June 15, 2001
Dear Subscriber:

I'm here to save you a lot of trouble.

Should you need an expert on any subject imaginable, there's
only one place you need to go. The Western Bar on the village
boardwalk in Cloudcroft.

It had been a while since Peggy and I had done any general 
local socializing, so we ran a comb through our hair and went
to The Western the other night. Though it had been months since
the last time we had parked ourselves on one of those squeaky
barstools, little had changed. Many of the same people sitting
in the same places talking to the same friends over the loud
jukebox playing the same tunes.

The Western is the central social spot after sundown in the
village, where locals and tourists mingle and tell each other
tales taller than the mountains themselves.

I enjoy observing others of my species in the social arena. For
some reason, I was presented with a fact that night at The
Western that had escaped me on other such occasions; lots of
experts go there.

I mentioned to an acquaintance as we sipped our suds that I was
looking for a good building contractor. Without saying a word
my friend rose from his seat and disappeared into the crowd.
Moments later he returned with a stranger in-tow.

"This is Joseph Blowfuss. The best damn contractor in New
Mexico" he said. Joe sat down and outlined his credentials to
me. I only caught every other word because Garth Brooks was
singing "Friends in Low Places" at full volume on the jukebox.
I asked Joe (not his real name, obviously) if he could procure
the necessary permits for the job I had in mind.

"Permits?" he interrogated. "We don't need no stinkin' 

I bought him a beer. Big mistake. Joe was my friend for life
(or at least until last call, whichever came first).

The night moved loudly on and Joe wandered off. Presently
another friend came over to the table with another smiling
stranger at his side.

"This is Jackie Sprattus..." he shouted. "best silversmith 
in New Mexico".

Jackie told us he had just returned from a command performance
exhibition of his work in New York City where he sold every 
last creation he had crafted and had returned to Cloudcroft to
make more stuff, so he could go back to New York to sell it,
and that he was waiting on his commission check and could I buy
him a beer?

While we were in The Western that night we also met the best
artist, guitar player, bowler and bronco rider in New Mexico. Can
you imagine the odds of all those experts showing up in the same
place on the same night?

I know a little bit about a lot of things but I don't guess I
qualify as an expert about anything.

Guess that means I'll have to buy my own beer.

Don Vanlandingham

A teasing of showers on a couple of occasions this past week,
but nothing appreciable.

Highs near 80. Lows in the lower 40s.
The National Forest Service has set fire danger levels in the
Sacramento Mountains at "Extreme".

Due to the dryness of the forest, certain restrictions have 
been posted.

No campfires, charcoal grills or smoking are allowed in the
forest. Propane gas grills are OK. Campfires in designated
camping areas only. No smoking on hiking trails.
Featuring char-broiled steaks and burgers. For more information,
call (505) 682-2928, email ccproperties@zianet.com, or see their
link on the Dining page of Cloudcroft.com.
The National Solar Observatory at Sacramento Peak welcomes
visitors during the daytime. The Observatory offers various
kinds of tours.

For more information, visit: http://www.sunspot.noao.edu/
Q - Do they open the Ski Cloudcroft ski lift to summertime

A - Unfortunately, no. The lift is used by mountain bikers
during the annual downhill race at Ski Cloudcroft, but is not
open to regular tourist visitors.
June 14 -- Flag Day ceremony and parade. Burro Avenue.

June 16-17 -- High Rolls Cherry Festival. High Rolls.
For more information, call (505) 682-1151.

June 16 -- High Rolls Cherry Festival Fiddling Contest, 9am. 
Cowboy Poet, Jared Nessett, 2pm.

June 17 -- High Rolls Cherry Festival stage entertainment,

June 23-24 -- Blue Grass Festival. Camp Chimney Springs
For more information, call (505) 687-3520.

June 30 -- Fiddling Contest -- Open Air Pavilion
For more information, call (505) 682-2733

June 30 -- Fourth of July Parade and Craft Fair, Timberon.
10:30am. For more information, call (505) 987-2258.

July 4 -- Fireworks Display, Space Center, Alamogordo.
For more information, call (505) 437-6120

July 7 -- Lumberjack Contest

July 13-14 -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion.

July 14-15 -- July Jamboree. Zenith Park. Crafts Fair, 
Horseshoe Competition, Street Dance.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733 

July 20-21 -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion.

July 28 -- Chili Cook-off. Ski Cloudcroft.

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:

Thank you so much for the special report you sent out on that 
fire. That was one of the first places I was taken to see a few
years ago when I first came to Cloudcroft to visit friends.

It is such a beautiful spot and to hear it was in danger from 
a forest fire was like a punch to my stomach. I'm so happy to 
hear the fire is controlled. I'll be even happier to hear the
rains have helped to put it out.

I devoutly hope I'll be able to come back for a visit to your
beautiful area again this year and see it again.

