March 1, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

In these days of throw-away consumerism, I'm impressed with
things that last.

Mobile homes are generally built to become obsolete. It is
common for a mobile home owner to trade in their home for
a new one after 4 or 5 years...like a car or a husband.

We live in a mobile home. Peggy bought it before we were
married over 20 years ago. It has been moved three times.

They say "mobile" is not exactly what a mobile home is and you
shouldn't move one more than twice or it loses structural

We moved this one from a park in Lubbock to a rural lot near
Lubbock in 1983. Then we moved it to Cloudcroft in 1985. Not
to worry. Unless there is a rare mountain earthquake, it won't
be moved again.

We have since remodeled it, added on to it and Pygmalioned it
beyond recognition.

I guess we could move to a "real" house (the P.C. term is
"foundationed home") but we have no desire to do so. When you
put that much sweat into a place you become attached to it even
if it was on wheels at one time and it came with a license tag
on it's tail.

Many mobile home owners own them out of preference and not out
of necessity. Mobile homes present a certain Leggo Building
Blocks satisfaction. They're simply built, which means even
idiots like me can work on the plumbing and other
infrastructures. Tornadoes are the mobile home's biggest enemy,
but the last time there was a tornado in the Sacramento
mountains...well...you get my drift.

Peggy has remodeled the interior. She didn't hire some person
from "Interiors-R-Us", she simply had a vision of the way she
wanted it, pulled out her hammer and paint brush, and did it.
Not a bad job for someone that has trouble reading a measuring


While I work on this article, I am occasionally distracted by
the goings-on on the small television set mounted above and to
the left of our computer.

Peg and I used to watch that same little TV screen when it
was in our "foundationed home" kitchen in Lubbock. While
preparing dinner, we used to watch the rocket's red glare over
Bagdad during Desert Storm in '90. We watched on the old set
when the rescuers pulled Baby Jessica McClure from that
abandoned well in Midland. We watched as Ross Perot
campaigned for president in '91. The set was too small to
include both of Ross' ears in the picture.

I'm watching the same old TV set now. Great picture. Great
sound. Different world.

Who do I call to say, "Enough already. I am not now nor will I
ever be interested in buying a BowFlex."

The TV in the kitchen is even older than the one in the office.
It is of the "preremote" era. It has the old rotary-type
channel changer with channels 2 through 13. Since it is
connected to the satellite system, it stays on channel 3, but
if you had to change channels on it you would have to get up,
walk over to the set and manually change channels. I get out
of breath just thinking about it.

It, too, still has an aces picture and good sound. When it
quits working, we'll have to throw it away. They probably don't
make parts for it any more and the only guy I know that is old
enough to know how to work on it lives in a nursing home.

We own a 12 year old Ford Bronco II. Peggy and I call it "The
Old Pony." Still runs like a scared cat.

I saw on "Frontline" the other night that the Bronco II is a
dangerous vehicle. It is PBS's insinuation that the
propensity of the Bronco II is to maim motorists.

I love that old Bronco II and except for the time I skinned a
knuckle changing a tire, it hasn't maimed me.

In June we're giving it to a 16-year-old kid that needs the
transportation to college. James is a gifted young man who
entered higher education early. He plays a wonderful classical
guitar and wants to be a guidance councilor. When God screwed
this kid's head on, He didn't cross the threads.

I am confident that The Old Pony will be as loyal to him as it
has been to us.

I don't think James watches "Frontline."

I own a double-edged ax for cutting wood. It sits in a corner
unused since I discovered chain saws and powered splitters, but
it's still and old friend. Having it leaning against the wood
shed gives the impression to visitors that I still have the
moxie to use it.

I just re-read this article. I am really beginning to sound

Don Vanlandingham

No new snow in the past week, but there are still good stands
of snow in the shady areas. The snow play areas are closed, but
the tenacious are finding places for tubing and cross-country

Temperatures are warmer. Daily highs are around 45. Over-night
lows near 20.
I've just published three web pages of a photo essay about the
marvelous renaissance now underway in nearby Carrizozo, NM. I
hope your readers might enjoy learning of the progress being
made there of late:


Jack Schuller
Friday, March 1 is the last day for early voting in the upcoming
village elections. Persons wishing to vote early must make a
personal appearance at the village office. Two village council
seats (4 year terms) and the mayor's position (a 4 year term)
are up for election.
Attractive, clean, affordable. One and 2 bedroom cabins, fully
carpeted, newly decorated, fireplaces, cable TV, VCR, phones,
deck, smoker-cookers, picnic table. Fully-equipped kitchens. We
offer discounts. We hope to make your stay in Cloudcroft fun,
relaxing and "worth it." Call (877) 745-3767 (toll free) or
(806) 745-3767, or email us at cozycabins@door.net.

