March 12, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

If Tommy were a person, he would be in charge of something.

Tommy is as black as a mountain midnight and the sole surviving
cat of a trio of strays that came our way 3 years ago:


Tommy used to be a male before his visit to the vet. He was
the bossiest of the three kittens at the outset, so it's no
surprise that if there had to be a single survivor, it would be

I've never been a cat fan, but Tom is an interesting study. In
the cat world, he could charm an Eskimo into buying an ice cube

We always segregated the cats from our 4 dogs. Cats outside when
the dogs were inside and visa versa and an outdoor fence acting
as a demilitarized zone. There was no doubt in my mind it would
always have to be that way.

About a month ago I opened the door to go outside and Tom
brushed right by me and went in. It was a cold day and the dogs
were lounging in the living room. Tom meowed "Hey, everybody",
jumped up on a bar stool, curled up and began licking his paw
like that's exactly where he belonged.

The dogs were as dumfounded as I. They just stared at the cat
...not knowing whether to ignore him or dissect him. 
Fortunately for all involved they chose the former.

We allowed Tom in the house with the dogs after that, being sure
we were always present to avoid any mayhem. He would come in
and post on his favorite bar stool. A dog would occasionally
walk by and give him a dirty look and a low growl, but after a
few admonishments they even quit the growl thing. We were all
happy with the new arrangement.

All but Tom.

Tommy wasn't happy with simple inclusion into the family. He
was going for status.

One day he kissed Phoenix.

Phoenix is half pit bull. She's a well behaved dog, but her
lineage prohibits her amiable association with cats. When
Tom walked up to her and kissed her (it was more like a
facial rub but kiss exudes a more graphic picture) we all held
our breath. We just knew the proverbial fur was about to fly.

I think Phoenix was too shocked to act. She just stood there
and stared at the crazy cat who in turn turned his rear-end to
Phoenix, stretched, meowed, jumped up on his barstool and began
licking his paw.

Looking back on it, it was genius on the part of Tommy. He
kissed up to the baddest dog in the bunch and won the
stare-down. After that it was only a matter of time before Tom
was walking among all the dogs...doing that rub thing cats do
and occasionally even offering a closed paw swat at their noses.

I'm still amazed when Tom jumps up between me and one of the
dogs on the couch while we watch a golf tournament. He gives
us a "What's happenin?" look and curls up and licks that paw.

Peggy thinks it's a hoot. She says Tom thinks he owns the dogs.
He shows no fear of them at all. Because of his brazen self
confidence, it doesn't occur to the dogs to be aggressive.

I've seen cats get along with dogs before but they usually grow
up together or it's usually one dog and one cat. A Tommy-come-
lately stray taking top position among a pack of 4 canines...I
never woulda thunk it.

I hear Tom meowing now. I guess he wants to go outside...and
whatever Tommy wants...

Don Vanlandingham

The biggest one-day snow of the season (3-4-04) backed with
unseasonably warm weather. The result: Good play snow in the
shady areas and lots of melting and mud everywhere else.

Here's a photo taken that morning:


Highs in the 60s. Lows in the mid-20s.
CLOC (The Cloudcroft Light Opera Company) has announced their
summer open pavilion schedule.

The melodrama "Dirty Work on the Trail" May 28th through the
30th and June 18 and 19.

"Heaven help the Po'Taters" will be staged three times on July
4th weekend and two performances on each of the preceding two

Call the Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce (505-682-2733) for
Located conveniently on Hwy 82, comfortable rooms, great rates.
We can host your family reunions or group meetings. New owners
Doug and Marilyn Huntsucker. Call us for reservations at
(505) 682-2526 or email aspencloudcroft@tularosa.net.
Want to know more about "The Land of Enchantment"? Click on
New Mexico Fast Facts.


Q - Will the Sacramento Mountains be under attack by the Miller
Moths again this coming summer?

A - Could be...and this is a good time of year to plan your

Seal off around your windows and doors and repair your screens.

