July 25, 2003
Dear Subscriber:

Little things are beginning to irritate me.

I wish I could blame it on a full moon, but we don't have one
right now.

My testiness happens in cycles. Maybe it's late every month
(when the bills are almost due) or the middle part of the
year...I can't seem to pin it down.

See if these things irritate you enough to mention. If not,
maybe it's just me. Maybe I need one of those new behavior

-- Reader's Digest is not as good as it used to be.

It breaks my heart. I've been in love with Reader's Digest
since they produced those educational reader's kits for grade
schoolers in the 50s when I was a little boy. (Remember?
Orange readers were the start, then you could progress to other
colors. Purple readers were the readers all the smart kids
read from. I don't know that I ever got to purple, but I sat
behind a girl that did. She was pretty, too.)

We still get our monthly copy of RD as we have for years, but
when I crack it open for the first time (usually in the
bathroom) I tend to be disappointed.

RD used to contain thought provoking stories and reasonably
literate levity. Now it's full of puns. People can tolerate
only so many puns. Those people that can tolerate an unlimited
number of puns are people I keep my distance from. Reader's
Digest is so full of puns it's not even punny.

Lordy...now I'M doing it.

-- Reality TV. It's about to send me over the edge. I don't
watch it, but just hearing about it makes me edgy.

There's a new one that came on this week. I saw the promo ads
for it. All about a restaurant kitchen.

I worked in a restaurant kitchen when I was in college. I
washed dishes. Pick up a dish, wash it and put it on the shelf.
Pick up a dish, wash it and put it on the shelf.

For excitement during our work breaks, we used to go outside and
watch the grass grow. Occasionally there would be a grease
fire. It was a big event...the topic of conversation in the
kitchen for weeks. Life in a restaurant kitchen (at least the
one I worked in) is everything but exciting.

Pick up a dish, wash it and put it on the shelf. Coming to your
prime time television screen this week.

I would kill for a good TV western. Did I say "kill?" Where
are those drugs.

-- "Sweet." If someone says "sweet" to me one more time, I may
have to reply with something tacky, like "groovy."

-- Politics. I used to enjoy politics. Reading about and
talking about and espousing my views on politics.

Now politics seem so smarmy. Politics used to be the gravy on
the chicken fried steak of government...it was needed to make a
subject as bland as government more palatable. Now it seems
politics have taken over government. Those elected are often
concerned with politics first and service to the people second.

Lies are accepted as part of the political process. Many of
those elected are convinced lying is a viable means to an end,
so long as they get elected. The idea is lies achieve goals.
After the goals are achieved, they'll quit lying.

If you believe that, well, you know.

I like a good political debate, but in my opinion, when someone
says "Your Momma runs a brothel," they'd better be dang sure she
does or they shouldn't say it.

There's no difference to me in the social or moral status of
people who lie freely. Whether they wear three-piece suits and
roam the halls of Congress or if they pick pockets on the
streets of Peoria...a liar is a liar.

Maybe politics has always been disrespectful. Maybe I just woke
up. I'm beginning to understand why many people have little
interest in politics.

I'm thinking about giving up my interest in politics and taking
up badminton.

Maybe next week I'll be in a more amiable mood. Won't that be

Don Vanlandingham

Warmish days mixed with occasional afternoon showers. Still dry
for July and some Forest restrictions remain in affect.

Highs in the low-80s. Lows in the low-40s.
The SeasonScape photo experiment by Kit Richards continues:


Timberon, our sister village in the Sacramentos, is holding its
annual Robin Hood Days August 2nd and 3rd.
Cloudcroft Properties is located at 109, Suite B, Hwy 82, in
the Village Plaza, between the Mercantile Store and The Village
Hairshop. We sell real estate, cabins, houses, land, farms, and
ranches. We also do Property Management, with cabin rentals for
tourists and visitors to the Cloudcroft Area. Our toll free
phone number is (877) 478-0426, our office phone number is
(505) 682-4555, our Fax number is (505) 682-4556 and our email
address is ccproperties@zianet.com. For more information, see
the link to our web site on the Real Estate page of


So, what's the governor up to lately? See his site.


Q - Are there any biting insects in the Sacramento Mountains?

A - I think there are probably biting insects anywhere you go.
In the Cloudcroft area, we have very little problem with
mosquitoes (the summertime pest that drives our basin neighbors
crazy). The bees here have stingers, but they're stingy with
them. The genus of bees in this area are docile and only sting
when trapped in clothing or otherwise confronted. (I was stung
once when I leaned back in my chair and caught a bee on the
chairback. I would have stung me, too.)

