January 14, 2005
Dear Subscriber:

I don't pretend to be a fashion plate.

I know how to put on a tux. I can tie a bow tie. I know what
a Windsor Knot is. Those things just don't excite me.

One among many of the reasons I moved to the mountains was the
dress code here tends to me more relaxed. I've been to two
funerals this past year and on both occasions I was the most
formally dressed. I wore a tie when no one else at the
gathering did. Not that the departed minded. They were both
close friends of mine and they never saw me in a tie.

I like what has become known as Western Semiformal. Duds for
things like funerals and weddings in these parts; a pair of
well-pressed and unstained jeans, boots, a nice pressed and
starched white or pastel shirt...tie or open collar with a 
blazer or suit jacket.

I still go with the tie. A hold over I guess from my city days
or maybe I like to stick out in a crowd.

We were invited to a dinner party this week. I don't go out
much. People around here know I'm pretty reclusive. This was a
special occasion. Old friends from my home town in Texas
getting together.

An hour before we left for the party I realized I'd better get
a grip on my wardrobe.

I had what I thought was my work jeans and my go-to-town jeans.
It seems over the past year I had done some work in my go-to-
town jeans and couldn't find a pair that didn't have some kind
of stain on them.

It was my fault. Peggy only washes my clothes along with hers.
Otherwise she doesn't mess with them. We had an agreement when
we first got married 20 years ago. I iron my own shirts and
pants and I don't iron or wear hers. She nor I was aware of the
fact that I was precariously short of go-to-town clothes.

For some reason for this party I wanted to dress cum-ba-yah. I
had this image of me dressed like Andy Williams on one of his
old Christmas specials. Before the party our hostess said they
still had her Christmas tree up. That's probably what started
my mind working that way. I hadn't worn a sweater since the
first Bush was president so when I asked Peggy where my
sweaters were I should have expected that twisted look on her

She never answered my question directly, but I expect those old
sweaters had been history for a long time. She, after all, had
organized and re-organized the closets and bureaus in the house
at least a dozen times since the last time I wore a sweater.

I put on a sweatshirt. I could tell from Peggy's look that
wasn't going to work. Windbreaker? No. My old Texas Tech
jersey? Peggy actually laughed out loud.

"Why not go to the party like you?" Peggy said.

I did, and I guess it was all right, except for my foot wear.

I made a mental note after the party that I needed new shoes.
Specifically...boots. Formal, go-to-town boots.

I have three pair of boots...all designed for work. Insulated,
water proof, waffle treaded, steel toed. You know. BOOTS.

I needed a pair of sissy go to the dance cowboy boots. "These
boots are made for not getting dirty" boots.

It's a thing Peggy and I do every once in a while. We drove to
Alamogordo today in separate vehicles. She goes hither to
attack her shopping list and I go yon to attack mine and we
meet for lunch.

Call us crazy.

After lunch, when I went yon I bought a new pair of boots.

I modelled my new boots for Peggy when we got home. She laughed.
My feelings were hurt. After she quit laughing she explained
she wasn't used to seeing me in that kind of boots and that she
thought they were cool...she guessed.

I have decided I will keep my new sissy boots. I'm looking
forward to the next time I get a chance to wear them.

That will probably be Christmas of 2005.

Don Vanlandingham

Warm late last week turning colder this week. Only a trace of
new precipitation.

Hi during the reporting period 55 at midday Wednesday (1-10).
Lo 18 at 3am (1-6).

Total precip for the year, 1.36 inches.

Up to the minute weather information for Cloudcroft is available
free at Cloudcroft.com.
Once upon a time last year,
'bout nine, ten months - or so,
We packed our lives and moved them
To the Sacramentos.

Been through the spring and summer,
Enjoyed the autumn, too.
Now, in the days of winter,
A cozy fire will do.

A nasty cold this season
Has sidetracked me a bit.
I've missed my daily Village hikes,
But I'll very soon be fit.

No regrets e'er linger,
No "what if's" plague the mind.
(Well, maybe "Olive Garden" salad...breadsticks...)
Oh, get a grip - I'm fine!

I don't miss rat race mindsets
Or calculate the time
It takes for me to get somewhere.
Life truly is sublime.

No more freeway hassles,
No traffic snarls that grind;
Instead, I've traded crowds of folks
For quiet - peace of mind.

I love this place!
View from Sunspot Highway to the Tularosa Basin:


The Cloudcroft Checkerspot Butterfly will not be designated as
an endangered species. US Fish and Wildlife says threats
against the insect's existence have lessened.
Cloudcroft Hotel & Gift Shop--Historic hotel in downtown
Cloudcroft. Newly remodeled, 9 rooms with kitchenettes and
balconies overlooking Burro Avenue available. Sits above the
Cloudcroft Mall with gift shops, candy shop, restaurant and
coffee house. For more information please call (505) 682-3414
or email us at cloudcrofthotel@zianet.com.