Spring cleaning should include a thorough vacuuming behind all
furniture and all other nooks and crannies. It's also a good
idea to sweep your chimneys. If you don't have a spark screen
on your chimney opening...it might be a good idea to put one in.
It will protect against fire and also keep out the Millers.
April 7 -- High Noon book club. 12pm. In the library. Bring
your lunch and join us in discussing "Life of Pi" by Yann 

April 10 -- Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Bonnet Parade

April 11 -- Community Sunrise Service. Baptist Church, 7am.
There will be a breakfast following the service.

May 8 -- Old Timer's Reunion

May 29, 30 -- Mayfest

June 12 -- Miss New Mexico "Show Me Your Shoe" Parade. Golf
Tournament at the Lodge Golf Course. Proceeds go to the
Scholarship Account for the Miss NM Contestants.

June 18, 19, 20 -- Western Roundup

June 25-27 -- Chimney Spring Bluegrass Festival. For more
information call 505-687-3520.

July 10, 11 -- July Jamboree

July 23-25 -- Singing in the Clouds. We invite all to join us
for some great gospel singing, solo's, trio's, quartet's, and a
lot of group singing by all. (325) 691-9123.

September 19 -- Gary Johnson’s Cloudcroft Run. World’s highest
certified 10k run. For more information call 505-687-2133.

October 2, 3 -- Oktoberfest

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
Workshops. March program is "The Basics of Art" by Ed Woten.
All artists are welcome - especially beginning artists.

Cox Canyon Volunteer Fire and Rescue is organizing an
auxiliary unit. If you would like to help support this group
of dedicated men and women, call 682-3084, 682-4664, 682-3719
or 682-3234.

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:

I've read your newsletter without fail since I first came in
contact with it. Easily the best, most honest interpretation
of life and common sense in print! I've been tempted to write
before and forward your letter to my kids without fail. 
I congratulate you on your diplomacy concerning California,
especially the community that calls itself "actors'. Your
viewpoint must be shared by many, but I've never seen it in
print..so succinctly!
Rarely do I comment...in print!...thank you for saying it for
Eddie Sankary

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for your comments on California and the Academy Awards.
I agree with every word you said. It is getting to the point
when you watch them you wonder who is going to say what, about
whatever, that the rest of us do not want to hear. Except
thanks to the rest of the underlings who paid to see their

I also agree with you on the entrance to Alamogordo. I do love
your part of the world and plan to buy a house there one day.
W. A. Waller
Hunt, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I just love my Thursdays – because I know that a little bit of
Cloudcroft is coming my way. Thanks for always being there.

** Please - Keep up the great job you do.

You hit another nerve with the controversy over our leader’s
educations versus the career “stars” educations and their
mouthy replies.

Patricia Baxter

Dear Newsletter:

Even those Hollywood types are allowed their freedom of speech.
And we have the freedom to watch them or not. Love your
newsletter, and reading your opinions - I think the world is
a better place when we each take the time to consider what
others have to say!

Take care and enjoy the mountains for those of us who don't get
there often enough.

Kelly Redard
Arlington, TX

Dear Newsletter:

I've never responded before, but on this one, I can't resist.
RIGHT ON! Why don't they keep their opinions to themselves....

M. Potter
Midland, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Dear Editor: I know this is a family-oriented newsletter just
as Cloudcroft is mostly a family-oriented town. I hesitate to
send this to your fine weekly missive, but were you aware there
were many, many Californians (aka prune-pickers) who "sold-out"
lock, stock and plum tree enabling them to "go east, old man,
go east'!

They've settled by oceanloads into the colorful climes of 
mountainous Colorado. Up there, though, they're not referred to
as "great". It's more like (and I heard it from a license-plated
"Native") . . . are you ready . . . "Californicators"!

Don Ammons
Post, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Unaccustomed as I am to sending letters to the editor, I want
to commend you on the very appropriate comments about the
California, Hollywood crowd. You expressed my sentiments

Fred Garcia
El Paso, Tx 

Dear Newsletter:

I couldn't agree more with you on the whole Academy Awards
production (or any other Hollywood awards show for that matter).

