February 18, 2005
Dear Subscriber:

It's getting warmer in the Sacramentos. We've had some snow but
it's kinda slushy and melting. Things are a little slow around

I like slow.

It gives you time to think. Build a fire, put on some Moody
Blues and think. Problem is, when I think, I usually think
about things that annoy me:


I filled the car with gas today. While I was pumping I stared
at that sticker the government requires on the side of the pump
nowadays. It's a little picture of a cellular phone with one
of those big red don't-do-this circle-slashes over it.

It seems Big Brother is afraid a spark will come out of your
cell phone and cause a gasoline explosion.

I've never heard of a cell phone sparking. I've never heard of
a cell phone causing a gas pump fire. I do a lot of reading so
if it happened I think I would know about it.

I even did a Google search for cell phone fires. Google just
giggled. Lots of articles based on the assumption that cell
phone fires is a ridiculous urban legend (urban legend is the
new millennium politically correct signification for BS).

"How did this fire start?"

"I was calling my wife on my cell phone."

"That explains it...but there were two fires. How did the other
one start?"

"After the first one started I had to call 9-11."

It's a conspiracy, I'm sure. The company selling those big red
circle-slash don't-do-this stickers is obviously in cahoots with
the smoke signal companies. Cell phones have effectively put the
smoke signal companies out of business (after the massacre at
Little Big Horn the smoke signal companies had been hanging on
by a thread as a viable means of communication anyway). 
Meanwhile the big red circle slash companies are making a bunch
of money. You see them everywhere...not just on gas pumps.

No smoking. No pets. No guns. No knives. No standing. No
sitting. No breathing.

I'm looking forward to the day when I spend my 8 bucks to see a
movie when I see one of those stickers on the front door of the
movie theater that signifies no crying babies.


I like stand-up comedians. The funniest ones I've seen are the
stewardesses that do the pre-flight routines on airliners.

"This is a chair cushion. If we have to ditch at sea, it will
act as a flotation device."

Punch line number one --- We're flying from El Paso to Las 
Vegas. That information is only applicable if we have to ditch
into a fountain in front of the MGM Grand.

Punch line number two --- If we do crash into the ocean and I
find a cushion that floats...I think I'll know how to operate

Don Vanlandingham

A warm and dry reporting period. Muddy conditions on unpaved
roads. High during the period 51.4 at 10:47am February 14. Low
21.8 at 6:09 am February 9.

Annual precipitation to date 5.03 inches.

For up to the minute Cloudcroft area weather information, go to
Cloudcroft.com. It's updated every 10 minutes and it's free.
Dear Newsletter:

FYI to visitors and soon-to-be-relocated residents: I have
found living in Cloudcroft year-round to be an enjoyable
experience, especially if one likes to get away from it all.

There are a few adjustments that one needs to make, but on the
whole, the trade-offs are minimal. (For instance, one learns
how practical - and important - water conservation is in daily
life. Also, having plenty of oil lamps, dry wood and reliable
fire starter are as important in a Cloudcroft winter as having
good air conditioning in North Texas.) 

Having been a permanent resident for almost a year now, I still
feel like I've lived in Cloudcroft all my life. (I grew up
vacationing here for many years, so the move was very much 
like a homecoming.) 

To be sure, some things have changed over the years, yet so
much of Cloudcroft remains the same. That is the charm. As for
activities and recreation, one can drive 16 miles down the
mountain to Alamogordo, or 40 miles north (sort of) to Ruidoso,
or drive about 90 miles to either Las Cruces or El Paso ... and
still look forward to coming home to the quaint, quiet village
of Cloudcroft. 

More locally, strolling through the village while on a trek to
the post office each day is a wonderful exercise for the body
and soul. The shopkeepers are friendly, and most residents one
meets on the street will wave and smile first. It is quite
blissful. (My idea of activity and recreation is walking several
miles each day and drinking in the picturesque beauty all
around me - the sky, the trees, and the brisk, clean air!)

In recent weeks, of course, we were all jolted by the death of
one of our law enforcement officers. That tragedy was a
reminder that life is very fragile indeed and that local law
enforcement officers are still at risk no matter where they
work. Although shaken, our tranquillity here remains intact. 

My friends and family are amused that I enjoy the winter here
as much as I do. I guess it's because I remember what it was 
like to fight traffic in the winter slush where millions of
people lived and worked. 

