January 28, 2005
Dear Subscriber:

I guess I showed my ignorance about US combat aircraft last

I analogized the big knobs on my grandma's bathtub with the
propellers on a B-52.

As it was pointed out by several of our readers, a B-52 has no
propellers. It is jet engine-propelled...the mainstay of the
US nuclear arsenal during the cold war.

I guess I was thinking of the B-29...best known as the bomber
that delivered the first A-bomb over Hiroshima, Japan. The
B-29 has big propellers, although it has 4...two on each wing.

In the interest of journalistic accuracy...Grandma's bathtub
didn't have 4 knobs and the B-29 didn't have hot and cold

Be that as it may, we received a near-record number of email
responses to the "Grandma's bathroom" story, coming in closely
with our stories about our pets.

It seems our readers like dogs and grandmas a lot.


We said good-by this week to Johnny Carson.

Carson was pushing 80 but he was one of those people you didn't
think of as getting old. It was a bit of a shock to hear of his

I've laughed out loud at TV shows before but Carson is the
only guy that made me literally roll on the floor. It was one
of his "Great Carsoni" sketches. He held that famous envelope
up to his big red turban and said "Sis-Boom-Bah".

He then tore open the envelope and read the question:

"What is the sound of an exploding sheep?"

That was my favorite. The thing with Carson is he had millions
of viewers and just about that many funny favorites.

Jay Leno paid him the highest compliment when he said a writer
once called Leno the second best nighttime TV talk host.

"With Carson in the mix, that's the highest compliment I've
ever received."


Rosemany Woods also died this week. She was President Nixon's
White House secretary. She was just the opposite of Johnny
Carson. She was famous for 18 minutes of silence.


I've been around for over a dozen presidential inaugurals but
when one comes around it still makes me feel like a wide-eyed

Seeing a country make a peaceful transition of leadership or
re-affirming the leadership chosen before is still a wonder to

Peggy and I watched the whole thing; The swearing in. The
parade. The evening balls. It was amazing to see Peggy sit
still for that long. For me, I can go from Energizer Bunny to
couch potato in one sock-footed step.

I thought Bush's inaugural address was nice but calling for a
world full of independent and free people will likely be a very
long time coming. Probably something I'll have to witness from
another place. But, as someone said, long journeys start with
one step.

I've said that often after my drive on the #1 teebox went into
the woods.


The Superbowl is coming. Philadelphia plays New England. Two
foreign countries for a guy like me that's never been any
farther East than Denton, Texas.

Paul McCartney will be the half-time entertainment. If he has
a costume mal-function, I don't think anyone will notice.

I think New Mexico should have its own pro football team. We
could build a big stadium somewhere around Albuquerque. My
choice of a nickname is "The New Mexico Kids" (as in Billy).

Something else I'll likely have to witness from another place.

Don Vanlandingham

Another warm and dry week. High was 46.2 at 10:10am January
24. Low, 22.5 at 1:40am January 23.

(Note: An early publication date this week. Weather info
reflects highs and lows up to Tuesday, January 25.)

Total precipitation to date: 1.66 inches.

For up-to-the minute Cloudcroft weather conditions any time of
the night or day, log on to Cloudcroft.com. It's free.
In the late 1970's I often flew in at the Cloud Country
Airport, which was a dirt strip parallel and adjacent to the
main highway; sometimes meeting commercial aircraft there. 

The strip is now closed and overgrown, but can be immediately
discerned if sought. Enclosed is a foto taken by my son as we
are starting a takeoff run towards Mayhill, flying an ex-USAF

Albert N. Levison,
El Paso


The chapel has been a part of Cloudcroft's charm for many years.
It was only recently moved to the Sacramento Mountains
Historical Museum where it will be on permanent display along
with the other historical buildings and artifacts on the museum


Two funds have been established in support of Otero County
Sheriff's deputy Billy Anders. The funds are at State National
Bank in Alamogordo and Western Bank, Cloudcroft branch.