Q - I got a speeding ticket while I was in New Mexico. I live
in Texas. Do I have to pay it?

A - New Mexico has an agreement with most other states. If you
fail to pay a traffic fine incurred in New Mexico, law
enforcement officials in your state have the mandate to enforce
that fine as if you got the ticket in the state in which you

Crossing the border back into Texas (or most other states)
doesn't protect you from New Mexico traffic violations or visa
January 12-25 (4:15pm). January 26-Feb. 8 (4:30pm) -- Sunset
Stroll Nature Walk. White Sands National Monument. 1 (505)-

January 14 -- Simon and Son (music). Flickinger Center,
Alamogordo. 7:30pm.

January 15 -- The Dutton's (music). Ruidoso Schools Performing
Arts Center. 7:30pm.

January 25 -- Colorado Children's Chorale. Flickinger Center.
Alamogordo. 7:30pm.

February 4 -- Violinist Linda Wang. Flickenger Center.
Alamogordo. 7:30pm.

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

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:

In response to Mary Burnet Porter's e-mail regarding the loss
of her niece--her family is being prayed for. Debbie was a
victim of a horrible crime. The loss of her life will be
forever heavy on the hearts of the many people that loved
her. She is not an afterthought.

Cathy Vaughn
Friendswood, Texas

[See Newsletter 246 for an account of the tragic loss of
Otero County Sheriff's Deputy Robert Hedman and Deborah


Dear Newsletter:

My wife and I moved "out west" to Alamogordo, permanently
three years ago. We have been visiting this area for over 15
years. As we drive throughout the rolling hills and countryside,
my mind always drifts off to the days of long ago with cowboys
and Indians, badgemen and outlaws galloping along.
It wasn't until I had read the Alamogordo newspaper about the
top news items of 2004 that I realized that I had crossed paths
with Deputy Hedman. It was over 8 months ago while eating at a
truckstop on the north side of Alamogordo and Deputy Hedman
walked in. 

Immediately my thoughts went to thinking about how proud this
man must feel to be continuing the lifestyle and tradition of
the "true west" by being a deputy sheriff, wearing a 5 pointed
star badge, a western hat, a gun, and cowboy boots. The
thoughts never crossed my mind that he would some day pay the
maximum price by laying down his life while protecting us. How
sadly naive I was.
Lawman vs. outlaw has never had more meaning than as it does
right now. 
Thoughts and prayers to all,
Al Jacob

Dear Newsletter:

Misha was located locked inside a residence in the village. 
She is now back at home. Thank you for running the notice in
the newsletter.
Thank you again, 
Jeff & Crystal

[We are very pleased to hear you have recovered Misha.]

Dear Newsletter:

I want to thank you for your newsletter, I find it full of
interesting thoughts and information. Would you please tell me
exactly where Cloudcroft village is located, as I would in the
future like to visit your area. 

Thanks for your response.

F. Jerry Wimsatt
Louisville, KY.

[Here's a state map showing Cloudcroft:]


[If you want an idea of what Cloudcroft looks like from space,
look here:]


[Here's a brief history of Cloudcroft:]


[Here's a wonderful panoramic view of Cloudcroft's main street
created by Kit Richards:]


Dear Newsletter:

My wife and I listened to you for many years on the radio in
Lubbock. I had heard once that you'd moved to Cloudcroft and
I was a little puzzled.

Now my wife and I own a cabin at Chippeway. We bought it in
November and have already spent 20 days there, including
Christmas and New Years

The only thing I'm puzzled about now is "how will I be able
to spend enough time selling real estate in Lubbock to afford
to spend my time in Cloudcroft?"

On the subject of roses, there is a large rose bush (apparently
a wild rose) growing in front of our cabin. It is literally
covered in "rose hips". It must have been beautiful back in
the spring and summer. It looks like it needs to be cut back,
but not being a "rose gardener" I really don't know how to take
care of it. If anyone can advise a newcomer to the mountains on
how to treat a mountain rosebush, I would be grateful.

Jack and Sandy Bains,
Lubbock, TX

Dear Newsletter:

My husband and I are the proud new owners of a cabin in
Cloudcroft. We recently enjoyed our first week of winter bliss
in Cloudcroft. One night I watched in wonder as the snow fell
in huge soft flakes against the backdrop of the towering forest
all night. Like a child I felt the world open up outside my
picture window. 

