August 17, 2001
Dear Subscriber:

We live in a small subdivision outside the Cloudcroft Village
limits. We pride ourselves in being self-sustaining. We have
our own water system and our own governing board. We like our

About 10 years ago (back when Peg and I were part-timers), the
private company we contracted with to locate trash dumpsters
in our community did not follow up on some improvements of
service we asked for, so we (excuse the pun) dumped them.

We figured that since we all make more-or-less daily visits to
the village, we would just take our trash with us and dump it
in the village dump. It has worked out nicely. No varmints 
going through our dumpsters. No trash scattered hither and yon.

So, I am a daily visitor to the Cloudcroft dump. I can't have
helped noticed something about the dump. There are almost as
many people taking out as there are putting in.

I am not belittling those that cannot overcome the temptation
to grab an old lamp that just needs a little paint or an old
desk chair that just needs new rollers and a little duct tape.
It's like a yard sale. The only difference is, there are no
price tags.

Since honesty is the best policy, I, too, carry a pair of wire
cutters with me when I go to the dump. I collect electrical
cords. If I spot an old TV or radio that still has its cord,
it won't after I've left. Never can tell when you might need
an electrical cord. I have a trunk full of them. Some day
there will be an electrical cord shortage and I'll have a
corner on the market.

Last week I was on my regular daily dump run. I pull up in my
pickup with my load of heavy gauge Mylar 35 gallon sacks of
trash. Just as I pull in, a neighbor pulls in right beside me.
We both exit our pickups at the same time. We both spot the old
discarded portable work bench at the same time, over in the
corner under some old remnants of orange and red deep shag 

I try not to look too interested in the work bench (as much as
I need one; have you priced those puppies at a Home Depot
lately?). I go about heaving trash bags out of the truck, as
does my neighbor. I move slowly, hoping my neighbor will finish
before I and be on his way so I can rescue the old work bench
in anonymity. He's moving slow, too. He's thinking the same
thing I am. We eye the bench and then each other. We smile.

"Hi, how ya been?"

"Fine, how about you?"


"Sure has been raining a lot lately."

"Yeah, sure has."

"Well, guess I better go."

"Yeah, me too."

We drive from the dump simultaneously. I get about a block away
and double back, smirking to myself as I think of the sale Home
Depot is losing. As I round the corner into the dump area, I
spot my neighbor. He's throwing old shag remnants out of the
way so he can get to the work bench. He must have doubled-back
a shorter route than I.

It's too late for pretensions. We've made each other. I try and
think of something cute to say.

"Need some help with that?" is all I can come up with.

"It has a broken leg." he says. "Don't think it's good for much.
Guess that's why somebody threw it away. Let's go get a beer."

We drank our beer and talked village politics and who was
getting married and who was busting up. Then my neighbor said,
"Well, gotta go."

He got in his truck and drove north out of town. I smiled. I
know he lives south of town. The only thing north of town is
the dump.

Don Vanlandingham

There are still frequent rain showers in the Sacramentos. It
is the peak season for observing humming birds, but it is also
the peak season for bees. Not to worry, they're the friendly

This reporter has lived here 6 years and I've been stung once,
and that was because the little guy wandered into my boot and
got me in self defense.

Highs are in the mid-70s. Lows are still dipping into the 40s
at times.
Cloudcroft schools went back into session this week. The Bears'
first football game is in Hagerman next Friday.


Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce President Matt Preslar says
Chamber dues will likely be raised soon. The reason? Chamber
expenses are over-riding its revenues.
Wayne uses oil paint to capture emotions, dreams and fantasies.
His work could be described as modern abstract or surrealistic,
regardless it is bright and colorful. For more information, 
call (505) 687-3783 or email fordhadley@pvtnetworks.net.
For 9 days in October, the New Mexico skies are painted as
hundreds of balloons lift off from Albuquerque's Balloon 
Fiesta Park. Nothing rivals the power of Mass Ascension on 
crisp early mornings as these graceful giants leave the ground
to take their place in the cerulean desert sky. For ballooning
fans worldwide, the Kodak Albuquerque International Balloon 
Fiesta is a pilgrimage. October 6 through 14, 2001.
Q - We would like to visit Cloudcroft next summer. Is there
lodging in Cloudcroft that has air conditioning?

A - That question comes up a lot in our emails with

It is hard to imagine for many of our visitors from the 
Southwest that our temperatures in Cloudcroft are so mild that
there is virtually no need for air conditioning. Our highest 
temperatures in the summer seldom get above 80. It actually 
gets chilly enough in the predawn during the summer that 
furnaces kick on.

If you're planning a visit in the summer...don't forget to 
bring a jacket!
August 11-18 -- Otero County Fair.
Frontier Village, Otero County Fairgrounds.
Alamogordo, New Mexico.

August 17 and 19 -- Singing in the Clouds.
High School Cafeteria.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

August 23 -- New Mexico State Game Commission meeting.
The Lodge. Public invited.

August 24 -- Cloudcroft/Hagerman football game (away).

September 1-2 -- Labor Day Fiesta. Sidewalk sales,
entertainment, street dance, and games for kids.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

September 1 -- Cloudcroft Bears vs Jal (football) (home).

