April 11, 2003
Dear Subscriber:

We're at that time of year in the Sacramentos.

You don't know whether to put on a long sleeve or a short
sleeve. In the shade you start reaching for your jacket. In
the sun it gets a little toasty. The breeze brings with it a
crisp edge.

You can actually see a weather front move in. The tops of the
trees sway in waves beginning at the crest of the mountain and
rolling into the valleys. The sights and sounds of these waves
are both reassuring and humbling.

I'm beginning to wish Momma Nature would make up her mind.

It is that time of year when Peg and I sustain a continuous
battle over the thermostat.

She: Did you turn this thing up?

Me: Yeah, a little.

She: It's HOT in here!

Me: It's PERFECT in here!

I'm cold-natured. I've been known to wear long-johns well into
April. Peggy does tee shirts in early March. I wear socks to
bed. Not exactly the sexiest thing to do, but at least they're
clean socks. Usually.

Around the first of May, it's safe to proclaim a victory over
winter. That's when it starts getting really hot up here.
Around 70 degrees. We begin to look to the skies for spring
wetness that could hold off threats of wildfire.

Day by day, golf is less a dream and more a reality.

Day by day, the war news is more encouraging.

Where ARE those golf clubs, anyway?

Don Vanlandingham

A warmish week, although we've experienced some cold nights.

Highs around 60. Lows dropping below 30 on occasion.

No new precipitation.
The First Baptist Church of Cloudcroft will hold a prayer vigil
on May 1st. It will last from 7am to 7pm.

It is a show of spiritual support for the country and our 
national, state and local leaders and our service people.

Persons of all faiths are invited.

For more information, call (505) 682-2763.
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 PineCrest@ZiaNet.com, or see
the link to our web site on the Lodging page of Cloudcroft.com:


The best little newspaper in the USA. Plenty of news about
mountain living, past and present. Based in Timberon.


Q - We're going to spend our first summer in Cloudcroft. We
heard it's difficult to bake at that altitude.

A - It's true. It has something to do with the barometric
pressure. Cakes fall and beans are almost impossible to cook.

Many natives have resigned to the situation and buy precooked
beans and prebaked cakes.

We will entertain any remedies to these problems from readers.
April 18-19 -- Easter Weekend celebration. Check with the
Chamber of Commerce for events and times. (505) 682-2733.

April 19 -- Easter Bonnet Parade. Downtown Cloudcroft.

April 20 -- Community Sunrise Service. Cloudcroft Methodist
Church. 7am.

May 3 -- Smokey's Revenge mountain bike race.

May 10 -- Old Timer's Reunion (505) 682-2932

May 11 -- Cloudcroft Art Society Mother's Day Show and Sale.
Red Brick School House, 11am - 4pm. (505) 682-3004.

May 17, 18 -- High Altitude Classic bike race (505) 682-1229.

May 17-18 -- Annual Art Society Miniature Art Show and Sale.
Red Brick School House, 11am - 4pm. (505) 682-3004.

May 23-24 -- Mayfair.

May 23 through the 25th -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion.

May 24-25 -- Annual Art Society Miniature Art Show and Sale.
Red Brick School House, 11am - 4pm. (505) 682-3004.

June 7 -- National Trails Day

June 7 -- Miss New Mexico Day Parade

June 13, 14 -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion

June 20, 21 -- Western Roundup

June 21, 22 -- High Rolls Cherry Festival

June 27-29 -- Blue Grass Festival. Camp Chimney Spring

July 4 -- Burro Avenue celebration.

July 4-6 -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion

July 5 -- Street Dance. Burro Street.

July 11, 12 -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion.

July 12, 13 -- July Jamboree.

July 12 -- Street Dance. Burro Street.

July 18, 19 -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion

August 30, 31, Sept. 1 -- Labor Day Fiesta

September 1 -- Lumber Jack Day

September 21 -- Governor Johnson's Run/Walk

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-3004
for more information and details on the Cloudcroft Summer Art

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022.

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 am writing this letter to say that you sure cheer up my day.
I am a US citizen who somehow got trapped in the UK. Your
newsletter and photographs help me to decide on my return. The
more I see and hear, the hastier will be the trip.