I've often wondered why we as a culture are so enamored by
people that can only "act" like they have a clue ... give them
a movie deal and all of a sudden they're experts on everything
from world hunger to the political affairs of Uzbekistan.

And why do we enjoy watching them pat themselves on the back at
all of these shows? Are they so consumed by being worshipped by
the public that they have to come up with more and more award
shows where they get to tell each other how great they are?

I very much enjoy the newsletter and your great little town ...
I have many great memories of Cloudcroft.

Dan Dunn
Las Vegas, NV

Dear Newsletter:

Today I heard a radio advertisement wherein it was stated that
Cloudcroft.com is a "proud sponsor" of the Rush Limbaugh show.

Please know that I will no longer be recommending your website
or your newsletter to any of my friends.
Barbara Hardison
Cloudcroft, NM

[Please remember, if you should adopt an attitude in the future
more conducive to the premise that everyone is entitled to
their opinions...whether or not they agree with yours...you
are more than welcome to re-subscribe to the newsletter. -- Don]

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for another newsletter. All of the cities around that
we've visited Cloudcroft is our favorite city. You guys are
really lucky to live in a great city like Cloudcroft. We feel
like we're just close to God there. He made such a beautiful
place for people to enjoy.

Thank you,
Shirley Myers

Dear Newsletter:

I cannot find out when the rattlesnake roundup will be held in
Alamogordo. It is usually in April at the fairgrounds. 

I have sent two e-mails to the Alamogordo Chamber of Commerce
and they have never answered. So much for trying to help
tourists in their city!

If you don't know, please send this to someone who may?

Tom Bolents

Dear Newsletter:

My wife and I recently purchased an older cabin in the
Robinhood neighborhood. Having grown up in the 'winterless'
environment of the southern Arizona desert, I've had little
experience in winterizing a cabin.

We plan to spend summers in the wonderful weather of Cloudcroft,
but until we finish some improvements to the cabin, we will most
likely spend little or no time in the mountains after November.
Can someone offer advice on proper winterizing tips?

I drained the pipes and added antifreeze to the traps, and
toilets before I buttoned up the cabin in late November. I left
the water in the hot water heater, adjusted the temp to the
'vacation setting', and lifted up a silent prayer that the pilot
light would not go out in my absence (I'm not sure how cold it
has to get in a cabin to freeze 40 gallons of water?). Any
other advice would be appreciated.

Kevin Tharp
Tucson, Arizona

Dear Newsletter:

Re: Cell phone service in Cloudcroft:

See this link for what else you can do with Verizon cell
service in Cloudcroft:


Also works with Windoze and Linux. Your mileage may vary.

Phillip L. De Leon 

Dear Newsletter:

I believe you are correct about the burned out mobile home on
US 82 just as you enter Alamogordo being an eyesore, however
we are a community that values and protects private property
rights and if the owner wishes to leave it there so be it.

There was a fatality in that hulk. Maybe there is legal action
still pending?

Cloudcroft is a beautiful tourist community, but if you all
don't watch out, you're going to have a large eyesore on the
way up US 82 in the form of a jumble of logs that used to be
the Mexican Canyon Trestle on the Alamogordo/Sacramento
Mountain Railway.

That historic trestle is one of the most photographed points
in the state and a draw to Cloudcroft, but it is in serious
danger of collapse.

I went to a rails to trails meeting and asked about any repair
that could be accomplished. The answer was the the Forest
Service wants $900,000 for an environmental impact statement?

Is this true?

Then there is the actual costs of repair. Somebody better do
something about the Forest Service. A dozen strong backs and
several weekends of work packing in supplies to do the repairs
would stabilize the trestle bents for another 100 years.

I remember when Cloudcroft presented itself as a four seasons
recreation area. Ski Cloudcroft is open a short time if there
is snow. That trestle is there year round to draw visitors. I
believe you should maintain your own backyard before you find
fault with your neighbors, but that’s just one mans opinion.
Richard Haskell
Alamogordo, New Mexico

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for taking time to address a touchy subject. HooBoy,
Don, you hit a nerve with the comments about the ugly
(sp."UHG!-ly") peripheries surrounding most of our otherwise
fair NM cities! And Alamogordo in particular.

