December 13, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

Each week, when composing the newsletter, I first must type in
the "pluses" that form the frame of the masthead.

There are 65 pluses.

David, the Webmaster for Cloudcroft.com, says it has to be
exactly 65 because the format of the newsletter will be all out
of kilter if there are as few as 64 or as many as 66...yadda
yadda yadda.

David Thomas has been involved with computers and computer
programming for much longer than I've known him (I've known him
for 20 years). He lived in Dallas and recently relocated to
Las Cruces. He wrote computer programs that are still used by
businesses across the country. He's also a chess master and a
pain in the royal behind.

David is my brother-in-law. I don't know if that's a plus or a
minus when you're in business with someone, but in this case it
hasn't phased either relationship. Without David, the website
or The Newsletter would have gone nowhere. Both the website
(Cloudcroft.com) and the Cloudcroft.com Newsletter are his

Peggy, David and I own equal shares of Cloudcroft.com. While
other .com businesses have gone belly-up in recent months, we
still thrive. David is fond of saying we don't offer more
than reasonable expectations. That may be the key to our

We're not getting rich but, hey, we're having a good time.

In the past over 2 years, we have informed interneters around
the world about Cloudcroft. David has stayed up nights to
program, edit and process information and pictures I sent him
about the Scott Able forest fire in May of 2000 and then the Rio
Penasco fire last summer so it could be posted immediately.

It was information that couldn't be obtained by Cloudcroft
residents or property owners anywhere else. It was due in part
to that fire coverage that we moved from a dozen Newsletter
subscribers 2 years ago to about 4000 subscribers today.

David will email me when I submit this article. He will
question the "pertinence of content". David likes to be a part
of bringing the story to the readers, but he won't like being
THE story.

So David, if you don't like it...paste in the TV Guide.

Yadda Yadda.

Don Vanlandingham

It snowed Sunday (about an inch). More is needed for the
opening of Ski Cloudcroft (tentatively set for December 18).
Enough snow on the ground now for tubing and snow play in many
Jack Schuller submits these four views of Sierra Blanca, the
mountain peak that dominates the nearby village of Ruidoso:


The Cloudcroft school board elections will be held February 4,
2003. The seats up for election are those now occupied by Allen
Henry, Terry Butrram and Bill Mershon.

Final day for declaring one's candidacy is December 17, 2002.
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
(866) 682-2239 (toll free), email us at PineCrest@ZiaNet.com, 
or see the link to our Web Site on the Lodging page of


An opportunity to go back in history at one of America's most
significant missile research bases.


Q - We are installing a septic tank at our new cabin. Are
septic tanks safe for the underground water supply?

A - The topography of the mountains around Cloudcroft are such
that the ground is porous and acts as a very effective natural
filtering system. Septic tanks are environment-friendly, if
installed properly.

Recent regulations have been established with regard to the
location of septic tanks. Contact the county office in
Alamogordo for specific parameters before you install your
septic tank.
December 13, 14 -- Cloudcroft Academy of Ballet Christmas.
Flickenger Center, Alamogordo.

December 14 -- Pet Parade. Downtown Cloudcroft. 2pm.

December 14 -- Santa Town at Zenith Park.

December 14 -- Girls basketball at Mayfield.

December 15 -- Community Christmas Cantata, 4pm. at Cloudcroft
United Methodist Church

December 18 -- Planned opening of Ski Cloudcroft.

December 18 -- Christmas Pasada. Cloudcroft Catholic Church.

December 20 -- Twas the Night Before Christmas. Cloudcroft
Dance Theater. The Lodge. (505) 682-2566

December 19-21 -- Girls and boys basketball. Mountaintop
Tournament. Home.

December 21 -- Santa Town at Zenith Park.

December 21 -- Model Rocket Launch. Veteran's Park, Alamogordo.

December 21 -- Caroling in the Clouds. 4:45pm. Downtown.

December 24 - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 7pm at Cloudcroft
United Methodist Church

December 31 -- New Year's Eve torch light parade at Ski

January 4 -- Nebulas and Super-Novas. Museum of Space History.

January 6 -- Cloudcroft girl's and boy's basketball in Tularosa.

January 10 -- Cloudcroft girl's and boy's basketball in Loving.

January 16-18 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball. Cliff Tournament.

January 16-18 -- Cloudcroft boys basketball. Dexter Tournament.

January 23 -- Cloudcroft boys basketball at NMMI.

January 25 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball at Hatch.

January 31 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs. Tularosa
at home.

February 1 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs.
Lordsburg at home.

February 3 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs.
Tularosa at home.

February 6 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs.
Capitan at home.

February 8 -- Cloudcroft girls and boys basketball vs.
Hatch at home.

February 14 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball vs. Tularosa. away.

February 14 -- Cloudcroft boys basketball vs. Tularosa at home.

