February 15, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

I think All-Terrain Vehicles are dangerous. They have a high
center of gravity. If one flips over, it's a trip to the
hospital (or worse). I'm not the kind of person that wants to
protect the world from the dangers of ATVs or motorcycles or
Viagra. I just decided I wouldn't take part in the ill-conceived
consumerism of buying such dangerous things.

We bought an ATV Friday.

Before I am accused of hypocrisy, let me explain.

You see ATVs on television...being driven with reckless abandon
over rocks and stumps and slow pedestrians to the banjo tune of
Foggy Mountain Breakdown.

Peggy and I bought ours as a tool for our business. We needed
something to use around our rental properties for snow removal,
hauling firewood and impressing our friends. The machine we
bought has a snow plow attachment and a pickup-type bed on the

We were frugal in our choice. We bought a used 6-wheel-drive
Polaris (I call it a mini-tank) from an Alamogordo dealer that
swore it was only driven to church by an old grandma who traded
it in for a Hum-Vee.

Since I had never been in the market for such a vehicle, I used
my car-buying instincts when dealing with the seller. How many
miles on her? How's the muffler? Let's look at the tires. Will
my friends be impressed?

We made the deal, scheduled delivery and came home and went on
the internet to discover we had paid too much for it.

The story of my life.

I read the owner's manual today. It is 100 pages of "Don't do
This" and "Don't do That."

Don't drive it up too steep a hill. Don't drive it down too
steep a hill. Don't drive it on paved roads, gravel roads or
any kind of roads (I'm not exaggerating. The manual actually
says that).

Each entry in the manual was ended with "violation of these
guidelines could result in serious injury or death."

To synopsize the manual, it said, "Sit on your ATV. Don't start
it. Don't drive it. To do so could result in serious injury or

Reading the manual was scarier than reading a Stephen King

I couldn't help but wonder. Did I buy a useful utility vehicle
or a flower planter with wheels?

Manufacturers have to write their operator's manuals that way.
It's a matter of covering their own rear-ends. While the
Polaris is capable of speeds of 50+ miles per hour, I'll set the
throttle so it won't go faster than 20.

That will be enough to impress my friends and keep me out of the
hospital (or worse).

Don Vanlandingham

A mild week. Highs in the low-50s. Lows in the low-20s. Still
a fair amount of snow on the ground.
Teri Scott, Tony Wedig, Gary Mack, Tommy Pope, Erich Wuershing
and incumbent Barbara Springer will be running for the two
positions on the village council up for election.

Village council member Linc Neal chose not to run for

Dave Venable will run unopposed for mayor. He is ending his
second term in that position.

The election will be held March 5.
Serving the Sacramento Mountain area for over 5 years, including
Cloudcroft, High Rolls, and Laborcita Canyon. From townhomes to
log homes, part-time to full-time residences, building lots to
acreage, it´s easier than you think to get into the home of your
dreams and I´d like to help! For the most current real estate
information, please call (877) 430-0664 (toll free) or 430-0664
(locally) or email michelle@michellemeyn.com for a free
relocation package (no obligation!). "Ich spreche deutsch."
Member Association of Realtors and Multiple Listing Service.

For more information see the link to Michelle Meyns web site on
the Real Estate page of Cloudcroft.com:


We at Highlands would like you to take a closer look at what our
University has to offer. For a general overview, see more of our
World Wide Web pages about our programs. Or even better, pay us
a visit in Las Vegas, New Mexico and see firsthand a slice of
life at NMHU, a place for individual excellence.


Q - A casino near El Paso was recently closed after it was
declared "illegal." Is there any chance something similar might
happen to the casino at The Inn of the Mountain Gods?

A - The casino closing near El Paso was a Texas matter. In
New Mexico, where The Inn of the Mountain Gods (35 miles from
Cloudcroft) operates, such tribal casinos are considered
perfectly legal and are in no danger of closing.
February 25-26 -- Circus Chimera, Otero County Fairgrounds
For more information, call 505-437-6120

February 27 -- Candidate's Night. Community Center. Question
and answer program for candidates for Cloudcroft Village
Council. 6pm.

Thru February -- An exhibit of oils by Jack Schuller. Ruidoso
Village Hall.

Thru February -- 11 Artists from Artisan Alley will have a show
at Eagle Ranch. The show runs the entire month, a reception
with the artists will be Friday, February 15, 7:30-9:30pm.

March 1 -- End of early voting for Village elections.

March 2 -- Cloudcroft Dance Theater Epicurean Dinner and Ball.
For more information, call (505) 682-2566.

