October 12, 2001
Dear Subscriber:

"When was the last time you saw a parade?" Peggy asked.

I was watching the Broncos lose, so I wasn't in the best of

"I dunno." I said.

Peggy was persistent.

"Just talked to Mom. Dad has been asked to be the Grand Marshal
in the Las Cruces Whole Enchilada Fiesta Parade this coming

"I dunno." I said.

"We need to get some stuff from Home Depot. We haven't seen the
folks in a while. What do you think?"

I was thinking Denver was about to drop from the undefeated

"Sure, why not?" I said.

We got up early Saturday morning. It takes about an hour and a
half to drive from Cloudcroft to Las Cruces. Peggy said the
parade started at 12:30. That struck me as a funny time to
start a parade.

Sure enough, when we arrived in downtown Las Cruces at 10am,
there were already hundreds of people lining the street. We
asked someone. The parade started at 10. We had just enough
time to park the pickup and find a place to watch.

Las Cruces is too hot for my taste in the summer, but it is
really a special place in the fall. The bright sunshine
couldn't hold off the crispness in the air. Families two and
three generations deep were there for the parade, equipped with
folding chairs and coolers. Youngsters played in the crowd. A
toddler cried when she lost her balloon.

We had come to Americana.

I didn't just fall off the onion truck. This wasn't my first
parade, but there was something different about this one. The
atmosphere was charged in a special way. At first, I couldn't
put my finger on it.

People were laughing and talking to each other. Not just
families but strangers with strangers. We didn't know the
family sitting next to us for about 5 minutes...then we were

The distant sirens and fire engine horns became more present.
The obligatory cadre of police cars rolled by. Behind them was
a US flag as wide as the street and respectfully born
horizontally by 8 Boy Scouts. No one remained seated. As Old
Glory passed, people stood like "the wave" at a football game.
We all applauded. Applause gave way to cheers. Many of us
cried. I know because I glanced around to be sure I wasn't the
only one.

I've always been a sucker for a good marching band. The New
Mexico State Marching Band is a very good marching band. They
approached our spot under drum cadence. Magically they broke
into song as they reached us. I felt like a child again.

In my half-century of life, I have developed a skepticism. I'm
wary of strangers that smile at me. I have often thought the
sincerity had gone from the handshake, the pat on the back or
the wave from behind the steering wheel.

That day...watching that parade and watching those there
watching and cheering and applauding with me, it's as if the
sincerity in our accumulative lives had returned in a rush
spawned by the past month's events. I don't know if I ever
felt as lucky to be an American as I did on that Saturday
morning. Through accident of birth, I was a citizen of a
country that knew no equal in dozens of different ways.

The Grand Marshal of the parade, my father-in-law Dr.
Gerald Thomas and his wife Jean rode by in a horse-drawn stage
coach. As I watched them go by, my memory was flooded by the
snapshots I had seen of them as a young couple. I thought of
the sacrifices they had made in their lives; their service to
this country in the armed forces during World War II, the
dedication to their family and their tireless efforts to make
New Mexico State the important university that it is today.
I thought of all their friends and others of their generation
that worked hard to make this country what it is. I thought
of those that had died in past conflicts and how proud they
would be of the country we are now. Conversely I thought of the
heavy burden of responsibility we all shared in seeing to it
our country as we knew it was not taken away from us.

Peg must have been having the same feelings. She yelled to our
new-found friends "That's my Daddy! That's my Mom! Hey, Daddy!
Over here!"

Contrary to parade protocol, we ran into the street to greet

In everyone's mind, there are moments that are still...moments
they'll never forget. One of those times was the morning of
9-11-01. For Peg and I, one of those snapshots is this past
Saturday at the Las Cruces Whole Enchilada Fiesta Parade.

At least for now, there is no self-consciousness in feeling
patriotic. Americans do not feel they have to apologize to
anyone for being who and what they are.

I'm glad I was alive to see this time. I'm more glad that our
children saw it.

It would be nice if that feeling lasts for generations to come.

