August 11, 2000
Dear Subscriber:

I hear a symphony when I walk out my front door. It is the sound
of hummingbirds... their song and the motor of their wings... and
squirrels with their calls to the other animals as if to say
"let's play," combined with the sounds of saws and drills as 
homeowners perform their labors of love. In the past few weeks 
there has been a certain urgency associated with the fix-up 
sounds as Bob Villa wanna-be's cast their eye to the horizon and
stab their wetted finger into the breeze, anticipating the fall.

In these mountains, where sound carries remarkably well, you 
hear every voice, knock, and thud of substance for miles around,
accented occasionally by an unearthly thunderclap that brings 
back an instant temporary fear associated with childhood 
memories. It's a soothing composition... an uplifting sound. 
Not a honking horn or a screeching tire in the mix.

Before you know it, the symphony will subside, to be replaced 
by the equally melodious tune of crackling fires and the crunch
of snow underfoot.

Don't get me wrong. I'm in no real hurry to see the end of the
warm weather season. I, for one, have way too many outdoor 
things to do before the parkas come out of the closet.
Scotty (our 12 year old neighbor) reminded us yesterday that
school begins in Cloudcroft in a week.

When I was in school (no, I didn't have to walk three miles in
the snow; it was a mile and it was in the sandstorms of West 
Texas and no, it wasn't uphill both directions) we had August
off and began school after Labor Day. It has been explained to 
me that the kids aren't going to school more days a year, they
are simply getting more time off during the term.

In any case, the early beginning of classes across the Southwest
tends to cut into the tourist business. I guess we all have our
crosses to bear.

We hope you enjoy what is left of your summer.

From the "good news, bad news" department: the bad news is the
convenience store in Cloudcroft no longer offers Internet service
(re: our report last week). The good news is that the Village
library does, and it is available to residents and visitors alike.

Don Vanlandingham

It could be referred to as "Phase II" of the rainy season, but it
is rather unusual. No one can remember a year in which there
were two distinct rainy seasons in a summer in the Sacramentos.

The first rains began in June breaking a dry spell that spawned
the Scott Able Fire and other devastating blazes in the State in
May. Then the rains subsided in the last quarter of July, leading
many to believe any new moisture relief would have to come from
winter snows. Lo and behold, "Phase II" of the rainy season
started about a week ago, with daily rains, some quite heavy,
falling in a wide area of the mountains and in the Basin as well.

The more optimistic among the Villagers are saying it's a sign
there will be plentiful snowfalls this winter. The more level-
headed aren't rushing out to buy new snow shoes, but there's
plenty of hope to go around.
Can you imagine a bigger nightmare than paying good money for a
mountain property and then discovering there is no road access?
According to the National Forest Service, it can happen. If the
land you bought is bordered on all sides by either other private
lands or NFS land, it could be you have no legal way to get to
your property. It has happened to unsuspecting land purchasers
before. It is suggested you check with a real estate title expert
or a real estate lawyer before you sign on the dotted line to be
sure your little piece of Heaven is accessible by ground vehicle.
Located in the Burro Street Exchange building, Gary Mack Real
Estate has earned the reputation of going the extra mile, whether
they are trying to find you that special property or sell your 

Gary and Wendy Mack are long-term residents of Cloudcroft and are
extremely familiar with the properties of the area. See their Web
Site on Cloudcroft.com.
On July 16, 1945, residents of Cloudcroft were awakened in the
early morning predawn by a light that resembled sunshine. The
United States was in the midst of the Second World War, so there
was some panic until an official explanation was issued: an
ammunition dump near White Sands had accidentally exploded.

It was several months later that the truth came out. The bright
light was the first ever detonation of an atomic bomb. Shortly
after the experiment, two similar bombs were dropped on Japan,
ending the war.

There are 2 tours of what is now known as Trinity Site each year.
One is on the first Saturday of each April and the other is on 
the first Saturday of each October.

At 8 am on either morning, a caravan forms at the Otero County
Fairgrounds in Alamogordo. Led by military police, the caravan
proceeds to Trinity Site. On those 2 days, visitors can tour the
area and souvenirs and food and drinks are made available. While
pictures are allowed of the site, no photographs are permitted of
the surrounding White Sands Missile Range.
Q - Are there medical facilities in Cloudcroft?

