August 9, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

After over two years of weekly newsletters, it is high time we
introduced the brains behind the publication.

David Thomas is a computer consultant. He is the author of
several books dealing mainly with software development and
utilization. Over the past few years, he has dedicated himself
to internet research and development. He is the Webmaster of
Cloudcroft.com. He, Peggy and I are co-owners of the web

David is also my brother-in-law, which means I'm consistently
outnumbered 2 to 1 when it comes to policy decisions.

David came up with the idea of this newsletter. It was a year
or so after the birth of Cloudcroft.com. I didn't want to do it
at first. Outside of the usual street dances and village
council meetings, what else would there be to write about in

David prevailed and the first newsletter was sent out on April
1, 2000. I don't think any of us considered the significance of
the date.

Now writing the newsletter has become the highlight of each of
my weeks.

The Newsletter has been well accepted, but we didn't get off to
such a rosy start.

My writing style is not what they teach in grammar school. I
go light on the punctuation. I often paragraph where wise men
fear to tread. I capitalize when I'm not supposed to and don't
when I should.

At first I think this grated a little on David's nerves.

This is the process: I write the newsletter and email it to
David in Arlington, Texas. He edits it, adds the "letters"
section, adds occasional special sections and posts it on our
subscribers' computers.

It's the "edit" part that almost broke up the family.

"You're changing my stuff!" I shot off to him in an email one

"Your stuff needed changing!" he shot back.

After a while we arrived at a compromise. He would change my
stuff and I would quit complaining.

It was Peggy who ended the grumbling when she said, "Think of
it this way. If you write an article that is a real stinker,
you can blame it on the editor."

I married a genius.

David and I share similar views on politics, but we agreed from
the start that The Newsletter would not be a soap box.

At first I feared for the publication's future. As opinionated
as David and I both were, how would we keep our politics from
leaking over into The Newsletter?

It hasn't really been a problem. There are enough interesting
things going on around here that have nothing to do with
Democrats or Republicans. The only drawback in not writing a
publication with a political bent is we miss out on a lot of
good comedy.

David and I still have occasional disagreements over content. I
would begin to worry if we quit disagreeing.

We both agree that the free and un-tethered flow of ideas is
the best way to approach such a publication.

Do you suppose David will ever admit my ideas are more free and
un-tethered than his? (I wonder if that last sentence will make
it in The Newsletter.) [Yes.]

Don Vanlandingham

The forest has had a good drink the past few weeks and is
looking much better. Still rain showers just about every day.
On days when there is no rain, the humidity is high and temps
are cool.

All forest restrictions have been lifted.

Highs in the mid-70s. Lows in the mid-40s.
Cloudcroft Schools begin their new school year August 19th.

Billy Anders has been appointed to Cloudcroft Planning and
Zoning, replacing Tim Scott, who is relocating.
Great Location. Clean, modern, yet rustic looking 1 and 2
bedroom cabins, nestled in a beautiful secluded, wooded location
in the Village of Cloudcroft. All cabins are fully furnished
with well equipped kitchens. They each have fireplaces and
televisions. For more information, call (505) 682-2239 or
1-866-682-2239 (toll free) or see the link to our Web Site on
the Lodging page of Cloudcroft.com:


People devoted to people. That's what it's all about, isn't it?


Q - There are several shops and restaurants in Cloudcroft that
do not accept credit cards. Why is this?

A - I'm sure the business owners have varying reasons, but the
one I hear the most is based on economics.

Credit card companies take a percentage of each credit card
purchase. Cloudcroft business is seasonal. Many businesses in
the village operate on a thin profit line as it is. They don't
feel they can give up any more of their revenue than they have

There are obvious advantages to credit card use and many
disadvantages. It comes down to a business owner's personal
August 10 -- Otero County Fair Parade. Alamogordo. 4pm.

August 14-17 -- Otero County Fair. Otero County Fairgrounds.
For more information, call (505) 437-6120.

August 16, 17, 18 -- Singing in the Clouds. High School.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

August 25 -- Music Night, Ice Cream Social, and Silent Auction.
Cloudcroft Methodist Church, 5pm. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

August 31-Sept. 2 -- Labor Day Fiesta. Burro Avenue.
Sidewalk sales, street dance, entertainment, games.

