April 26, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

I don't like to complain. I know people are more likely to
enjoy being around me when I wear a big smile and say positive
things end-on-end, but sometimes there is no getting around
being grumpy.

I just got back from Alamogordo...a town where no matter what
it is your looking for, they don't have it.

This is the honest truth; I went into a lumber yard in Alamo
one day last year and asked for a half dozen two-by-fours. They
said they were fresh out.

A lumber yard out of two-by-fours? Isn't that a little like KFC
being out of chicken?

Today I was searching for new faucet handles for the shower.
The old ones turned the water on and off just fine, but they
were those plastic crystal looking numbers that look real
spiffy when they're brand new and look junky two weeks later.

Because things are always breaking around here, I'm in and out
of the hardware stores and building supply shops regularly. I
could swear every one of those places had a whole wall full of
replacement faucet handles last week. I know because I walked
by them going to other parts of the store to get something they
were out of.

Today, though, since I was specifically interested in
replacement faucet handles...every place I entered had replaced
their giant wall display with three or four pathetic little
bubble packs containing replacement faucets that were either
the wrong size or were already uglier than my old ones.

Sometimes I'm in the store just to look. On those occasions I
am asked if I need assistance every thirty seconds. When I
actually need help, everyone is on smoke break.

I asked the guy I snuck up on and tackled (I know it's
"sneaked" but I like "snuck" better), "what happened to all
the replacement faucet handles that were on that wall last

He looked at the wall. He seemed puzzled. He walked over to
the phone hanging on the pole and hit a button.


It was louder than a Van Halen concert. If Buddy didn't hear
that, he was out of state.

The guy that made the page escaped when my back was turned, so
I stood there waiting for Buddy.

There was a guy all the way down the isle wearing a store smock
talking to an attractive girl who also wore a store smock. I
couldn't hear them, but from their body language I bet they
weren't talking about hex-head screw drivers. I didn't know the
girl's name but I was willing to bet next month's pickup payment
the guy's name was Buddy.

"'Scuse me," I yelled. "I need a little help over here."

The guy looked in my direction. I had irritated him. That's
all right. He had irritated me. I knew I wasn't going to walk
out of this store with new replacement faucet handles, but I
was determined to see it through to the bitter end.

He took his time as he walked my way. "May I help you?" he
asked, not really meaning it.

"I need replacement faucet handles. Is this all you have?"

He seemed insulted.

"New shipment coming in tomorrow," he said. I'd heard THAT

"I'll wait," I said.

He looked confused for a second and then he broke into a
dumb grin and kinda laughed and said, "You're kiddin', right?"

Somewhere this guy had parents that were thanking their lucky
stars their son had a job and prayed he would be able to keep

Three more stores. Same results with slightly varying excuses
(one guy said "don't have any but we're running a special on
drill bits". You have to admire his creativity. Real manager

I ended up in Wal-Mart. In their plumbing department they have
lots of "one size fits all" stuff. I found exactly the
replacement faucet handles I wanted.

Now there are a lot of you that don't like Wal-Mart. Too big,
you say. Eating up all the little businesses, you say. All I
know is, they usually have what I'm looking for.

Now...if they would just start selling two-by-fours.

Don Vanlandingham

Very nice. Highs in the mid-60s. Lows in the mid-30s. The
winds (for April) have been fairly light.

No moisture in the past week. Camping restrictions are still
in effect.
Here's another Cloudcroft postcard image provided by Bill


With an estimated 60% of normal moisture for this time of year,
the fire danger remains extreme.

The Forest Service has had around-the-clock fire personnel on
duty since early April, including 4 engines, one hotshot crew,
4 prevention officers and two staffed fire lookout towers.

This crew will stay on alert as long as the fire danger
We feature reasonably priced quality handmade Indian Jewelry
and the rare white turquoise jewelry from Tonapok Nevada! We
also carry unique rugs, pottery and baskets. Email
elkins@pvtnetworks.net, call (505) 682-3327, or come see our
unique collection at 507 Burro Street across from the Emerald
Forest Real Estate Office.
For meal menus and other services, see their web site.


Q - How late do the shops stay open in Cloudcroft?

A - Normally the majority of retail businesses close at 5pm.
Many of them stay open later on special occasions (such as
street dances). All are open Saturday and Sunday.
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:


To Our Readers:

Most of our letters this week contained expressions of
condolence with regard to the passing of my Dad.

The outpouring of support was overwhelming and my family and I
thank you very much.

Don Vanlandingham

Dear Newsletter:

My deepest sympathy to you and your family in your loss.

I lost my golfing Dad in '91. I grew up in a little redneck
town in upstate New York that had a golf course outside of
town. My fondest childhood memories are when he let us "caddy"
as children...(probably because he couldn't get a babysitter!).
Everything you said about the old golfers is true.

My mother and I often clashed like striped pants and plaid
shirts, too...she died 22 years ago, and I still miss her.
Cherish those boots...your newsletter really touched my heart.
I hope you write that book! God bless you.