A - A community clinic is staffed in the Village capable of
handling first aid and minor illnesses. For more serious medical
problems there is Gerald Champion Hospital in Alamogordo. Gerald
Champion just recently moved into new facilities on Scenic Drive in
August 12 -- Scott Able Fire Benefit ("Puttin' on The Ritz"). 7pm.
Open Air Pavilion, Zenith Park.

August 16 thru 19 -- Otero County Fair. Alamogordo.

August 18 thru 20 -- Singing in the Clouds

August 19 (5 to 7pm) and 20 (11am - 2pm) -- Mayhill Volunteer Fire
Department Enchilada Dinner. Mayhill Training Center.

August 20 -- Governor's 10K run.

August 26 -- Weed Reunion. Weed, New Mexico.

September 2-3 -- Labor Day Fiesta. Downtown Cloudcroft.

September 2-3 -- Timberon Labor Day Weekend.

September 2 -- James Canyon Fire Department BBQ and Auction.
Dinner served at 5 pm. Red Barn -- Cloud Country Estates.

September 22-23 -- Star Party II. Call (505) 437-2340 for info.
For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

Just had to say what a great service you are doing for the 
community. It is so great for people who come here to visit to 
have a place to "write back" to in order to express how much 
they enjoyed our wonderful Village. I live here permanently and
love reading what others say. Just wanted to say thanks for 
putting it all together.

Larry and Verna Morgan

Dear Newsletter:

Early in July, I took my Mother to Cloudcroft for her vacation. 
We saw the flyers posted on Burro Street advertising the 
melodrama to be held in the open air pavilion, and decided to 
attend one of the performances.

My Mother is 78 years old and recovering from a broken hip and
using a walker. As we got to the pavilion, a nice bearded man 
seemed to come out of nowhere to help Mother step up on the 
concrete slab. Mother commented on how nice he was. When we got
ready to leave, that same man came over and helped Mother
step down off of the slab.

The bearded man turned out to be one of the main characters in
the play and also the Mayor of Cloudcroft, Dave Venable.

This type of hospitality was repeated just about everywhere we
went in Cloudcroft. Thanks for a pleasant trip.

Mike Jones
Amarillo, TX

Dear Newsletter:

We want to thank you for the news online of the hidden secret of
New Mexico!

We know you do not want to hear of another family moving to this 
area, but we have always planned to make your area our home.
In the near future, we are planning to become productive members
of the best kept secret of New Mexico!! We are hoping it stays
that way.

Again thanks,
Alan and Susan Booth

Dear Newsletter:

I grew up in El Paso and our family spent a lot of happy 
weekends in Cloudcroft. It was one of the happiest times of my
life! When I had a son (now 29), we would take him there and he
still loves your Village. I forward your newsletters to him and
he enjoys them as much as I do.

We are hoping to be able to visit again sometime soon and I 
know the peacefulness and hospitality will be just a great as I
remember it being many years ago.

What a wonderful place you have to share with people!!!!!

Sandra Bailey
Arlington, Tx. 

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the updates, etc. in the form of your newsletter.

I have been coming to the Cloudcroft area since the mid 50's.
My Aunt and Uncle had a cabin near Mayhill. Since they taught 
school at Hope, the cabin was a close "getaway" for them. Many
years went by and I moved away from NM. When I returned to sell
some property in Eddy Co. I renewed my "love affair" with the 
Sacramentos and Cloudcroft. My husband and I bought a place in 
Waterfall and get up as often as we can. It is never enough, but
usually about every other month.

I am a flight attendant for Continental Airlines and my husband
is retired. I would love to get in touch with any of the students
that went to Hope school and were taught by Ralph or Fae Lea.
(Both are now deceased.) Thanks again for the newsletter, 
especially during stressful times like the Scott Able Fire, etc.
Everyone likes to stay abreast of the goings on in our forest.

