October 22, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

And you think YOU had a bad day.

Some people are lucky enough to have good teeth. Teeth are the
first things people see when they meet you. You smile and say
"glad to meet ya" and they're saying to themselves wow, nice
teeth or whoa, this guy has a smile problem.

Us smile compromised people aren't alone. It is documented
that Robert Redford, Julia Roberts and other famous smiles are
dentally enhanced. It is said Clark Gable had false teeth long
before his Rhett Butler days.

I'm not a vain person but I don't want to offer that negative
image the first time I meet someone. I'm 55 and, for the past
15 or so years, my teeth have been a problem. I've spent much
too much time in dentist's chairs with judgmental dentists
staring down at me with their face masks wiggling as they talk,
saying "Don, you don't take good enough care of your teeth."

I do my best. I brush my teeth every morning. I floss. OK...
sometimes I floss.

Today was the day I picked out to improve my smile. I lost a
tooth on the upper right several years ago. It was replaced by
a dental bridge but after ten years it came loose. For a few
years I have had a hole in my smile. Enough was enough.

8:30 this morning.

"Mr. Vanlandingham, you're next"

The dental technician was all smiles as she led the way to "the
chair". She sensed my fears and said something about reading
my columns every week and how she liked them, but all I could
think about was that chair.

Dr. Gonzales did a wonderful job. Lot's of jokes and lots of
painkiller. After he was finished I was ready for a new dental

I decided to make this cosmetic job a team effort. I used my
Alamogordo dentist to do the prep work, then it was on to
Juarez for the new dental bridge. My decision was part
clinical and part economic. I've found my state-side dentist
is much more pain-conscious so I decided to use him for invasive
work such as root canals, extractions, take-care-of-your-teeth
lectures, etc. I use my dentist in Juarez for the cosmetic
stuff. Crowns, bridges and advice on the best place in Juarez
for smothered beef burritos and Pina Coladas.

I told a little white lie to Dr. Gonzales. I said I was going
to Lubbock for the cosmetic work. I don't think Alamogordo
dentists like Juarez dentists very much and I wanted to avoid
any condescension. Fact is, cosmetic dentistry in Juarez is
just as good as state side for about one fifth the cost.

Going to the Juarez dentist can be fun if you keep the right
attitude. It's a real social study.

In my Alamogordo dentist's office, there are about a dozen
chairs in the waiting room. It's a well-appointed room with lots
of potted plants and Muzac. Everyone speaks in low tones and
they say "Mr" a lot. I've told them several times to call me
Don, but it always reverts back to Mr.

In Juarez the waiting room is huge. 100 seats at least. On
both ends, like goals on a basketball court, there are large
screen TVs with DVD movies playing to placate those waiting.
There's always a young lady passing out free soft drinks and
sugar cookies. I guess the sugar cookies are to keep you coming
back for more dental work.

The wait can be a while. They ask that you make an appointment
but that's a bit of a joke. It's really first come, first
served. Sometimes you have to wait over an hour...but when you
figure you're saving hundreds of dollars and getting good work
the DVD movie ain't so bad...even if you've seen it before.
Knowing there would be a wait, I took a radio with an earphone
but that device went unused. It was illuminating to pass the
time talking to the other waiting patients.

They come from all over. About 80 percent Gringos from North
of the border. They're there for the low cost dental work. I
talked to a young guy who flew in from Dallas. He sported a
glorious smile and he said it hadn't always been that way. He
said it was his sixth trip to the clinic. He was there for
capping. He said he had saved enough money by going to Juarez
for his work to pay for this semester's college at SMU. He was
a drama major. He said to be an actor you had to have a good
smile. I started to say something about Clark Gable but he
probably already knew that story.

My name was called. Standing up was a trick because my legs had
gone to sleep.

There's a hierarchy at the clinic. The "hosts" wear business
suits. They're the dentists that have seniority and act as
ambassadors and interpreters for the Spanish speaking dentists
(although there is no doubt in my mind the dentists speak great
English, but it's all a part of the procedure).

