September 5, 2003
Dear Subscriber:

It's deep breath time in the Sacramentos. The tourists are
thinning as schools start back up.

For the most part, the economy here depends upon summer
tourism. Some say if they can't make three quarters of their
annual income between Memorial Day and Labor Day, the year will
not be good.

After Labor Day, Cloudcroft merchants take stock of where they
stand for the year.

Those merchants I have talked to are thumbs-up with regard to
summer 2003. It would have been better if the gas prices
hadn't hemorrhaged, but you can seldom have perfect. My first
hole in one was perfect, but I had to buy the beer. Fortunately
it was a slow day at the 19th hole.

It's a struggle to make a living in a small seasonal tourist
area (a common theme here: to make a small fortune in the
mountains, it's a good idea to start with a large fortune).
If it were easy, I guess everyone would live here.


In June of 2000, I poured the first concrete foundation
footings for what would be an add-on to our house. This week,
with the installation of the outdoor carpet on our deck, the
project was declared complete.

That's right. Three years and change. Peggy and I did it all
by ourselves. Peggy is already working on a new "to do" list.

Now we can sit in our new living room and look around and see
all the mistakes we made.


College football started in earnest this past Saturday. All in
all, I didn't really care who won the games this weekend, but
the sounds of the announcers and the excitement of the crowds
was nirvana to me. With a little imagination I could even smell
the tailgate fajitas. It was a signal that Fall was coming. I
love The Fall.


I installed a new water heater today.

When I was a kid I wanted to be rich and famous. At first I
wanted to be a movie star. I could go see my movies and every-
one would think I was cool and the flash bulbs would go off and
I would probably get free popcorn.

Now I get my jollies when I put in a new water heater and the
pipes don't leak and hot water comes out of the faucet. Nobody
notices but me, but that's alright.

Mel Gibson has lots of fans but I bet he never put in a water

Don Vanlandingham

It warmed up a little since last week. Highs in the mid-70s.
Lows in the low-40s. (Except one morning when Peggy reported the
thermometer recorded an over-night low of 20. We discovered it
was a low battery).
Jeremy Adams will operate Ski Cloudcroft this season, weather

The Village of Cloudcroft and Great American Ski Company reached
a working agreement late last month.

Opening date for Ski Cloudcroft should be in mid-December.
In scenic Cloudcroft, walk to the end of Burro Street and you
will find the Antique Mercantile. Enter and discover a cozy and
warm ambiance in this store filled with an eclectic mix of
treasures of years gone bye. We have antiques and collectibles,
including linens, furniture, costume jewelry, glass, porcelain,
baseball cards and comic books. Looking for something special?
Our friendly staff will be happy to help you. Call us at
1-505-682-2583 or email us at ssaiers@pvtnetworks.net.

For more information, see the link to our web site on the
Shopping page of Cloudcroft.com:


In the Cloudcroft area. The best view of heaven outside of
being there.


Q - You often write about stores in Alamogordo. Don't you
support Cloudcroft businesses?

A - I support interesting stories about life in the Sacramento

For a century, Cloudcroft and Alamogordo have shared a
sisterhood that can't be denied. There is an unwritten code in
Cloudcroft; buy it locally if you can, but go to Alamo to get
it if you can't.

Cloudcroft is, in essence, a commercial suburb of Alamogordo.
Cloudcroftians visit Alamogordo regularly to shop and the folks
in Alamogordo come to Cloudcroft and spend their money. The
two towns are important to each other.

The people and events in Cloudcroft often make for good reading
material, but interesting things happen to me when I visit
Alamo and surrounding towns, too. I'll tell Newsletter readers
about them when they're interesting enough. It's a part of the
whole of life in these mountains.
September 13 -- Mountain Garden Club Style show.

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

September 20 -- "Run to the Aspens" car show. Motorcycles to
vintage. No charge for entry. No admission charge. Buckhorn
parking lot in Cloudcroft. Call Rusty (1-505-682-5032) for more

September 19-21 -- Healing Hearts. www.GatheringOfCircles.com

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

October 4, 5 -- Oktoberfest Juried Art Show. Zenith Park.

October 18, 19 -- High Rolls Apple Festival.

November 29th -- Santa Land opens. Cloudcroft.

December 13 -- Pet Parade. Burro Street. 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 button.


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:

You may not remember us but we were staying in Genell's cabin
August 2-8 with the Parkers. We thoroughly enjoyed the cabin and
we must say it was great.

The reason we are writing this letter to the editor is to say
thank you for what you did in helping us out when our nephew
woke us around 2:00 am with shortness of breath and his heart

We were in the cabin with no phone, but our cell phones and we
weren't sure if they would work right to call 911 since they
were from out of state.

The only thing we could think to do was to call you and wake
you up to call 911 for us.

Well, we tell you it did not take long for them to arrive.

They were most helpful and were a real comfort to all of us.
Everything turned out okay and our nephew is back home and has
gone to his doctor and had a complete physical and they found

The doctor says it was probably just heat exhaustion, not
enough water and too much caffeine.

We would like to thank the Cloudcroft EMS for their wonderful
response to our need. Kitty, Andy and Jim were just great. They
seemed to be ready to do what ever was necessary and they did
put us at ease in regard to the situation. We really appreciate
them coming to our rescue. 

