November 28, 2003
Dear Subscriber:

Peggy and I visited Juarez, Mexico this week.

It's less than 100 miles from Cloudcroft, but in many ways it's
a world away. We've been to Juarez before, but this visit was

I went there for dental work. Not because I'm cheap. OK, it's
because I'm cheap, but I like to call it frugal. My local
dentist will hate it when he reads this, but there's a dental
clinic in Juarez that has developed an exemplary reputation
over the years for work on everything from fillings to full
restoration. I needed a dental bridge. My local dentist wanted
$25 hundred for the work. The people in Juarez quoted me $500.
You do the math.

I know what you're saying. If something goes wrong you don't
have the protection of US laws to make things right. In other
words, it's hard to sue the dentist.

Whatever. Maybe that's one of the reasons it costs about 80%
less for the same service. I don't look for the government to
protect me from myself...but I'm veering off-topic.

We did have a Mexican food dinner that I wish someone had
protected me from. Thank you, Zantac.

We were chauffeured to the Juarez clinic from our motel in
El Paso. Normally they drive you right to the front door, but
this time we were taken to the back door. Kinda scary
(everything is a little scary when you're in a foreign
country). The chauffeur explained that there was a parade
scheduled for the main street out front. The police have it
blocked off. He gushed with apologies for the inconvenience.

I checked in and we settled down with our little radio with the
earphones and reading material (one down side to visiting this
clinic is you may be there for a while, but at least you know
that going in). Soon we noticed the crowds accumulating
outside. The receptionist told us the scheduled parade was in
celebration of the Mexican Revolution.

We couldn't help but notice the electricity on the street
outside. Cotton candy, balloon, ice cream and pork skin vendors
pushing home-made carts were everywhere...jockeying for prime
sales positions. Police were working in a marginally successful
attempt to get the kids out of the street. I suppose the
excitement generated by a parade is universal.

Peggy and I both are suckers for a good parade. I told the
receptionist when my name is called I'll be outside. She smiled
and said fine.

11 am. We had been at the clinic since 9. My name hadn't been
called, but it didn't matter. The parade had begun.

Two million people live in Juarez. I think half of them were in
the parade. The longest parade I ever saw. It lasted about 3
hours. It was made up mostly of young people. There were about
40 bugle corps groups. Mexican culture favors bugles over full
full marching bands.

A bugle corps consists of a rank of 8 or 10 drummers followed
by a rank of a like number of buglers. The leader marching out
front twirls his bugle a lot...the equivalent of a drum major...
a prestigious position. There is always one lone bugler marching
in back. I don't know if that is a prestigious position or if it
is reserved for the worst bugler.

There was reportedly a large bugle corps at the Alamo in
support of Santa Anna's army, but that, too, is another story
and, again, I'm off-topic.

I was called into the clinic for my appointment about an hour
after the parade started. During the procedure to fit my dental
bridge I could hear the parade outside with clarity. I guess
it's also in the Mexican culture to do things loudly.

The sound trucks that went by playing music to support various
drill teams and gymnastics groups were turned up to maximum. I
don't know that there was any glass damage in the buildings
along the parade route, but it wouldn't surprise me. You could
sort out Gringos from the natives in the crowd. The tourists
were the ones with their fingers in their ears.

One van went by that was so packed with audio gear and monster
speakers that the driver drove with the door open and standing
on the running board. I don't know how he worked the pedals but
he had it figured out. If he had driven in the orthodox manner
(inside with the door closed) his ears would probably bleed.

During the whole spectacle I was struck by the unity of the
people of Juarez. The parade was a marathon but the spectators
never lost their enthusiasm...applauding and cheering from
beginning to end. Politics seemed to take a back seat as a
theme. The celebration of youth was out front.

There were displays of daring. Young ladies and men climbing
tall ladders and standing on each other's shoulders high above
the pavement. Firemen diving from engine ladders into safety
nets...each trying to outdo the other in difficulty of

I felt a little like Ernest Hemingway must have felt...an
outsider taking part in the activities of an unfamiliar society.
I understood Ernie's inspiration when he wrote about South
America. I had the shadow of a craving for a shot of tequila
with a little salt and lime.

My imagination saw bulls running down the street chasing young
barefooted daredevils wearing white pajamas and red waistbands,
but there were none. The closest to that image was a few well
mannered burros hitched to gaily decorated carts. This was
Juarez and not Pamplona.

Besides bulls have more sense than to subject themselves to all
that loud music.

A post-script...the dental procedure was a success. Just in
time for the holidays, peanut brittle is now back on my diet.

Don Vanlandingham

A cold snap earlier in the week. Warming as the week went on.
Lows in the mid-teens. Highs around 45. No rain or snow.
Holiday festivities begin this Saturday at Zenith Park when
Santa and Mrs. Clause arrive. Activities begin at 6pm.