Don Vanlandingham

The fall foliage is at its peak. Temperatures are ranging from
65 in the afternoon to 40 overnight. Not as much moisture as
was experienced in the summer. Heavy dews in the morning.
Dear Newsletter:

Can we get some more of those panoramic view links with the
Fall foliage? It would be awesome to see some of that stuff.
I can only imagine it. Take care. 

John Apodaca 
Plano, Tx

Rusty Russell of Aspen Realty Associates, Inc. has kindly
provided us with these beautiful photos of aspen trees in
fall colors.


This year's Chamber of Commerce banquet will be more austere
than in the past as the Chamber grapples with financial

The banquet will be held in the commons area of the Middle
School on November 30. The meal will be prepared and served by
The Sideliners, an athletic booster club.
If your account is big or small, you're special with us! A
full-service community bank. We serve families and businesses
throughout Otero County, New Mexico, Holloman Air Force Base,
and beyond.

Six locations to serve you--10th Street, 1st Street, 9th Street,
and White Sands Mall in Alamogordo, 300 Central Street in
Tularosa, and Burro Street in Cloudcroft.

Commercial loans, mortgage loans and installment loans. Local
approval for all loans!

See their link on the Finance page of Cloudcroft.com for more


Established to preserve Carlsbad Caverns and numerous other
caves within a Permian-age fossil reef, the park contains over
94 known caves, including Lechuguilla Cave—the nation's deepest
limestone cave at 1,567 feet (478m) and third longest.

Carlsbad Cavern, with one of the world's largest underground
chambers and countless formations, is highly accessible, with
a variety of tours offered year-round.
Q - What have local law enforcement officials done in
Cloudcroft to avert terrorist activity?

A - Obviously the Cloudcroft Police Department and the Otero
County Sheriff's Office are on heightened alert with regard to
suspicious persons or suspicious activity. Villagers may also
notice an increased presence of Border Patrol vehicles around
the area.

At last word, no planes from Holloman Air Force Base have been
deployed to the Afghanistan area.
October 12 -- Cloudcroft vs Capitan (football) (away).

October 18 -- US Fish and Wildlife Service hearing on
Checkerspot Butterfly. Alamogordo Civic Center. 6-8pm.

October 19 -- Cloudcroft vs Animas (football) (away).

October 19 -- NM Museum of Space History Banquet.
For more information, call (505) 437-2840.

October 20, 21 -- High Rolls Apple Festival.
Community Center, 9am - 5pm, food, crafts, entertainment.
For more information, call (505) 682-1151.

October 27 -- Harvestfest. Pumpkin carving, hay rides.
For more information call (505) 682-2733.

October 27 -- Pumpkin races, Burro Avenue, 9am-4pm.

October 31 -- Trick or Treat Costume Contest, Burro Ave.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

October 31 -- Halloween Carnival. Middle School.

November 2, 3, 4 -- Lodge Murder Mystery.
For more information, call (505) 682-2566.

November 8, 9, 10 -- Santa's Workshop, Elk's Lodge, Alamogordo.

November 10, 11 -- Civic Center Fair, Alamogordo.
For more information, call (505) 439-4142.

November 9, 10, 11 -- Lodge Murder Mystery.
For more information, call (505) 682-2566.

November 30 -- Chamber of Commerce Banquet, Middle School.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the first Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. The November 4
meeting will present Kathie Mongaraz demonstrating silk
painting. No meeting in December. 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:

Your writing of the last newsletter is like so many of us feel
as we still come to grips with 9-11. Thank you for your contact
with us - I feel this is so important. I look forward to your
newsletter and it is a contact we all need at this time.

It was so nice to return to Cloudcroft on Friday evening the
28th of September and see something so "normal" as the
Cloudcroft Bears football game - it was wonderful to see this
very American scene. Healing is going to take a long time and
we all are a little different these days.


Dear Newsletter:

I would like to update my e-mail address with you. I have
received your newsletter since its beginning and enjoy it.