In the examination room the interpreter asks what they can do
for me. I tell him and he relays the information in Spanish
to the presiding dentist. With a whir, the dentist adjusts the
chair and I'm suddenly prone and a bright light is in my face.
He snaps on his latex gloves and commands "open". He digs into
my mouth for a quick examination. Then he stands up and there's
a quick foreign language exchange between him and the
interpreter. Lots of hand gestures and sometimes the discussion
gets heated. Finally, the interpreter turns to me and smiles.

"What you want...we can do. Seven hundred dollars. Guaranteed."

I don't like being left out of the language loop...but money is
money and I stand to save a lot. My stateside dentist quoted

"Let's do it," I say.

The procedure begins. The pain killer shots aren't so bad. The
whizzing of the dental tools don't bother me. It's the exchange
between the dentist and the young female technician. They talk
and they laugh and they laugh and they talk. All in Spanish. All
the while they're working on my mouth.

I've got to learn Spanish.

The dentist says "open" and "turn this way" and "spit". He's
good. He knows his job. I know he knows more English than open
and turn and spit.

I'm sitting here at the computer in my office in Cloudcroft 24
hours later. No pain. No after affects. I have a Clark Gable

Don't get me wrong. It was no picnic. I don't want to go back
unless I have to. My only regret is they called me in for my
work before I saw the end of a dang good DVD movie.

Don Vanlandingham

Cool and breezy. No new precipitation since late last week.
Hi since last Thursday, 62.9 at 11:40am October 16. Low 31 at
midnight October 15.

Precipitation since the beginning of the year: 21 inches.

Weather note: Snow will be recorded on our weather station as
actual moisture. Since the snow must melt in our collector for
it to register, the amount of snowfall may be delayed sometime
after the actual day it fell.
Pictures are very popular with our readers, so we decided to
include at least one picture of interesting sights around the
Sacramentos in each issue.

Our first one is probably the most photographed area of all...
the old railroad trestle.


So far the most successful football season in recent memory for
the Cloudcroft Bears football team.

The Bears beat Capitan 42-0 last Saturday, bringing their season
record to 6-1 (1-0 in District play).

The bears have two more regular season games and are on pace to
play in the first playoff game November 6th...which will
probably be played in Cloudcroft.

Cloudcroft home games are played Saturday afternoons since the
new football field is not yet equipped with lighting.
Still open. Will be until the first winter weather.

At 9,000 feet above sea level, The Lodge Golf Course is one of
the highest and most unique courses in North America. Built in
1899, the course is governed by the Scottish tradition of
playing different tees and separate flags on each hole. This
exquisite nine-hole course, when played twice, becomes a
challenging 18-hole round.
In Albuquerque.


Q - We're fleeing to the warmer weather. Who in the Cloudcroft
area should we call to winterize our cabin?

A - Any of our area plumbers can handle the job. You could
call one of them or check with one of the local building

Do it yourself only if you know how. Winterizing can be a
tricky proposition and if not done properly could result in
damaged pipes.

Be sure your water is turned off at the main connection.
October 23 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Mescalero. 2pm.

October 29 -- Cloudcroft Bears football vs. Carrizozo. 7pm.

November 3 -- High Noon book club. 12pm. In the library. Bring
your lunch and join us in discussing A WALK TO REMEMBER by
Nicholas Sparks.

November 20 -- Chamber Banquet. Lodge Pavilion. Cocktails at
6pm, dinner 7pm. Tickets available from the Chamber office and
Chamber Board Members.

November 27 -- Beginning of Christmas in Cloudcroft and Santa

December 4 -- ULLR-fest.

December 11 -- Pet Parade on Burro Street. Cloudcroft.

