September 3, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

From 1 to 10 on the loner scale, I guess I'm around a 7.

It's not that I don't like people. I think I shy away from new
associations because I'm afraid of the impression I'll make.
That's why I was never much good as a salesman. I couldn't take
the rejection.

It's not one of those Oprah Winfrey wide, wet-eyed stories.
It's not a phobia derived from a childhood trauma or a lousy
grade school teacher. It's just that I feel more comfortable
sitting in the stands watching the people than I do down on the
field playing the game.

I got a call last week from Chad...a guy that said he was an
avid reader of The Newsletter. He and his family were from
Minnesota and in the village on a camping trip and he wanted to
meet Peggy and me. I searched the excuse file in my memory bank
and couldn't come up with one. I told him we would meet them
for coffee at The Western Cafe the next morning.

I value my friendships but I am slow to warm up to new people.
Peggy will vouch for that. She said she thought I was a snob
when she first met me. For me, meeting new people is a little
like a blind date. Everybody involved is usually disappointed.
I envy folks that can make friends easily.

We arrived at The Western. Peggy ordered breakfast. I ordered
coffee. I was too nervous to eat. I forgot to ask Chad what he
looked like or what he would be wearing. I made some of the
other diners in the room pretty uncomfortable by approaching
their table and asking "What's your name?"

Peggy was putting jelly on her toast that I was giving serious
thought to grabbing it away from her when a family of five
walked in.

They looked around the room like they were looking for somebody
but everybody does that when they walk into a restaurant so I
couldn't just jump up and make a fool of myself (again) by
asking "What's your name?"

Peggy said, "Did you hear that?"

I was wrapped in my paranoia and still fixated on her jelly and
toast. "No...what?"

"All I heard was the waitress telling that guy over there 'I
have no idea'. Suppose he was asking about you?"

"He could have been asking for directions."

"Don, you gotta ask him."

My comfort level was taking a nose dive. For the fifth time in
15 minutes, I stood up in a crowded restaurant and approached a
table of strangers and asked "What's your name?"

"My name is Chad...you must be Don."

It's a small restaurant. I think there was a sigh of relief
from the other customers.

Peg and I were invited to Chad's table and finally the other
diners could eat their breakfast in peace. We introduced
ourselves and Chad introduced his family and we talked for about
30 minutes.

They were really neat people. The kids were fun to talk to.
They said they loved Cloudcroft. They thought I was a local
celebrity. My ego wouldn't allow me to confess more people
around here know Tony the UPS driver than know me. It was
really a good time.

When we got into the pickup I said to Peggy "That went well."

What I was thinking was how many opportunities I have missed to
meet people like Chad and his family because I was afraid of
new people.

My friend Lewis thrives on meeting people. My father-in-law
never met a stranger. I wish I could be more like them but I'm
not and I don't know if I can change.

But we met Chad and his family and for that I am grateful.

Maybe now I'll reach out a little more and be less fearful of
new acquaintances.

Or maybe I'll just go back into the stands and watch.

Don Vanlandingham

A rainy week. Almost a half inch both Monday and Tuesday and
the threat of rain at press time Wednesday. Total rainfall for
the calendar year just over 16 inches.

High for the reporting period 76 Friday (8-27) at noon. Low was
41 on Tuesday (8-31).

For a complete current Cloudcroft weather picture 24-7 go to
Cloudcroft.com. It's free.
Water hauling to the village began on Friday, according to the
Mountain Monthly.


Electric rates will go up an average of $4 per month for Otero
County Electric Cooperative customers beginning in January.
In the Heart of the Village, this antique-style 3 bedroom, more
than 1,500 sq. ft. cabin is the perfect place to stay during
your family's visit to Cloudcroft. Coyote Cabin has 2 queen
beds, 1 full size, 2 twins (roll away available), and features
a fully-equipped kitchen, fireplace (firewood furnished), cable
TV, VCR, full-size washer and dryer, and deck with charcoal
grill. Children welcome, walk to shopping, dining, and parks.
For rates and availability, email us at lisadawn@zianet.com or
call toll free 1-866-588-2583.
The next official tour of the site of the first atom bomb
explosion will be Saturday, October 2.


Q - When is the best time to visit Cloudcroft to witness the
foliage change?

A - The apex of the foliage change each season depends mainly
on the moisture and temperature along with other lesser relevant

There is already a noticeable change in the colors of the
aspens which indicates an earlier than usual color change apex.

If cooler temperatures prevail, look for the foliage change in
late September or early October.
September 3 -- Cloudcroft Labor Day Fiesta

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 -- Lumberjack day. Cloudcroft.

September 18, 19 -- Run to the Aspens Car Show. Cloudcroft.

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.

September 25 -- Mountain Garden Club Style Show.

October 2 -- Flea Market/Garage Sale. 9am - 5pm. Cloudcroft 
Elementary School Parking Lot. Cost of each booth: $15. The 
$15 space rental goes to Cloudcroft Schools. (505) 687-3263.

October 2, 3 -- Oktoberfest. Cloudcroft. Aspencade tours.

October 16-17 -- High Rolls Apple Festival. Over 50 arts/crafts
vendors, local apples and apple products, food, kids' stuff,
and entertainment. Admission, parking, and ambiance are free.
For further information visit www.highrollsfestivals.com or
call (505) 682-1151.

November 27 -- Beginning of Christmas in Cloudcroft and Santa

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

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.

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the piece on the Tipton-Turner families. My parents
bought that place in 1938. At that time it was 240 acres. 
Growing glads was better than growing cabbage, but it was still
not quite a living. 