September 7 -- Cloudcroft Bears vs Tularosa (football) (away).

September 8 -- Mile High Grand Prix. Ski Cloudcroft.
Proceeds benefit Special Olympics.
For information call (806) 794-0624.

September 9 -- 42nd Mile High Enduro. Starts at Triple M
Snowplay Area. Route is environmentally correct.
For information call (806) 794-0624.

September 15 -- Enchanted Jazz Festival. 
Alamogordo, New Mexico.
For more information, call (505) 434-0559.

September 15 -- Cloudcroft Bears vs Hatch (football) (home).

September 15-16 -- Hot Air Balloon Invitational.
White Sand National Monument.
For more information, call (505) 682-3785.

September 16 -- Governor's 10k Run/Walk.
40k Time Trial Bike Race.
For more information, call (505) 687-2133.

September 21 -- Cloudcroft Bears vs Ft. Sumner (football)

September 22 -- Oktoberfest. Holloman AFB.

September 28 -- Cloudcroft Bears vs Lordsburg (football)

September 29-30 Aspencade Tours.

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:

My friend.... I know that you must get thousands of letters 
telling you how good your newsletters are.... Welllllll...I'm 
sending another. Your stories pull me in and I can almost close
my eyes and smell the pines and two-stroke motor oil burning!

Thanks for being there so that we in dry-flat-no-trees West 
Texans can come to Cloudcroft once a week.

Karl Campbell
CW3, US Army (Retired)
City of Anton, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

This is the about the fourth paper I have received. After the 
first, my wife and I came up over the next weekend, saw Terry 
at Cloudcroft Realty and bought some property in Cloud Country.

I wanted more land but mama wanted the water, electricity and 
paved streets. We met some original land owners and some newer
residents (8-10 years). As Mr. Mathews said, these newer people
do not know what a cold winter is, and he went on - we so 
enjoyed his talk and stories about old times in the Village, 
we wish we were already there. 

Your newsletter will help us get through the 10 hour drive from

Thank You
George & Donna Danforth

Dear Newsletter:

Had you been in attendance at our Family Loggin' and Splittin' 
Festival in 1981 somewhere in Water Canyon, you would have 
witnessed a complete bankruptcy of the Festival Funds Account...
my Dad cut our profits of doin' it yourself with one fell swoop.

While in the process of loggin', he lopped of the end of a 48"
log, which rolled down the hill across the ditch, picked up 
speed, and imbedded itself in the driver's door of my Mom's 
"Subie" (Subaru to the flat-landers).

We harvested about 3 cords that day at a cost of $650.00. But
we sure had a good time.

Thanks for the newsletter!

Sam Drake
Rio Rancho

Dear Newsletter:

Enjoyed your experience with cutting firewood, however you 
didn't mention Peg's chain saw. A suggestion for a nice 
Christmas gift for her, what do you think? 

Our first trip to Cloudcroft was last October for the 
Harvestfest. Being a native Texan, I always thought that I 
wanted to retire in Texas, until last October. We always enjoy
your writing, let everyone know when you book is published.

Keep up the good work.

Graham & Penny Howell
Round Rock, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Hello there. I just wanted you to know how much I enjoy your 
newsletter. My Mom lives in Cloudcroft and I just love to visit.
I wish I could live there, too.

When I get your newsletter, I find myself laughing out loud. I
really enjoyed the chainsaw festival. I live in Odessa, TX 
where the weather is very hot, and I dream of the cool mountain 
air and rain you have.

I want to say hello to my Mom (Rosie), Don and their dog Romeo.

Keep up the good work and thanks for all the laughter you give

Kym Eppler
Odessa, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

Hi, my name is Amanda Kemp, a new resident of Cloudcroft.

I finally "took the plunge" and moved here full-time about two 
months ago, after agonizing for years whether or not to just go
for it. Go for it I did, and I have absolutely no regrets! 

I so often read your letters that you receive and am impressed 
by so many who say they wish they could live in Cloudcroft all
the time. I was one such reader, and I thought to myself, 
"what's stopping me?" It was my fear of leaving the comforts 
and conveniences of the "big city" (El Paso, natch), and the 
fear that I was isolating myself from the real world.

What I have found is that the real world is in Cloudcroft--the
world I have been seeking, at least. Cloudcroft epitomizes the
white-picket fence mentality that I have longed for and thought
only existed in a bygone era that my parents enjoyed. Neighbors
who know each other and literally borrow a cup of sugar, civic
pride, total population participation in town meetings and 
events, and people who would rather sit on their porches and 
wave to passers-by, than avoid contact with their neighbors.

It is such a refreshing change from the pessimism and distrust
of others that we so frequently find in larger towns/cities. I
love feeling like I am a PART of this town--I feel connected 
and in no way alienated. Thank you Cloudcroft!

I am an exercise nut, and every morning I enjoy walking for an
hour or so through the roads of Cloudcroft. To those whose dogs
I wake and start a dog symphony, I apologize. However, I would
love to find others who are interested in starting an exercise
group/dinner club.