August 31 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue. 7pm.

August 31 -- James Canyon Volunteer Fire Department Labor Day
BBQ, Auction, and Dance. Dinner 5pm. Auction 7pm.
Dance (live band) 9pm. Call (505) 687-3960 for more details.

September 7 -- Methodist Men's Auction, 9am-5pm at the Covered
Pavilion in Zenith Park.

September 15 -- Governor’s 10K Run/Walk. For more info, call
(505) 682-2733.

September 21 -- Lumberjack Days. Chainsaw and ax competitions.
Zenith Park. For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

September 28-29 -- Aspencade tours (fall foliage at its best).
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

October 5, 6 -- Oktoberfest. Juried art show. Zenith Park

October 5, 6 -- Aspencade tours

October 19, 20 -- High Rolls Apple Festival. High Rolls, NM.
For more information, call (505) 682-1151.

October 26 -- Harvestfest. Pumpkin carving, hay rides.

October 31 -- Trick or Treat. Burro Avenue. 5-7pm.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second 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. Third Tuesday of each month starting at 6pm
and last Thursday of each month starting at 12 noon. James
Canyon Fire Department, 2346 Highway 82.

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:

I know what you mean about hardware stores in small towns.

I live in Ft. Davis, TX, pop. about 1100. One day I went into
the hardware store and ended up in an hour-long discussion
about water wells -- witching them, drilling, flow, who is the
best driller, etc. Sometimes I get sidetracked so often, my
wife says she is not going to let me go into town alone if she
wants to see me again for two days.

And the coffee surely tastes better here than in San Antonio!

John Avant

Dear Newsletter:

I'm one of those "Houston" people (Fort Worth) you write about
visiting your beautiful country town... the best part of
visiting Cloudcroft is trying to decide what to do for the day
after waking up from a great night's rest... the other best
part of visiting Cloudcroft is walking to the Village Hardware
store and talking to both Nancy Nice and Jerry.

Jerry will always give you a free cup of coffee along with the
latest joke.

Keep up the newsletter... we have certainly enjoyed every one
thus far....

Matt Heinzelmann

Dear Newsletter:

I wish it was my lilly white legs in Bermudas and black socks
sittin' in that plastic lawn chair with Nancy staring at me
while I made futile attempts at meaningful conversation... good
job Don. Occasionally, Norman Rockwell could be inspired to new
imagery with your writing. 

Joe Wells 

Dear Newsletter:

I just got home from work at Round The Corner Gallery and read
your newsletter.

I was out on the boardwalk earlier today when Jerry from the
hardware store passed by. I had called him yesterday to see if
he had any potting soil. When the answer was, "Sorry, no," I
began whining about not wanting to go to Alamogordo to get it.

Today, he asked if I had picked up potting soil. I told him
yes, but even though I got 50 lbs., it wasn't enough. He said
he was on his way to Alamogordo and asked if I wanted him to
pick up some more. 

"Uh, yeah."

When I got home it was sitting in front of my gate. Now that's 
the meaning of service.

Rita Lofton
Silver Cloud
Cloudcroft, America

Dear Newsletter:

I absolutely love your newsletter.

I have just returned from Cloudcroft where our family has their
reunion every year. My daughter found the newsletter and I
immediately subscribed. The first one was the issue with the
"Hungry Hummers".

I saved those pictures and put one on my desktop and think of
your beautiful village every time I turn my computer on. I love
coming to your country and the Spruce Cabins.

Thank you for the time you take to write this newsletter makes
Cloudcroft not so far away.

Phyllis Frankum
Shattuck, OK

Dear Newsletter:

We look forward to reading your Newsletter and appreciate you
taking the time to put it out.

We, too, will be building our cabin someday, on our Woodchuck
Ln. lot. We visit our lot (with outhouse) once or twice a year
and we also agree on the friendliness of Cloudcroft people.

We have stayed at Fito and Gloria's cabin (they have a great
neighbor Nancy) a few times, and have experienced the warmth
of the village.

One evening we went downtown to rent a video and we were
prepared to show all kinds of ID's (as required in CA), but
they wouldn't hear of it, we felt blessed and welcome. 

Yours truly,
Israel & Gloria Calderon
Ontario, California

Dear Newsletter:

I wanted to thank you for the newsletter.