Marilyn Yezak,
Dryden, MI

Dear Newsletter:

I wanted to write and thank you for the Cloudcroft Newsletter.

I lived in Cloudcroft for a few short years and though I am a 
city girl and love the variety that it provides, I do often miss
dinner at The Western and pool and drinks with my friends.
(Pretty much anyone in The Western on a daily basis.)

Keep up the great work on the newsletters and hopefully I 
will be able to come and visit again soon (the last time being
last year).

Valerie Converse 
Everett, WA

Dear Newsletter:

I just want to say that I've longed to return to your little 
cottage area. I've finally gotten back my love of my life and we 
shared a great week-end there a couple of years ago. I can't 
wait for us to get back there and make more memories. You truly
have the best place on earth to lower your blood pressure and 
calm your nerves... I envy you for getting to live there, I
hope that Traci and I will soon wed and spend several vacations
in Cloudcroft.

A Place Called Cloudcroft

A common place,
A gentle place,
A place to relax,
A place where wealth is not searched for,
A place where dreams come true,
A place where hearts of lovers and families bond,
A place called Cloudcroft.

Tucked away in a mountain side,
Where beauty takes your breath away,
With snow tip mountains, 
Green lushes trees,
Blue sky that reaches for miles on end,
Friendly natives and citizens that welcome you with a smile,
You become family in just a shot time,
Thanks for all your memories,
A place called Cloudcroft.

With shops that hold special gifts,
A cozy little restaurant with a bar in the back,
Oh how I long to return,
To store up more memories in,
A place called Cloudcroft....

Thanks for your newsletter it takes me back there each time, 
I would also like to say "hello and I love you" to Traci, the
love of my life, SHMILY!

Ron B.
Dallas, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I just wanted to add (or point out) something that Ms. Luci 
Kumpunen missed in her INSURANCE story.

I case it is missed. I'm not a lover of INSURANCE companies. 
Even though I'm insured up to my molars.

Ms. Kumpunen, may I ask you? Isn't it interesting, the value 
that the insurance company placed on your 1980 Datsun, the late
"Ol' Red," may he rest in peace? Especially after you've been 
paying insurance premiums to them for many years.

Assuming you purchased "Ol' Red" new, you would have been paying
those premiums for over twenty years. The premiums would have 
been set, based on a NEW vehicle's value, and never lessened,
and likely increased over the years.

If that premium amount was only five hundred dollars per six 
months (fat chance), then you would have paid them over $20,000. 
That's not including the interest it would have earned over 
that time (remember the rule of 7).

Now that you need them, the insurance company that is, they 
tell you that it's going to cost a $1000 or more to fix "Ol' 
Red" and that he isn't worth that much. Remember, your premiums
were based on a NEW vehicle.

What did the insurance company do for you? They most likely 
gave you a few hundred dollars for "Ol' Red" and increased your
premiums for the NEWER car you replaced him with.

And the over-all best part of this is that there is a law that
requires you to have insurance (I knew you knew that)!

The reason for having insurance is valid, and the law is a 
necessity. It's just too bad that there isn't a law requiring 
the insurance companies to actually cover what they imply 
they're going to cover.

I wonder what would happen if when you were shopping for 
insurance, you were told that for a measly $20,000 you could 
get a few hundred dollars for your car should anything happen
to it, God forbid.

Bill White
Phoenix, Arizona
The City of Phoenix, not the Dog. Although I would trade you
in a minute.

Oh yeah! Just wanna say HEY! to John Mills of Waco Tx.
I'm with you brother, just a few more years until retirement
and life in the mountains.

Dear Newsletter:

Yes, the rain is wonderful. Our 109 lb. Dobie that we had to 
put to sleep just a month ago would try to climb in our laps or
in bed with us, but would settle for under our feet at the first
clap of thunder. But it is soooooo wonderful to be getting the 
moisture, I won't complain about the quantity.

Don, I just wonder if your had gotten a report on our (CHS) 
team of problem solvers that went to Tennessee for the 
International Competition? They were one of over 400 teams from
around the world that competed. They placed 14th as a team, 
and if I'm not mistaken, they took some of the individual 

I think that is worthy of mention in your nest newsletter. You
probably would want to check with the school for the exact 

Pat Duncan

[If someone will send us a report, we will be happy to put it
in the newsletter]

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks, Mr. Mills for your kind note. I do, in fact, know the
people of Cloudcroft are gentle & kind souls, trading up to 
their quality of life for the "hustle & bustle" we experience 
"down here". My husband & I too can hardly wait for the day we
can "move away to the mountains".

Thanks for your thoughts.

Carole Gresham-Arnold
Axtell, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Does anyone out there remember the Bowling Alley? It's been 
many, many years. I remember spending every summer there growing
up. Remember pinsetters? 

David Fiddler 
Los Angeles, CA

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