Richard's campground idea has been the only way to make a 
living there.

Robert C. Mitchell
Ellensburg, WA

Dear Newsletter:

Your talking points were right on Don. Most politicians are 
great actors, but few actors are great politicians. Of course 
there are exceptions, but more so in the first part than the 

Don Lee

Dear Newsletter:

I understand what you mean about TV news. The problem with 
most news is the slant they put on it. It doesn’t take very 
long to figure out the political leanings of most of the 
stations. If you don’t believe me, just watch the Today Show 
a little while! 

Just remember, "You can’t believe everything you hear." And
with some news agencies, you shouldn’t believe most of what
you hear. We could apply the same to campaign ads! Do the 
I look forward to your newsletter every week. Thanks! 
Debra Wade
Hobbs, NM

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks again for another nifty newsletter! Once again you've 
spoken for the masses. I think. I hope?

I was about to jump all over your comment that "...we all 
watch TV..." being as how we wisely dumped our tube (and the
cable and the satellite dish which we could never get to work
and the UHF antenna) about 6 years ago. Then I realized that, 
sure 'nuf, my husband and I, too, wind up watching TV whether 
we like it or not (the most likely scenario) every time
we head to a local restaurant or are off on a fling at a motel 

While we don't watch TV on a continuing day-in/day-out basis, 
we have nevertheless been exposed to our fair share of stuff 
we don't like during the intervening years. (So much for 

One of the more frustrating facts of "modern life" is that what
seems to be the moral fiber of our country (world?) is laid out
on the tube for all the world to see--and it's not often a very
pretty sight. Or sound.

Like you, we have long since given on up ever seeing or hearing
"just the facts" in a news report (wonder how many people 
remember Dragnet days?).

We've grown more than weary of seeing the reporters' sad faces
when a report of the triumph of a common sense issue is given;
and, conversely, being subjected to delighted voice tones when
a report citing an instance where common sense has failed. 

Of course, all things are relative, I guess, which means that 
"common sense" is likely open to interpretation. In the 
meantime, the "land that I love..." is being led around by the
nose by a bunch of opinionated talking heads. To quote the 
famous Charlie Brown: "Arrgghhhh!"

Maybe if enough of us would let our feelings be known somebody 
might pay attention? Nahhh....it's not the American way any 
more. Hollywood & ABCCBSNBCCNNFOX et al obviously know more 
than we do. obviously. George Orwell was off by a few years but
his day is coming, I fear.

In the meantime, we pick up what we can from the 'net news and,
while we may or may not be getting the straight story, at least 
we're not subjected to tonal nuances & smirks or frowns while 
the story is put forth--all cleverly designed to take us down 
the same primrose path the announcer is on.

Stay the course--you're on a roll, Don!

A puppy story. Why we don't have one. Our near neighbor has 
recently taken (or vice versa, i.e., been taken) possession of
a new pup. We never see the cute li'l thing, but we hear it 
each evening as the doors are closed and the lights go off. 

So sad. You see she/he/it is having to learn that it's going to
be an outside dog. Not at all his favorite role in life. Those 
sad yips and whines & cries are heartbreaking (but necessary, 
I guess). I'm going to enjoy that dog when it grows up and 
learns not to do that! We love our neighbors' pets but don't
have the heart to start all over again with a new puppy. 
Absolutely heartbreaking that that pooor li'l baby should have
to learn all those lessons so young in life. Povre cito. Sigh.

And on that happy note, I'll close. Hang tough!

Bobbie - a native New Mexican from the days when Presbyterian 
Hospital in Albuquerque was a one building affair, about the 
time the screened in TB Sanitarium porches were either glassed 
in or bulldozed down. I can't remember which.

Dear Newsletter:

Another dog story that brings tears to my eyes is the following:
I thought you might like it.
Forrest Lain
Rainbow Bridge 
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. 
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone
here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and 
hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play 
together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our
friends are warm and comfortable. 
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health
and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and 
strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days
and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except 
for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to 
them, who had to be left behind. 
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one 
suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are
intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from
the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him
faster and faster. 
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend 
finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to 
be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your 
hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more 
into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your 
life but never absent from your heart. 
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... 
Author unknown... 

Dear Newsletter:

What a wonderful newsletter. I have a friend who just moved to 
Cloudcroft and I am trying to locate him, Ken Kern from Kansas.
This is an interesting character, the kind you would meet on
"On The Road with Charles Kerault". I'll remember the guy's 
name probably when I send off this note.

Ken will probably find the local bar and listen to the local's
stories. Well, we all have a story or two, like the time I got
hit by a race car, sailed on an aircraft carrier (civilian 
visiting my Naval aviator brother), flying in a hot air balloon
over the Rio Grande for the first time and falling down an 
embankment while photographing a snow scene. Some simple things
but interesting to others, just like others' stories are ever 
so interesting to me.

I worked in Washington DC for a number of years, lived in 
England for a couple, returned to WDC and then moved to 
Albuquerque NM for two years and now I'm in GA, where I grew 
up, though Ken says I never grew up. That's another story. But
I am determined to return to NM. There's a magic there.
Guess that's why Ken Kern moved there.

If you see him around, tell him I'm still alive and able to 
take nourishment, that's my standard line. And I'm still 
running. Listen to some of Ken's yarns and he has a few and 
tell him some of yours. He's a car racing fan, SCCA, like me.

And by the way, I'm a female, though you wouldn't expect it by
my name. Yeah, it's a girl thang! And I will return to NM and
definitely visit Cloudcroft. The NM mountains intrigue me and
they bekon!


"O. C." Carlisle
Emerson, GA

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