Spiders carry a bite, but poisonous spiders here (the Black
Widow and the Brown Recluse) are rare. To avoid those critters,
stay away from old tree brush or rotted stumps and dark, moist

We keep a tube of Cortisone in the medicine cabinet just in
case. It eases the itch if not the humiliation.
July 25 -- Miss Otero County Pageant. Flickinger Center.

July 26 -- Lace Lucero Tour. White Sands National Monument.

July 26 -- Tailgate Concert. Mike Pritchard's Blue Note Thunder
and Lightning Horns. Space Museum Parking lot.

August 1-3 -- Oklahoma. Flickinger Center. Alamogordo.

August 2 -- National Kid's Day. Washington Park. Alamogordo.

August 2-3 -- Robin Hood Days. Timberon.

August 7-10 -- Gathering of Circles. www.gatheringofcircles.com.

August 9 -- Otero County Fair parade. Alamogordo.

August 13-16 -- Otero County Fair.

August 15 -- Cloudcroft Methodist Preschool registration,
9am-12pm. Ages 4 months-8 years. For more information, contact
Linda Linn (505) 682-2266 or (505) 682-2264.

August 16 -- Model rocket launch. Veteran's Memorial Park.

August 23 -- Larry Fox Memorial Fun Run. Alamogordo.

August 23 -- Tailgate Concert. Bayou Seco. Space Museum
parking lot.

August 30 -- Alamogordo Amateur Radio Club Hamfest.

August 30, Sept. 1 -- 13th annual Cottonwood Arts and Crafts
Festival. Alameda Park. Alamogordo.

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

September 20 -- Lumber Jack Day. Zenith Park, Cloudcroft.

September 19-21 -- Healing Hearts.

September 21 -- Governor Johnson's Run/Walk. Cloudcroft.

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. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links page.


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:

How ironic! I just read the editorial by Don Vanlandingham in
your latest newsletter talking about his career and past life.

I say, "How ironic!" because I want to relate this story....

Our son, Terry, was a radio disk jockey for several years, most
recently with KNFM in Midland, He was the night DJ for over ten
years when he suddenly had a brain hemorrhage. He was in
Intensive Care for two weeks, another week in the hospital,
and five more weeks in therapy, before being allowed to come

This was in 1998 and he is still NOT working. Vision, headaches,
etc.... He went by TR.

I never thought being in the broadcasting business was that
tough on the brain.

Oh yes, thanx for publishing our paper about Glaciation in the
Sacramento Mountains.

Tommy Woodward

[I hope your son is doing well. Take it from me, there is life
after a brain blow. 

I have some of the same problems. Headaches, slurred speech,
fatigue, but as my doctor told me, "Only one out of five survive
such a thing. Quit complaining!"

I was lucky. The brain thing didn't affect my intellect. I'm
still as dumb as I was before.

It would be an interesting study to see if there is a
correlation between radio work and brain malfunction. I always
thought sitting in an environmentally controlled studio was a
pretty safe job. Maybe it's the loud headphones. 

Maybe the lawyers can jump on it after they're through with SUVs
and fast food. -- Don]

Here's the glaciation article by Mr. Woodward:


Dear Newsletter:

Mucho gracias to Danny Lemon for alerting us to the recently
added Alamogordo number for AOL. For several years I have been
using their 800 number and the cost runs up quickly.

Although we spend only a few weeks a year in Cloudcroft we like
to keep in touch.

Charles Taylor

Dear Newsletter:

Hello, I just wanted to share our excitement with you and
others who are so fortunate to live in such a beautiful place.

Our son, Ryan Eschenbach, will marry Sara, daughter of Mike
and Lourdes Blette of Cloudcroft, on August 16th in an
outdoor ceremony at their home. They are both recent graduates
of Rocky Mountain School of Fine Arts in Denver... both graphic
designers... both adorable people we love.

Deb and Mike Pierce,
Fishers, Indiana

Dear Newsletter:

My name is Kristen Brock and I am writing from Austin, Texas. 

Yesterday, my husband and I returned from two wonderful weeks
in Cloudcroft at my dad's cabin. We are both ready to go back!
Heck, some of our stuff is even still packed. Unfortunately,
I'm not certain that we could find jobs in your little

Please add me to your subscriber's list, if you wouldn't mind.

Kristen Brock

Dear Newsletter:

Your newsletter about stupid newspaper headings and articles hit
home this week. On Tuesday our local paper carried an AP
release that cracked me up. The heading said, "NMSU, Timber
cutting can reduce wildfire threat." The whole short article
was a scream, but the last paragraph really broke me up.

For those who never thought about it, there has to be 3 things
present to have a fire, oxygen, heat and of course fuel. If
you remove any one of these elements, there can't be a fire,
and if you remove any one of them from a fire, it is

The article explains that we taxpayers have footed a study,
by Doug Cram, a fire ecologist with NMSU, to tell us what
every firefighter has known since the invention of fire.