Please continue sending it and let me know when you start
charging for it as it would be worth an annual subscription

David Patterson

Dear Newsletter:

I love the newsletter and the insights. I too wonder about the
last few weeks and the money making opportunities some people
find in disaster. Do I have to fly a flag to prove my sadness
and empathy for those so tragically affected by the terror? Do
I need to prove my patriotism--or can I quietly mourn and
wonder how life will be different now??

Yes, write a book if you want to get your ideas on paper--I
have discovered that most of what I feel think and care about
is in a book somewhere so I have not yet tried to put my own
spin on these ideas--your writing is very readable and 
sometimes thought-provoking so keep at it.

A Flatlander in El Paso

Dear Newsletter:

Don, don't despair over your short and random commentary.

I think your readers are all (100%) among the 86% that have
been polled and classified as depressed. After all, when one
is depressed, it is difficult to concentrate. Random thoughts
and observations are absolutely appropriate.

Yes, you should still write a book! There is plenty of time
and there will be the need for profound statements and pointed

For now, I suppose it is just OK to take to the comfort of
close friends and family, watch the nightly news, and pray.

Don, with the best of intentions, I tell you it is nice to know
that you are among the depressed.

Joe and Jan

(The people with all the kids and stayed with you summer before
last and broke everything in you house inside of a week.) 

Dear Newsletter:

In 1989, I was a resident of Fremont, CA. Having been an
off-and-on resident of NM all my life, I got to experience the
earth move on Oct 17 at 5:03 pm. What I saw the next few days
was somewhat what we are seeing on a nationwide basis today.
Maybe that is why I am not depressed: been there, done that,
have the t-shirt.

What I do remember is the Red Cross charging for coffee and
donuts, the Salvation Army did not. I remember the Red Cross
diverting $10m earmarked for San Francisco to their national
headquarters. When they were caught red handed the "Mea Culpas"
flew and the money came back. It was all in our local papers,
out there. Probably didn't make the national wire, most
embarrassing stuff like that doesn't.  

Me, every chance I get, I give to the Salvation Army, the real
relief agency. They have donation jars on their food lines,
but no collection points.

Also, Debbie Stone, down at the Weed Cafe closed her cash
register during the Scot Able Fire, not her Cafe, just the
cash register. She fed all those who fought that fire and came
by, free. Out of her own pocket. When I was allowed travel in
that area, just after the fire, I went down, had a meal I paid
for and left a donation to her as well. I don't even remember
hearing that the International agency had even been here, they
were in Los Alamos, charging for coffee and donuts or so a
friend of mine from White Rock tells me. He worked
communications for 20 days up there, as a volunteer during the

That friend now works for the Pentagon and has been resident
there for 12 hours a day, since this began. He was home eating
breakfast when he heard the explosion. He should have some 
interesting stories when he gets time to tell them.

John Gordon

Dear Newsletter:

I was told not too long ago to keep in mind that while dogs
have masters, cats have servants!

Susan Paxton
Fort Worth, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Nice to hear you have cats. I sleep with a cat. I had a teddy
bear when I was a kid. Grown men can't sleep with teddy bears,
but you can sleep with a cat which is much better than a teddy
bear and which serves the same purpose - and no one will talk
about you (at least not much)! Try one, Don!

Sure look forward to your newsletters (and our next trip to

Dusty Bruns
Comfort, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Love your online paper and yes you should write a book! Sure
miss hearing you on the radio. Oh my goodness, someone remembers
you on the radio and in Lubbock too. You were great listening
to on my way to work and at home while relaxing. Enjoyed your
cat rescue and wanted to pass on a few cat laws for ya and
anyone else you want to share them with.

My wife and I love Cloudcroft and hope to be back over there
in a couple of weeks.


*Law of Cat Inertia
A cat at rest will tend to remain at rest, unless acted upon by
some outside force, such as the opening of cat food or a nearby
scurrying mouse.

*Law of Cat Motion
A cat will move in a straight line, unless there is a really
good reason to change direction.

*Law of Cat Magnetism
All blue blazers and black sweaters attract cat hair in direct
proportion to the darkness of the fabric.

