June 21, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

First, a correction. The July street dance is not on the 14th,
as reported earlier in The Newsletter. It is July 13th.


My high school friends had a reunion here in Cloudcroft last
weekend. I attended high school in Morton, Texas shortly after
the invention of the wheel. Everyone knows where Morton is.
It's in the Texas Panhandle, half way between Enochs and 

About 30 of my old high school classmates got together. Some of
us hadn't seen each other in over 30 years.

It's funny. Out of that whole bunch, I'm the only one that
hasn't gotten older looking.

We are all in our 50s (or close to it). We had each achieved
varying levels of success since leaving high school, but there
was little if any buffoonery at the reunion. The bankers wore
jeans just like the guys that had made their livings in the
cotton fields and oil fields and climbing power poles.

We had all, in one way or another, "been there and done that"
or we hadn't been there and didn't really want to go.

We talked a lot about our old cars. We re-hashed the fist-
fights that we remembered (Morton wasn't a rough town in those
days, but sometimes we got bored). We engaged in varying degrees
of character assassination with regard to our high school
teachers (most of whom have moved to that big blackboard in the

Although we had to clear over three decades of dust off our
memories, the details came forth with amazing clarity.

We had made the transition from chug-a-lug contests to coffee,
tea and soft drinks. The guys still flirted with the girls, but
they didn't make horse's rears of themselves while doing so like
they would have all those years ago. Old grudges had long since
been forgotten. Scrapes with societal norms were ancient
history (besides, the Statute of Limitations had expired on most
of them and the mailboxes destroyed were replaced long ago).

When someone came up with the idea of a reunion a couple of
years ago, I wasn't sure it was such a good idea. After all
we had each moved in different directions. Some of us took the
hard roads through life while others played by the rules and
had been rewarded for it. I thought we would spend two or three
days together feeling uncomfortable and awkward and out of
place and, as a group, be glad when it was over.

It wasn't that way at all. That spirit...that element that made
us friends when we were young... must have been lurking dormant
somewhere in each of us only to be revived by getting together.

Sunday came. Cars were being packed for trips back to reality.
Most of us were reluctant to see it end.

We had taken faded memories and revived them into fresh

It's a good thing we didn't have a "youngest looking" contest.
I would have won.

Don Vanlandingham

Still much too dry. No new rain this week. Fire danger is still
listed by the Forest Service as "extreme." Restrictions remain
in place.

Highs this week have been close to local records. Around 90.
Lows in the mid-50s.
County road crews are busy paving several of the village's most
frequently traveled roads. Most of the paving will augment
access to the downtown area.
Come see accomplished artists at work in their individual
mediums. Original works by accomplished craftsmen. Artisan Alley
also has a full service flower shop and numerous gift items.
Artisan Alley is on historic Burro Street. Open 7 days a week.
Come in any time. (505) 682-2897.
Email: artisanalley@mountainmonthly.com.
A day-trip from Cloudcroft.


Q - Is there a chance the old railroad into Cloudcroft will be

A - Arguably the biggest mistake made by the leaders of this
village happened in the mid-40s when the owners of the railroad
decided service to the village was no longer cost efficient
(after US Highway 82 was established between Cloudcroft and
the Tularosa Basin).

The village was offered the railroad, its track system, steam
engines and cars, for much less than value. The village turned
down the offer.

Since it would be cost-prohibitive to re-establish a rail line
(much of the rail-bed still exists and has been transformed
into hiking trails) there is little chance an excursion train
will ever travel to Cloudcroft again.
June 28-30 -- Bluegrass Festival. Music all day.
Open Air Pavilion, Camp Chimney Springs.

July 4 -- Celebration of Independence Day in Cloudcroft.
Check with the Chamber of Commerce for events. (505) 682-2733.

July 6 -- July 4th weekend celebration. Zenith Park

July 7 -- Crystal River at Cloudcroft United Methodist Church.
One service only on that day which will begin promptly at
10:30am. This will be a patriotic service with the Holloman
Honor Guard participating by posting the colors.

July 7 - Crystal River Return Engagement. Pavilion in Zenith
Park, 2pm.

July 12-13 -- Melodrama. Covered Pavilion.

July 13 -- Founder's Park memorial dedication. Alamogordo.

July 13-14 -- July Jamboree.

July 13 -- Flower Show at the Community Center, l-5pm.

July 13 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue.

July 19-21 -- Weed Blue Grass Festival

July 27 -- Train Load of Talent. Covered Pavilion.

July 27 -- Chili Cook-off. Ski Cloudcroft.

August 16, 17, 18 -- Singing in the Clouds.

August 25 -- Music Night, Ice Cream Social, and Silent Auction.
Cloudcroft Methodist Church, 5:30pm.