You couldn't be more correct in asking how long we need to put
up with the eyesores that dominate the entries and exits of
what otherwise might be a beautiful place to put down one's
roots. Hwy 82 is only one part of the problem. North Florida
Avenue, Alamogordo's shortcut from 82 into town, is equally
& frustratingly a part of the problem, as are Hwys 54/70
incoming and outgoing.

You mentioned that the civic leaders drop the ball on Hwy 82.
"Ball? What ball? I didn't know we had a ball..." must be
the prevailing attitude--at least to all appearances.

"Architectural standards? Whazzat? We don't need no stupid
standards--the building's still standing, isn't it?"

Perhaps your column may hit the property owners themselves with
the realization that (now here's a novel thought) they might
possibly do something about the problem without government
intervention. Perhaps. Perhaps, indeed, but we'd be well
advised not to hold our collective breath till it happens. To
paraphrase an old proverb,"Those who won't police themselves
must be policed." Being a firm believer in private property
rights, I'd hate to see it come to the point where the governing
bodies have to step in and take a hand in the matter. It
wouldn't hurt a bit for them to enforce their own ordinances,

HOWEVER! In the face of prevailing ugliness, all is not lost.
There is the continuing hope that at the very least our ugly
buffer zones might serve to put off those glitzy Californians
and Arizonans and rich Easterners (that includes Texans, who do
live to the east of us, you know) who might otherwise turn
Alamogordo into another Santa Fe (where descendants of original
settlers can no longer afford to pay their property taxes,
amongst other things).

For now, though, Alamogordo is a place reserved for only the
hardiest of those souls amongst us who are visually inclined--
those folk who are willing to put up with our "buffer zones" so
as to reap the joys of an otherwise truly delightful place to
live. Once you get to know us, that is.

That having been said, though, I do wish we could gaze in
rapturous delight upon the beauties of God's beautiful creation
in this place--without the intrusion upon our line of sight of
things "less than lovely." Sigh.

Thanks for a great newsletter--you brighten my day (& monitor)
each week! I count you as a wonderful blessing.

Bobbie Cover

PS: Alamogordo is becoming "The City Beautiful" as I type--snow
is falling at a nice clip and dressing us all in a white gown
of gossamer. The Good Lord has heard our prayers for rain! Ah,
joy, ah bliss....

Dear Newsletter:

Whatcha doin’?”
“I’m taking a break from packing boxes.”
“Is it that time already?”
“Are you kidding? We’ve dreamed about this move for years!”
“I never thought you really meant it…”
“We’ve been tellin’ the kids since they were in junior high 
that once they were out of the house….so were we!”
“I’m gonna miss you guys, and I guess I’m kinda envious…”
“Because everybody talks about a dream move but hardly
anybody actually DOES it!”
“I know, but think of it this way: You’ll have a terrific place
to visit when you come to see us…you know, kinda like your own
private ‘bed-n-breakfast’ in CLOUDCROFT!”
(sigh) “I know, I know…But I can’t believe you’re really gonna
(giggle) “I’m so excited! I still pinch myself sometimes…just
to be sure I’m not dreamin’!”
“Well, I’ll let you get back to your packin’.”
“Okay. Bye.”
“See ya!”
(I know I have to get up, but that alarm ringing is such a
pain! What a terrific dream, though…)
“Ouch! What is that box … wait, what are all these boxes…
“Wait a minute! I’m not dreaming! There really are boxes
stacked everywhere!
“We really ARE moving to Cloudcroft!!!!!”
“Somewhere, over the mountains, dreams come true….”
Cloudcroft….here we come!!!!

To unsubscribe, email: unsubscribe@cloudcroft.com
You MUST put Unsubscribe in the Subject line.
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
You MUST put CC-Editor in the Subject line.
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 © 2004 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
Previous Newsletter Next Newsletter