October 4, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

When I was a preschooler, my wardrobe included suspenders.

Sure, there were several kids in my sand box in kindergarten
that wore suspenders like me, but it seemed like the older boys
wore belts.

There was also the humiliation of having an older kid come up
behind you and pop your suspenders. The pain was minimal, but
combined with the humiliation, it was like a slash across the
naked back with a cat o' nine tails. The pain and humiliation
was magnified by multiples if the girls were watching.

When I entered the first grade my mother relented and bought me
my first belt. I thought I was through with the bullies but the
new belt made a great handle for them when they gave me a wedgy.

I grew to tolerate the bullies. It didn't hurt that my best
friend in second grade was as big as my uncle and was the only
kid in our grade that was shaving ("What's your friend's name?"
a bully once asked me. "You can call him Sir," I told him.)

The belt was my fastener-of-choice from then on. There were the
cool little narrow ones in the 50s. The cool wide ones in the
60s, and of course the cool tooled leather ones with the big
buckles during my cowboy phase.

There was that short "no belt" time in my early 20s when I was
a non-conformist. I always wore jeans and hadn't developed a
gut yet.

Two years ago I was walking through WalMart when I spotted a
pair of wide carpenter's suspenders in the hardware section. I
had seen guys wearing them around the village and I thought they
looked all right. I bought a pair.

I still own a belt, but I don't know where it is.

It has been two years since I've had to grab my pants at the
belt loops and pull them up. During my belt days I was always
adjusting my breaches.

Under the category of the method of holding my pants up, I have
come full circle since I was 6 years old.

I've learned that suspenders have become fashionable. Big shots
wear them under their three piece suits. Politicians wear them
for photo-ops to project the image of "one of the regular guys."

I was just interrupted in my writing of this newsletter when
Lewis and Lisa (or neighbors) walked by. I recessed from the
keyboard for the opportunity to visit with them.

Lewis has always struck me as a close observer of human nature.

When I stepped outside he said, "Look at this guy. Suspenders
and a tape measure hanging from his pocket. A man who is either
productive or knows how to fake it."

It's true. Clothes make the man. I'm buying a pair of
suspenders as a gift for Lewis...a problematical decision, since
Lisa wears the pants in the family.

Don Vanlandingham

The fall colors are pouring out all over. The apex of the fall
foliage change is probably within a couple of weeks.

High temperatures in the mid-60s. Lows in the mid-40s and
dipping lower on some clear evenings. Still occasional precip,
but it's tapering off.
Cloudcroft's new Chamber of Commerce manager is Jason Baldwin,
former Golf Professional at Desert Lakes Golf Course in
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.
The Ink is a regional monthly publication covering cultural and
artistic events across Southern New Mexico and the El Paso area.

The Ink is published in Las Cruces and is available on newsracks
in Cloudcroft or by subscription.

PO Box 643, Las Cruces, NM 88004. ink@zianet.com
Q - Most of the campgrounds around Cloudcroft are closed for
the winter. Are the hiking trails also closed?

A - No. The hiking trails are open and, with the foliage
change, this is a favorite time of year for many to hike those
trails. Many of them make excellent cross-country ski trails
when the snow falls.

A word of advice...the fall in the Sacramentos can see dramatic
swings in the weather. Equip yourself with ample clothing. It
is best to hike with a partner or a group. Bring along a cell
phone if possible.
October 4 -- Cloudcroft Bears at Lordsburg (football).

October 5 -- Cloudcroft at home against Lordsburg
(girl's high school volleyball).

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

October 5, 6 -- Aspencade tours

October 8 -- Cloudcroft at Capitan (girl's high school

October 10 -- Cloudcroft at Tularosa (girl's high school

October 11 -- Cloudcroft Bears at Faith Christian (football).

October 13 -- Sacramento Mountains Historical Society 25th
anniversary celebration. Museum grounds. 2pm.

October 15 -- Cloudcroft at home against Hatch (girl's high
school volleyball).