Sarah Keith
Galveston, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

How easy it must be to consider playing hooky when you're just
around the corner. It's much harder to even consider it when
you're hundred of miles away. But please don't play hooky and 
keep the newsletters coming, they are a daydream for those of us
who can't visit Cloudcroft that often.

As I sit here at my desk and close my eyes I can almost imagine
myself there, soon, very soon.

Thank you,
Lydia G. Welch

Dear Newsletter:

Well, it appears I have started quite a dialogue! If everyone 
felt the same way I do and added their "two cents' worth", I 
believe we could buy out the proposed developments ourselves and
keep them as pristine as they are now! It could happen!! ;)

It is encouraging to see that others are becoming more vocal 
about their views regarding this grave issue. I, for one, had 
great difficulty admitting that I despised the new developments,
because I feared some sort of retaliation on the part of those
involved in the developments. Not without reason. In the early
70s, my grandmother was on the town council, and she was 
vehemently against commercial zoning above Grand Ave. She spoke 
her mind in council, and that evening, someone else spoke their
mind--a huge rock came crashing through our cabin window, missing
my crib by inches. I want to stress that this was the act of a 
solitary person, but it makes you hesitate nonetheless.

All of us who visit Cloudcroft LOVE it. It may be presumptuous for
me to speak on others' behalf, but I believe we ALL want to see
Cloudcroft's business community thrive. We are not out to put the
construction/real estate business out of... er, business, but 
there is a difference between meeting the community's needs and
fabricating the community's needs (i.e. creating "needs" that no
one majority expressed). Everyone I have spoken to downtown has
said that they want to see Cloudcroft grow, with more businesses
and more subdivisions.

My heart drops to the floor every time I hear that. Perhaps we
(those opposed to the proposed developments) should schedule a 
meeting with the townspeople, not to create an "us vs them" 
mentality, but to understand each others' points of view. Those
FOR development have valid reasons, as do those AGAINST. It 
would benefit all of us if we knew why we hold our particular

I am relatively young--29--and I remember Cloudcroft when the 
sound of a chainsaw was cause for investigation. I remember 
Cloudcroft when the golf course was on the edge of a vast, 
impenetrable forest. I remember Cloudcroft when telephone/
utility poles were inconspicuous, and sometimes even the trees
themselves acted as telephone line connectors. I also remember
being shocked if I saw a car speeding down our unpaved street.

Now, the "Slow, Children Playing" signs become obscured by the
dust of the cars going dangerously fast down from the Lodge, and
I hear mothers calling out to their children, "Watch out, here
comes a car!!" I realize some growth is inevitable, but to defy
street signs is unacceptable.

I could go on and on, but I believe I have made my point. I 
welcome any comments from the Cloudcroft community and those who
adore visiting Cloudcroft, and I provide my email. If anyone is
interested in discussing this matter, I would like to hear from

Amanda Kemp

Dear Newsletter:

The only way Cloudcroft will not be developed is if those of
you who do not want it to be developed buy up all the existing
private land and just sit on it! The National and State Forests
cannot be developed.

Those who had the foresight to buy up the private land or if it
has been in their families for generations have the right to 
sell their land to developers. Alas, all of us would love to 
keep our "Cloudcroft" a secret and not have the world intrude,
but "progress and money" is how people make a living. The best
way to preserve some of the beauty is to have restrictions. 

Since I am a newcomer and sunbird, I do not know if the 
"governments" in the surrounding area have a cooperative plan
or not. If you do not want to have the growth that Ruidoso has,
NOW is the time to start planning.

My husband & I bought our own little piece of Heaven to preserve
for our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. We 
bought an existing place, but only because we lucked out and
found the perfect view. We would have built a new home otherwise.

Yes, it would be wonderful to keep CC as is, but unless you
are willing to buy the whole area or call Ted Turner and see if
he will buy it, then that's being a little selfish, don't you

The developers can't develop unless someone sells them the land
and most people who build want to keep as many trees as possible.
I am more upset by "trashy" places than having some trees removed
to build a new home.

Just an opinion and thankful for the right to express it.

Sherry Wilson
Cloud Country-Mayhill NM
and Weatherford TX

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Copyright © 2000 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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