This winter wonderland in Cloudcroft is such a haven from all
the hustle and bustle of that previous lifestyle. This spring
will be my first one in Cloudcroft since my youthful vacations
were always in the summer, and I look forward to the beauty
that I'm sure awaits me.

I hope every visitor and soon-coming resident finds rest,
relaxation and a respite that "recharges the battery." If I
pass you on the street, I'll smile and greet you; if I'm
hiking through the canyons, I'll wave from the side of the

Life is glorious - don't waste a minute of it!

J. Dalton
Cloudcroft (via Fort Worth)
Picture taken last week. The curtain has since melted down.


Governor Richardson has requested $500,000 for a regional water
system for Cloudcroft in his annual budget.
Thinking about moving to the Sacramento mountains or possibly
listing your mountain cabin for sale? This is the place to come.
As part of 2 Multiple Listing Services in Otero and Lincoln
county, we can show you everything you need to see and more.
Your one stop in real estate. We offer property management also.
Give us a call at 1-866-682-3312 or 1-505-682-3312, email us at
ttscott1160@hotmail.com, or see the link to our web site on the
Real Estate page of Cloudcroft.com:




Q - You often write about going to Alamogordo to shop. Don't
you ever shop in Cloudcroft?

A - All the time. Like most Cloudcroft area residents, we eat
in local restaurants, shop the local grocery stores, and visit
other stores for what we need before going down the hill.

It's all economics and logistics. Prices are a little higher in
Cloudcroft. It's not the Cloudcroft merchants' fault. They
have to pay higher prices for their product because they can't
take advantage of high volume discounts. Still, it's worth
paying a little more when it keeps you from having to make a
trip to Alamo. There are some things that just aren't available
on the mountain. For those things, we make a trip to the basin
about once a week.
February 17, 18, 19, and 20 -- White Sands Film festival.
(505) 437-2202

February 25 -- Annual Rails to Trails meeting. FNB-Alamogordo.
(505) 682-3040.

February 26 -- Luma: Theater of Light. Flickenger Center
(505) 437-2202

February 27 -- Lake Lucero Tour. White Sands. (505) 679-2599.

March 26 -- Easter Egg hunt. Cloudcroft.

March 26 -- Easter Bonnet parade. Cloudcroft. 2pm.

May 6-7 -- 2005 Organ Mountain Film Festival. New Mexico Farm
and Ranch Heritage Museum. 4100 Dripping Springs, Las Cruces.

May 7 -- Old Timer's reunion. Cloudcroft.

May 28, 29 -- Mayfest. Cloudcroft.

June 17, 18, 19 -- Western Roundup. Cloudcroft.

July 9 and 10 -- July Jamboree. 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:

Thank you for the beautiful foggy mountain February picture.
It was a visual breath of the clean and fresh mountain air I
miss so much.

Sandra Naylor
Tucson, Arizona

Dear Newsletter:

What's this I hear about the Far Side Cafe closing? Sigh. I
really liked the place, I got to eat there pretty much 
every time that I've been in Cloudcroft over the years that
I've been coming up there.

So I guess Friday will be my last visit. I'll bring my digital
camera and do a little shooting, hopefully the shots will come
out well.

At least there's that little coffee shop now, and they offer
WiFi access from what I understand.


Dear Newsletter:

Cloudcroft holds a special place in the hearts of my wife and
me. I first saw Cloudcroft on the way to my new assignment at
Holloman AFB in May of 1970. Becky (from Alamo.) and I met
that summer, spending time on picnics (Bailey Canyon) with
her family, horseback riding from Tally's Barn, putt-putt golf
in the Village and drinking hot chocolate at the Aspen Cafe.

Some thirty-five years, three sons later we visit Cloudcroft at
least once a year, and every other year I ride my Harley
("Hog") from Mobile, Alabama to Cloudcroft and surrounding

The ride from Cloudcroft to Sunspot in late September has to be
one of the best rides I have taken. My oldest son bought some
land East of the Village (Young's Canyon) and plans to build
soon, as you can see the area has rubbed off. In sight of
retirement, at least we don't have to think about where that
will take us.

We enjoy your newsletter Don, and thanks for keeping us
informed on the happenings in Cloudcroft.

Earl & Becky Turner 

Dear Newsletter:

Your editorial about the Iraq election was right on!

We have one of our Robinhood young men serving in the Air
Force in Iraq. His name is Sgt. Matt Parker, son of the late
Col. Amos Parker and Joyce Parker. His brother, Pat, has just
returned from duty in Middle East and has been assigned duties
at Holloman.