October 19 -- Cloudcroft Bears at home against Capitan

October 19 -- Cloudcroft at Lordsburg (girl's high school

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

October 22 -- Cloudcroft at home against Tularosa (girl's
high school volleyball).

October 24 -- Cloudcroft at home against Capitan (girl's high
school volleyball).

October 26 -- Cloudcroft Bears at home against Mescalero

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

October 26 -- Zoo BOO for grades 1 thru 5. Alameda Park Zoo
in Alamogordo. 1-4pm.

October 26 -- Lake Lucero tour. White Sands National
Monument. 9am.

October 31 -- Trick or Treat. Costume contest. Burro Avenue.

November 1 -- Cloudcroft Bears at Hagerman (football).

November 2-3 -- 14th Annual Antique and Collectable Show.
Civic Center. Alamogordo.

November 9-10 -- Christmas Craft Show. Civic Center.

November 23 -- Santa Town at Zenith Park. 5pm-7pm.

December 7 -- Santa Town at Zenith Park.

December 14 -- Santa Town at Zenith Park.

December 15 -- Community Christmas Cantata, 4pm. at Cloudcroft 
United Methodist Church

December 21 -- Santa Town at Zenith Park.

December 24 - Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, 7pm. at Cloudcroft
United Methodist Church

December 31 -- New Year's Eve torch light parade at Ski

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. The Society will be
having an Art Sale and Show Oct. 5 (10am-5pm) and Oct. 6 (11am-5pm)
at the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494 for more

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 12 noon. 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:

Your newsletter reminds me that the most pleasant time of the
year in our area is also the fall. Or may I say, the harvest
season. A season for harvesting memories of the summer, and
like the ants getting ready for winter.

Thank you for your newsletters. I can almost feel the pleasant
temperatures in Cloudcroft now. Of course, in my opinion, any
season in Cloudcroft is welcome.

Thank you.
M. Goodin
Hereford, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you very much for sending the Cloudcroft Newsletter. We
were stationed at Holloman years back I just loved Cloudcroft
we went there every weekend we could it was and is beautiful.

We went back to visit many times. Always wanted to move back
but never have as yet but when I want an escape I just think
of Cloudcroft the mountains.

Thank you very much,
Ruth Ann Brown
Wichita Falls, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

"There was no one behind them in a hurry to tee off. There was
no one in front of them worrying over a putt. Just he and her...
by themselves...loving the solitude. It was probably a lot like
being the only two kids in Disneyland."

As a seasoned cast member at Disneyland as well as a frequent
visitor to Cloudcroft during my youth, I know exactly what you
mean. Many times, when I have my early shifts at the park,
before the guests arrive, it's just me and a couple other cast
members arriving to work.

Complete silence, even the Rivers of America is still as glass
till the waterfalls are turned on or a duck comes in for a
landing. How many can say they've been to Disneyland on a sunny
morning and count everyone within eyeshot using only one hand
of fingers? Complete solace. It's when I get to say AAHHHHH.

How I wish I could experience that again in Cloudcroft. Oh well,
maybe someday. Till then, there is always my cherished memories.

Steve Fiddler
Moreno Valley, CA

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you for torturing my city soul with your minds picture of
the couple playing golf with no one in front and no one behind
while I sit and cuss the guy in front of me for taking 5 minutes
to hit every shot, and the guy behind me for hitting into me,
and my wife for complaining that I was gone too long after
spending 8 hours gone, one hour each way and 6 to play on
Saturday at a nice venue that is overpriced and has rude help.

Thank you for that picture of snow on the ground when all I can
see for miles is concrete and skyscrapers. For the description
of the deer and the bear when all I have is the mouse or rats
I see running through the local restaurants. Or the nether
season when I am sweating buckets in the 90 degree heat.

