June 25, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

What makes interesting people interesting?

I have a friend that is positive, friendly, helpful, clean,
brave and reverent (all the things that make good friends), but
Lewis has a way about him above and beyond all that that makes
it an event when he just stops by and visits. I couldn't put my
finger on it until yesterday.

He talks like a good book.

What's the first thing a friend says to you when you run into
them, say, in the post office?

"How ya been?" It's a nice salutation but most people use it as
a crutch. They say "How ya been?" without any real interest in
the answer.

Yesterday I was splitting wood in the front yard when Lewis
drove by. He lives just up the road from me. He stopped and
rolled down his window. I killed the motor on the splitter and
walked over.

It occurred to me that Lewis doesn't open the conversation with
"How ya been?" like 99% of us do. He starts with an introduction
to his topic.

"I was in the bathroom this morning reading when I came across
this article...."

In the first 5 seconds of our incidental meeting I'm already
glad he interrupted my wood splitting. He had something to tell
me other than the usual weather observations. That's why he
stopped. Had he had nothing in the way of a give and take of
ideas to offer he would likely have just smiled and waved and
driven on past. I realized talking to Lewis wasn't just killing
time...it was a mini event.

I've only known Lewis for about three years. I know little
about his past other than he was a successful insurance
executive in El Paso before his retirement. Maybe he took
speaking courses or read some Dale Carnegie books...I've never
asked him. Maybe he just comes by his gift of communication

Lewis is not a pontificator. He doesn't cram his opinions down
your throat (a lesson I could probably learn from him). He
simply relates stories he thinks you might be interested in. He
doesn't carry a conversation...he shares it.
Lewis is a little over 70. He lost his wife, Lisa, last year.
We all loved Lisa but multiply that 10 times and that's how much

Lewis loved her. What a team they were. At their dinner
parties he was the Mark Twain and she was the perfect hostess
and an excellent cook. We were all afraid when she was gone
that Lewis would lose touch with the rest of us. Thankfully it
didn't happen. He and his dog Pepper are a vital part of our
lives this summer when they came to live with us in the

I've said it before and I'll say it again. What a great place
to live.

Don Vanlandingham

Rain this week. A total of two thirds of an inch by press time
(Thursday, 3pm). Highs in the upper-70s. Lows in the mid-40s.

Forest restrictions (no open smoking or campfires) still in

Since arriving in Cloudcroft,
I’ve rarely seen any moths.
Did they hear we were coming
To town and then just take off?
Could it be that our purchased abode,
Of concrete and stucco made,
Is not a suitable habitat
For this wing-ed creature’s blade?
Perhaps ‘tis not the year
For the annual moth invasion.
Per chance, the time’s arrived:
They just took a summer vacation!
Cloudcroft, NM
(formerly FWTX)
The roll-off refuse dump in Cloudcroft has a new sign.

The roll-off is only open about half the time. Citizens have
asked that the roll-offs be emptied more often or perhaps
another roll-off bin or two could be added. Instead, the
Village has posted a sign about 100 yards from the facility
that tells people with trash whether or not the dump ahead is
open. It features a flap that is up when the dump is open and
down when it is closed.

I visit the refuse dump about 4 times a week (which means it is
closed about 2 times a week when I go there). The sign is a
big help.

Last week I drove to the dump and the sign said "closed" but
the gates were open and the roll-offs were empty. Realizing I
might be breaking some kind of ordinance, I discarded my trash

The next time I visited the dump the sign said "open" but the
gates were closed and the roll-offs were full. I made the usual
back-and-forth u-turn and took my trash back home.

The sign means what it means. When it says the dump is closed
there's a good chance it is open. When it says the dump is open
there's a chance you'll be taking your trash back home with

Signs are great if you just know how to read them.
For elegant, romantic dining with breathtaking views of White
Sands and New Mexico sunsets, try Rebecca's. Named after our
resident ghost, Rebecca's serves three meals daily. Our
award-winning chef prepares the finest continental cuisine to
tantalize your palate. Or try Rebecca's Lounge where the wooden
bar from Al Capone's estate completes an authentic speakeasy
What the heck. They could come in handy.


Q - Are there ever serious fog conditions in Cloudcroft?

A - The name Cloudcroft is derived from an old English
description of "a foggy area in a meadow". The name was given
to the area by surveyors that came to this summit to look for
the best route for a train from the basin area.