I watched these two fine young men grow into manhood and follow
in their Father's footsteps with careers in the Air Force. 
Knowing them reinforces my respect and admiration for our men
in uniform! May God bless our troops and continue to bless this
great country.

Leon Cross,
Norman, Oklahoma and Robinhood Estates

Dear Newsletter:

While I should be working, I couldn't help but respond to your

Even though I'm not quite "too old", I understand the issue of
struggling for work. Job hunting is not only finding the right
work, but it's finding the right person to work for. That fit
doesn't come along every day. There are so many people with
hearts of stone out there. I have my own business and I come
across them daily. 

As an observation, I see so many lies and shell games out there
in the business world that regularly there is little way know
the truth. I'll bet if people could just be a little more honest
and less self-centered we would see a more stable economy. It
all comes back to trust. 

It sounds like you had a trustworthy boss and friend that was
strong enough to say what needed to be said, yet also knew that
his investment in you (both friend and worker) was priceless.
There aren't too many of those kinds out there today. 

Latrice Hertzler
Austin, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Great story...many of us in the brave new world of consolidated
radio wish we could work for a "mom and pop" again someday. Of
course, it's pretty rare for Lowry Mays to ask for input on the

Hope you are well.


Dear Newsletter:

It is amazing the picture you paint for your readers. I am sure
you get accolades from most of your readers, I will not be an

Your comment about the caller in the station really perked my
attention. His attitude and response to your conversation is
the pinnacle of what the American youth is holding on to.

Instead of taking pro-active measures to ensure he gets to hear
what he wants to, he whined. After whining and not getting his
way, he threatened lawsuits.

It is truly a sign of the present.

It has become the normal for people to not accept adversity and
to only take action that they can profit from in a monetary
way. If he did not like the music, his right is to not listen.

Teaching 6th and 7th grade Language Arts, I have routinely heard
kids complain that they wanted to sue because I made them write
extra pages, or did not let them talk in class.

It is comical in one way, but on the same side can give you a 
very eerie feeling of insecurity.

I took the charge of trying to save as many as I can in the 
youth of America and truly believe that ownership is the best
lesson anyone can be taught in life.

From time to time I share your newsletter with the kids and I
appreciate the way you turn adversity into something positive.
It gives me a good example for which to let the kids shoot for.

West Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I am so enjoying reading the newsletter and am especially
fascinated by all the letters from different folks around the
country. As I am realizing, it seems many Texans come to
Cloudcroft as their vacation destinations or have second
homes. Kind of like us in South New Jersey going to the
Pocono Mountains in PA. But it also seems that the word has
gotten out at how great a place Cloudcroft is from folks in
other states.
Thank you Sharon Cox from Magnolia,TX, you really described
the night sky like a wonderful memory I had when driving 
through remote Arizona. I couldn't believe my eyes at how many
stars I was able to see. And now I can't wait to come out to
Cloudcroft to experience what you saw. And of course that helps
when nothing is around to obstruct the view.
I agree 100% with Lee Phillips, I don't like to much growth
either. I am in a very small town, quite rural and partly
protected by the Wharton State Forest. We are in the Pine
Barrens and it breaks my heart to see trees come down and new
homes put up.

I am the last house on my block next to the forest and I think
I would pack up and move if the borough told me that a builder
was going to put a development in next to my property. Growth
is good to an extent, my husband John and I want to have a
second home in Timberon. He just wants to be away from the
congestion, where we can have peace and quiet. The real problem
is the BUILDERS! They are just getting out of hand! It isn't
the individuals who just want one dream home built to escape to
or retire in.

And Phyllis Kindred of Shreveport, LA, I'm with you... leave
the fast food places in the big cities, if they are in
Alamogordo, that's fine. But from what I'm hearing about 
Cloudcroft, please don't ruin what you have! I haven't been out
there yet and if "Burro Street" is filled with all these 
wonderful shops, run by locals, then that is what makes it
special, it doesn't need to be commercialized by fast food. It
isn't healthy anyway! I think that is the whole problem...they
shove those commercials in our face tempting you to run out so
late at night for burgers & fries, no wonder this country is
so ill.

When I get my place out there I plan on having a wonderful
garden of healthy fruits and vegetables. By the way, how is the
soil in Timberon? I can't have anything here cause we are all
sand, we'd need an awful lot of topsoil to grow anything. 

Well hopefully I'll be out there in March. Take care Cloudcroft!

Lisa F. Sturgis
Chesilhurst, NJ

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