*Law of Cat Thermodynamics
Heat flows from a warmer to a cooler body, except in the case
of a cat, in which case all heat flows to the cat.

*Law of Cat Stretching
A cat will stretch to a distance proportional to the length of
the nap just taken.

*Law of Cat Sleeping
All cats must sleep with people whenever possible, in a position
as uncomfortable for the people involved, and as comfortable as
possible for the cat.

*Law of Cat Elongation
A cat can make her body long enough to reach just about any
counter top that has anything remotely interesting on it.

*Law of Cat Obstruction
A cat must lay on the floor in such a position to obstruct the
maximum amount of human foot traffic.

*Law of Cat Acceleration
A cat will accelerate at a constant rate, until he gets good
and ready to stop.

*Law of Dinner Table Attendance
Cats must attend all meals when anything good is served.

*Law of Rug Configuration
No rug may remain in its naturally flat state for very long.

*Law of Obedience Resistance
A cat's resistance varies in proportion to a human's desire
for her to do something.

*First Law of Energy Conservation
Cats know that energy can neither be created nor destroyed and
will, therefore, use as little energy as possible

Bill Hopkins
Lubbock, Tx

Dear Newsletter:

I hope this is interesting to cat lovers like myself. They are
such a wonderful animal, however, I do know it's almost a
love/hate relationship for most people. I am a professional
cat breeder and really needless to say I allow them to "walk
all over me".

Peg, just a word of wisdom, please do not give cats milk. They
are lactose intolerant and when they are given milk it can
cause anything from a belly ache to diarrhea, and sometimes it
takes a while for this to occur, but the surely do get sick.

However, they do enjoy plain unsweetened yogurt, which a
'little' is good for their digestive system, but is does need
to be limited. Another thing, the food a cat eats needs to have
meat as a first and second ingredient with no soy. The food I
feed is probably available at the feed store in the village.
It is called Premium Edge Pet Foods, and their website is
www.premiumedgepetfoods.com. I feed a chicken and rice formula
because of the protein and fat content. They do have other
formulas as well. 

When we have outside kitties (ugh) it is so important to keep
them wormed and to be sure they are not damaged in fights
without Vet care. By the way, rodents are a natural habitat for
tapeworms and fleas can almost suck a cat dry (blood) and do
carry heartworm microflaira!

Don, your letters are such a bright spot for me each week, for
I still remember the beautiful sights, sounds and smells of the
Sacramento's. It has been much too long since I have had the
opportunity to be there, but the fragrances never leave one's
mind. The last time I was there was when our grandfather passed
away, Don. You, your brother Dick, our cousin Andy, and I had
our picture made together in Ruidoso, and I suppose that's the
last time I saw you as well.

Yes, I do believe you need to write a book! You have the most
wonderful and unique way of expressing yourself. I can read
what you write and feel as though I am where ever you are
speaking about. You truly have a God given talent, so please
never stop writing!! 

We live in beautiful Northwest Arkansas and we have a glorious
display of Fall foliage, but it doesn't compare with Cloudcroft.
I hope one day I can show that beautiful part of the world to
my husband, John. We are both retired USDA meat and poultry
Inspectors. We are looking to relocate to East Texas where John
will be preaching.

I didn't say anything my beautifully awesome cats. They are the
registered Manx. They are the ones which have no tail and longer
back legs than front. They are referred to as the dog-like cat
because they can be trained to fetch, etc. Yes, about the
Calico, they are always a female and most generally their
personality is a little saucy. 

Gail Ford Dimmitt

To unsubscribe, email: unsubscribe@cloudcroft.com
To subscribe, go to
If email to an address bounces (returns to us), that email
address is automatically deleted from our mailing list. If you
cease getting this newsletter suddenly, probably your provider
bounced your newsletter. This can happen when a provider is too
busy or is shutdown for some reason. If this happens to you, 
just revisit our site and re-add your email address to our list.
If you have comments or suggestions for this newsletter, please 
direct them to: newsletter@cloudcroft.com
Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friends.
However, we ask that you keep it intact and forward it in
its entirety.

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