February 15 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball at Lordsburg.

February 21 -- Cloudcroft girls basketball at Capitan.

February 28 -- Mardi Gras in Cloudcroft. 5 days of festivities.
Call 682-2733 for more info.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. The Society will be
having an Art Sale and Show December 14, 15 at the Old Red
Brick School House, 11am - 3pm. Art Party Dec 8, 2-4pm, also
at the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494 for more

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 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.

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


Dear Newsletter:

I can't even describe how excited I am every Thursday evening
when I check my email and have your Newsletter. It is something
I look forward to every week.

It is as if you all live in another world and it's one all us
want to join. We love to read your stories, your news, and
other letters from other people.

Years ago, my brother (from Texas) was visiting us in Arizona
and went home through Cloudcroft, just to be going a different
way. They left here on Christmas day and arrived there Christmas
evening. His children still remember skating at the skating rink
and they all told me it was the neatest place in the world, like
from a movie.

My husband and I can barely wait until spring to visit your
town. Without any investigation, I know it is a place we would
love to live. Thank goodness everyone doesn't read your
newsletters or the town would be ruined as you would have an
influx of people you couldn't handle. You make it so inviting.
Can't wait to see Cloudcroft.

B. and John Bromley
Kingman, Arizona

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you for providing such an interesting and entertaining

I especially enjoy it because I was born in High Rolls long
ago. I attended the rock school house there for 8 years. There
were only two class rooms, but the teachers were great and we
learned a lot. I graduated from Alamogordo High School, long
ago, and I still have friends in your area. I am in the music
business and live in Tennessee, not far from Nashville. If it
is in order, please list my website - laughlaugh.com and maybe
some folks who remember me will visit the site and send me an
e-mail. It is a wholesome family type site.

Bill Chappell
La Luz Publishing Company
Granville, TN

Dear Newsletter:

My husband and I have been reading your newsletters for some
time and I wanted to drop a line after my husband forwarded me
your latest one. I sometimes feel that no one feels the same
way I do about the USA, so it was nice to read it this morning
from you. I have to say that the words you use are so well
crafted that I feel like I am standing right next to you,
experiencing the same thing.

My husband was laid off in mid-November preventing us from
making our new second annual Thanksgiving trek to Cloudcroft,
so the words you gave me today were a reminder that our
problems are not so big after all.

I spent almost every summer vacation of my childhood in Ruidoso
and had been to Cloudcroft on each trip. My husband and I have
been coming to Cloudcroft now for about 3 years now. We love it
and now miss it. Until this past Thanksgiving we had been up
there about every 6 months or so. We even bought a camper in
2001 to make our trips easier to make during the warm months.

We think Cloudcroft is a genuinely special town and you are
lucky to be a resident. I am a web application developer and
he is a web/print/multimedia graphic designer, so by virtue of
our skill-sets, we have to be close to a metropolitan area.

Keep those letters coming!

Melissa Alamo
Fort Worth, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks so much for the very interesting newsletter. I look
forward to seeing it pop upon my screen.

We visited your lovely area and Cloudcroft Village in August,
staying a week in the National Forest's Apache campground,
escaping the Texas heat. It was in every way a very relaxing
and enjoyable time and even camped next to another couple from
Graham, Texas, that we met right off.

Everyone was so friendly and helpful, and we hope to return
soon. After unhooking the tow jeep from our motorhome, each
day we took in the sights all around the area, even going to
Weed! Sunspot highway is one road we highly recommend, as well
as highway 82 west.... Oh well, all the area was beautiful...
and cool!

Thanks again for keeping us informed with the Newsletter.

Golden and Oletta Elkins
Graham, Texas 

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you so much for the newsletter. It is always quickly read
the moment it is received.

As my husband and I own property in Mayhill and hope to begin
home construction in the near future, I was concerned to read
your note on unethical contractors in Cloudcroft. Of course we
are researching contractors and asking for references. I have
even called the village office on the subject before. Anything
specific we should know?

Best to you and Peggy,
Teri and Al Alvarez

Physically in Puerto Rico, but our hearts and souls are in the
Sacramento mountains!

Dear Newsletter:

I would suggest that anyone considering buying property in and
around Cloudcroft to check with the Otero County Treasurer's
office to determine what the tax office considers to be the
full value of the land. Knowing that would help determine if
the current selling price is a fair one.

Also, I would suggest contacting a number of builders in the
area rather than taking recommendations from those in the area
or just checking references. Seeing a good book of references
doesn't necessarily reflect what may have occurred with other
customers that did not build in Cloudcroft.

Karen Travis
Austin, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

After having read the letter from the lady in Florida, and
pondering her request concerning Cloudcroft: "Don't ever
change," I surmised that the likelihood of change is just
too great.