The question is opportune. I'm looking out my office window
right now at a bank of fog that came about from today's rain.

Our foggy times are normally in July and August, during our
rainy season.

I just wish I could have been here when Cloudcroft had trains.
It must have been a special time on this hill.
June 25-27 -- Chimney Spring Bluegrass Festival. For more
information call 505-687-3520.

July 7 -- High Noon Book Club. 12pm. In the library. Bring
your lunch and join us in discussing OF MICE AND MEN by John

July 10, 11 -- July Jamboree. Cloudcroft.

July 17 -- Mountain Garden Club's 15th Annual Flower Show.
Open to the public. Community Center {corner of Burro and
Swallow Place}. 1-5pm.

July 18 -- Annual meeting of the Sacramento Mountains
Historical Society. 2pm. Commons area of Cloudcroft
Middle School. Historian Leon Metz will be the guest

July 23-25 -- Singing in the Clouds. Gospel singing, solo's,
trio's, quartet's, and a lot of group singing by all.
(325) 691-9123.

September 4 -- James Canyon Auction & BBQ. Party Barn in
Cloud Country Club (Highway 82 near mile marker 27). Dinner
begins a 5pm, Auction at 7pm, and dance at 9pm.

September 11 -- White Sands Star Party.

September 18, 19 -- White Sands Hot Air Balloon Invitational.
7am both days.

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.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Thursday of each month,
5:30-7pm, in the Old Red Brick School House.

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 thought our animals lived in critter heaven. They own us, my
wife and I, you know. But this Rocky character, along with the
rest of your menagerie, plus the hummers, are spoiled rotten.
It is no wonder you see the same guys at your feeders each
year. Their mamas raised no fools.

El Paso

Dear Newsletter:

I enjoyed your newsletter as always. Since our "kids" retired
there recently, I get to hear more CC news than ever. They just
love it there!

Your parakeet story makes me a little sad this morning. About
18 months ago, a new neighbor moved into the house next door
with all 7 of his inside cats, which he promptly banished to
the outdoors. We love animals and so when they started hanging
out at our house, we couldn't "call the pound" as friends

We had birds in the sunroom and they could see them. They
started trying to sneak into our house at every opportunity,
and occasionally we would meet a neighbor's cat somewhere in
our house when we would return after being away a couple hours.
Since I usually kept the door to sunroom closed off from the
den, they couldn't get to our birds. 

Well, a few months ago, one of the cats got in when we were
unaware and got our little blue parakeet. It was great friends
with our canary and probably was hanging onto the canary cage,
"visiting", when the cat got him. That particular cat vanished
soon after. 

We were at a funeral yesterday, but when we returned, we met one
of the neighbor's cats in our house. My husband called, "he got
your bird!" 

She had overturned the canary's cage and all that was left were
a few little feathers! I cried and went next door to tell them
we are having the pound round up all the cats.

We have one bird left - Roscoe, the talking cockatiel. This
morning there are NO cats outside - they must have locked them
all up. But eventually they will let them out again, and when
they do, we will capture every one.

Peggy, please enjoy Rocky. Birds are wonderful, intelligent

M. Sykes

Dear Newsletter:

We had a pet parakeet and it provided lots of enjoyment. It's
surprising how every animal has it's own personality. It's
been many years since we lost Jack and we cried when he died. 

We later got another parakeet but he just wasn't the same as
Jack. That's when I learned you can't replace a pet. You can
get another to fill the void, but don't expect it to be the
same as the pet you've lost. We also learned that parakeets
have more intelligence than we give them credit for. They CAN
open the door to the cage. My parents lost a parakeet when
they hung his cage outside and didn't have the door tied shut. 

Luci Kumpunen

Dear Newsletter:

Aaaaahhh! Peggy sounds just like me. 

My husband sounds just like you. 

Your animals sound just like mine - coexisting and waiting
until the next animal is brought home. 

Recently my husband took me to a "Petfest" and we arrived too
late for any of the festivities. The Petfest happened to be
held on the grounds of an animal shelter and since we drove
30 minutes to get there, we decided to go in just to look. 
While we were there, I found the most beautiful large white
Siberian husky with blue eyes. 

