June 1, 2001
Dear Subscriber:

I said good-by to an old friend yesterday.

17 years ago I was told by my know-it-all neighbor (everyone 
has one) that my new television set was a bad investment.

"It's an Emerson. It's an off-brand. Won't last more than a
couple of years and you'll always have trouble with it. Did you
buy the extended warranty? You'd better. You'll always have
trouble with it. Can I borrow your hedge clippers?"

Peg and I bought the television set shortly after moving into 
our new house in Lubbock. All the settings on it were 
mechanical...located in a little door on front of the set 
complete with a small yellow plastic screwdriver to fine-tune 
the unit. It had the newly developed "auto bright" system which
would self adjust the brightness according to the lighting in 
the room (which meant if you walked between the set and the 
window on a sun-shiny day, the screen would suddenly get 

I know television sets are inanimate objects with no feelings, 
but that old Emerson turned out to be a work-horse. It 
performed flawlessly and was the center of attention on many 
occasions over almost two decades.

There were the countless football games that played out on its
screen as we and our friends yelled at the players as if they
could hear us. More than one kernel of popcorn was thrown at
that old forgiving set.

Our God-daughter Amber grew up watching that old box. She would
try to touch the Sesame Street characters. She thought they 
were all right behind that glass. We were forever cleaning 
grape jelly off the thing after Amber went home.

In my mind's eye I still see my brother-in-law prone on the
carpet in front of it on several occasions after a big 
Christmas or Thanksgiving dinner. I recall family members 
walking by and nudging him awake to make sure he wasn't 

We watched in awe as CNN reported the opening attack on Bagdad
and marveled over the next several days as the Coalition shoved
Saddam's army back across the border with Saudi Arabia.

We couldn't believe our eyes as the old set showed us the 
Branch Davidian compound near Waco catching fire. We were 
horrified as we watched and no one came out.

We sat speechless with tears running down our faces when little
Jessica McClure was rescued from an abandoned well hole in
Midland, Texas.

When we moved from Lubbock to Cloudcroft, the old Emerson rode
along beside me on the pickup seat, wrapped in several blankets
for protection, while the rest of the furniture was relegated 
to the U-Haul. It was the first item unloaded when we made it 
to the mountains.

A few weeks ago I noticed it took the old tube a little longer
than usual to brighten up. I thought little of it. In fact, we
don't watch TV much in the living room any more. There are
other sets in the kitchen, the computer room and the bedroom.
The old Emerson was no longer the center of attention.

One day last week Peggy turned the old lady on and it remained
dormant. No picture. No sound. Nothing. I walked into the room
and without turning Peg said:

"It's dead".

"What's dead?" I asked.

"The TV" she said. Emotion told in her voice.

I flicked the on-off button a couple of times (a sort of
television artificial respiration). I peered closely for that
tell-tale dot in the center of the screen. It wasn't there. I
pressed my ear to the screen. Why I did that, I don't know.
All hope was gone.

Our new TV set has all the latest electronic gadgets, many of
which I'll probably never use (what's with this V-chip thing?).
It has a good picture and full stereo sound and while it's the
same size as the old set, it somehow just doesn't seem to fill
the space the old Emerson did.

My memory conjured up the voice of my ex-know-it-all neighbor
over the expanse of 17 years past. "It won't last more than a
couple of years and you'll always have trouble with it", he 

Mr. Know-It-All was wrong. However I do think he still has my
hedge clippers.

Don Vanlandingham

Summer is here. Highs are bouncing half way into the 70s. 
Overnight lows are in the upper 30s/low 40s. No precipitation
in the past week, but early May rains have served to keep the 
fire danger manageable. No restrictions have been posted in the
Lincoln National Forest.
Herb Brunell has kindly provided several pictures he took of
the Maypole dance on Mayday at the Cloudcroft Museum. You can
see the photos here:


Graduation ceremonies were held last week at Cloudcroft High
School. 39 Seniors received their diplomas.
Scenic, secluded, and uncrowded. Large pull-through spaces with
50 AMP hookups. 33 channels of Cable TV. Phone and internet
connections available. 6.5 miles East of Cloudcroft off Hwy 82.

For information and reservations, call (877) 687-2306 (toll 
free) or email bill@cloudcroft-rv.com. See their website link
on the Camping/RV page of Cloudcroft.com.
An estimated 25,000 prehistoric and historic Native American 
and Hispanic petroglyphs (images carved in rock) stretch 
17-miles along Albuquerque's West Mesa escarpment. Associated
archeological sites provide important chapters in a 12,000- 
year-long story of human life in the Albuquerque area.

See the link to the monument's site on the links page of
Q - At this time last year, New Mexico was suffering through
some pretty serious wildfires. Any chance of a repeat
performance this year?

A - Never say never, but because of two factors (increased
moisture and lower temperatures) as compared to last year, the
chances of serious blazes are notably less this year.
June 2 -- National Trails Day. 10K walk. Trestle in Cloudcroft,

June 2 -- Chi Gung meditation in the Sacramento Mountains. 
Meet in Cloudcroft at 10am or join El Paso carpool at 7:30am.
For information, call (915) 584-4730.

June 4 -- Concert. Alamogordo Symphony. Cloudcroft High School
Football Field.

June 8, 9, 10 -- Western Roundup.

June 8, 9 -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion.

June 8 -- Brisket and Beans. Zenith Park. 5pm.