March 5 -- Village elections.

March 31 -- Village Easter festivities. Check with the
Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce for a list of events at
(505) 682-2733.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the first Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, 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 8:30am 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:

I was saddened so deeply to hear about the tragic deaths of
Verbal and Lottie Scott. My mother told me about it the day
of the funeral service. My brother Jay was going to try to

I remember when they came to Cloudcroft. They lived two houses
down from us when I was in the 5th or 6th grade. We lived in
the "Pink House" across the street from the Penders. I don't
think it is still there. It was the the Penders rent house.
Chris was 5 and I guess Wendy was about 7. Lottie was a second
mother for me and I always had the deepest respect for Verbal
and Lottie and love for their family. Verbal's parents, Doggie
and Lilly Scott were members of the Church I belong to and
always encouraged me. Lilly wanted me to make a preacher. 

My heart goes out to Chris, Wendy and all of their families as
well as to the community. You spoke well of them in your
article. People like the Scotts are what make Cloudcroft, New
Mexico a special place to be and made it a special place to
grow up.

Sam and Jill Bradley

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks so much for writing about The Scotts. Although I never
knew them, my father-in-law, Ed Allen, knew them both. His
cabin has been in Cloudcroft since 1963 at 701 Fairway. And
since he doesn't own a computer, he said it would be okay if
I sent you this message through you to the entire Scott family
that he expresses his condolences.

I should say that my wife and I, David and Deane Burks, would
also like to add our condolences to the entire Scott family.
Words aren't enough to replace loved ones. We all know that.
But I hope in some small way knowing that there are others who
are praying for the Scott family does lend some peace and
comfort for those affected by this loss.

Thanks for the newsletter and hope it continues to snow.

Your friend in El Paso,
David Burks

Dear Newsletter:

You wrote a truly moving tribute to Mr and Mrs Scott. 

I was in Cloudcroft (with my folks) that Sunday, visiting my
daughter for the granddaughter's #8 BD. How sad that "detour"
was we had to take up and over Burro Ave., when we left

In these times, truly GOOD friends and long lasting friendships
are not so common that you should take them for granted. I know
the Scott's and their friendship will be greatly missed in the
Village of Cloudcroft, NM. God Bless them.

El Paso, TX

Dear Newsletter:

My deepest sympathies go out to the families and friends of the
Scotts. What a tragedy. I'm saying a prayer for them all right

Nina Rycroft
El Paso, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Hello Don from "The Scott's" in Las Cruces, New Mexico....

Mr. and Mrs. Scott were cousins of my father-in-law, Thomas
Ira Scott. I remember when my husband Tom and I went to their
home many years ago to say "Hello." Unfortunately, they were
not home for me to meet them.

It was a shock to hear of this horrible accident...saw and
heard about it on TV. You wrote a wonderful article on your
"special neighbors". I'm sure they will be missed.

Again, "Thank You" very much for such a heartfelt newsletter.

Donna R. Scott

Dear Newsletter:

I look forward each week to the "Cloudcroft Online newsletter".

This week, I was saddened by the story of your friends, Lottie
and Verbal Scott. I didn't know them, but they must have been
great neighbors. Your writings are always...just right!...but
this time, it touched my heart when you wrote, "If I had known
it would be the last time I would see her...." 

This is a lesson for all of us. We never know...and maybe this
will make us think twice about giving roses to those who are

Enjoyed your pictures of the beautiful snow in Cloudcroft. We
owned a cabin in Sky Ridge years ago...before the fire and
enjoyed some great times in the winter and summer.

Our stay in Cloudcroft is always a treat to a West Texan! Your
village people are always friendly.

Looking forward to more of your stories....and Newsletters.

F. M. King

Dear Newsletter:

Our thoughts and prayers are with the Scott family and with the
community of Cloudcroft. We did not know the Scotts, but those
kind of people are never replaced in the hearts of everyone who
knew and loved them. "May God Wrap His Compassionate and Loving
Arms," around all of you.

Hereford, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

WE are so very sad to hear about the Scotts' death. We are
customers and only knew them that way, but they were always so
nice and helpful.

Since I don't know who else to contact, let me say to you how
sorry we are for your grief and also the grief of Cloudcroft,
(our much loved place to retreat).

Fran and Tom Gregg,
San Angelo, Tx.

Dear Newsletter:

Sorry to hear about Lottie. I know everyone will miss her. Our
thoughts are with Family and Friends. We never think about
things like that until they're gone.

Thank you so much for the newsletter.


