
heading to Cloudcroft to celebrate our anniversary. Seven years
ago we got married at the Lodge and feel in love with your town
- it was like heaven. So much so, we bought a piece of property
and now have our own little piece of heaven.

I cannot wait to see my trees and smell the air. Only 14 and
half more days to go.

Keep up the good work.


Dear Newsletter:

My husband and I just spent a week in Cloudcroft and we really
enjoyed ourselves.

Everyone was really nice and immediately asked where we were
from whenever we went some place (the store, The Texas Pit,
etc.) It was really nice and we hated to come home.

I'd like to especially express our thanks to Jalene at Gary
Mack Realtors. She was the best. She showed us several
properties and spent the best part of the day doing it and
then took us to lunch to boot!

Just wanted to tell everyone we really enjoyed ourselves and
plan to come back as soon as we can.

Jana Stateler 
Alvarado, Tx 

Dear Newsletter:

Not just because you included my letter, but it was so much fun
to read everybody's comments this week. And, by the way, no
danger of being demoted, you are still the champ, and great one!

Thanks for the update on the cats, I was sure they froze
to death last winter.

Just how hard is it to build a real house in Cloudcroft? I am
wondering about carting it all up there, and finding a builder.
Guess you probably don't want too many folks coming up there,
but inquiring minds want to know.

Beth Scott
Tampa, Fl.

Dear Newsletter:

Mr. Vanlandingham, I think this is a very humorous, cute
newsletter. You guys do a very good job each week putting the
letters together. I love to read the letters from the readers;
they're very cute, neat.

I know what you mean it when you say you're fighting a serious
case of spring fever. I love spring it's my favorite time of
the seasons.

I have noticed the influx of drug ads these days. Wow! it's
crazy what people will believe.

Thank you so much!
Tommy & Shirley Myers
Amarillo, Tx.

Dear Newsletter:

In reference to your words about the glowing of lights in the

We used to live in Dog Canyon, before the scourge of street
lights. We had a nephew come for a visit, and we arrived home
in the dark. The first thing he said when he got out of the car,
was "Y'all, sure have lots of stars out here in New Mexico!"
We got a kick out of it.

Keep up the great job with your newsletter.

Karen Taylor

Dear Newsletter:

I noticed you posted on the Events listing for Cloudcroft a
reference to "Father's Day Brunch". I also noticed there was
no mention of a Mother's Day Brunch. Just thought I'd point
out the obvious, that without the Mothers there would be no
Fathers! Of course all the women know when Mother's Day is,
just thought the men might need the extra info. 

Yours very truly,

PS. There is a reason that Mother's Day comes BEFORE Father's
Day on the calendar. Just ask any woman why. 

Dear Newsletter:

Perhaps this picture will explain a lot of the way our wives
think and work.

Malcolm Crawford
Snyder, Texas


Dear Newsletter:

In regard to the letter from the lady in Tampa, Fl with
reference to her comment about everyone in Cloudcroft being
from Texas

I would like to say that I cannot blame her for not telling
anyone that she was from Pennsylvania.

Love your newsletter.

Thank you,
Don Smith

A yearly six month resident of the Cloudcroft area and also a
six month resident in TEXAS.

Dear Newsletter:

Don, I agree that Spring is in the air and the urge is high to
do stuff outside.

I noted the notice for the James Canyon EMS "Vitals Clinic".
Cloudcroft EMS has an ongoing "Vitals Clinic" at the Cloudcroft
Senior Center from 11-12am (Lunch Time) every Wednesday, that
is free and open to the Public. This is part of a NM Department
of Health "Healthier Communities" project. The James Canyon
program is starting as a once a month, and may expand to twice,
and they may also be doing some home visits if the need is

We started the program in July 2001 and plan to continue and
expand the project to High Rolls, Sacramento Weed, Mayhill and
Timberon in the next fiscal year and we welcome and thank James
Canyon EMS in helping CCEMS expand the project. Under the Vitals
Clinic project, CCEMS got a small grant to buy the equipment
and supplies for the project.

We offer free Blood pressure, Blood Glucose, and Blood Oxygen
testing. We can also offer information about ailments and
diseases. We can arrange home visits for the homebound to do
those tests. So far, we have done over 1200 tests. We think the
program will eventually be a great success. The project is
entirely staffed by Cloudcroft and James Canyon EMS Volunteers.

I welcome any suggestions or comments about our program, call
or write Andy Hospodar, email andyj@zianet.com, cell
505-430-1429, or 505-682-3084. 

As always,
Andy H.

Dear Newsletter:

A little note for Ms. Beth Scott of Tampa Florida.

I'm not sure if your question about the birthplace for current
residents of Cloudcroft was directed toward me or to everyone
collectively. But, however unqualified I maybe to answer your
question, I will share my thoughts on the matter. My wife Pat
is quick to points out that I am nothing, if not a giving
person when it come to my opinions on most any subject. Wasn't
that nice of her to say?

I too have noticed a large contingency of Texans in the
Cloudcroft area. In fact the area in which I purchased my
property is ate up with Texans. But partially due to my sister
(I'm not allowed to use her name) there is a small inland of
Zonies* within the Cloud Country West development, surrounded
by an ocean of Texans, and at least one person from Florida.
Yes Beth, there is a part-time cabin dweller from Florida in
the mountains, but Bob (not unlike my sister Wanda) would be
miffed if I mentioned his name.

(*Zony or Zonies; moniker for person/s overly inhabiting the
State of Arizona.)

I have equated this phenomenon to the "BIG IN TEXAS" theory.
Like everything else in Texas, the ability to detect a beautiful
place to live, is BIG within Texans. The lack of person from
other locations within the US does not speak kindly of our
abilities in this area. But keep in mind that you, Beth, and
I have shown that we are apart of the few non-Texans to have
conquered this failure which appears to shows up in most other
American city-dwellers.

Just wanna say HEY! Ms. Sandy Woods of Austin.

I thank you for your kind word and I am honored by your
comparison. But I'm not quite sure how I should react to your
wanting to give my wife a medal. I assure you that my wife
and sister are wonderful people, but you should know that they
team up on me all the time.

I grew up in a family of women as an only male child. I was
married by twenty years of age, acquired two daughters, had my
mother-in-law move in, then increased the family with two
female dogs, Penny and Duchess. The estrogen levels within our
home were about to hit critical mass, when my mother-in-law
moved in with two other ladies who were youthfully-challenged
creating an Arizona version of the "Golden Girls."

In short, life hasn't been a slice of apple pie for me either.
The mountain sings to me, beckoning me to her. I love all the
women in my life, and I wouldn't have changed a thing. But,
sometimes I wish there were a cave on my property in Cloudcroft.
Oh well, I probably would have had to share it with a female

Thanks again to Sandy and Beth for their kind words.

Bill White
Phoenix, Arizona

(A wannabe mountain man)

PS. This morning it occurred to me that I’ve brought up the
subject of "Chip" in two prior letters I’ve sent in. So, as a
community service, I’ve constructed and attached the following
bulletin for those who live in the area.


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