Proceeds from the funds will be used in support of Anders as an
investigation continues into a shooting incident December 18th
near Cloudcroft in which three people died.
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


Q - Is there a re-cycling center in Cloudcroft?

A - Not any more. It was shut down when it was discovered it
was costing much more to operate and maintain than what it was
saving through recycling.

Now, people are relegated to throwing their trash in the trash.
February 4 -- Violinist Linda Wang. Flickinger Center.
Alamogordo. 7:30pm.

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

February 6 - Cloudcroft Art Society. Old Red Brick Schoolhouse.
2:30 pm.

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:

Just a little note about your last commentary. A B-52 doesn't
have propellers. You might have been thinking about the B-36.
But still good stuff.
Allan Tice
Austin, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for doing such a great job of informing and entertaining.

Your "first bath" description created a plethora of memories
regarding Saturday nights at the Cornelius house when I was a
mere "tad". Saturday nights were bath nights at our house. The
implement of torture was a Number-2 wash tub. We didn't get a
real bath tub until I was around six or seven years old. 

Even though we still had to carry hot water to the bath tub for
a couple of years, we eventually obtained a water heater and I
exulted in the privacy of a bathroom with a door, and the
luxury of the deep tub.

Like you, I would love to have one of those old tubs, but they
want about six million dollars for them these days. I appreciate
the newsletter and the work you put into it. 
Al Cornelius
Dear Newsletter:

First know that B-52's are jets with no propellers. Try B-29's.

But I get your drift. My grandparents lived in rural West Texas
not far from Lubbock prior to "movin' ta town" in the mid
fifties. Killin' chickens for lunch was a ritual every Sunday
morning before church. I got a dose of reality when my grandad
butchered two hogs I had named and treated as pets. Swore to
never eat bacon again. That lasted until breakfast the next
morning, and I was hongrey.

We remodeled our home in El Paso ten years ago. One of the best
decisions was the installation of old fashion, four-pronged
knobs in the bathrooms and kitchen. My wife insisted on the
white ceramic in the master bath. It is good to have simplicity
back in style.

I look forward to more ramblings from your direction next week.

El Paso
(formerly of Lubbock, long ago)

Dear Newsletter:

Enjoy all of your newsletters but especially the latest on
grandparents and life on the farm. Brought back a lot of
memories. Just one critique though... "propellers on a B-52"?
Rick Peters
Lubbock, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Hello from Texas. Wanted to let you know that I can relate to
the hot and cold water knobs. Also to let you know that I like
the picture of the week. Maybe some time you can have one of
an EMU. We have emu's and in the past ostrich. Do love our

Hope to be able to make it to Cloudcroft sometime this year.
We enjoy our visits there so much.

Charles & Patsy Day
Snyder, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

You might have had a surprise in some of the older places in
Las Cruces because sometimes the workers would put the "C" knob
on the hot water. It made perfect sense: "C" for caliente and
after all, hielo means ice.

Roberta Widner

Dear Newsletter:

Don, I thoroughly understand about the large knobs we used to
have in the old fashioned bathrooms that looked like propellers,
but you used an incorrect analogy: the B-52 didn't have
propellers. Perhaps you were thinking of the B-36, one of the
largest airplanes ever made or the World War II hero planes,
B-17 or B-29? Now, they had propellers, big ones!

Nice to remember those old bathrooms. Small, just large enough
to accomplish the essentials, not like the palatial hedonistic
baths that we have now, larger than a small house. Still, I like
the new and yet treasure the memory of the old. One of the
delights of older age.

Thanks for the story about your first unassisted bath.

Al Walvoord

Dear Newsletter:

Please, please, please, we get and love your wonderful stories
each week, and I have something to look forward to each week
with your newsletter, but for you to include a self portrait
and call it picture of the week, whew just ruined the image of
you I had developed! Just kidding -- we have met, and while you
might possibly feel like burying your head from time to time to
turn off the world and escape for a while, the Ostrich is a
little less charming and personable for sure!