We lost Lisa Peeples this week. Those of us that knew her will
miss her wit, her love of friends and her wonderful cooking.
Lisa and her husband Lewis and their dog Pepper spent their
summers in Cloudcroft.

It's Thanksgiving. Peggy and I give thanks for having known
Lisa. The sunshine she leaves behind in our hearts will never
If you are interested in purchasing property in the Cloudcroft
or Alamogordo areas, or just have a curiosity about market
availability or variability, contact the Realtors at American
Southwest Realty for courteous and professional assistance. We
subscribe to the Multiple Listing Service and will be more than
happy to help you review the comprehensive listing of properties
county-wide. We take great pride in the high level of personal
service we provide to our customers and clients. Please give us
a call at (505) 682-8515 or (866) 851-3279 (toll free) see the
link to our web site on the Real Estate page of Cloudcroft.com:




Q - When will Ski Cloudcroft open?

A - It's the magic question every winter.
Ski Cloudcroft shoots for Christmas as their opening date, but
obviously it depends upon Mother Nature and not Santa Clause.

Ski Cloudcroft is North America's Southern-most ski area which
sometimes translates into relatively warm winters. Since
sustained cold temperatures are necessary to maintain natural
and man-made snow, Ski Cloudcroft can only open when conditions
are right.

No snow at this writing. Our heaviest snowfall tends to be from
mid-December through February. We suggest watching this
newsletter for weather trends and snow play announcements or
call the Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce at (505) 682-2733.
November 28 -- The Lettermen. Holiday Music. Spencer
Theater. Alto. 888-818-7872.

November 29 -- Santa Land opens. Cloudcroft.

November 29 -- Lake Lucero Tour. White Sands.

December 3 -- High Noon Book Discussion Group. Cloudcroft
Library, 12pm. Book: Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy

December 6 -- ULLR Fest. Cloudcroft.

December 6 -- Cloudcroft Art Society Holiday Art Show and Sale.
Old Red Brick School House. 10am to 5pm.

December 7 -- Cloudcroft Art Society Holiday Art Show and Sale.
Old Red Brick School House. 11am to 4pm.

December 13 -- Pet Parade. Burro Street. Cloudcroft.

December 14 -- Community Christmas Cantata. Cloudcroft United
Methodist Church, 4pm.

December 20 -- Christmas in Cloudcroft. Zenith Park.

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

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-3004
for more information and details on the Cloudcroft Summer Art

Cox Canyon Volunteer Fire and Rescue is organizing an
auxiliary unit. If you would like to help support this group
of dedicated men and women, call 682-3084, 682-4664, 682-3719
or 682-3234.

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links button.


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 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

Everyone remembers where they were when they heard about
President Kennedy. I was in the cafeteria at Alameda Elementary
School in Las Cruces, and was in the 5th grade. Everyone was
crying and they sent the buses to take everyone home.

We only had two channels on the TV in those days, but I can
remember my whole family glued to the set. Very sad time for

Anne Coleman
Las Cruces, New Mexico

Dear Newsletter:

I was at Fort Bliss, Texas for AIT (Advanced Individual
Training). We had marched to a building that looked like a
garage. It had bleachers for us to sit on. We sat and waited
for the DI (Drill Instructor). 
When he showed up, he told us to stand up, fall in and we were
to return to our barracks. Then he told us, "President Kennedy
has been shot and he's dead."

We were marched back to our barracks, told to stay in them and
wait for orders. Our DI told us, "We don't know what's going
to happen, but you may be issued weapons and ammo." 
We had no radios, no television and no outside contact. It was
a long day. We never were issued weapons or ammo. 
Ahead was Viet Nam and the loss of youth. 
John Tall

Dear Newsletter:

That was just great. For a 27 year old such as myself, you
really gave me a sense of what the experience of those awful
days were like. It reminded me of how I will one day describe
the events of Sept. 11th to my children and grandchildren.

The days are definitely separated--those that were before 9/11
and those after. You have a wonderful way with words.

Jennifer Chancey 

Dear Newsletter:

I was all of 6 years old when on that horrible day a great
American was murdered. Some may argue the point of JFK being a
great American, but he did not run from the draft and served
his country, not only in the military but for the duration of
1000 days he did the most difficult job in the world and did
an excellent job.

Many in the newer generation cannot understand the tense and
trying times during his presidency, but we that were alive then
and could understand, knew that we were on the verge of nuclear
holocaust with the Russians, not to mention Cuba.

I can remember hearing at school that our country was on full
alert due to the state of affairs then, I was not old enough
to really understand what all that meant, I just knew that
there were a lot of worried people around me.