Sadly, it's inevitable considering the plans that are underway
to build 200 plus houses within gunshot distance of the town.
Congestion will become such that many who have enjoyed
Cloudcroft over the years (I've enjoyed it since 1970, when
it was truly a wonderful place to visit), and many of those
who live there today, won't be able to stomach the change.
Those remaining will know the true meaning of the expressions
being "Packed like sardines," and "Bumper to Bumper traffic." 

Cloudcroft will take on structures, people and attitudes similar
to those in other mountain resorts. Five years of growth will
change it more than most can imagine, today. What a shame!
Preservation is not an issue; it's simply the bottom line that
matters to all involved in the new addition of the multiple
single family houses and 20 plus townhouses. 

Following, or running concurrently, is sure to be the addition
of motels and hotels for overnight accommodations, fast food
restaurants, convenience stores, flashy signs and marquees,
signal lights and sidewalks.

The roads leading into Cloudcroft simply cannot handle the
traffic that will suddenly appear as a result of such expansion.
Imagine the horrendous driving conditions one will encounter to
and fro Ruidoso and Alamogordo. The ensuing change is downright

My advice to all who appreciate it: Enjoy it today; tomorrow
you won't know it, nor be able to enjoy it for the same reasons. 

Al Denard
Abilene, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you, thank you!

This newsletter is being forwarded to my son who is one of
those SUPER HEROIC pilots stationed at Holloman. They need
this more than most people realize.

So many of them have been giving up a normal life since before
Desert Storm and are STILL ready to do whatever is needed to
protect our freedom. We have jets fly over our home which is
in the DC area and each time they do I take time to say a
little prayer for their protection.

These young men and women are some of the very best America has
to offer and everyone should take the time to salute them. They
DO appreciate it!

Signed as a very proud mother of a highly decorated fighter
pilot who will only allow us to mention that he earned the
Distinguished Flying Cross. I hope more people will share your
pride and thank them. May God protect them all!


Dear Newsletter:

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only one who's still mad about
9-11. Images in my head of huge balls of fire never let me
forget that fellow airline pilots were probably the first to
die that terrible morning.

Then I put on my suit, go to the airport, do my preflight
duties, and just watch the people of this nation board and
find their seats. Their faces tell me the truth--I'm NOT the
only one who's still mad. And I know that even a platoon of
terrorists will not soon get past the likes of the average
American traveler--I can see it in their face when they look
at me.

As the Holidays descend upon us yet again, it's good to
reflect on just what makes this nation able to rise above all
that is thrown our way. Like it or not, it's those four little
words on the back of the dollar-bill- "In God We Trust".

Merry Christmas to all.

Richard Day
Biloxi, MS/High Nogal

Dear Newsletter:

Just read your last issue, believe me that pilot and the men 
and women that keep that plane flying appreciate your support. 
Being an ex-airmen from thirty years ago I know what it is 
like to not have it. It is much better to get a salute or a 
thumbs up sign rather then the finger.

Hope to swing through your town the middle of Jan. It sounds
like a lovely place.

D. W. Nordstrom

Dear Newsletter:

I don't think we have become any less vigilant or caring since
9/11. I think we are becoming used to the security measures in
place. I know for a fact in my family things are in more

My son joined the Marine Corps and is going through training in
various weapons. Around February, he will more than likely be
shipped to a very hot spot.

How do I feel? Proud. He is a second generation Marine. I, his
mother, served during Viet Nam. I pray this won't become like
that long ago "war". All those men and women that served and
many who died did so to protect the world for another thirty
years. I'm also thankful we have the right man in the White
House this time.

Robin J. Ball
Midland, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Regarding your last editorial, let's see: "nightmare,"
"vermin," "atrocities," "mad," "wake up call," "brute of an
aircraft," "we are all soldiers," - that pretty well covers it.

I remember the old time editors used to refer to such as "war
fever." I suspect our current leaders (especially military)
have learned that it is better to fight "smart" rather than
to fight "mad." Chill, Don (that's a pun on December in

Ron Williams
Austin, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks again for your news of my favorite "Land of Enchantment"
community. I can only envision those magnificent pines covered
with snow.

I've also listened to the resounding echoes of those Stealth
"defenders of our freedom" as the jet engines roar overhead.

I want to congratulate a letter writer "TexasTip" for his
longevity as a "boomer". I'm 65 and his referral to the
"geritol crowd" is passe. The closet doors are open. No need
to hide your sips of "legal" highs. Just ask the 10,000+ people
who "invade" the Southeast part of New Mexico "summer in and 
summer out" to inflate the population count for roughly 6

We're old, sure. But compared to what? Those trees? The
mountains don't care! Love them, whether you live in Texas and
Florida or down the hill at Mescalero. Cloudcroft will be there
when I, TexasTip, Mr. V and the Stealth are also passe.

