November 3, 2000
Dear Subscriber:

It's a good thing the convenience store in the village stays
open 24 hours a day because until all these elections are over
I intend to go to town only in the middle of the night.

With increasing frequency as the election season approaches
I find myself engaged in conversation about who and what I
intend to vote for. Call me weird, but that's information
that I consider privileged...between me and my voting booth.

To most visitors Cloudcroft comes off as a sleepy little
village where the inhabitants are concerned with little more
than a warm spot in the sun on a bench on the boardwalk.

In fact, the natives of this little town are rabid about their
politics and with the general election coming up next week
followed in December by a hotly contested school bond election,
the streets of the village are abuzz with the talk of issues and
the qualifications of candidates.

It's not that I don't have an opinion on the upcoming voting,
but since I am the editor of the Cloudcroft Online Newsletter
I have chosen to adopt a "reporter's perspective" of the races.
I consider myself a news observer and not a news maker.

In other words, I'm not sure the fact that I write this thing
once a week entitles me to a special position of wisdom when it
comes to espousing my political beliefs. What I think about
the issues and a dollar will get you a cup of coffee (with
woefully little change).

Besides, why should I make about half of you mad at me?

I will say this much. It makes me proud to be a part of a
community where the duty to contribute to the societal debate by
voting is not taken lightly. I don't have the figures in front
of me, but I would be willing to bet a larger percentage of
registered voters actually pull the lever in Cloudcroft than the
national average.

Around here, when you step out of the voting booth, they give
you a little "I voted" sticker to wear on your shirt for the
rest of the day. They're a little hokey, granted, but everyone
in this town wears them with pride. It's more than just a little
sticker to us. It is a symbol of the fact that we have done our
small part in maintaining Democracy.

In Cloudcroft, voting is not regarded for the most part as
something we do if we happen to get around to it...it is an
honor and a duty as Americans. Some of us are Democrats. Some
of us are Republicans. Some of us are for this or against that,
but we all have one thing in common:

We love this country.

Don Vanlandingham

A snow earlier in the week let us know that winter was here. It
melted quickly but it prompted the procrastinators among us to
re-stock the wood pile and wrap those naked pipes.
Highs are topping out in the upper 50s. Lows are dropping below
the 30s. Some windy conditions have accompanied the cold snaps.
My apologies to Mayor Dave Venable. I reported last week that
he had recently been elected as President of the Rotary Club
Cloudcroft Chapter. I was commenting on how the mayor was
wearing an increasing number of hats in the community.

Fact is, Venable was elected President of the Kiwanis and not
the Rotary. I hope I didn't confuse the mayor. I'm sure he
didn't have an acceptance speech prepared for the Rotary

It was out-going Kiwanis President Joe Halbig (among others!)
that pointed out my mistake. Something tells me Joe wanted
the discrepancy corrected before Dave gave him back the gavel.
Open Monday through Friday during the winter and by appointment
at other times.

Featuring a complete line of ski apparel and equipment. Also
available for ski lessons.

Located on New Mexico Highway 130.
The last train to Cloudcroft left in 1947. The tracks, running
some 26 miles and 4000 feet up from Alamogordo to Cloudcroft
were torn out and sold for scrap.

For nearly 50 years the track grades were abandoned but not
forgotten. The Rails to Trails organization has spent the past
several years transforming these old grades into walking trails,
giving visitors a chance to re-visit the area's colorful past.

See the Rails to Trails web site under the LINKS button on
Q - Do the higher altitudes around Cloudcroft present any
special problems when cooking?

A - Funny you should mention it. Peg and I were talking to
some hunters yesterday. They told us they put on a pot of beans
in the morning for supper that night. They said it took 22
HOURS to cook those beans!
Altitude does funny things to the cooking process. Baking
brings about its own special problems at this altitude. Bunt-
cakes can come out looking like pancakes as often as not.
November 24, 25 -- CLOC melodrama. Thanksgiving performance.
Zenith Park Pavilion.

December 2, 3 and 9, 10 -- Town of Bethlehem reenactment.
Sacramento Methodist Assembly.

December 12 -- Cloudcroft School District bond election.

December 16 -- Cloudcroft Pet Parade. 2 pm, Burro Avenue.

December 16 -- Santa Town. Zenith Park

December 23 -- Caroling in the Clouds. Lantern-lit caroling
from Burro Avenue to the Museum beginning at 4 pm.

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

I live in Lubbock and make at least 4 to 5 trips to Cloudcroft
a year. I was there October 21 & 22 and loved the rain and cold
and the smell of the fireplaces. I have a question. Growing up
in Lubbock there was a Don Vanlandingham on the KLLL morning
radio show and I was wondered if that was you? [Yes]

I love the newsletter, it keeps me going between visits.

Paul Whitton

Dear Newsletter:

Just finished reading the newsletter and can say I really
enjoyed it. I wait for it to come every week. I am so 
glad that you made it through your ordeal so that we all
have the newsletter to read. And I agree the paper should
come over the top.

God Bless You!

N. Fess
Sugarland, Tx

Dear Newsletter:

I would like to take this opportunity to tell you that my
husband and I appreciate you taking the opportunity to keep us
all informed about the "goings-on" in Cloudcroft. We have been
going to the area since 1976, and during the winter months we
miss the tall cool pines.

I would also to take a moment and remember one "Don
Vanlandingham" of the "John, Don and Jane" Show of KLLL of
Lubbock Texas. Hearing the mellow voice in the morning has
started a many a day off for us. We miss the comradeship,
joking and the general fun that you all had over the years.
Just know that you are missed. 

Keep up the good work and we hope to see you next summer.