THANK YOU SO MUCH! Of course when you are snowed in and are
pining to be able to play golf, or wear short sleeves and walk
around outside in December, I'll still be playing golf however
overpriced it is. Still, the clean air, the mountains, the
animals, the slow pace of lifestyle, that is more of an
invitation than most people can withstand. I hope I don't have
to wait to long to accept it.

Keep up the good work and think of me the first time you don
that winter coat and walk out into the snow and hear it crunch
under your feet. Or the first time this season you get to slide
down the mountain on an inner-tube (that is if your brains
leave your head for a short period of time), or go skiing. Or
when you open your Christmas presents and you look outside and
grasp the real meaning of what a White Christmas really is.
Think of us lowlanders and smile.

Philip Duncan
The Woodlands, Texas by way of Carlsbad, NM

Dear Newsletter:

Kathy Tidwell writes requesting information about cemeteries in
the Cloudcroft area. Perhaps I can help, some. 

The closest one to the village that I know about is at Waterfall
Estates. It's just about in the center of the subdivision. I
would think anyone living there could direct you. Next closest
is at Old Marcia, a ghost town. Take the Sunspot road. A few
miles from the beginning is a paved road to your left and the
sign, "Penasco Canyon." In less than a mile the road is unpaved,
and just a little farther, on a small hill that the road
circles, is the cemetery. You can't miss it. 

There are cemeteries at Weed, Avis and Pinon, that are fairly
easily to locate. The one at Avis is off the main road, but
well-marked. I would think the one at Pinon will have many
graves of Tidwells, if that's what you are looking for.

Many years ago I spotted what I would think is a small cemetery
on a hill just below the tunnel. It hard to see going downhill,
but coming back up, if you keep looking to your right you can
spot a headstone with a fence around it. I never checked it out,
so don't know if it's just a single grave.

There are many single graves in the mountains and some just 
family ones. I think there is one in Sixteen Springs Canyon. 
Check with Charley Walker on that. There is a double grave just 
above the Village of Sacramento, in Agua Chiquita Canyon and 
at the top of Agua Chiquita, a single grave of a Mrs. Stevens 
or Stevenson. Also there is a small cemetery in Jim Lewis 
Canyon, at the old Lewis homestead.
I hope this is helpful. Maybe some of the other old timers can

Dick Trone

Dear Newsletter:

There is an old cemetery on the Bluff Springs Rd. There is one
out of Mayhill on 130 & one at intersection of 130 & 82 at
Mayhill (suggest to talk with someone oh directions). I'm sure
there a number of others -- check with the Historical Soc at

Cemeteries are great - especially the old ones. We have
abandoned cemeteries from NC to TX. Love them. Great history.

Betty & Allen Johannes

Dear Newsletter:

Marcia Cemetery is a few miles down Rio Penasco road, East of
6563. The cemetery is past the turn to Water Canyon, probably
1/2-3/4 mile on the North. Anyone looking for it should find
it. It's just passed an old cattleguard, if FS didn't take it
out when they improved the road.

George H. McMahan,
Lubbock, Texas

PS: Suggest they stop by the museum and buy a copy of "The
Cloudclimbing Railroad" by Dorothy Jensen Neal. Very historic

Dear Newsletter:

When I was a young teenager (40 years ago), my folks had a
cabin in Twin Forks. We'd go up from El Paso every weekend.

One of the places us kids would explore was the old cemetery
behind the church on Hwy 82 just past the 16 Spring Canyon
Road turnoff.

We now live in California but still visit occasionally and
plan to move back in a few years. That old white church is
still there and maybe the cemetery is the one Kathy Tidwell
is looking for.

Let me know if I have been any help.

Jack Pickle
Rancho Sante Margarita, Ca.

Dear Newsletter:

OK, OK, I'm convinced. Your last newsletter made me a little
"Cloudcroft homesick". The heat of San Antonio, TX in the
summer is getting harder and harder for this old guy to take.

I'm 49 years old, and I don't want to wait for retirement to
move to Cloudcroft. Surely there's someone there in Cloudcroft
who needs a good public relations/salesman/manager type guy.

