August 2, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

There are some aspects of life in a small village that cannot
be replicated in a more metropolitan area.

You can't get a ticket for running a red light in Cloudcroft.
We don't riot after our team wins a game. We don't riot after
our team loses a game (although we may grumble a little about
the bad officiating).

...and there's also the feeling of family. In a town the size
of Cloudcroft you know just about everybody. The feeling of
belonging is strong and warm.

In Cloudcroft, if you pull your own weight, you have an entire
village pulling with you.

That feeling is often sensed by our visitors. Many folks from
Dallas or Houston and other parts are amazed and noticeably a
little curious when observing us locals waving to each other
and calling each other by our first names and inquiring about
each other's families.

My trip to the hardware store today is a pretty good example.

I walked through the creaky screen door and Jerry the owner was
behind the counter.

"Hi, Don," Jerry says.

"Hey, Jer," I sez. "I need a pair of washing machine hoses."

"On the back wall next to the wall furnace," the proprietor

All this is being observed by a tourist type...the only other
person in the store at the time. He is observing our interaction
like a zoo patron watching the monkeys.

In my mind's imagination I can see this guy in his cabin this
morning, drinking that cup of coffee that tastes so much better
here in the mountains than it does in Houston.

He asks his wife "So, what do you want to do today?" and his
significant other says "I think I'll just shop along the

He turns to the kids. "How 'bout you guys?"

"Can you drop us off at the miniature golf course?"

Hubby says, "Sure."

"How 'bout you, Hon?" Wifey asks as she flips the pancakes.

"Oh, I guess I'll just hang out at the hardware store."

The City Slicker has picked out a 3-gallon gas can. He's
fiddling with the lid. Jerry shows him how to extend the

I can tell he's stalling...hoping Andy, Barney, Opie and
Gomer will walk in soon and make his day...and who can blame
him? It is his cool, quiet respite from the city where he
lives; where there are millions of inhabitants and it often
seems every one of them is headed for the same expressway
off-ramp at the same time.

"So," he asks me as I'm checking out, "How do you know when
it's time to replace your washing machine hoses?"

I glance at Jerry. Jerry glances at me. Even Nancy (Jerry's
cat) gives the guy a quizzical look.

"I guess it's when they start leaking," I say, unable to help

I know the guy's a visitor. Nobody that lives here wears
Bermuda shorts and black socks. His legs are in serious need of
a tan. There's little doubt those legs have been parked under a
desk for the past year.

"I like the hoses with that metal armor stuff around them," says
Houston. He probably saw a plumber with one in his hand one

"Those are cool," I said. I wasn't trying to be rude. I just
couldn't think of anything else to say.

Jerry sensed a lag in the communication.

"Sir..." Jerry said. "...how about a cup of coffee?"

Jerry always has a pot on the hotplate. I have been known to
linger in the store for a cup or two. Jerry has two plastic
lawn chairs situated near the counter. They're often occupied
with the village Andys, Barneys, Gomers and Vanlandinghams.

I linger in the hardware store mainly in the winter. When the
snow is blowing around outside I'll buy a 50 cent bolt, nut and
washer and drink 2 dollars worth of free coffee while telling
other lingerers more than I know about just about everything.

It's summertime, though. I can't burn daylight. I have a leaky
washing machine hose to fix and miles to go before I rest.

But Houston is on vacation. His wife is shopping and his kids
are playing miniature golf. He settles into one of the plastic
lawn chairs with his cup of coffee...his new 3-gallon gas can
at his side.

As I'm leaving, I hear him ask Jerry, "Anybody killed by bears
around here lately?"

Jerry doesn't mind. He likes the company between customers and
Nancy has someone to stare at.

Don Vanlandingham

It is the apex of the rainy season. Rains will likely begin to
taper off slowly as fall approaches.

Highs in the mid-70s. Lows in the lower-50s.
For an Accuweather report on Cloudcroft weather, click the
Accuweather logo in the left column of Cloudcroft.com.


We also provide raw US Weather Service data that is very useful.
To check the raw temperature and precipitation data being
reported by the US Weather Service, see the table at the bottom
of this page:


To get a raw daily weather prediction, see the information for
Zone 11 on this page:


For sunrise and sunset data for Cloudcroft, check this page:

For moon phase information for Cloudcroft, check this page:


For the average monthly temperatures in Cloudcroft, check this


For the average monthly rainfall and snowfall in Cloudcroft,
check this page:


For a weather map of the current US precipitation, check this


For a weather map showing the current US temperatures, check
this page:


For a weather map showing the current surface conditions for
the region, check this page:


For a current satellite photo of New Mexico, check this page:


For a doppler radar image of New Mexico, check this page:


A grant received from Public Service of New Mexico will be used
by the Cloudcroft schools to build an observatory.