We also want to thank you for being there and helping out. We
are hoping that Genall's cabin remains a rental cabin so we can
come back next summer and spend some more time in the cool
mountains of Cloudcroft. We love that place.

Thanks again for everything.

Bob and Reta Kelley 
Spring, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I had not seen him in over a year. He would only be in town a
few days. There he was wearing those baggy knee length jeans
that are popular with kids and a loose fitting shirt which was
not tucked in. On his feet, of course, were Nikes. For all the
world, my son looked alike any other college boy ready to head
back to school after a summer at home...but not quite.

My boy didn't have the carefree look that most middle class
kids in their early 20's bear. He eyes were little more
penetrating with their stare and there was a touch of hardness
at their corners. His familiar voice bore a commanding and
slightly impatience tone.

Even the general structure of his body was different. It was
well conditioned, but not from working out at a health club or
from swimming at a lake. Corded muscles stood out in his
forearms and calves. Lots of little scars covered his shins and
the backs of his hands. Calluses were hard upon his palms. 

Then everything came into focus for me. My son's eyes were
those of a hunter, of one who had seen rough times. For months
his voice had been used to convey urgent humorless messages.
The burdensome weight of a field pack and a machine gun,
carried for endless miles, had hewn his body.

The shadow of a boy stood before me reflected from the image of
a man. A warrior buried his face into my shoulder and for a
moment I held a Marine...and welcomed home my son.

He left us yesterday, here in Arkansas, to return to Camp
Lejeune, in North Carolina. In a couple of weeks he will once
more board an airplane that will take him where he and others
will again walk in danger. How much more different will he be
when next I see him?

Your friends in Arkansas,
Philip and Valerie Davis 

Dear Newsletter:

I thought I should let you know that my wife and I really
enjoy your little editorials with each newsletter and look
forward to reading them. You are a wonderful writer and my
kind of guy.

Thanks for the many smiles you send my way. 

Tommy Fry

Dear Newsletter:

Usually I just read and enjoy your observations as to coming's
and going's around my favorite hideaway, but when you went to
great lengths to explain how difficult it is to get accurate
temperatures for the fair village, it brought to mind something
I found most curious. The Washington Post, of all things, has
a weather section through it's web page. I just click that up
and then write "Cloudcroft" in proper space. Wha-la, up comes
a complete rundown of the weather doings in Cloudcroft...not
Alamogordo. Kind'a neat. I think I'm right about this? (By the
way you even get a five-day forecast.)

And for the reader who was asking or inquiring about the old
bowling alley, I have no pictures, but back in the middle 40's
I set a ton of pins in that old "shooting gallery."

Lumberjacks came in to "throw" the ball and see if they could
hit the pin boys. We risked our very being for a dime a line.
We were almost "automatic" even before we could spell the

See ya soon,
Bert N. Shipp
Dallas, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

I can no longer be silent. I, too, have been "Millerized".
We set up our camper in High Nogal in mid-July, glad to be
back in Cloudcroft. Went and peeked at the new neighbors' house
down the mountain, and chuckled to see Millers flying to and
fro with presumptuous abandon both inside and outside. Har-har,
are they going to be surprised!
Three days later, we took an overnight excursion to Carlsbad
to do the bat flight, cave hike and Brantley Lake swim. We left
the camper in place and stayed in a "camping cabin" for the
night in Carlsbad...but that's another story.
Mind, we were only gone one night. What could happen? We arrived
back at the camper around 9:30 p.m. I opened the door, turned
on the lights, and there they were: 3 Millers. Well, I'm not
taking this lying down! I quickly swatted them out of existence,
said to all, "this house is clean!", and was promptly bombed
by 3 more that came seemingly from nowhere.
For the next three hours, I swatted, chased, shoed, papered, and
stuffed-toyed these eleventh-plague nightmares, much to the
amusement of my wife and 12-year old son. It was like a scene
from Indiana Jones because they seemed to be coming from the
very walls. One night!
We found two or three more every day after that. Hard to sleep
too when you imagine they're fluttering around in the dark
waiting to dive-bomb you with whatever it is they're spitting
Needless to say, my much bally-hooed Mississippi tree roaches
ran screaming into the night. Cowards! I've been Millerized!
Richard Day
High Nogal/Biloxi
Dear Newsletter:
I don''t even remember how I got to be on this subscriber list,
but I must tell you how much joy I get out of the newsletters!

Your dry humor is absolutely wonderful, and I enjoy the rest
of the newsletter information also of course. These have been
rough times of late, and your comments brighten my outlook!

Charlotte Johnson

[There are only 2 ways to get on our Newsletter list: (1) go
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Dear Newsletter:

I am in the school business.

Last week I pulled out a popular album I had used with
kindergartens in the early 70's to teach directions and colors
to a group of new little ones.

They, of course, had never seen an album nor a record player.
I told them this is how music use to be recorded-to a record.

One student exclaimed, "Wow, that is the biggest CD I've ever

Karen Burkett
Midland, Tx. 

Dear Newsletter:

I would like to add a few cents worth of thought to your
article about loud music. The only problem is, I'll be singing
to the crowed.

Here in El Paso we seem to have more than our share of guys
driving around with their boom boxes blasting so loud it can be
heard blocks away. It seems like the only music these people
play is music that goes "boom boom boom." I think these
boomers are trying to tell us how much they don't know. After
all they can't seem to get past boom, boom.

Jerry Reith

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