Thank you for your wonderful stories each week. Those knobs
are very expensive. I have just redone our kitchen and the retro
look was what we went for, we bought a 1952 GE five burner dual
oven stove that had been restored with modern day electronic
ignition burners. The faucet was old fashioned as well with
big fat knobs and extra heavy duty looking (probably just
looking) metal work. 

Now when it came to the kitchen cabinets and the knobs for the
doors and drawers my wife came home with some that she had to
hide the receipt for and just told me to "put them on and not
worry bout it". I am scared to see that credit card bill!

Keep the stories coming!

Sean Poindexter
West Texas (only hours from your slice of heaven on earth)!

Dear Newsletter:

I enjoyed your walk down memory lane, as a five year old, 
staying at the grandparent's farm. It brought back many fond
memories of when I stayed with Maw Maw and Paw Paw on their
North Texas farm. This would have been around the same time
frame, mid 50s. 

Which reminds me of when my Paw Paw bought his three grandsons
a BB gun and those three rascals used things like the rain
gauge and the back porch light for target practice. As I
remember now, only half of that memory was fond, the second
half being the punishment, we so deserved, for our foul deeds.

As for these combination wand-type hot-and-cold handles in
today's bathtubs, I am afraid most city and state plumbing
codes are requiring any new construction to have them.
Something about people burning themselves with the separate
control hot water. Be careful!

In our cabin in Cloudcroft we still have the separate controls
on the old claw foot bath tub and that just the way I like it.

Thanks for your hard work on the newsletter, we look forward to
it every Thursday. 

Bruce & Jan Bunch 
Hudson Oaks Texas 

Dear Newsletter:

Your memories of your grandma were so enjoyable and it brought
some memories of mine. She lived with us off and on after she
left my grandpa, and she and I shared a bed in the loft-like
area upstairs.

I was probably about 10 years old, and we would lie awake at
night and talk until I got sleepy, and oh, how I remember her
memories as she passed them on to me. She would tell me stories
of the covered wagon days and how the Indians would surround
their campgrounds at times but no harm was ever done to them.

She was a precious, caring grandma who would rub my legs when
they would hurt with "growing pains." She loved to take me to
town and buy me parasols, little girl purses and some sweets. 
She wore her fine-like blonde hair in a topknot, and I loved 
to take the big brown hairpins out and let her hair fall - 
then I would brush her hair ever so gently - I can still feel
its texture. Yes, grandmas are special.
I enjoy your weekly newsletter - it is so down-to-earth.
Nan Hamilton
Austin, CO

Dear Newsletter:

I could smell the au-de-farm as I read your newsletter. You
sure do have a way with words. I vividly remember those knobs
and the claw feet on the tub at my Grandma's. It was in the
city and we had a little gas stove to warm the bathroom in
the winter. City folk are more sissified, you know.
I enjoy your tales and feel a little closer to our son and
daughter-in-law who live in the Village by following your
news. Checking the weather and scheduled events shrinks the
distance between Colorado Springs and Cloudcroft. 
Keep at it.
Nancy L

Dear Newsletter:

This letter reminds me of my Grandmother. They had a rough
life didn't they?

Thank goodness we don't have to live like that. Thanks for
the newsletter.

Shirley Myers

Dear Newsletter:

Re the canine vs chocolate matter. Our daughter's terrier
devoured an entire package of Hershey's miniatures one day
during her absence. She discovered that transgression and
immediately contacted her dog's veterinarian. The vet told her
that Hershey's has enough milk in it to prevent the dog from
toxic consequences.

However, the vet also told her that had it been one of those
Godiva or other ultra rich chocolates, the dog very well may
have died or suffered serious consequences. He explained to her
that the H-choc's are diluted whereas the G-choc's have a
higher concentration of pure chocolate.


Don't leave chocolates or sweets where pups might
Be tempted to take great delight.
Their extreme liberties
Might cause you great unease,
And result in unfortunate fright!