February 4, 5, 6, 7 -- Mardi Gras celebration. Cloudcroft

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 Wednesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.
Dear Newsletter:

Remember me? Admiring Cloudcroft as a unique spot on Earth

I assumed what a good place Cloudcroft is to experience
important moments in our lives. Then out of a sudden, an
invitation to the wedding arrived yesterday. The very first
one from Lubbock, Tx. - that's where the bride comes from. But,
and that's the point - let me quote "Right after the wedding
and the reception Emil and I are going to Cloudcroft, NM. to
spend the night. (Remember Cloudcroft?!)" 

Well, if I remember? She has no idea I've been reading all your
Newsletters since I logged in last year. She doesn't know I'm
contacting you now. Thus, considering the time of the reception
4 * 4 hundred people, those "just married" should be in 
Cloudcroft by 31st October this year.

I regret I can't be there. Maybe I'll be in time for their first
baby to be baptized... in C..., NM.
Responding to your TT philosophy professor's theory on pleasure
machines, I saw a TV movie a million years ago called "Star 
Dust". An old farmer invents such a machine for his wife to make
her happier. Well it worked, but a bottle of wine was necessary,

Thank you for your Newsletter.
Andrzej Jastrzebski
Krakow, Poland

Dear Newsletter:

I have been getting your newsletter for sometime and I have
enjoyed it tremendously. Keep up the good work. 

We have been to Cloudcroft a number of times, usually in July,
and enjoy going there very much. I thought the pictures were 
great of the trees and snow.

Floyd & Betty Embry
Farwell, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Your story about moving from Lubbock to Cloudcroft was 
reassuring. My wife and I are on the cusp of doing exactly the 
same thing within the few months (except we'll be leaving the
Dallas/Ft. Worth Area, not Lubbock--I left there back in the 
late 60's). 

I'm glad to hear that you still think you made the right 

Bill Lowe 

Dear Newsletter:

I forwarded your website to our Marine Corps son in Ramadi,
Iraq, plus his wife and little son at Quantico, VA.

This past July, they drove over 1,900 miles to be with us in
the Sacramentos before he headed to Iraq. They brought their 
two dogs and put them in a kennel in Alamogordo. Later, they
learned there were kennels in Cloudcroft.

The internet is something. Just now, after he browsed around
in your website and enjoyed the great aspen and snow photos, he
suggested that I write you and recommend that the kennels in
Alamogordo and Cloudcroft be added to your site. So, there, I
have done it.

I, too, am from Texas Tech. While at Tech, we found New Mexico.
Upon graduation, I was hired by the Forest Service and worked 
on four forests, the last being the Lincoln. Thus, we have a
couple of acres way up Hay Canyon and intend to finally build
a cabin next year.

Congratulations that this website is paying the bills. It would
be a shame if you had to shut it down and go on to something

Keep up the good work!

Jack and Sheila Carroll,
Brownwood, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the snow. My family and I visited for two weeks at
our "driveway" in High Nogal (it's a start...) and met even
more really good people this time around. Don't know how you
pulled off the early snow, my kids won't shut up about it
(home schoolers).

Hello to Mark and Chris; Mike and Pat; Geoffrey; Mike and Sue;
Frank, Dottie, SmokieJo and Honey; Thelma and Kelsey; Frank
Patterson at Vision Ford; John Kass and Jackie at Double Eagle;
the two guys who hung my transformer and power lines from the
OCEC; Robert at Rentschler's; and Richard Rumph, somewhere 
near Capitan. Oh, and Jim and Janice at Green Mountain, 
always a pleasure.

Good folks, good visit. Thanks to all and God bless.

Dick Bobbi Nathaniel Asher
Biloxi, MS

Dear Newsletter:

I enjoyed the letter from Clint Callender of El Paso about
"roasted green chilies" -- I never had any (as far as I know).
Around this part of the state, if it's not associated with 
Bar-B-Que, you don't get any peppers, unless it is in a jar
labelled "Pace".

Let me know more - how to cook them little critters & how to
cook with them.

Hungry for variety and thankful to get it,
Jeff Carter
Elgin, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

We so enjoyed the pictures in your last newsletter. We will 
HAVE to plan a trip to your locale during the time of the
season when your colors are so beautiful. 