OK, I'll wait tables during the busy season at the Western Cafe,
and rent snowmobiles and ski stuff during the winter. All
kidding aside, my wife and I are so ready to make the move to
Cloudcroft. We'll be working on it.

We love it sooooo much there. Enjoy it for us until we can get

Tim & Tina Ryan,
Cibolo, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

I get your weekly newsletter and it helps me to remember where
I spent the best times of my life. I grew up in Cloudcroft, as
did my parents and their parents before them. While reading
this week' article I flashed back to my childhood when the
woman asked about the grave yard just out of Cloudcroft.

I believe she is talking about the "9 Graves" which is located
up by the old dump. I believe there is a ball field there now,
but when I was a kid we use to play for hours at the "old dump."

We also raised our show hogs in that area, and best of all trap
chipmunks for pets there. Chipmunks make great pets, but we
would only keep them for a couple of weeks before we would
return them to where they had been trapped.

My brother had the paper route, and the man who delivered the
papers would always leave extras for us to sell in front of the
store. We would put our chipmunks on a string, tie it to the 
button on our shirt and they would make a bed in our pockets.
We sold many papers to tourists, not for them to read, but
rather for them to see our chipmunks. My granddad (Carol
Pender), or as we called him, "Pop," once owned the store that
we stood in front of.

He also owned Pender Plumbing and the Wagon Wheel Stables. We
would take people for trail rides back in the area up by the
old dump. I also remember taking our dogs and going squirrel 
hunting back by the "9 Graves" (which we tried to avoid because
we thought it was haunted in that area). There were wild dogs
that roamed the area, so that was another reason we had to be

Now days parents tell their children to watch out for strangers
and cars, my mother would tell us to watch our for the wild
dogs and the bears. My mother would take us for hikes back in
that area and it is still one of my favorite places in the

I also remember another great spot on the other side of town
called Rodeo Canyon. This place had the best wild raspberries
in the country until all the houses were built back in there.
We would pick for hours, the whole time looking over our
shoulders for any bears that might be sharing the berry patches
with us.

Once we got the berries home my Mom made the best raspberry
jelly (not jam) in the world. To me there was nothing better
than a fresh elk steak with mashed potatoes and gravy with home
made biscuits and raspberry jelly!

Just down the hill from our house was were my brother and I
spent many an hour riding our mini-bikes. The elementary school
now sits in that area. There use to be an old box car parked
there as well. 

As we got older we turned to skiing. I remember owning lace up
ski boots and a pair of old K9 skis. This was to be the
beginning of a new chapter in my life. My brother and I went on
to ski race for Ruidoso as well as being ski instructors at the
ski area in Cloudcroft.

I taught many a child to ski at Cloudcroft, and now that I look
back on it, I was only a child myself. This was before the chair
lift was put in and we had just a T-bar and a pauma lift. The
school would take us all skiing one afternoon a week and this
was my favorite day of the school week. My brother and I chopped
many weeds, planted grass, threw rocks off trails and painted
the ski lodge for our yearly ski pass. I remember laying on a
trail one afternoon, too tired to work any longer, and looking
up at the clouds. I still remember thinking to myself, this is
truly God's country and Cloudcroft is the best place in the 
world to live!

I now live in the country on 35 acres in a small farming/
ranching community just NE of Fort Collins. It is flat, dry and
windy but it is now my home and where I am raising my family. I
have two children of my own now that attend middle school in
Ault, CO. My home is now in a new state 600 miles from
Cloudcroft, but that small town that only had one gift shop
called Helen's, an old bowling alley owned by Mr. Pittman, where
the pins were set by hand, and thousands of acres to run and
play will always be a huge part of me.

I wish I could raise my children there, but it is not the same
Cloudcroft that I knew when I was a child. It has grown as I
have. Home is where your heart is, but Cloudcroft will always
be in a part of my heart.

Thanks for letting me share just a few of my memories with you.

Crystal Rogers Dirkes

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