For more information and rates, see the link to our web site
on the Lodging page of Cloudcroft.com.


Just minutes from the heart of Albuquerque, the world's longest
aerial tramway lifts you to the breathtaking top of Sandia Peak.


Q - What are property values like in Cloudcroft?

A - My real estate friends are telling me they are going up
slightly. That could be the result of an increase in expendable
income for such things as vacation properties, etc. or it could
be because the economy is beginning to harden over-all.

My real estate friends say you can still find bargains in
mountain properties. Then, you would expect them to say that.
March 1 -- End of early voting for Village elections.

March 2 -- Cloudcroft Dance Theater Epicurean Dinner and Ball.

March 5 -- Village elections.

Through March 17 -- Sunset Stroll Nature Walk. White Sands
National Monument. 5pm daily.

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

Lydia Aspen will have an autobiographical art exhibit at the
NMSU-A Townsend Library Gallery through March and will be
performing March 21, 7pm in room 128 in the Technical Education
Building located above the library. The performance, The
Creative Paradox, will be improvisational.

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:

Once again, you have shown us all that you are not only a great
and funny writer, but a smart man. Any guy who realizes his
wife is a mystery, and publicly acknowledges same, has got to
know that there are many swooning female readers out here who
think Peggy is a pretty lucky gal! Go, Peggy!

Cecile Montz
Eureka, Missouri

Dear Newsletter:

Wow Don, sounds like your one lucky guy! I wish I had your
taste for adventure. I'd loved to give up the fast life here
in the city and move up to the clouds, but I don't have the
courage to do that. Keep up the good work.


Dear Newsletter:

You're a wise man. Let Peggy stay a mystery to you and the
assembly of multitudes. She'll continue to love you for it,
whether you deserve it or not!

Sandy Woods
Austin, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Enjoyed your article about "Peggy". She's NOT a mystery to me.
She's about as solid as a rock and I've always known she would
be there for me if needed. Guess I've known that for over 35
years now.


Dear Newsletter:

It is good to be a mystery. Mystery is important in a 
relationship. My husband always tells me that I am his
fantasy. I don't think I even want to know what that might BE,
just happy to be a mystery.

Beth Scott

Dear Newsletter:

Greetings from South Texas. I will be visiting Cloudcroft for
the first time (or anyplace that has snow for that matter) with
my husband, three kids and my nephew during spring break.

I want to say that the more I read your newsletter, the more I
am looking forward to our visit. Reading about the weekly
happenings of your village makes me smile. I laughed about your
new ATV and I cried when I read your loving tribute to the
Scotts, even though I never knew them.

Cloudcroft has been highly recommended to us by several close
friends and has been dubbed "my favorite place in the whole
world" by the wife of a south Texas sheriff.

Even after our vacation is over, I will continue to subscribe
to your newsletter. Although I haven't been there yet, I know
Cloudcroft will become one of my favorite places too.

We will see you in March....

Christina Perez
Portland, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

My wife and I visited Cloudcroft, quite by mistake, for the
first time several years ago and immediately fell in love with
your town. Every year since, we have made time in our vacation
plans to spend some time in and around Cloudcroft. However we
have never been in the area during adverse weather conditions,
that is to say, ice or snow on the roads.

I have recently been given the opportunity to move to
Cloudcroft, and make your fine town my home, as I am about to
start employment at White Sands Test Facility. I realize it
will be over an hour drive each way from WSTF to Cloudcroft,
but my wife and I both feel it would be well worth the effort.
The only concern I have is the driving condition of Highway 82
during adverse weather.

Can you tell me how often a year Hwy. 82 is closed due to ice
or snow, or how late in the day it usually takes before the
county/city clears/salts the road?

I look forward to becoming a long term resident of Cloudcroft
and giving my three daughters the opportunity to grow up in a
beautiful and quaint town like yours.