Our last trip up to Cloudcroft obliged us non-snow Texans with
two beautiful flurries on the same day. We are planning on
visiting again with our Austin friends sometime in February. 

We always have so much fun relaxing and enjoying the surrounds
and the friendly people on Burro Street.
Harry & Pat Guillote
Temple, Tx

Dear Newsletter:

You already have to best pleasure machine invented: you live
in Cloudcroft! 

I guess if you have to have a misery machine, you can include
the days that the snow, ice, etc. keep you from doing things
you would like to do.

How many of us have dreamed of, and not had the courage, to do
what you and your wife did when you left Lubbock to move to
Cloudcroft? I am sure it was rough, sometimes very rough, but
the pleasure is surely worth the pain. 

I envy you. I am sure that my wife will never let me just chuck
it all and move to Cloudcroft, so I have to live vicariously
through your newsletter. The times that I have spent in 
Cloudcroft have been some of the happiest I have ever spent. 
And my children will always have memories of the cabin we rent
in 16 Springs Canyon, Sunday brunch at The Lodge, shopping in
the same shops over and over again, but always finding new
treasures, the beauty of the trees and the sky, etc. It
doesn't get any better than this.

Personally, I hope that few people will emulate you because I
want Cloudcroft to stay the way it is forever. Thanks for
sharing it with us.

Lee Phillips
Lubbock, near New Mexico

Dear Newsletter:

Today's newsletter certainly brought back memories of days 
past. In October of 1944, I saw the Sacramento Mountains of
New Mexico for the first time. I think it was at that time 
that I swore, like so many others who write to the CC
newsletter, that someday I would make my home in those
beautiful mountains. 

It was September of 1969, that I quit the best job I ever had
and moved my family to Sacramento, NM. Like you, many close 
friends and family, including my two teenage daughters, thought
I had lost my mind. 

For the next 25 years, also like you, we had many ups and downs
and even a couple of times I thought maybe I had slipped a cog
or two making that move, but today there are no regrets. If it
were not for my wife's poor health, we would still reside in
our beautiful home deep in Hay Canyon. 

So thanks for the memories and all the pictures. This will be
the first time since we moved back to Carlsbad in 1994, that we
won't be able to make that one day trip to view the fall color
change. I hope the early snow fall is an omen of a wetter 
winter than we've had in years. All the springs certainly need
On another subject, predicting weather by reading the "bear 
grease." My wife owned and operated the Hay Canyon Store for
many years. Gordon Wimsett gave her several jars of bear grease
and taught her how to read it. She kept it in the window at the
store and it became quit a conversation piece. It does work,
but only on a short term scale or a few days ahead. Gorden said
he could predict the season ahead, but we never figured that
one out. 

Mr. Wimsett was a great friend, his son Steve still lives at 
Twin Forks the last I heard.
Dick Trone
Carlsbad, NM 

Dear Newsletter:

I was so sorry about "biggin" but time marches on. You will get
over your tree, but I know how you feel. When they built the
house next door to us, there was the biggest pine I think I
have ever encountered in this part of the country and 
unfortunately, that tree was located right in the middle of
where that house was to be built. 

That tree had a big part in my wife and I selecting the lot
where we built our home. When we built 30 years ago, we were
one of the first in the neighborhood. The builder said that 
since the lot was pre-construction, that the lot in end could
contain one of the four utility structures such as the street 
light, the transformer, the telephone terminal or the fire 
hydrant, well, in the end we wound up with all four...such 
luck...go figure! And to make matters worse, we lost the big
tree next door...such is life. 
Thanks so much for the photos of the fall colors and especially
the bonus photos of the snow...that's why we love it there...
could it be any better?
We don't know Beth, but we feel her pain. Please let her know
that we are all praying for her and we are so sorry for what
she is going through. 
Keep up the great work, really enjoy the newsletter every 
week...keeps me focused on why we need to move there. 
Paul & Claudia Smith
Spring, Texas

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