Theda and Tommy Decker
Brownfield, Texas 

Dear Newsletter:

We enjoy your newsletters and look forward to them each week.
Each time I read, fond memories of our past visits come to mind
and make me look forward to the day that I am able to come more

Congratulations on your year anniversary of life. Keep up the
good work so that all of us can have a piece of Cloudcroft,
even though we are not able to be there physically at this time.

David & Jeanie Yarbrough

Dear Newsletter:

I've been getting your newsletter since the Scott Able Fire.
It was forwarded to me by my friend Joyce Komraus. She and I are
friends from a long way back and I've been to Cloudcroft for a
visit twice and anxiously wanting to come back.

That's not why I'm writing though, I'm writing about your
surgery to correct the aneurysms on both carotid arteries. How
did they correct yours? I had a similar problem 11 years ago
come February. My aneurysms had no necks, so the only way mine
could be eliminated was to sever my front carotid arteries in
two separate surgeries. My aneurysms were immediately behind
each eye.

It's now going on eleven years, and like you the brain has a
little trouble keeping up, but then I also had a brain tumor
removed. Thought you might like to know that there's a good bet
you've got a long life still ahead.

Congratulations on your good fortune, my doctors had me
scheduled to die too. We're both a couple of miracles!

Marilyn L. Yezak

Dear Out-of-this-World Handsome Editor:

I have also had a life-changing experience that causes me to
view the world in an entirely new perspective. My perspective
was always a little odd anyway...okay...weird.

As far as the toilet paper controversy goes, I'm just thrilled
when the last user puts a new roll somewhere within reach. And
I'm even more thankful that we are not totally out of toilet
paper at those inopportune times.(Paper towel can be a bit rough
for the job at hand.)

I don't think some people appreciate my outlook on life, and
for sure, just don't understand my sense of humor. (At least
I've got one.) But then that's why they are called "life-changing
experiences". When you've been to the edge and back, everyday
life looks pretty easy, and you just don't stress on the small
stuff anymore. Laughter becomes something you actively seek,
and friends you didn't know you had are special gifts. Mine
love me warts and all. What more could you want?... except to
snicker...snort...giggle...and guffaw on a regular basis.

This is my 19th year as a jr. high school teacher, and I bring
new meaning to the term "brain damaged". You've got to be a
just a little warped to do this job. At least I'm in good
company...the whole staff is nuts. We call our boss "The Old
Goat" and bleat at him when he walks down the hall. After the
last bell rings on Friday and the campus is devoid of kids,
we perform our traditional TGIF dance in the hallways in front
of the security camera...just to see if anyone is watching the
monitor, and because quite frankly...it's just good therapy.

Touched in Texas

PS. To your more sensitive readers: Our boss doesn't mind...
really. He sort of likes the extra attention. I'm not sure how
the goats feel about it though. I can get back to you on that.

Dear Newsletter:

First, let me say how much I miss having you and Peg at the 
Whistlestop...however, since I don't get regular "black &
white" sundaes, maybe I'll take off a few lbs. As you know,
I certainly can identify with the illness bit - people in this
town are incredibly wonderful when a need comes up.

By the way - I still have those little "memory glitches" so can
understand why you said Mayor Dave was elected President of
ROTARY when it really is KIWANIS!!

Love you and Peg and your newsletter.

Lee Wilson

Dear Newsletter:

It was very informative to read of your heart surgery last
year. I am sure many readers are uncertain just what emergency
service is available and how quickly a good cardiologist could
become accessible. My husband and I have had a place in Waterfall
for about 5 yrs. As we contemplate retiring there permanently,
health care is a big concern.

Thx for sharing the info with us.

Sarah Keith
Galveston, Tx

Dear Newsletter:

I really enjoy getting your newsletters. It makes me homesick
for Cloudcroft. I visit there quite frequently. I live in
Lubbock and on occasion when we get a wild hair we are headed
off for your vicinity. We have been doing that all my life!! 

Regarding your surgery Don, I remember when you were taken to
Lubbock for the operation. My friend and I were at the Old Time
Photo shop and the owner and another shop keeper were discussing
your illness. They were very worried for you. We didn't know who
you were but we said we would pray for you. And we did, now I am
so glad to know that my prayers were answered and you are the 
ones writing these letters!!! Small world!!!

Regarding the subject of dogs and skunks, one of my most vivid
memories in Cloudcroft was when I was in high school in the 70's.
We were staying at Tall Timber Cabins and down the way from
there, was a cabin that had a white German shepherd called
"Dog". Everyday "Dog" would greet us and go hiking with us.
But on one particular morning he appeared very sheepishly and
when we gave him a hug, we instantly knew he had met up with a
skunk in the middle of the night! A couple of hours later we saw
his owners giving him a bath in tomato sauce. And he had the
look like he had been through that routine before! Later that
afternoon he joined us for our afternoon hike, smelling like
spaghetti sauce and with a faint pinkish glow about him!! I
don't know what ever happened to "Dog", but he is one of my
precious memories of Cloudcroft!

Now finally regarding the toilet and the toilet paper thing.
Whenever I flush our new two flusher toilet, I think of you with
your Elgir and remember how well they flushed! And as far as the
toilet paper goes, Oprah had this very discussion one time on her
show, and she said it should always over the top. And in fact if
she is in someone's bathroom and it is not over the top, she 
changes it!!! So out of deviance, I make mine go under the
bottom. And in any case in the future Oprah visits my house, she
can change it!!

I miss you guys in Cloudcroft!

Della Eckles

Here's an great cartoon on the toilet paper issue:


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Copyright © 2000 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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