I walked around but couldn't get him out of my mind. After we
saw everything there was to see, my husband and son started to
walk back to the car. But I went on strike! I couldn't leave
without the dog. 

My husband told me that if I wanted it, I could go back in and
get it, but he wanted nothing to do with it. (That's because at
that point we already had two dogs, four cats, a bird, fish,
and a gerbil.) I went back in and adopted the dog - a wonderful,
intelligent and very sociable creature. 

After I got back in the car with my new friend, my husband
could be heard muttering in a voice just barely audible...

"I wouldn't take a recovering alcoholic to a bar. Why would I
take someone with an addiction to animals to a Petfest at an
animal shelter?" 

I noticed on the way home that the dog was sitting on the back
seat with his head resting on my husband's shoulder - sleeping.
And just as I suspected...it didn't take long before my husband
was slipping our new friend a dog treat here and there and
telling him what a good boy he is. 

Peggy knows what I know - you guys may act like you don't like
when we bring a new furry (or feathered) pal home, but you love
them just as much as we do!

God bless!

Debbie R

Dear Newsletter:

Great piece. Our birds (correction: my wife's) love to take
showers with my wife. It's actually quite comical and
entertaining as long as Peggy doesn't mind you watching her
take a shower too. 

Just tepid water is what they like. She sets them on a plastic
lawn chair in the shower with a gentle stream of water
covering about 1/2 to 1/3 of the cage. The birds love it. 

Also, misting them from a bottle is not a bad idea. Personally,
I love my hound dog (Sadie), but could take or leave the birds
as pets. However, like you and your critters, Sadie and I have
learned to "coexist" with my wife's fowl friends.
Joe Wells

Dear Newsletter:

I, too, love your animal stories. We collect animals around
here--5 dogs (1 Border Collie and 4 Pembroke Welsh Corgis--we
breed the Corgis), 4 miniature donkeys (use to breed them--now
the remaining 4 girls are living a life of retirement), 1 paint
horse (my daughter's), 8 miniature horses (we breed the mares)
and 2 miniature horse babies (one born May 7, 2004 and the
last one born June 17, 2004). 
My daughter and I are the collectors--my husband just pays for
our collection and helps with the care! He is a wonderful
sport about all this, just as I'm sure you are about your
wife's collecting! 
That parakeet needed your wife. All our furred and feathered
friends should be so lucky!
Have a great weekend.
Cathy Vaughn
Friendswood, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks (actually, thanks to Peggy) for giving us the bird, and
for your quick response with a critter story. While I enjoy
the newsletter whatever you write about, I'm a sucker for your
animal tales. Hope the dogs don't get too well behaved.
No danger of that down here. My daughter and her two border
collies have joined Charlie (the bearded collie) and me
temporarily. Her three-legged male is a rescued dog who
apparently had a tough life before coming to us. He can ferret
out a scrap of anything remotely edible in the bottom of a
trashcan in a New York minute and spread the contents from
hither to yon in hopes for finding just one more atom to
ingest.. And if there is anything truly vile anywhere in the
neighborhood, his greatest joy is rolling in it until every
hair is thoroughly imbued with eau de yuk. We do a lot of dog
baths --
I keep hoping your drought will break. We've had more than our
usual spring rains and everything is lush and green. While the
Dallas area had been pounded with storms, we've gotten the
kind of rains that do good, not damage. Every time it rains, I 
think about Cloudcroft and hope that you, too, will be so
Sandy Woods 
Austin, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

My wife and I camped in the Lincoln National Forest last week.

We have been doing this once or twice a year for the last 30-35
years. We usually stay 4-5 days or until the trees begin to
close in on me. I taught my children to keep a camping area
clean. Not only for us, but for the next campers also. When we
would leave the camp site, we would do a good visual scan over
the area to be sure we left nothing but our footprints behind.
The grandchildren are now learning these same values. I have
no worry that they will help keep the Forest clean.

My point: We passed up a camp site we have camped at several
times. It was trashed! Oil cans, transmission oil can, dirty
diapers, etc. If a person can carry it in, why can't that
person carry it out? If the fire pit is full of leftover
coals, don't just scoop them onto the ground beside the pit.
It takes only a little more effort to bury the coals. Or better
yet, put them in one of these well known blue plastic bags and
dispose the bag at a garbage dump. 

Nuff said.
Archie in West Texas

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Copyright © 2004 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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