July 2, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

I was bitten by the broadcasting bug when I was 14 and never
got over it.

I worked in radio for 36 years before a head injury altered my
voice and I was no longer able to talk into an open microphone
without sounding a little like I'd stayed too long at happy

Thirty-six pretty interesting years.

A radio announcer's life is a little like a carnival worker's.
A disc jockey that has been at the same radio station for over
a year is an old timer. Disc jockeys move a lot. A disc
jockey's car always had a ball hitch on the bumper for
quick hook up to a U-haul.

You hear the announcers on radio stations and you think they're
probably the most colorful characters there, but my experience
was station managers usually had them beat. Over the years I
have accumulated a lot more station manager stories than I have
disc jockey stories.

Take Dean, for instance. Dean was the manager of a small Texas
station I worked for. He seemed to enjoy firing people and he
had a unique way of doing it.

We got paid every Friday. Our pay envelopes would be in our
mail slots promptly at 3:30 p.m. (30 minutes after the bank
closed. There was a reason for that). If your check wasn't in
its slot by then, you had to go see Dean to get your check,
which usually meant it was your last one...but you already knew
that because on Wednesday and Thursday Dean would walk around
with the "last" paychecks protruding from his shirt pocket. A
person with normal vision couldn't read the names on the checks
in Dean's pocket but everyone could remember back during the
week as to who screwed up really bad and put two and two

I guess it was Dean's way of giving screw ups two days notice
before payday and the ultimate gottaletyougo and the trip to
the U-haul rental depot.

I know all this from first hand experience.

The station Dean ran was so small we only had one studio...the
one we broadcasted from. There was no production studio...where
announcers could go to record commercials. We had to record the
commercials after the station signed off the air at sundown in
the on-air studio which, presumably, was off the air.

I went into the studio after sign-off to record a commercial
for a grocery store. Thirty seconds of Values Down Every Isle
and A Bargain At Twice The Price. I started the tape recorder
and opened the microphone for the obligatory volume adjustment

"Test one, two, three" I said in my Mr. Announcerman voice.
Nothing doing on the junky old tape recorder that passed as our
master recorder. The machine only worked half the time and this
evidently was not one of its better days. The volume needle
didn't move at all.

"TEST, I SAID!" Still nothing. I was losing patience. I had
this commercial to do and I was missing a poker game at my
friend's house.


After my potty mouth remark that I thought was only shared
between me and that old tape recorder, I glanced up at the
control room window which gave the announcer visual access to
the main broadcast transmitter. I glanced up just in time to
see the VU meter on the transmitter come to rest. The VU meter
wouldn't work if the transmitter was turned off...so...
obviously...the transmitter was on.

Someone had forgotten to throw the transmitter switch to OFF.
What I thought I was saying in private had gone out over the
air. I had become America's first shock jock long before Howard

Realizing I had committed a monumental flub, I got up out of my
chair and tip-toed to the transmitter and quietly turned it off
(like that would make everything all right). I turned out the
light and left the station. I didn't even record the grocery
store commercial. The announcer in the morning would just have
to tell listeners about the values down every isle from the
written script. I knew it was futile. Tomorrow was Wednesday.
My paycheck would be in Dean's pocket and everyone else in the
station would treat me like a leper for my last two days.

Everything worked out. Yep, Dean fired me, but my next radio
job was at a station that had an honest to goodness production
studio and my new boss reimbursed me for my U-haul rental and
he wore sport shirts (no pocket) and the station was big enough
to have its own chief engineer and he wouldn't let any of us 
disc jockeys anywhere near the transmitter.

I had finally hit the big time.

Don Vanlandingham

The Cloudcroft Online weather station recorded .7 of an inch of
rain since last Thursday. The high was 73 degrees this past
Sunday at 1pm. The week's low was 41 degrees this past Saturday
at 9am.
More funding was announced by the Lincoln National Forest for
forest thinning around the Cloudcroft area.

$850,000 was earmarked for the project.


Bryant is lost.

Bryant is Shauna Henry's Golden Retriever pup. He was staying
with Carol and Allen Henry while their daughter was moving into
her new place in Colorado when he slipped off the property.

He's wearing tags and his name is on the tags. A reward is

If you find Bryant or have any information about his location,
contact us at Cloudcroft.com (1-800-543-3600). Or email us.
The Estate is an upscale resale shop featuring high-quality
vintage and estate clothing and accessories for men and women.
We specialize in unique vests and sweaters, evening and cocktail
dresses, Hawaiian shirts and vintage hats. Friendly, courteous
service to all our customers is a priority. Open Fridays,
Saturdays, Sundays from 11am-5pm, and most Mondays. Email
A thirty minute drive from Cloudcroft.


Q - Last year there was a lot of Miller Moths in the Sacramento
mountains. Have you been invaded again this year?