I am flexible on either morning or evening hours, and I would
love to have some company on hikes and walks. Since we don't 
have a gym up here, I find that I miss the comraderies that 
exercise buddies provide, and the motivation. If there is 
anyone who would like to start an exercise club, please feel 
free to email me.

I also am interested in walking dogs, and I especially enjoy 
walking dogs that can "go the distance"--i.e. long hikes (long
legs--dachshunds need not apply). 

To those who live in Cloudcroft, I look forward to getting to
know all of you, and I would love to get involved in any way I
can to help the community. I am interested in learning about 
volunteer opportunities, and I welcome ALL correspondence.

Amanda Kemp

Dear Newsletter:

Well, I've been sitting here preparing to start loading all of 
my earthly goods onto a trailer to move back to central Texas...
and suffering with this heat here. I thought that I would take 
a quick look at my email before I close it down for about a 
week, and I find the newsletter that you send out. So, I start
reading and I'm laughing so hard at the "Loggin' & Splittin'"
festival (that's with an "l") that I get more over heated than
I already was.... That's when I decided to scroll on through 
the rest of the news and that's when I find an article that 
cooled me down...in spite of myself....

Just the mention of shopping and Cloudcroft made me feel better!
Then when the writer went on and told of the "Snow Storm of 
the Century"...well...I decided that it wasn't as bad as all 
of that and that I could handle the rest of my packing in style.

Now I would like to make this disclaimer to anyone that is 
reading this: Do not try this at home...with out the supervision
of someone who is smarter than you are....

I was feeling so much better that I decided that a trip to the
local dumpster, that is only a half of a block away, was 
exactly what I needed to take care of all those large bags of
things that you collect and then decide that you don't want 
to move...soooo...loading my arms as full as I could get them
(so I didn't have to make to many trips) I left the house via 
the back door and started on my trek to the alley way. 

Now remember that the temperature here in the Austin area is 
around 104 degrees in the afternoon (usually between 2pm and 
5:30pm), and I am carrying those heavy duty "BLACK" trash bags
that stick to skin when they get warm....by the time I arrived
at the dumpster I didn't care if I ever came out of my house
again...and I wasn't sure if I would make it back. It was about
this time that I noticed that I was talking to no one in 
particular, unless you counted me. I'm not sure how long I had
been talking...but there was a little girl on the inside of a
fence that was giving me a really strange look...so I figured 
it must have been for some time. 

Anyway, I started back to the house when I noticed that I 
wasn't wearing one of my shoes. Now I knew that I had 2 of them
on when I left the house...but didn't remember when I had lost
the other, because I was so "captivated" by the heat and the 
experience of carrying bags that would have to be peeled loose
from my skin when I finally did arrive at the dumpster...which
by the way, had moved from 1/2 a block away to over 10 miles 
(by my nearest calculation). 

But I digress, now here I am looking for my sandal (that is a 
slip-on) and feeling like my face is about to melt and run 
off...and I spot the neighbors dog trotting down the alley way
toward me...and he has something in his mouth which strongly 
resembles my slip on sandal. So I call to the dog...thinking 
"what a good dog to bring me my shoe".... I'm thinking that 
I will have to call the neighbor and tell her what a wonderful
job she is doing with the training of the dog...and then...that
ornery mutt took off at a dead run and he had my shoe in his 

Now I realize that running in one shoe is something that can be
done...but it isn't always the best idea, nor is it always very
easy. So...to make a really long story somewhat shorter...I 
gave chase. It seems that the dog thought that we were playing.
I don't understand why, because the tone of voice that I used 
with that mangy animal was not at all friendly. As a matter of
fact...it could have been called down right hostile. 

Upon hearing one of my howls of rage, the neighbor (the one I
was going to call and praise) came out onto her covered patio 
and called to me and asked what was wrong. I explained the 
situation and giving one command, the dog immediately brought
the shoe to his owner and dropped it. He had not chewed it, but
instead had decided that it must need washing...because it was

Picking up the shoe between my thumb and forefinger, I made my
way back to the alley and down to my own yard...praying all the
while that I wouldn't have a heat stroke before I could get 
into the house and write out my last will and testament...in 
which I would leave a large sum to the new owner of my house 
(for a very LARGE latch on the NEW gate that would also be put
up) in order that the next owner wouldn't have the pleasure of 
dealing with well meaning pets, as I had. I also promised myself
that if I did make it back to the house that I would put the 
call through to the owner of the dog and tell her that although
I was extremely impressed with the "one command" behavior of 
her pet, that she should teach her dog to STAY IN HIS OWN YARD!

As you can see by my letter, I did survive the ordeal and even
lived to tell about it...but I would also like to tell you 
something else....

It never happened...none of it...but I did read the letter and
I did enjoy the story by the lady from Cedar Hill...and I just
couldn't help myself...I just had to sit down and write 
something that could at least attempt to rival that sort of 
fun.... Hope you're not annoyed with me.... I'm not annoyed 
that you get to enjoy all of that cool and I have to stay here
in the heat.

Thanks for the newsletter...I really do enjoy them a lot.

Austin Nut

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