August 31-Sept. 2 -- Labor Day Fiesta.

August 31 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue.

September 7 -- Methodist Men's Auction, 9am-5pm at the Covered 
Pavilion in Zenith Park.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494
for more information. (Note day of the month change.)

Cloudcroft Gallery & Gifts is offering Pastel Workshops by
Norma Riley June 3-7, June 10-14, and June 17-21. For more
information, ask in the Gallery in the Burro Street Exchange
or call (505) 682-2630.

Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30am every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Second Saturday of each month, 11am to 1pm.
James Canyon Fire Department, 2346 Highway 82.

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:

Tell John and Melinda Armstrong to check with their vet about
the possibility of prescribing Rimadil for Mindy, their Whippet.

My old Casey, the Irish Setter, was on her last legs -- 
literally -- and when I called the vet, in tears, to say I
thought we were going to have to put her to sleep, she
suggested trying Rimadil first. The change has been amazing.
Casey still has some problems, but nothing like before. 

My daughter and I have 3 rescued dogs between us -- Casey being
one -- so I appreciated the dog newsletter, too.

Sandy Woods 

Dear Newsletter:

I had to laugh at the receptionist's comeback when the doctor
was late and the patient was mad. I've had two experiences along
that line.

My current internist (who shall remain nameless in order to
avoid an influx of new patients) is very detail-oriented and
extremely thorough. Needless to say, this means he runs late.
But it's no secret to his patients or his staff. When a new
patient phones to make an appointment, Dr. X's staff tell the
patient that he runs late. They advise all patients to bring a 
book. Current patients referring new patients to him advise the
same strategy. On the plus side, Dr. X takes at least 1.5 hours
for a new patient physical. I can't remember the last time a
doctor checked the pulse in my feet and ankles on a first visit,
much less any visit. I can live with the waiting and I always
take a book...or two.

In the late 1970s when I was a newspaper editor, I was forced
to wait one too many times at my internist's office in a certain
Texas city. Now, if I had been told he had an emergency I would
have been patient. But I knew from experience that this jerk
consistently overbooked. 'Nuff said. I left after two hours and
then sent the office a bill for my time at my hourly salary. I
never heard from them again.

BTW, don't you think your cats should be renamed Tom, Dick and

Shirley J. Alford

Dear Newsletter:

That was good, about getting slicked. I've almost learned to
avoid getting slicked everywhere EXCEPT the Doctor's office!

Beth Scott
Tampa, Fl.

Dear Newsletter:

Don't get me started on doctor's offices and what happens there
(well, now that I'm started...).

A few years ago I had an appointment for a routine check up.
This was at the end of December and I'm sure that the doc had
not sent her quota of patients to see the various specialists,
because she found so many lumps and bumps and unexplainable
things in and on my body.

So I went to my appointment with the various people and no one -
not even 3 radiologists - could find anything wrong with me. 
They sent me on my way and told me to follow-up with the doctor
to find out the results of the very important tests.

So I go for my appointment to find out I'm not riddled with
cancer or anything else. I happen to be running 5-10 minutes
late. I come in, all out of breath from hurry - and am told
(with NO bedside manner by the Office Manager) that I can't
see the almighty doctor because I'm late. Get real. I fired
off a letter to the good doctor. I'm sure the "Office Manager" 
intercepted it and she never even knew. 

Man, DO NOT get me started on doctors...I must have bad doctor 
karma...perhaps I was a mean dentist in another lifetime....

Glad I got that off my chest! Great newsletter, as always.

Nina in El Paso

Dear Newsletter:

Very true about waiting in Doctor's office. We spend most of our
lifetime waiting either in lines at grocery stores or at banks.
I spend a lot of my time at Wal-marts.

This world is full of false advertisements about different
things for sale.

We were in Cloudcroft last Friday which was June 14,2002. We
really enjoyed the day there. We didn't make it by to say hello
to you.

Thanks for the newsletter again!

Shirley Myers
Amarillo, TX.

Dear Newsletter:

I totally agreed with your "slicked" piece, especially
concerning concerts in El Paso. I used to live in EP, and was
amazed by the "bait-and-switch" tactics promoters use to sell
concert tickets.

Have you noticed that almost all the big names they say are
coming to EP cancel? I am not exaggerating when I say at least
80% "cancel" before they arrive.

Leads me to believe they were never signed on in the first
place. El Paso lacks a lot of things, but the ability to promote
itself is one of its biggest drawbacks. I believe the problem
lies in the fact that it is far too provincial, and those who
adamantly declare that El Paso "gets no respect", or is "the
best place to live", etc. ad nauseam, are those who simply have

I feel I am immersed in far more culture up here in Cloudcroft
than I ever received in El Paso. The international tourism up
here is quite a learning experience, and community members
actually get involved in politics, conservation, and
philanthropy here. I am HOME! 