Post, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Living in the shadows of command central, it is hard to forget
or ignore what we are experiencing in our country today. It is
so "new" to us, but will be a way of life if we expect to
survive this world crisis.

Just when I think I am back in "la la land", I see people in
uniform rushing to get that holiday shopping completed, or hear
about someone getting "called up" for deployment. Something
about living at ground zero that keeps it all in front of your

Those uniforms clothe real people; our neighbors. And, when an
entire apartment complex is suddenly looking for new residents,
we know the others are "over there". It is all too real, and I
thank God for our neighbors who are so dedicated, and willing
to do what they do.

Beth Scott
Tampa, Fl.

Dear Newsletter:

I too feel much the same as you and I also live very close, 3
miles, to an air base, the JRB, Joint Reserve Base, formerly
Carswell AFB and there are many fly overs every day, F-16s,
F-14s, C-130s, even an occasional B-522 and others. The noise
used to bother me until I thought these men and women are 
up there to protect you and me. As a Veteran and a Proud
American I too salute them all and say LET THEM FLY.

Virgil Finney
Fort Worth TX

Dear Newsletter:

I never served in the military. Didn't have to. My mom and dad
did, though. Their contribution in the Navy during the prelude
to Viet Nam indirectly allowed me to not have to enlist unless
I wanted to.

Even though I don't have a DD-214 under my belt, it still does
not diminish my respect for the members of the military serving
today. I was friends with ROTC and guard members at NMSU. One
good friend is stationed at Fort Hood now. I don't know if he's
deployed or not. Sometimes he crosses my mind and I mean to 
look him up, but never get the "round tuit" to do so.

I can't count the times I wrenched my neck out my van window to
watch the fighters launch over Hwy 70 as I drove home to
Lovington. I still do that when I pass Dyess on I-20. Either
a fascination with modern military aircraft or the personnel
who operate them. Maybe both, I don't know. But I still get a
lump in my throat when I hear the jet engines whine.

I've been at Sunspot when the Stealths take off. To hear them
and see them is one thing, but to hear them and not know where
they are until the plane is right overhead would scare the
bejeezes out of anybody. Hats off and a salute to you, Don. And
to the pilot overhead.

Scott Northam
NMSU '90

Dear Newsletter:

Your newsletter is like "Stopping to Smell the Roses". No
matter what kind of day or week I've had, your newsletters
always brighten me up. We're temporarily stuck here in Corpus
Christi, awaiting the day we can permanently move to Timberon.
We were there for almost a week in October and really wanted
to meet you and Peggy (it feels like we're family...mountain
family). All my life I've wanted to live in the mountains, and
I can hardly wait to get there!

Your latest newsletter really touched my heart. I'm former
military myself and was "married" to the military for over
20 years. I'm so proud of those like you who salute our

A lot of people just don't understand the importance of these
men and women who are willing to give their lives for our
freedom. My years associated with the military has given me a
sense of pride that no terrorist can ever touch. I'm willing to
lay down my life for my country and my fellow countrymen, and
I'm sure there are hoards of people just like me.

I suggest we all stop what we're doing right now, and just look
upwards and salute, salute those who have fallen while
protecting our rights, and salute those who have signed on that
dotted line, willing to give their lives for our freedom, and
salute those of us who stand proud of our country and what it
means to be an American. I SALUTE....And GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Sandy Pierson
Corpus Christi, TX (but Timberon in the future)

Dear Newsletter:

The sounds of war rumble round the world....

I farm in a small lakeland valley in the UK, the area which
bore the brunt of the foot and mouth among UK farm stock last

It is I think like Cloudcroft, we get a lot of what are called
round here 'Off comers', people walk, climb, sail, or have
holiday homes where people just sit back and enjoy the view....

We have lived with the jets for a long time. I have been
gathering sheep off the fell and had eye contact with the pilots
as they travel below you, if you understand me.

I was approached by someone who had moved in to the area from
London about two weeks ago to sigh a petition to stop the low 
flying in the area.

I asked her "Why?" to which she said as an animal's owner, it
was my duty to stop them being harmed by the jets, again I asked

"What do you sheep do when they fly so low over you?"

"Eat grass," I said to her.

"And the cattle and horses?"

"Eat grass."

"But they make so much noise, does it not frighten them?"

To which I said they make me jump more than the animals. I think
the stock accept the jet as natures act like thunder and
lighting. I have never seen any animals run in fright. But I
have seen the effect on a group of walkers a few years back.
They were just nearing a ridge and a jet came over they all hit
the ground like they had been shot. An old rough fell ewe
chewing her cud was looked on at the sight, I'm sure she was

Like they say round here when it comes to hey man hey not in
my back yard! But they still want the poor man to risk his
life when it's time. So when I see the guy's fly by, I give
them a wave and thank God they are about, we may need their
help one day soon.

Jacquie Staveley 
Cunbria UK

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