I look forward on reading it, as I used to live there. I get to
hear all the comments from so many different people that visit
or just live there. The most wonderful part about reading it
is that I know a lot of you, and it's great to hear from you.

I really miss being there, Cloudcroft has been one of my
favorite places to live at. I look forward on coming back some
day soon... Till then, I'll see you on the net!

Margie B.

Dear Newsletter:

I have to say how much I am missing my summer trip to
Cloudcroft and I think I missed it mostly because of this
community spirit that Cloudcroft exhibits.

I spent this summer in several resort locations in Colorado and
I kept saying, "This is nice, but it's not as nice as
Cloudcroft." It's not just the small town atmosphere. When I go
into the local shops, I feel like the owners are genuinely
interested in me and want to know where I am from and why I am
in Cloudcroft.

Before the end of my visit, I have spent more money than I had
planned, because of that genuine interest that people show
toward me. I'm glad that there is such a special place to visit
and I look forward to a visit in December.

And yes, I am one of those tourist types from Houston that just
loves to visit Cloudcroft and whine about how much nicer it is
there than Houston.

Laura Mitchell
Houston, TX

Dear Newsletter:

I love reading your newsletter and I use to work at the Mountain
Top Cabins around 1965-66 when the Powell's owned them.

I often have wondered what happened to them. My mother was born
and raised in Cloudcroft and I spent all my summers there. It
has really grown and there are so many more houses.

It still is a great place to visit. 

Frances Brown
San Antonio, Tx

Dear Newsletter:

You're right about small towns. Small towns have advantages as
well as disadvantages, so do big cities. We like small towns for
vacations or get always for a while.

Cloudcroft is one of our favorite places to come. Thanks again
for the newsletter this week. I always enjoy reading them.

Shirley Myers
Amarillo, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the newsletter It brightens my week.

I try to get up there every 5-6 years I have a lot of fond
memories form living in Alamogordo. Of course, I left many,
many years ago (68).

My father was a Lutheran Minster and had a church built in the
town. It is called Our Savior Lutheran Church. The last time
I was there, his name was still on the plaque on the wall as
the founder of the church.

See if you can help me on something, speaking of Rebecca. I
remember an old story of a young Indian woman that died and was
laid to rest in the mountains, and when the mountains formed,
they formed a outline of her body, and you can see it from
White Sands.

Ask some of the old timers around there and see what you can
come up with.

Todd Harloff

[Anyone know this story?]

Dear Newsletter:

Just bought land in High Nogal, so I'll be a transplant there

Hope to see you at the hardware store, CC Internet Cafe
(library), where ever. Also, I don't live in Houston, I just
work there.

Kindest regards,
Richard Day
Biloxi, MS

Dear Newsletter:

As a new subscriber, I am enjoying the newsletter, as I have
never been to Cloudcroft.

I have been to Ruidoso once with my family, but my wife and
kids didn't particularly care for the drive up Ski Apache (a
little too scary for them).

We are thinking about coming to Cloudcroft the first week in
February and need some ideas on where to stay. We would like
to be close to ski areas, and don't need anything fancy. Two
adults, two kids. Can you give me any referrals?

David Doherty
San Antonio, TX.

[We strongly recommend all of the places listed on the Lodging
page of Cloudcroft.com.]


Dear Newsletter:

My wife Kathy and I are going to be in the Cloudcroft area in
late September '02. This is a bit of a trip down memory lane
for me (I lived in Alamogordo for 7 mo. in 1955, Cloudcroft
was a place to escape to when we needed to cool off) and a
first time trip for Kathy. If the trip is successful, Kathy
will fall in love with the area as I did those many years ago. 

I'm in the process of organizing an early retirement at 62 and
we are looking for a place for our retirement nest. This leads
to the reason for this e-mail. I'd like to ask if you would
recommend or put me in touch with a reputable realtor who
specializes in the Cloudcroft area? During our trip, it would
be of some assistance to have a contact who can meet with us
to give us a feel of the lay of the land.

Thank you, we look forward to your reply. 

Don Eckert
Chesapeake, Virginia

[All of the realtors listed on the Real Estate page of 
Cloudcroft.com specialize in Cloudcroft properties and will
provide you with friendly service.] 


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