J Dalton
Cloudcroft NM

Dear Newsletter:

I'm not a veterinarian, either, but my uncle was. The toxicity
of chocolate to dogs and cats is no urban legend. It's real.

Shirley Alford

Dear Newsletter:

I look forward to reading your newsletter every Thursday! We're
moving to Alamogordo this summer and your Cloudcroft news
seems like visiting every week.

In regards to dogs and chocolate. That happens to be true, not
urban legend. Cats also cannot tolerate chocolate. I think they
can't digest it or something in it that is toxic as you

We feed our dog and cats table food, but the only sweets they
get is ice cream. They love it! Our old guy, a 16 year old cat,
loves to eat cookies and cheese crackers also, but he is a
very unusual kitty cat!

Thank you for sharing life in the clouds with all of us out
here in the hustle and bustle of city life. You make the dream
seem a little closer and help to make the time pass more
pleasantly until we are able to also make our home in God's 

Bernard and Janie McCarty
Kansas City, Kansas

Dear Newsletter:

Hi Don. I just wanted to let you and the person who wrote in
about feeding dogs table food know that yes, chocolate is
toxic for dogs, as are grapes and raisins. We may think if
it's good enough for us, it's good enough for our dogs, but
this isn't always the case.

If you're going to share your food with your pets, ask your
vet. which ones are okay. Of course beef and chicken are fine.

It's easy for dogs to get overweight eating table food, so
watch how much you share. Dogs also need bones to chew on.
This is something we've taken out of their diet which they
need to help maintain healthy teeth. Be careful of hard
rawhide chews and pigs ears or any other kind of hard treat.
These can actually break your dog's teeth. And while I'm not
a veterinarian either, I have worked for one for ten years,
so trust me on this. 
S. Young
Temple, TX.

Dear Newsletter:

I know you will probably get tons of responses to your tip
on “not feeding chocolate to dogs”. But I thought I would
throw this in the pile.
My brother, who adores his dogs and who is also a chocoholic,
gave both his dogs chocolate treats on occasion for years with
no problems. Then one day, a few minutes after a treat (a
bite of his chocolate chunk cookie), his large dog went into

After a trip to the emergency animal clinic, she was fine and
lived to give him many more years of pleasure. But my point
that I wanted all to know is that it can happen anytime, even
if you’ve fed it before with no problems. If you love your dog,
please do not give them chocolate of any kind. Besides, why
take the chance when they don’t care if it’s chocolate, cheese
or weenies. To them, a treat's a treat!
Joppa, TX

Dear Newsletter:

This last Sunday, 1/16/05, I arrived in Cloudcroft to show my
wife the cozy little village I had discovered 20 years ago. 

My most embarrassing moment occurred on the Cloudcroft ski
slopes when I fell off the t-bar and the whole lift had to be
stopped so I could untangle myself. I never did become a skier.

When we arrived, we went to one of the two BBQ establishments
on Main Street (I won't use their name) and began asking
questions. The one question I really wanted an answer to was 
"Do you know Don?" They said no. Imagine my disappointment when
Cloudcroft's most widely published and best known resident was
unknown to them. I will not be eating at that location again
in the future. 

Seriously, we enjoyed our stay at The Lodge's Bed & Breakfast
there in town. We were sad to see the weather was not
cooperating and most all the snow was gone. No doubt it is a
disappointment to those depending on the snow for skiing and

The new school on Main Street is very impressive. It is the
kind of town and school I would like to raise my daughter in.

Good news! Just before we left town on Monday, my wife and I
went into Mountain Photos and had a picture of my daughter 
made. The pretty young lady with the LONG hair knew the right
answer to my question, "Yes, I know Don Vanlandingham." My
faith in small town USA was restored.

We look forward to next year's vacation and another chance to
visit Cloudcroft.

Scott & Molly Willcox
North Richland Hills, Texas

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