Dear Newsletter:

My family and I first visited Cloudcroft a couple of years ago.
My brother recently moved to Las Cruces and had called us about
Cloudcroft, knowing our love for the mountains. He wanted us
to come and visit and we did, it is truly heaven on earth. We
loved it.

We have been back a couple of times since then. My brother and
his wife have bought a small weekend cabin and spend as much
time there as possible, we will be back in June for out family
reunion and hope to move to your beautiful village in a couple
of years.

I love the newsletter. Thank you so much.

Lana Guthrie
La Grange, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I just wanted to let you know that I was glad to see the
pictures taken from the area of the Scott Able Fire.

I was on the Sacramento Hotshots and was part of the Initial
Attack of the fire. I remember the fire as if it was yesterday,
but I have not been back to Sacramento since July of 2000. I
was really excited to see that the forest has already started
to re-grow, and also made me real curious as to what the forest
looks like.

I am now planning a trip back to Sacamento to see my former
crew members, and the forest.

From the bottom of my heart, THANK YOU! 

Jason Redding 
Former Sacramento Hotshot (2000)

[Thank you for the fantastic efforts you and your men put into
fighting this fire! Our Scott Able Fire coverage and photos are
still available on our Cloudcroft Information page.]


Dear Newsletter:

When I use to live in Cloudcroft, actually only a few weeks out
of the year - I had a recipe book from Cloudcroft and I have
misplaced it. It had a recipe for an apple cake that I am
finding impossible to duplicate. I have lost the recipe book.
Can you help?

I know it's a silly request - and someday I will find my book!
We miss Cloudcroft so much. Say "hey" to Bill and Elizabeth 
O'Brien, we use to be neighbors.

Jo Bacon

[If anyone knows this recipe, email us and we will pass it on.]

Dear Newsletter:

Well once again I successfully made it back to Phoenix after a
visit to Cloudcroft. Each time I come over to visit, I leave a
retirement memo on my desk at work, just in case I don’t make
it back. I think the only reason I make it back sometimes is
because I don’t have a cabin on my land yet. Thus, being
cabinless, I stay with my sister and it only takes a few days
before she is ready to throw me out.

My wife and I were there Friday 2-8-02 through Tuesday 2-12-02
and it was wonderful. I was a little put out though, after all
the talk I went to and ate at the “Western” for the first time.
And I couldn't’t find a rude person, not one! And I tried! But
no mater what I did the waitress was nice and smiled the whole
time. I did have one question of the waitress though. You see,
the coffee cup she gave me had a message on the side. It read
“GET WELL SOON.” You think maybe, I tried too hard?

In any case, the food at the Western was great and who could
complain about the price. Well, maybe the lady sitting in the
booth just north of us. She had the look of a fish out of water.
Did I say “Fish?” How appropriate! Some how or another the look
on her face made me think of that old show “Green Acres.” Hey!
Maybe I did find a rude person.

A little equal time:

We also had dinner Saturday night at “The Log Cabin” restaurant
in High Rolls. A little Blue Grass goes pretty good with dinner.
It wasn’t the Red River Music Hall mind you. But even though I
didn’t know a single soul in the place, it was easy to see that
love and friendship makes the best music of all. Of course, good
food at a good price doesn’t hurt either.

I’m a large hairy kind of guy. You know the look that when seen
walking down the road causes mothers to run out and pull their
children and pets into the house. My nickname at work is
Sasquatch. Now I’m not really a bad guy, in fact my wife calls
me a teddy bear (I hate it, when she does that in public.) I
look the way I do because of my work.

Because of my look, in Phoenix when we go out to a restaurant,
we’re seated in the corners. In some cases they make us wait
hoping we’ll leave. Not at “The Log Cabin,” in fact they stuck
us in the middle of the dinning area. My sister pointed out that
they might have done that so that everyone in the place could
keep an eye on me, but I assured her that I didn’t hear one gun

While at “The Log Cabin” I did see a hamburger that would have
made Jack wanna shoot himself. Maybe I should call it Mr.
Burger. I’m a big guy as stated above, and so was the guy that
ordered the burger. But Mr. Burger could have taken us both on
and kick some tail. That was at least a two-button burger.

Well thanks again to my sister (she said she’d kill me if I put
her name in this letter so I guess Wanda will have to remain a
secret for now) and to the mountain community for allowing me
visit once again.

Bill & BOB White
Phoenix, AZ

B.O.B. is an acronym for my wife of thirty years, Pat. You
figure it out.

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Copyright © 2002 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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