June 9 -- Western Roundup parade. 10am. Burro Avenue

June 9 -- Street Dance on Burro. 7-11pm.

June 9 -- Railroad Days train display. Cloudcroft Middle School.

June 14 -- Flag Day ceremony and parade. Burro Avenue.

June 16-17 -- High Rolls Cherry Festival. 9am - 5pm.

June 30 -- Lumberjack Contest.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Thursday of each month
in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494 for 
more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

If you have news of public events in the Cloudcroft area, email

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


Dear Newsletter:

Please post this message in your wonderful newsletter for the 
Olsens, who had asked about information about which plants grow 
best in Cloudcroft.

Go to Hastings Book Store in Alamogordo, and ask for a copy of 
"Best Plants for New Mexico Gardens." It covers all of the 
different climate zones, with an emphasis on using native 
plants, but other imported species are covered as well.

I'm looking forward to returning to my part time home near Dog 
Canyon. Although it will probably be over a 100 degrees in the 
desert, I'm planning on spending my free time exploring the 
cool green Sacramentos.

Most people here in Ohio think New Mexico is some parched 
wasteland. When I tell people about my home, and how you can 
experience places like the Black Hills and the Canadian Rockies
in less than an hour from the desert, they can't believe it. 
There are not that many places in the world where you can be 
comfortable nearly year round with a quick change in elevation, 
and that's the big appeal of Alamogordo and Cloudcroft. Maybe
it's best to keep it a secret!

Dale McLane
Marblehead, Ohio

Dear Newsletter:

In newsletter #59, Jennifer Hill wrote that she was concerned 
that top-loading washing machines are out of favor with the 
government. Well, I don't want to get into discussing the 
politics of regulation versus voluntary change, but I can vouch 
for the case that front-loading machines do just a good a job 
of washing clothes while being more efficient. On the other 
hand, I also hate toilets that don't get rid of the business 
in one flush!

Having just returned to the US from Europe, where front-loading
washers are the norm, I wish I still had a front-loader: less 
water, less heating, cleaner clothes and longer-lasting clothes.
In front loaders, the drum is not full of water, so they use 
less water and less propane or electricity to heat it. The way 
the rounded paddles in front-loaders beat on the clothes means
they get cleaner while suffering less damage than the oscillating
blades in top-loaders inflict, too. The only hassle is they cost
a little more to purchase, although I'll bet the purchase cost 
of a washing machine is a small fraction of the total cost of 
ownership and operation.

Jennifer said she hasn't been to these mountains yet. I hope 
she makes it here and enjoys them as much as we do, but I hope 
she'll also listen to our concerns about a diminishing water
supply and increasing energy costs.

Best regards,
Pete Newman
Apache Point Observatory
Sunspot, NM

Dear Newsletter:

Hello, I just wonder if you could tell me if you have a James 
Canyon in Cloudcroft or Mayhill area? Or is it just Carr Canyon?

I have an ancestor buried in one of those canyons and was 
wondering how to get there. It was my g.g.grandfather. My 
grandmother rode in a covered wagon to Alamogordo from your 
area when she was 6 years old and she once told me, but I can 
no longer remember.

Thank you.
Sherry Thompson 
Cave Creek, AZ

Dear Newsletter:

My apologies to everyone who tried to access my Web Site with 
photographs as referred to in the latest newsletter (#59). To 
my great consternation, the server that hosts many of my photos 
had deleted them for some reason - they said it was a virus (?).

I've restored the site and now hope it works as it should. If 
not, please email me to let me know: jaxart@zianet.com.

My apologies again for the inconvenience.

J. L. Schuller
Ruidoso, NM

Dear Newsletter:

You are RIGHT on the money once again.

I have a dish with over 200 channels at my finger tips, and TV
LAND is in the top 5 for me also. Nick at night runs old shows 
too. I like the old ones from the 60's and maybe a few shows 
from the 70's.

There are a few shows on History channel, Discovery channel and
the Learning channel which are OK, but most all of the other 
channels are CRUD. And you are right about the Simpsons, how 
dumb and stupid do they think we are?

In the 6-8 months since I've subscribed to your excellent 
newsletter, you have not written one single thing that I have 
not agreed with you 100% on. The more advanced we get as a 
society to make our life easier, it seems like the less free 
time we have. The more choices we get in this advanced age, 
the quality of choices seems to go downhill with the increased

You truly have to wonder (and this isn't an old timer talking) 
if things were not a lot better years ago. A time when there 
was no fast food, but good home cooked meals. A time when the 
few TV channels available had good shows. A time when everyone
had time to chat, have a backyard cookout several times over 
the summer, a time when 85% of the country wasn't a rat race.

Hey, maybe I am getting old?

I guess that's what makes Cloudcroft so special, as it is one 
of the few places left where life is slower and you have time
to enjoy it!

Thanks again Don, for your excellent perception! 

Mike Gerrick
Carlisle, PA 

Dear Newsletter:

I wanted ALL of CC to know you have 4 new residents. The Randy 
Thomas family will be taking over the management of the ALTA 
VISTA CHALET MOTEL! Camy (Russell) Thomas is W. T. & Jerri's 
granddaughter. They are from Waco, TX. I hope the town will make
them feel welcome.

I hate loosing my daughter to you all up there but know she is
in very good company! Please help them feel welcome, as I know
all the fine CC people will do!

Take care of my "kids",
Carole Gresham-Arnold
Axtell, TX

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Copyright © 2001 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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