Jennifer Hill
Las Vegas, NV

Dear Newsletter:

I am so sorry to hear about the death of your father. Nothing
really prepares you for that loss. You always "know" that you
will probably outlive your parents, but it just doesn't feel
right when someone who's always been there suddenly is not.

My own dear father died almost 7 years ago and I still miss him
so much. It's the oddest things that get to me sometimes - like
finding a little note with his handwriting on it used as a
bookmark in an old paperback. Handwriting is such a personal
thing. Or going to Timberon and seeing his name still on the
sign nailed to the tree at the edge of the property by the
road. It was a part of one of his dreams. We never built on the
land, but keep it anyway and come up as often as we can to stay
in the condos there or at a motel in Cloudcroft as a tribute to
him and that dream. 

So, tears came to my eyes when I read your tribute to your Dad.
I did the eulogy for my Dad at his funeral. The preacher did a
great job, too, but no one knew him like we, his family, did.

Thank God for good Dads!

Peace to you and your family,
Susan Dudley Levonius
Kingwood, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you so much for your recent newsletter about your dad. It
reminded me somewhat of my situation with my dad and I know
that before too much longer, I will be doing exactly what you
and your family went through a week or so ago.

It is hard to put into words to express to someone that we all
kind of take for granted will be sitting at his computer
expecting that newsletter to be there on Thursday. So I just
wanted to say thanks for your dedication to all of us
"Newsletter Readers" and how deeply sorry I am for your loss.

My wife and I will be in Cloudcroft this weekend again for the
third weekend in a row, hopefully to finish up our spring
project for the cabin. 

Another one of those darn Texans,
David Burks

Dear Newsletter:

You'll get too many of these to read, but somehow it will make
me feel better for your loss in just sending this your way. I
have a wish for your dad also: that every ball off the box will
be straight and long, every green be struck in regulation, and
every putt on line. My family offers our condolences. You and
Peg put us up in your house one summer. We hope we can come
back soon. 

Joe Wells and family from Farmers Branch, TX (Dallas).

Dear Newsletter:

Condolences to you and your family on the loss of your father.
I lost my dad when I was very young (12 years old, to be exact).

I know what it feels like and to this day I still miss him.
I'm keeping you in my heart and my thoughts during this
difficult time.

Warm Regards,
El Paso, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Jack Roach here. I live in Wimberley Texas for 8 months a year
and in Cloudcroft for 4 months. I enjoy all your posts, but this
one really got to me. I just lost my Dad also and I lived every
word you said.

I will see you at the Lodge course sometime this summer and want
to shake your hand. You should really get that book going.

Talk later,
Jack Roach

Dear Newsletter:

I was so sorry to hear of your father's death. We are never old
enough not to feel deeply the loss of a parent. My sincerest

I'm glad you and your father had the same size feet and that you
and his shoes got to watch Tiger Woods do it again. Those shoes
will always bring back happy memories. I have a few pieces of my
mother's jewelry, and I never wear them without warm memories of

Sandy Woods

Dear Newsletter:

I wish to express our heartfelt sympathy and condolences to you
and your family on the loss of your father. The story of the
shoes touched my heart. I know the pain of such a loss
personally, as I lost my father 12 years ago this past March.
He was 69 years old. (He was also a golf aficionado.) May you
find comfort from friends and loved ones. May God bless you.

Sharon Cox and Family,
Magnolia, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I am so sorry at the loss of your dad. I know how painful that
is because we lost out dad at Christmas last year. That was
particularly hard because he loved Christmas so much and we
had gone all out decorating in anticipation he would be home,
but he never did.

Thank you for sharing your sorrow with us and may God comfort
you in ways we never can.

Susie Reiff

[Thanks to the many, many others who also wrote offering their

Dear Newsletter:

Regarding the invasions of Texans to our pristine New Mexico
forests, I have fond memories of some bumper snickers put out
in the mid-1970s by the New Mexico Undevelopment Commission.
(Yes, it really existed. One of the organizers was Las Cruces
attorney Mike Lilley.)

The two bumper stickers I remember best read, "Tejano, Go
Home" and "If God Had Meant Texans to Ski, He'd Have Given
Them Mountains."

The bumper stickers didn't accomplish much, but they were good
for a giggle when trapped in traffic jams caused by Texas
drivers on I-10 or I-25 back then. I suspect the organization
died from either apathy or that uniquely New Mexico disease,

Shirley Alford
Las Cruces

Dear Newsletter:

Jess and I would like to express our appreciation and thanks
to Jim and Carrie Shores for all the hard work and dedication
they contributed to the Twin Forks Water Association. 

We have seen Jim out in bitter cold looking for water leaks.
We've seen him working in snow and mud to repair such leaks
and keep our water flowing.

Jim also worked many hours operating the backhoe in order to
maintain the system. We've seen Carrie, on her hands and
knees, pulling snow away from the meter boxes in order to read

We also know that Jim, who is subject to skin cancer, had to be
treated for this condition due to his increased exposure to the
sun while repairing and caring for our water system. Such care
and concern could never repaid in money.