BOY! Had we only known that by thinning the forest and cleaning
the duff (debris) from the forest floor, we could have saved
millions of acres of forest.

OH! The last paragraph: "John Horning of Forest Guardians, was
skeptical of the study." DUH.

Dick Trone, (a once forest firefighter),
Carlsbad, NM

Dear Newsletter:

I saw the same article you saw about kids in hot cars and had
the exact same thought. Must have been a slow news day....


Dear Newsletter:

While stationed at White Sands in the early seventies (1970's,
that is) entertainment was hard to come by and sometimes
appeared in the most unlikely of places.

I recall reading an article in the Sunday El Paso Times
concerning the death of a woman who had apparently, while
walking away from a party at night, been struck by an automobile
and killed.

The incident was undeniably tragic. The writer must have had
a specific number of column inches to fill however, since I
vividly recall a paragraph in the article describing in detail
what she was wearing. The impact was so great that the forensic
information that "...her salmon colored, low heeled, matching
pumps were found approximately 100 feet from the body." was an
important element of the story.

Macabre in the extreme.

I found great honesty in radio news people in Australia who
begin their newscast with "...This is Nigel Bigbothom reading
the news."

Joe Boyle
Mayhill, NM

Dear Newsletter:

I like yourself hate journalists using stupid statements when
interviewing people, but more annoying is the fact most of them
don't even know there geography or history.

For an example, I live in Scotland, U.K. Most news readers
forget we are a united nation and refer to the Queen of England
or even when a great legend such as Elvis arrived at Prestwick
Airport, Scotland on his return from national service in
Germany, he walked about for about twenty minutes it was and
still is referred to as the day Elvis visited England.

Also, in reply to your reader waiting for affordable gas, we
in the U.K. pay nearly $6 a gallon and, yes, you did read it
right I did say $6 a gallon.

Last but not least, I have subscribed to your newsletter for
about a year now and keep up the good work.

In the near future I am planning a trip to Cloudcroft. It would
be nice to drop in and say hi to the folks you write about.

William Gaff

Dear Newsletter:

We spent a week in the Village in late June, and I must say we
enjoyed it immensely.

I have heretofore always been a "Colorado man," having
backpacked in the Durango-Silverton area in my youth. But now,
I'm older and larger (in the middle, that is), and have moved
over to tents and pop-up campers. 

We only had a short time (and not a lot of cash), and I
remembered Cloudcroft from a one night stay during a 3 week
geology field trip in the 80's, so we headed for your fair town.

At first, I thought my memory had forsaken me. The drive up
from Artesia didn't reveal the lush pines and aspens I'd

However, the last 20 miles made me and my whole family smile.
The trees ware gorgeous; the mountains were awe-inspiring! And
the temperature! Being from South Texas, low 70 degree
temperatures are unheard of during the summer. What a pleasant
surprise to open the van door to such coolness. The wonderful
pine/fir smell helped our smiles as well.

We particularly enjoyed the bakery in the grocery store, as well
as our stroll down Burro Street.

We stayed at the National Forest campground north of town, and
found it to be every bit as wonderful as Colorado. We will
definitely keep Cloudcroft in our mountain plans from now on.

Thanks for a wonderful week!

Ethan Calk
San Antonio, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Well! I just finished a visit to my little patch of earth in
Cloud Country West. I was happy to see that it was still where
I left it. I was able to spend a few days clearing and trimming
during this trip. But even though I sprung for a new wood
chipper, it didn't take me long to realizes that this would be
something I'd be working at for sometime. Maybe I should refer
to it as a hobby.

My sister, the wife and I made it into town for the craft show
over the weekend of July 12th & 13th (see photos). We all 3
left some money at the show, but my sister took first place in
our group for spending. And that's not even counting all the
raffle tickets we bought. 

I also met some very nice neighbors. Biff and Charlene. (Hope
I remembered their names correctly, if not, sorry!) If they
get e-mail and read the newsletter, I would like to let them
know that I do work in the same building as their daughter
(small world). And if Ed, who lives just up the road from me
reads this thing, "Hey!"

On my way over from Phoenix I was able to confirm the unhappy
news about my favorite little hamburger joint at exit 116 on
I-10 closing down. But on the good side, I found another great
hamburger. But I have to wait until I arrive in Cloudcroft to
get it. It's called the "Billy Burger" and Cloudcroft's Mayor
is the cook! I think it is one of the better burgers I've
consumed, but if'en you don't like it, I wouldn't say anything
until you leave town.

Unfortunately for me, I had to leave the Thursday prior to
Unit 4's annually meeting. Just wanna say "hey" to everyone.
And I'd like to thank the mountain for giving me 8 perfect days
to help remind me of what retirement has waiting for me. Well,
besides my new hobby!

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