Thanking you,
Karen Jacks

Dear Newsletter:

I would also like to thank you for the wonderful photography
(via weblinks) which you've added recently to the newsletter, 
most especially the West Texas poppies and the Central Texas
bluebonnets! What gorgeous photos!

Thanks for brightening my day and the day of so many others
with whom I shared the photos!

Elizabeth Stafford Smith
El Paso, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the newsletter. Thanks for sharing your pictures of
the rockets with us. You have to give these young people credit
for caring enough about their country to put their lives in
harms way for our freedom.

Those pictures are awesome of the rocket. I guess everything in
Cloudcroft is OK. Hope you guys have a great Easter.

Thank you again for the Newsletter!


Dear Newsletter:

I sure enjoy the newsletters and pictures. We have a place in
Ruidoso at Park Terrace Estates and love that area, but we
enjoy taking friends to visit Cloudcroft and try to get over
several times every summer and fall. 

Keep the good stories coming you have a gift for writing and we
look forward to your letter every week, even when we are in

Marge & Barney Barnhill
Abilene, TX and Ruidoso, NM

Dear Newsletter:

In an earlier edition you mentioned that you hoped the fire
danger would be less this year because of the late snows. How
does one learn how much snow Cloudcroft experienced in a winter
season? I can't find a reference on the web weather pages at
Cloudcroft.com and wonder where I can go to see how much snow
we've had.

Thanks for the Online Newsletter and the pictures. I think this
is a great venture of yours.

Al Walvoord,

[You can find the average monthly snow fall here:]


Dear Newsletter:

As a teacher of high school students, I can tell you that the
future of this country is bright. Kids have been kids forever,
and they will continue to make you proud and at times disappoint

Sleep easy.....we are in good shape. These kids today are

John Apodaca
Plano, Tx 

Dear Newsletter:

I want to say a big "Thank You" for receiving the Newsletter
each week, I look forward each Thursday for the email and the
photos are beautiful. I love it all!

I also look forward to spending more time in Cloudcroft this

My husband was part of the "Trinity Testing" in White Sands on
July 16, 1945. It's neat that you and Peggy were allowed to
witness the test of a rocket system at White Sands Missile
Range. Times have changed, and I surprised that they would
allow visitors to observe this, back in 1945 it was really
secret stuff!

Faithful reader of your newsletter,
Fay M. King
Brownfiled, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

My name is Kristin Hess, my parent's have a cabin in Cloudcroft
and my husband and I absolutely love it there! I can't wait to
come out again! Anyway, we love reading these newsletters and
appreciate all your hard work in keeping us poor saps who don't
live there updated.

My question to you is, what is David saying below? I took
French about 15 years ago and wasn't too good at it then. I'm
curious as to what he said. Can you tell me whenever you get a

"Dear Newsletter:

La France est la sorte d'allié qui sera toujours là quand elle
a besoin de nous. 


Thanks again for these great emails!

Kristin Hess

[France is the sort of ally who will always be there when she
needs us.]

Dear Newsletter:

During our Spring Break (March 10-14) my husband and I visited
in Cloudcroft. We love it there and try to spend at least once
or twice there each year.

When we were there this time we noticed what looked to be a
fairly large paintball field outside of Cloudcroft. This is one
of the few hobbies that my husband and I share and would really
appreciate it if you could confirm that this is what it actually
is. If it is, could you possibly find out when it opens and the
costs for us?

Thank you so much for your informative paper and beautiful

Jolene Davis
Wickett, Texas

[If anyone knows anything about this, write us.]

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for a rewarding weekly newsletter that I truly look
forward to each Thursday. Thanks also for a great Cloudcroft

Thanks for keeping your weekly newsletters archived on your
site. I accidentally deleted some newsletters, but I can always
go back to retrieve them. I am a teacher in West Texas and will
be working ten weeks this summer at the National Solar
Observatory in Sunspot and have been using your newsletters to
prepare for my stay.

Thanks very much,
Rick Norman
Wall, TX (near San Angelo)

[All 156 past issues are available here:]


Dear Newsletter:

I was once in the ROTC myself when attending nearby El Paso
High School. An annual event we boys (no girls in ROTC in those
days) looked forward to was the "firepower demonstration"
jointly conducted for the benefit of visitors sitting in
bleachers by various branches of the military.