A - So far, no. Maybe them little rascals reacted to the bad
press and went somewhere else to spend the summer.

Seriously, if there's an entomologist in the readership that
can explain why we're not having a big moth problem this year,
we'd all be interested.
July 3 -- 4th of July Parade & Festivities Timberon. 10am.

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 wanted to write an email to you after being on your mailing
list for a few years. 

I was born in Abilene, Texas and now live with my wife in
Sydney, Australia. When I was in the 2nd grade my family moved
from Abilene to Cloudcroft to open up Cloudcroft Pottery.
Later my parents (George and Wanda Holland) sold the shop to
friends, Don and Donna Ellis and we moved back to Texas. 

It has been great to keep up with Cloudcroft through your
emails because Cloudcroft still holds a special place in my
heart. I have lived in Australia for a number of years and my
wife is Australian. Indeed, on our honeymoon I was able to
take my wife to Cloudcroft and stay at the Lodge, where I
worked for a summer in 1996. We got to see old friends, and 
it was great. 

It's wonderful to be able to keep up with events in Cloudcroft.
My parents have just arrived back in Cloudcroft yesterday, to
work at Cloudcroft Pottery for awhile, giving the Ellises a
break. The most encouraging issue remains the beauty and
friendliness of Cloudcroft – my childhood memories match my
adult experiences. 

Cloudcroft is a great place, thanks for the work on the website
and the emails. 

Adam Holland 

Dear Newsletter:

We were at our place south of Cloudcroft (Bonita Vista - up Hay
Canyon) last weekend. On Saturday we got a nice rain storm with
a bit of hail.

While out for our evening ride down the mountain, this is the
view we saw--less than 2 miles away! The hail on the ground
stretched all the way down the mountain to the Y at Prestridge
Hill Road!

Just thought you would enjoy seeing the winter wonderland on
June 19th! 

Steve Bazar




Dear Newsletter:

I have also observed the same thing as Archie. A public trash
can surrounded by junk that just doesn’t seem to fit the
surroundings. What were these people doing, an overhaul?

Maybe the dump was closed and they chose to leave it at the
campground, or maybe they are just lazy and this was as far
as they could get. I have seen people drive up to a trash can
and through the trash on the ground beside it instead of
getting out of their car.

Dave Carpenter
Loving, NM

Dear Newsletter:

As a one-year resident of Cloudcroft and loving it, we have
experienced so many delightful animal, people, weather,
community, etc. experiences to fill a book. The most recent,
I would like to share with you.
Everyone keeps saying, "Don't feed the raccoons! Don't feed
the raccoons!", but right after we arrived, a mother 'coon
and her 4 babies visited us on a regular basis. Love at first

I keep feeding them and watching them grow bigger and bigger.
Now, I see them on the porch at night, where the lamp casts
light through the window, attracting Miller Moths. My little
friends are smashing the moths against the window and eating
them. They've gotten pretty good at it, too. Maybe a problem
By the way, as a new resident, I wonder if we need to make a
list of suggestions/ideas for people new to the community.
What would yours be? 
Formerly of Central Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Tuesday June 29, 2004....

I start each morning pretty much the same way. It's a habit or
a routine. Okay, so it's a rut! I drive into the office, work
out in the gym, shower then head upstairs to my desk. I put
on a pot of coffee and boot-up my computer. 
The back ground on my monitor is made up of four photographs
taken of two locations in the "Cloud Country West" section of
the mountains. There is a summer and winter photo of each
location placed side by side on the screen.

Next to the monitor is a rock! Not just any rock, mind you,
but a rock retrieved from my property in the aforementioned
"Cloud Country West." While waiting for the coffee to brew, I
hold the rock in my hand and rub it with my thumb while
staring at the monitor screen.

This morning I have the "Moody Blue" "In your wildest dreams"
playing in the background. The rock complains about the heat,
and why I brought him to this god awful place! I have to
reassure Chuck (the rocks first name) that when I move full
time to New Mexico, he'll be coming with me.
On the overhead compartment of my cubicle is a countdown
calendar. I cross off another day, which as of this writing
shows 425 days remaining until I retire. The hard part of all
of this is that I have been able to retire for some time now,
the August 2005 date is just the finish line I had set for
myself. When I'm asked by co-workers how many days I have left,
I'm fond of saying; "425 days or just one really bad day!"
Why am I telling you all of this? You see I get to work early
each day and I need to do something until time to clock-in
(this part was incase the boss reads this.) I'm trying to get
some time off so that I can come visit the mountains the
weekend after the forth.
I'm not into politics but I lean more to the right than to 
the left. Today that "left side guy" is visiting the Valley
and it is part of my job to assist in protecting him, I hate
wearing a tie. So I guess I'd better get moving besides Chuck
is starting to bug me about coming along when I visit in a
week or so. I shouldn't have said anything!
Take care all...
Bill White
Phoenix, AZ

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