I have seen a lot of stuff on the History Channel dealing with
the evidence of the events of November 22 1963 and I am
disturbed that this lie about Lee Harvey Oswald has been
allowed to go on for so long. It is scary that our government
has the ability to blow that much smoke.

I hope that the truth will surface soon so that the those
guilty of the murder of JFK will be known. I'm sure that the
majority of those involved have taken their secrets to their
graves. They will stand before the almighty without any defense
for their crimes. I for one want to know the truth.

Happy Trails,
Zach Beadle
Devine, Texas
Dear Newsletter:

There's always another side to every coin, and most stories. I
was living in the deepest part of the "deep south" at the time
of Kennedy's assassination.

I too remember what I was doing at the time the news first
broke. But I can assure you that the majority reaction where I
was living was not one of universal sorrow, in fact often just
the opposite sentiment was expressed, and often vociferously.
Kennedy was not universally loved, in spite of what history
re-writers would like to have us to believe today.

Not that I wasn't personally shocked by the events of that
era, as were most of my friends and acquaintances. But one had
to be very circumspect about speaking one's mind on the
subject at that time, in that place.

Jack Schuller

Dear Newsletter:

I remember huddling around a bunch of kids at lunch that
fateful day in November 1963. One kid had a transistor radio
in his hand. You remember those little square ones that came
from Japan we all thought were so groovy.

Walter Cronkite had just announced that President Kennedy was
dead and he paused for a moment which you never hear newsmen
do, and you knew that the world would never be the same. I
was raised a Republican and still am, but I liked Kennedy for
his stand against the Russians and Cuba. It was a sad day and
we shouldn’t ever forget.

Philip Duncan
Houston TX

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you so much for the news from Cloudcroft. My mother is a
native, having been born in Silver Spring Canyon 82 years ago.
Her grandmother was the Cloudcroft schoolteacher and she spent
many days in the village while growing up. 

I easily relate to the stories and anecdotes you share on the
site as we come from the same time frame (older rather than
younger). I had to write, as I am sure many more will, to tell
how the assassination of President Kennedy affected my life.

To me it was more traumatic than 9-11-01, being 16 years old
at the time. My life has never been the same from that day.
Our youthful innocence was take from us by a deranged
individual, and those that conspired with him.

All of our feelings of safety dissolved in a few short minutes
at Dealy Plaza. It hit all the harder because of the coverage
that the press was able to give to it with television. We may
as well have been there. I was having lunch at a drive-in in
Carlsbad. Some how the hamburger I on my tray just wouldn’t go

Dave Carpenter
Loving, NM

Dear Newsletter:

Your article regarding the Kennedy assassination brought back
a lot of memories. I was also a high school student when the
shooting occurred. The irony of it is that I was in a Civics
class and we were discussing government. Our teacher was the
football coach and we all knew that if we got the teacher
talking about the upcoming football game he would talk
football most of the period. He was your typical macho-type;
rough talking, tough and crude.

However, after the announcement that Kennedy was dead we saw
another side of him. He openly wept, unashamedly, and on that
day we talked, not about football, but about what this would
mean in our rapidly changing world. We were young and unworldly
but somehow we knew that from that day on the world was going
to be a different place. After all these years I can almost
quote you verbatim what was said during that class.

I don't know what affected the guys the most; Kennedy's
assassination or the site of our hero coach openly crying. We
all knew that, from this day on, everything was all different
and somehow the world had all it's innocence.

Thanks for the great article.

Rick Gillespie, DC
San Marcos, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Your editorial in this week's newsletter brought back many
memories of where I was and what I was doing on days when major
events took place, from the beginning of WW 2 up to the start
of the Iraq war.

As for President's Kennedy's assignation, I was at work in the
lab of National Potash Company near Carlsbad, New Mexico. My
wife had the television on when the news flashes and first
pictures came through. She called me at work and gave me a
complete run down of the events as the were reported and I
relayed them to my fellow workers.

I'll never forget one engineer who came through the lab when
this was going on and when told President Kennedy had just
been murdered he said "GOOD." He was never well liked on the
job after that. 
That was very emotional at the time, but the most traumatic
for me was President Roosevelt's death in the spring of 1945.
I was a sophomore at Carlsbad High when the announcement came
over the P.A. system that he had just passed away. The whole
school was in a stunned silence.

The principal finally came back on and with a choked voice
said "school dismissed." I don't remember a word being said as
we gathered our books and left the school about as quietly and
orderly as it ever was done. I guess because Roosevelt was the
only president I could remember in my life time and the fact
we were in a war gave me visions of utter fear and despair.

Thankfully our good old American system worked as was laid out
as the framers of our government had planned. We gained one of
the great presidents in my life time, Harry S. Truman.
Dick Trone
Carlsbad, New Mexico

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Copyright © 2003 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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