Students will supply the labor. The observatory will be located
near the new school building on the old football field site.
It is sometimes a little tough to pull yourself away for a
mountain weekend when your favorite college or football team
may be on TV.

Daisy's Lodge and Dusty's Place...two modern 3 bedroom, 2 bath
vacation homes...have solved your dilemma.

Both cabins are offering, free of charge, all televised college
and pro games every weekend through Direct TV Digital
reception. Games you can't even get at home!

See Daisy's and Dusty's web sites on Cloudcroft.com's Lodging


or call (toll free) 1-888-543-3600 for reservations.


Question - Who is Rebecca? Is there a story about her related
to Cloudcroft?

Answer - We've told about the legend of Rebecca in The
Newsletter before. For newer subscribers, here 'tis:

Rebecca was a young and beautiful girl who, according to legend,
lived in Cloudcroft at the turn of the last century.

Her body was found near the Cloudcroft Lodge Golf course. It
was determined she was murdered, but the crime was never solved.

The friendly ghost of Rebecca is said to still haunt The Lodge
of Cloudcroft. Patrons of that place say they have seen her.

Golfers who hit their shots into the forest on The Lodge golf
course have often seen their golf balls miraculously shoot out
of the trees and back into the fairway.

It could be the ghost of Rebecca is sympathetic to golfers with
bad aim.
August 1-4 -- Gathering of Circles. For more information see
www.GatheringOfCircles.com or phone (915) 550-3302.

August 3 -- Otero County Electric Coop annual meeting.
Cloudcroft High School Gym. For more information, call
Eddie Little at (505) 682-2521.

August 10 -- Otero County Fair Parade. Alamogordo. 4pm.

August 14-17 -- Otero County Fair. Otero County Fairgrounds.
For more information, call (505) 437-6120.

August 16, 17, 18 -- Singing in the Clouds. High School.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

August 25 -- Music Night, Ice Cream Social, and Silent Auction.
Cloudcroft Methodist Church, 5pm. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

August 31-Sept. 2 -- Labor Day Fiesta. Burro Avenue.
Sidewalk sales, street dance, entertainment, games.

August 31 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue. 7pm.

August 31 -- James Canyon Volunteer Fire Department Labor Day
BBQ, Auction, and Dance. Dinner 5pm. Auction 7pm.
Dance (live band) 9pm. Call (505) 687-3960 for more details.

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

September 15 -- Governor’s 10K Run/Walk. For more info, call
(505) 682-2733.

September 21 -- Lumberjack Days. Chainsaw and ax competitions.
Zenith Park. For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

September 28-29 -- Aspencade tours (fall foliage at its best).
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

October 5, 6 -- Oktoberfest. Juried art show. Zenith Park

October 5, 6 -- Aspencade tours

October 19, 20 -- High Rolls Apple Festival. High Rolls, NM.
For more information, call (505) 682-1151.

October 26 -- Harvestfest. Pumpkin carving, hay rides.

October 31 -- Trick or Treat. Burro Avenue. 5-7pm.

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.

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. Third Tuesday of each month starting at 6pm
and last Thursday of each month starting at 12pm. 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:

Bounce, Bounce.... Not Basketball!

My wife and I have been in Ruidoso (with frequent trips up to
Cloud Country) for over a month.

Your rules concerning "bouncing" emails has me worried. My
mailbox was full when we returned home for a short stay. If my
address has been deleted due to a "bounce", please reinstate
it. I would hate to miss any of the fine stories and letters
you seem to come up with each edition.

Don Ammons
Post, TX

[Thank you for the kind words.

As I am sure you know, spam is a huge problem. Because we have
a very public email address, we get hundreds of spams a day,
including about 15 virus attachments a day.

The recent rule changes for the free email accounts such as
hotmail and yahoo mean that people using those addresses have
their mail boxes fill up very fast, and after that, every email
to them bounces.

Mostly because so many people use these free accounts, we get
a large number of bounced emails every issue. Not only can
we not afford the time it takes to process all of these, it
is very bad policy to permit such wasteful numbers of bounced
emails to fill up bandwidth.

Thus, our policy is: if an email bounces, it is off our list.
We have no way of knowing the cause, and so really have no

If a reader stops getting the Newsletter, this is the likely
cause. In that case, visit Cloudcroft.com and sign up again.
You will be emailed a copy of the last issue automatically.
You will not get more than 1 newsletter as we always take out
all duplicates.

We NEVER give any subscriber email address to anyone else, and
we NEVER send out spam.]