We are sincerely grateful to these two fine people, who we are
privileged to call our friends. 

Jess and Barbara Hardison
Twin Forks

Dear Newsletter:

My condolences to you and your family. May your Dad ("Babe")
rest in peace. I hope that the memories you have of the times
spent with your dad bring you comfort in the months to come.

God Bless You.
Christy L. Moya
El Paso, Texas

PS. I'm looking forward to our camping trip this summer. I'm
sure you remember the fire restriction last year. Well, we all
decided to get all our camping gear ready and called Cloudcroft
before we left (Friday). We were told the restriction had been
lifted, so we headed on out.

When we got to the entrance at Silver Lake, there was a big sign
with the restriction back on. They were allowing camping, but
no fires, grills, etc. We ended up at Deerhead Campground and I
absolutely loved it. We were able to light a campfire to a
certain height and use our grill. I didn't have to worry about
taking a bath because... there just weren't any. The couple
managing the campground were so sweet, and they kept the
bathrooms (non-flushing) very clean and deodorized. Can't wait
to go there again.

Love your Newsletter!

Dear Newsletter:

Would there be anyway to send me the Newsletters #100 through
105? Due to computer problems, I have been unable to retrieve
them. I did receive #106 last week.

If you can do this, I would very much appreciate it.

Thank you so much,
Penny Evans

[All of the Cloudcroft Newsletters are available online here:


To email yourself any Newsletter, go to the online version and
click the EMAIL THIS ISSUE link at the bottom of the page.]

Dear Newsletter:

Sorry to hear about your loss. The White Family's hearts are
with you and yours.

Malcolm Crawford of Snyder, Texas:

It was a close one brother, but I covered for you man… My wife
Pat was looking over my shoulder when I opened that photo you
sent in last week (Newsletter #106).


Pat: "And just what is that suppose mean?"

Pat: "I guess he thinks that women are hard to control!"

Pat: "Is that what you think?"

Me: "Oh no, I'm sure that what he means by the two control
boxes, are that men only have one speed and one way of doing
things, whereas women have much more control over themselves
and can adjust to a much wider range of situations.

Don't do that to me again brother. Next time you're on your
own. You obviously have sons, brothers or friends where the
male is welcome in your family to cover your back. In my house,
you stand by quietly and wait to be told what to do. Brother,
a good day is not having to say anything at all, much less
having to explain some other guy's action.

You owe me a beer for that one! Why you ask? Because ladies
never forget anything… Three to five years from now you'll be
visiting Cloudcroft or maybe living there. My wife and I will
also be living there by then. You'll walk into the hardware
store while I'm in there with Pat.

Shop owner: "Hey Malcolm! How's it going?"

You: "Been pretty good so far!"

I won't hear the greeting or your answer, because I will have
forgotten about Newsletter #106 by then. But I'll see that
special sparkle in my wife's eyes. The one I've seen way too
many times before. I won't warn you, because I won't know what
is coming, much less what it's all about. The only thing I'll
have time to do, is dive for cover and start thinking of an 
excuse for whatever it was that I forgot, said or did, when a
feeling of warm loving relief envelops me as I watch my wife
approach you.

Pat: "And just what is that suppose mean?"

You: "Wha..."

Pat: "I guess you think that women are hard to control!"

You: "But..."

Pat: "Does your wife know what you think about women?"
I prefer bottled Michelob!

Message to Lisa of I don't know where:

In reference to your comment about Father's day brunch! You're
100% correct; I noticed the obvious right off… But then again
I've lived in a world surrounded by women.

But then again, there is a trade-off to this type of life, that
being the absence of male comradeship. And that trade-off is
FATHER'S DAY. Any other day of the year I'm just something that
is there to fix things, dole out cash, run to the store for
this, build that, reach for something, clean up after the dogs,
mow the lawn, open a jar and bring home something for dinner.

But Father's Day! For one 12-hour period each year, even the
dogs show a little respect. It like a battle to prove that each
is the favorite of dad (when they were little, they pronounced
it "Da'"). The wife and mother-in-law also take part in the
occasion. It takes the first 4 to 6 hours just to relax and
feel safe in doing nothing. I hate to say it, because I might
jinks it, but it is almost like I can do no wrong on Father's

The following morning as I'm getting ready for work and all the
ladies including the dogs are still asleep. I look at myself in
the mirror and noticing a little dampness in my eyes while I
say to myself "just 364 more days."

Bill White
Phoenix, Arizona

To unsubscribe, email: unsubscribe@cloudcroft.com
To subscribe, go to
If email to an address bounces (returns to us), that email
address is automatically deleted from our mailing list. If you
cease getting this newsletter suddenly, probably your provider
bounced your newsletter. This can happen when a provider is too
busy or is shutdown for some reason. If this happens to you, 
just revisit our site and re-add your email address to our list.
If you have comments or suggestions for this newsletter, please 
direct them to: newsletter@cloudcroft.com
Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friends.
However, we ask that you keep it intact and forward it in
its entirety.

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