These demos involved the usual battlefield scenario where
fighter-bombers first softened up the enemy targets in front of
the bleachers with rockets followed by bombing runs with napalm.
Then followed the artillery and tanks firing and attacks by
ground forces.

On this day in either 1951 or 1952, a flight group from the
old Roswell AFB were the first act. It was announced that each
plane was armed with both rockets and two 500-lb napalm bombs.
They were to make their rocket runs first, one after the other,
followed by the bomb runs.

Sadly, about the third or fourth pilot was so intent on getting
a direct hit with his rockets that he failed to pull up in time
and pancaked his plane into the earth with both of those napalm
bombs still attached.

The heat from the subsequent explosion was unbelievably intense
for those of us sitting in the stands, with that plane's load
of fuel plus those two napalm bombs all going off at once. That
put an early end to that day's show, needless to say. I can
still remember the stunned silence that seemed to go on forever
following this tragic event.

What thoughts can one have other than that such a fine pilot
should perish in the performance of a 'show' such as that. What
more can be said.

Jack Schuller

Dear Newsletter:

We were recently honored by being able to attend our oldest
son's graduation from Marine Corps basic training at MCRD, San
Diego, CA on March 7, 2003.

Kyle had struggled through high school academically and
socially. His mother and I were ready for him to leave home to
give those of us still here some semblance of a normal
household. I met more school administrators, police officers
and municipal court judges than I care to count during his late
middle school and high school years.

It was truly a battle for his soul that we fought all those
years. As he hit his senior year in high school, he began to
talk to a Marine recruiter. He and I met with this recruiter
and after many discussions, we signed off on him entering the
Delayed Entry Program as he was only seventeen at the time.

He graduated high school Spring of 2002 and shipped out for San
Diego on Oct. 14th. He suffered an injury on Dec. 17th just 10
days short of graduation. In prior years, this kind of set back
would have caused him to quit.

Not now, however, he was committed to healing in a Rehab Platoon
and reentering the training cycle. He completed training,
suffering another stress fracture in his left foot, but proudly
graduated with Echo Company of the Second Battalion on March 7,

Kyle is now a proud young man with a keen sense of country,
family and duty that only the military was able to instill in
him. He now has purpose and discipline in his life and is
maturing at a rapid rate.

We witnessed hundreds of like young men at the graduation
ceremonies, some of whom are already deployed to Iraq and
literally putting their lives on the line. Our nation can be
proud of the young men and women that are giving their all to
protect our freedoms and afford those same freedoms to the
people of a foreign land.

Let us all keep them in our prayers in the coming weeks and
months and see them safely home when the job is done. The
Marine Corps code of ethics is "Honor, Courage and Commitment".

Let us all strive to attain those attributes in our own
communities as well and make them just as proud of us. Thank
you for allowing a Dad to share. 

Semper Fi!

Stewart Dearing
Leander, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Loved the poppy pictures and now the bluebonnet ones from here
in Austin. This is going to be another great year for our
marvelous variety of wildflowers. We're headed this weekend for
the Willow City Loop west of here where there is almost always
the best display in Central Texas. I've also had a look at each
of the great pictures taken in Cloudcroft each month and it
reminds me how I love coming there at any season. 

I imagine the letter taking you to task for "not supporting our
troops" will bring you a flood of mail. Did I miss something?
I thought I'd read every newsletter for the last couple years,
and I certainly don't recall your saying anything that could be
so construed. I even looked back at the last six posted on the
web. Unless I'm mistaken, it would be difficult to find anyone
MORE supportive. 

I did not support the President's war policy. I think there had
to be a better way. But I certainly support our military
personnel who are engaged in this conflict and I think most
people do. I find it very disturbing that there are those who
think dissent is the equivalent of traitordom. Dissent is why
we are not all still citizens of England -- or Germany -- or
somewhere else. 

Bless those guys and gals who are out there taking the ultimate
risk, and pray God most of them get to come home unscathed. I
know you wish the same.

You write a great newsletter. I look forward to it every week.

Sandy Woods
Austin, Texas

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Copyright © 2003 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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