Dear Newsletter:

I so enjoy getting your newsletter from the wonderful village
of Cloudcroft. Our family has been visiting Cloudcroft since
back in the '50's, and look forward to that wonderful smell of
pine and fir and fresh air again this year!

As a child I remember the wonderful freedom of just wandering
and exploring that quaint little village. It has grown over
the years, but it still has kept its charm.

Thanks for wonderful heartwarming stories. I remember you, Don,
when you were here in Lubbock...KLLL, the John, Don, & Jane
era! And, I really liked seeing my son-in-law's picture on your
Texas Tech memorabilia wall in the Cloudcroft "mall." (He
scored a lot of field goals as Texas Tech Red Raider back in
the 80's with that deadly accurate foot of his!! He'll be at
the Lodge playing golf in a week or two. His name is Scott

Lookin' forward to the fresh air of CC.

Joy Haggard,
Lubbock, Texas 

Dear Newsletter:

My good friend Cliff McDonald writes and asks if anyone has a
falling rock story.

The one that always pops in mind is tragic. It's about a young
Airman, his wife and newborn baby. The day the wife and baby
were released from the hospital, she asked her husband to drive
around some before returning to the base. As they neared the
tunnel, the rain had just started really pouring down. After
clearing the tunnel a rock fell hitting their windshield and
entering the front passenger side hitting the newborn in its
mother's arms.

That is one reason why the road should always be closed during
a heavy rain.

Being a mountain native, Cliff probably has many rock falling
stories. Come on Cliff, tell us a few.

Dick Trone 
Carlsbad, NM

Dear Newsletter:

Just read your newsletter.

Two things hit home in this one.

1) I am that executive you talked about who's sitting behind
his desk wishing he was in the mountains cuttin' and splittin'.
I will be back to Cloudcroft in a few years when I retire.

2) The story from Melba Sykes.

My parents owned Mountain Top Cabins from 1954 to 1964 when I
graduated from high school at good ol' CHS. The manager she
was talking about was my Dad, and I remember when the bear tore
the door off the wood shed.

In 1987, my wife and I bought the old quonset hut where I grew
up and the duplex that I helped my Dad build back in 1960. The
quonset hut was the dining hall for the military R&R camp
originally, but had become unsalvageable.

We tore the old quonset hut down and built a cabin in its place,
probably the one she mentioned staying in recently. The front of
the quonset hut was a false front that looked like a nice cabin.

Our cabin looks the same on the front, including the old wagon
wheel and the same windows. The rest of it is nothing like the

We enjoy your newsletter. Keep up the great work!

Ted Heath, CHS Class of '64
San Rafael, California

Dear Newsletter:

Sorry we did not get to meet you but it was a short trip and we
only had so many hours in a day that I could say "yes ma'am".

We were there in time to see the outdoor play put on by the
"CLOC" and we made it to the Train load of Talent Show as well.

It was absolutely wonderful to be back in the hill country. Met
some great folks from there and from here. Walked in the
Restaurant of the Cloudcroft Inn (not sure if name is correct)
on the west end of town Sunday morning and it was very crowded.

A gentleman came in right behind us and I asked him if he would
like to join us since our table was ready and there were no
others available. Only two of us and table for 4. I asked what
part of Texas he was from, standing joke, and he said

Funny thing is, I am from Sweetwater. He had just moved here
about 3 months ago and I did telephone work for him but did not
meet him; only talked to him on the phone. Small world, would
you not say.

We had a great visit and had to go 360 miles to do it.

Well, sir, the cloud country was great as ever and maybe next
time we can meet the author of this fine newsletter.

Texas friends,
Dusty and Pat

Dear Newsletter:

I wanted to let the village know. There will be a whole lot of
Chevy Avalanches coming to Cloudcroft Labor Day week-end. We
will be arriving on Fri.

We are the Alamo City Avalanche Club. Robert and I have been
to CC about four times and told everyone in the club how
wonderful this little village is. And the people are so sweet
that live there. We have stayed at Toni and Layettes' cabins.

We are acquainted with several of the store owners. We just
love Mona at the Gypsy Wagon. We have a few people who have
4x4 trucks, any ideas on off-roading? We are a very nice group
of people. Most of us will be staying at the Summit Inn.

You are welcome to go to our site and check us out. We just got
back from a cruise to Marble Falls Texas. Here is the site
address where you can go take a look.


We are the Rough Riders and we are the owners of the Spirit
Winds Ranch (Robert & Cindy). We all can not wait to get our
group to CC.

I love your Newsletter; it helps us stay in the clouds that we
love so much. 

Yours truly,
Robert & Cindy
Comfort, Texas

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