Amanda Kemp

Dear Newsletter:

"The Cherry festival is this weekend."

Oh my. Does that bring back memories!

As a kid in the late 1940s, I was lucky enough to spend two
weeks of my summer at the former Skyline Ranch in High Rolls.
My group usually rode a bus to and from camp. But this
particular summer I was offered a ride home in the brand new
Cadillac belonging to the parents of my best friend at the time.

We stopped in High Rolls to pick cherries off the trees. You
paid for what you picked, but no one weighed us kids before
and after the picking session, so it was all you could eat free
while you were picking.

Now in those days, the road down from Cloudcroft to Alamogordo
was more winding than it is today. By the time we hit the city
limits of Alamogordo I had erupted! The back seat of that 
brand-new Cadillac was covered in cherries jubilee, with a 
slightly sour smell! I've not been able to look a cherry in its
pit to this day. And whenever I run into that old buddy of mine,
he never fails to remind me, as soon as he shakes my hand, of
that long-ago day.

Jack Schuller
Ruidoso, NM

Dear Newsletter:

I just read your June/July/Aug/Sept letter and "how I wish..."
I could be there for everything from the Cherry festival to 
the Crystal River stuff.

I am in Orlando, where the temperature is 95 and the humidity
matches that. It is like putting a hot, wet blanket over your
shoulders when you go outside. "How I Wish..." I were sitting
on some stoop in Cloudcroft.

Your newsletters are wonderful. Hope to be there some day.

Ginger Davey,
Orlando, FL

Dear Newsletter:

Two dogs run through my life, across the sofa, atop the chair
always on alert they are, these four-legged blasts of coal black

Two tiny canines start my day with a short, brisk walk up the
road whatever the weather, we're out the door - tails wagging
madly as tho' they'll explode.

Cisco is Alpha, being older by far, and my constant companion
at home, faithful friend, I love her dear - a more loyal heart
I've never known.

Dainty little poodle with gray top knot a the end of the day,
greets me at the door with "hello, how are ya? glad you're
here", all the while dancing across the floor.

At night she curls up next to me ever alert for a would-be
intruder taking her place as our guardian, I sleep soundly -
trusting her.

Lily, oh Lily, what a funny little face with your black-domed
eyes and underbite one sharp tooth sticking up from below - 
indeed you are a silly sight.

A great sled dog trapped in a tiny, bow-legged body is what 
Lily truly is, running ninety to nothing to the end of her
leash with still more tug to give.

Still, your heart, too, is filled with love as you leap into
our laps and arms the smile your face is able to shine is but
one of your endearing charms.

Yes, two dogs run through my life - across the sofa, atop the
chair tails wagging, eyes shining for they're so happy that I'm

Thank God for dogs and thank God for people who love dogs. I'm
so glad the little one found a loving home to be part of. You
and Peggy are, as always, Points of Light. 

Keep Care,
S. Young
Temple, Tx.

Dear Newsletter:

I can relate with you concerning finding the gas cap door lever
on the new cars, BUT remember the 57 Chevy's cap under the left
tail fin or the cars with gas caps under the license plates? 
Most of the time when I bought a different car, finding the gas
cap was an experience.

I enjoy your writing and look forward to more.

By the way--Cloudcroft reminds me of my home town in Vermont.
Whenever I get home sick, I'll visit your part of the woods. 

Take care.
Leo Parker 
White Sands Missile Range

Dear Newsletter:

I am not sure how I started getting your newsletter. My wife's
dream is to live in Cloudcroft and she probably found the
newsletter on some web site.

It is interesting that we have a few things in common. It
sounds you were born in West Texas. I was born in Lubbock. I
grew up in Lovington, New Mexico. I have not live there since
the end of 1965, sounds like a long time ago, and it is.

I also had a career in radio and some TV. I was on the air as
a disc jockey for fifteen and one half years.

First in Portales, then Truth or Consequences, Lovington, Little
Rock, Tulsa, Fort Worth and Houston. I finally had to go legit
after a wife and four kids.

Really, got tired of working crazy hours and holidays. I would
have to leave my wife and daughters in the drive on Christmas
day crying because daddy had to go to work and be on the air.

I spent the last ten and one half years of my career at KPRC in
Houston, where I have lived since January 1969. If I ever get
to God's country, it would be fun to meet you.

I hope I get the nerve to shuck it all one day and move there.
I believe I could live there, for what I pay in property tax,
insurance and utilities here. I actually live in a Houston
suburb called Sugar Land.

Enjoy your letter.
Best wishes,
Ron Rice

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