In our walks, not a car went by that there wasn't a wave, in
town strangers chatted comfortably over delicious homemade
potato soup, or selecting winter gear for snow tubing. Thank
goodness the hardware store had a snow shovel left! 
We want to especially thank our neighbor, a former Cloudcroft
football star, who came out at night to assist my husband,
Donald, as he struggled with a slipped tirechain. Only a few
100 feet from our cabin our truck floundered on the icy hill.
It was dark and we didn't have a flashlight. We were blocking
the single plowed path or we could have walked the rest of the
way! Some digging, sand, adjustment of chain, and a big push
got us up the last stretch of the hill.
Reading your newsletter helps us stay connected to our second
home. We can't wait for our next stay.

Thank you from,
Donald and Roberta Sajda
Spring, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

You've made a few comments in the past about the little
recording studio you ran and I have wondered if it was the
one I went to back in 1998 (I believe).

I now know, from your last letter, that it was indeed! And I
thought you should know that I, for one, am glad you did it,
and I'm willing to bet there are others out there with
similar stories!

I recorded 2 songs in your little studio, one was Amazing
Grace and that little tape has brought lots of joy to many in
my family. I'm not bragging or anything, I'm really just an
average singer, I love to sing in church, I do specials and
sing at weddings and such -- but my parents think I should
have been a pro, of course that's what parents are supposed
to think -- right? 

Well, when I came home from that trip and gave my parents that
tape, you would have thought I had accomplished stardom! They
keep it in the truck, play it all the time and even played it
at my grandmothers and my uncles funerals (as I'm not sure I
could have done it live due to emotion). You can't imagine the
visitors to my parents home that have had to listen to that
recording, (I think my parents want to re-name me Reba) well
you know how parents are! Don, I'm a grown woman, mother of 4
and grandmother of 3-but to my parents, well you know....

So, thanks for the memories, while you were just trying to
make a living, you touched another's life! That tape will be
played at both my parents funerals, mine, my children's....etc,
etc. It's now a family tradition!

Ellen Welch
Goliad, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I just now subscribed to your newsletter, after reading your
January 7 issue, which was forwarded to me by a close friend,
a lovely, warm, caring woman and native of Cloudcroft. If
she's a sample of the values of your area, then I want a lot
more of both.
I've had the good fortune of having visited Cloudcroft twice
now, and I can't begin to tell you the pull it has on me. The
countryside is absolutely beautiful, and gives me a feeling
of a better day and time, a slower-paced lifestyle in which
people mean something, aren't just faces and numbers and
bottom lines.
The whole feeling I get after visiting is that of close-knit
family, a feeling I have missed and long for desperately.
Coming from an apparently dysfunctional family in which my 2
brothers, sister, mom, and I rarely get together, the warmth
that surrounds a person in the shops and from talking to the
local people provides a healing that just can't be found in
the big city life. The stress and constant rush and push of
the congested city...what I wouldn't give to escape to the
mountains of New Mexico!
This last trip was made totally spur of the moment. Having 
initially turned down an invitation to be part of my 
girlfriend's parents' 50th wedding anniversary, I decided it
was time to do what was right, and left Ft. Worth at 8:30pm.
Driving up into the mountains surrounding Cloudcroft at 3am
under the warm glow of a full moon, seeing 20-30 elk alongside
and on the road as I drove, the pale yellow glow from cabin
windows across the snow, those are memories I'll always
treasure. I'm a small-town guy stuck in big city life, in a
life that doesn't fit, but at least I now know where I need
to be. 
I thoroughly enjoyed all of your newsletter, and really look
forward to them in the future. The down-home nature of your
newsletter is what makes it truly special.
Wayne Cook
Venus, Texas, a New Mexican at heart

Dear Newsletter:

Amen on the chest -- unloading. Here's one of mine.

Why will normally bright folks lose all senses when they enter
the hallowed halls of the airport? My personal favorite: people
will sit for two hours at the gate with a perfectly good
restroom right across the way. Won't budge from their hard-won
seat. Put them in an airplane, roll it down a busy taxiway with
lots of stop-and-go at 3000 pounds per square inch of brake
pressure, and suddenly the urge to go becomes life and death! A
flood to make Noah proud if I don't go RIGHT NOW! So up they
get, oblivious of their, the flight attendants, and all the
other passengers' safety. And then squeeze into a box the size
of a phone booth, no less. Not to mention now I gotta stop out
here and hold up traffic while we wait for you to return to your
seat. Try holding up traffic in, say, Newark. LaGuardia. O'Hare.
You can end up in the "penalty box" for days in those places....

Please. Good people. Go now. We can't load up everyone and
scream out of the gate in the two or three minutes it'll take
you to visit the loo. Honest. It takes longer than that just to
make sure we got all those "last-minute bags" you always hear
about. And 15 stalls is a lot more negotiable than a phone
booth any day.

Whew! Better go find my happy place....

Dick Day

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 © 2005 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
Previous Newsletter Next Newsletter