Future Proud Resident of Cloudcroft

[If you have any stories about driving down the mountain in
adverse weather, send them to us and we'll publish them.]

Hello! I don't know if you can help me or not, but several
newsletters ago, there was a "thank you" from Diane Fearn,
Derby, England. I am the person she & her family had lost
touch with. I have tried several times to e-mail her, but
unsuccessfully. Maybe I have the wrong address. Would you, by
any remote chance, still have her address, if she has
subscribed. If so, would you please forward it to me? I am
Laurie Daily, a local of Cloudcroft, actually, Twin Fork
Estates. We really enjoy the newsletter, and have forwarded it
to our neighbors, who like us, didn't know it existed, until

We first heard of the Casino Night, in Sunspot, via your
newsletter. Just wanted to tell you that we went, along with
neighbors, and had a wonderful time! We were so surprised...
there was so much food (gourmet style), and the evening was
one we would like to repeat...in fact, why not every quarter?
It was nice to be able to bring your own beverages, although
they had plenty there, at reasonable prices too...thank you
for letting us in on the event.

Looking forward to future newsletter.
Laurie & Perry Daily

Dear Newsletter:

Hi again! Sorry but in newsletter 97, I mentioned a couple of
eating establishments that my wife, sister and I had tried
during our latest visit to Cloudcroft, each of us giving it the
thumbs up. I guess that would be the proverbial three thumbs up.

What I’m sorry about is missing another location that I had
intended to mention. I think the reason for my memory laps is
do to the embarrassment of having been to the location on two
occasions and still not known the name of the place. But I’m
getting ahead of myself, let me explain.

You see, in April of 2001 during one of my visits to Cloudcroft
I had brought along one of my two adult daughters Jennifer, to
have a look at the country, see my property and stay at my
sister’s cabin. As was expected the visit was breath taking for
my daughter! I believe her exacted words were “So, are you
leaving it to me or Amanda in the will?” That’s my Jennifer, 
always showing concern for her little sister Amanda.

Anyway, during the trip back to Phoenix, Jennifer started to
get a little carsick. We had already drove through Las Cruces
and Deming was a bit further than Jennifer’s tummy was willing
to wait. But as luck would have it, we were approaching an exit
with the facilities needed for the occasion.

For direction purposes, the establishment is located at or about
Highway Marker 117 (possibly exit 117) along the south side of
Interstate 10 approximately 10 miles west of Las Cruces.

Note: the approximately 10-mile figure is very approximate.

While Jennifer over burdened the powder room and my wife waited
her turn, I stood by in the café. Now when I’m traveling and
stop to use the rest rooms or other the facilities of a
business, I feel obligated to purchase something. After all
they are in business, and not just a rest stop, funded by
highway taxes. Since I was in a café, I thought I’d order
something to eat. After all, a big greasy hamburger is just the
thing to eat in front of a sick daughter who has been checking
on the status of the family will.

As I ordered the cheeseburger from who must have been the owner,
a Hispanic lady in the kitchen removed some fresh ground round
from the refrigerator. I watched her as she patted together
what must have been a quarter pound or more of beef. After it
hit the grill she returned to the refrigerator for a horn of
cheddar. I watched in disbelieve as she sliced first the cheese
then fresh tomato and onion. To make a long story short, it was
as if I had flashed back to the late 50’s and early 60’s. I
dreamed about that burger for months after.

Flash forward:

During this latest visit I had my wife Pat and sister, Wanda
with me in the vehicle (oops, My sister said she didn’t want
me using her name in these letters, so forget I said that). It
was during the drive over to Cloudcroft when the ladies said:
“WE’RE HUNGRY!” We were in Deming at the time and I started to
get off the highway when I remember that Cheeseburger at Exit
117. I began telling the women-folk about the cheeseburger as
we left the city limits of Deming. This was a no win situation.
Leaving Deming without food had to be explained to avoided
injury or gnaw marks to my extremities, but the additional
30-mile drive towards food after the description of that
cheeseburger was beginning to play on my nerves. What with all
the crunching of God knows what from the bottom of purses, I
began to worry that the business may not be there anymore.

But God was on my side this day and there it was, right where I
had remember it to be. Three orders of cheeseburgers and fries
later, all agreed it was well worth the wait. Three thumbs up
for those cheeseburgers and fries.

Bill White
Phoenix, Arizona

P.S. Next time I'll get the name, if I can remember....

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