July 9th, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

Nothing gets people more wound up around here than wood and

Maybe it's because both substances are not infinitely available.
There's a limit to the quantity of both.

This year fuelwood has been plentiful what with lots of property
owners taking advantage of the federal forest thinning project.
It couldn't happen at a better time since most of the home
furnaces in these mountains are fired with propane and propane
prices are at record highs. That's why I've spent most of my
waking hours cutting and splitting firewood since it got warm.
Maybe I'll have enough for a couple of winters. I felt like I
needed to get it now because next year there may not be as much

I'm beginning to understand how a squirrel feels.

People are very possessive of their woodstock. Some people post
signs near their stack (THIS WOOD PROTECTED BY SMITH AND 
WESSON). Being more passive in nature, I see no call to post
such a sign near my wood. The bear trap should suffice.

It's much the same with water. Underground water is difficult
to find around here. That's why a good water well is a precious
commodity and is maintained and protected vigorously.

"What are you doing snooping around my well?"

"I was just passing by and thought I could use a nice cool

"Well, have your drink and be on your way...and don't let me
catch you hangin around my well again."

"OK. I'll see you Sunday."

"See you Sunday, Reverend."

Our subdivision about three miles from Cloudcroft has a very
good well. Our residents, both full-time and part-time,
appreciate the work the volunteer water board does to keep the
water running clean and plentiful. A few months ago we
discovered our well wasn't yielding as well as it had in the

You measure the rate of flow in GPM (gallons per minute). It's
a very complicated mathematical process and involves some pretty
sophisticated equipment to measure GPM. You need a wrist watch
with a second hand and a five gallon bucket. You place the
bucket under the spout and count how many seconds it takes to
fill the bucket. I know it sounds complicated. Don't try it at

Our GPM was lower than it had been, so the board asked the
owners if we could install a new pump and they said yes, so
we called the pump company.

That's about the time Murphy's Law took effect. Not just one
Murphy's Law but a whole book full. If I recounted the whole
series of negative events to you this story would be even more
elongated, so suffice it to say we sprang a leak and it would
be several days before the pump company could get around to us.

The 4th of July weekend was approaching. Virtually all our
homeowners would be in town and they expected water when they
turned on the faucet. If the leak turned into a bust, the
property owners around here would be waterless and us water
board members would instantly lose our popularity.

For 5 days we fretted over the ailing water well. We watched it
in shifts. Our ears perked to every variation in the hum of the
pump motor. We counted the drips at the leaky pipe. We even
watched it all night. I'll never sleep in the front seat of a
pickup again. As I lay there with the seat belt buckle sticking
me in the back, I thought just how important a good water supply
is. You could have a 7 bedroom mansion on the hill, but if you
didn't have water, you were no better off than the guy down the
hill living in a tent.

Yesterday morning a new pump motor was installed. I guess the
pump company guys thought us water board guys had gotten too
much sun.

We were jumping around like kids at Disneyland. "Looky there!
Ain't that purty? The leak's gone, too! Wonder how much we're
gettin! Somebody get the bucket!"

I turned to Chris as he was loading up his pump company truck
and said I guess we're acting kinda foolish and he said it
happens all the time.

"Water means a lot to people around here. I've seen grown men
cry when a new well comes in."

Well, at least none of us cried. We grinned a lot all day, but
we didn't cry.

Don Vanlandingham

No new precipitation this week. Temperatures ranging from a low
of 44 at 8am Thursday the first to a high of 82 at noon on
Tuesday the sixth.

Remember, you can check the current weather in Cloudcroft any
time by going to Cloudcroft.com, scrolling down and clicking on
the weather link in the left margin. The data is updated every
10 minutes and is available 24-7.
A new cafe in town. Big Daddy's Diner opened last week near
Loper's Construction. General menu.
Daisy's Lodge is semi-secluded 2-1/2 miles south of the Village.
Appointments include 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, fireplace,
fully-equipped kitchen, satellite TV, VCR, telephone, washer and
dryer, sheltered parking, gas grill. STARZ movies and all NFL
games at no extra charge. Email us at daisyslodge@hotmail.com or
call (505) 682-3234. For more information, see the link to our
web site on the Cloudcroft.com Lodging page:


A literal blast from the past.


Q - I check the Cloudcroft.com weather page every day. Noticed
the total annual rainfall data reads zero. Has it really been
that dry there?

A - The great thing about this newsletter. We have over 4000
editors out there to help us with quality control.

The year-to-date precip data has been re-established based
on feedback from several sources as to the estimated annual
rain total. Let us know when you spot a discrepancy. We'll fix
it... and thanks.
July 7 -- High Noon Book Club. 12pm. In the library. Bring
your lunch and join us in discussing OF MICE AND MEN by John

July 10, 11 -- July Jamboree. Cloudcroft.

July 17 -- Mountain Garden Club's 15th Annual Flower Show.
Open to the public. Community Center {corner of Burro and
Swallow Place}. 1-5pm.

July 18 -- Annual meeting of the Sacramento Mountains
Historical Society. 2pm. Commons area of Cloudcroft
Middle School. Historian Leon Metz will be the guest

July 23-25 -- Singing in the Clouds. Gospel singing, solo's,
trio's, quartet's, and a lot of group singing by all.
(325) 691-9123.

September 4 -- James Canyon Auction & BBQ. Party Barn in
Cloud Country Club (Highway 82 near mile marker 27). Dinner
begins a 5pm, Auction at 7pm, and dance at 9pm.

September 11 -- White Sands Star Party.

September 18, 19 -- White Sands Hot Air Balloon Invitational.
7am both days.

September 19 -- Gary Johnson’s Cloudcroft Run. World’s highest
certified 10k run. For more information call 505-687-2133.

October 2, 3 -- Oktoberfest. Cloudcroft.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Thursday of each month,
5:30-7pm, in the Old Red Brick School House.

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:

Hi Don! This is the best day of our lives! Our little Golden
Pup is Home!

A very nice family in Cloud Country called early this AM
saying that he was at their house. We have already picked him
up and he went straight for his water bowl at our house! 

He is so happy to see us and our other Golden. They missed
each other. We want to thank you for your support and help in
searching for him, and also to Marty Smith in Cloud Country
who called us this morning. 

Our daughter will be coming on Monday to visit him up and 
probably move him back to Colorado Springs with her. 

Thanks again!
Carol Henry

Dear Newsletter:

I just wanted to think you so much for your newsletter. I am
soooo homesick. I went to school in High Rolls (1st grade)
and worked in Cloudcroft when I was old enough, the Ski Lodge
about 30 years ago. 

I finally got my much needed shot of mountain air June 19th
and 20th. I brought my daughter with me and we both enjoyed
the shops, Cloudcroft Museum, and melodrama (Dirty Work On
The Trail). 

I truly believe once you have lived that mountain life it will
never leave. It will stay with you where ever you go. The best
part was that it was only 68 degrees and I got a lot of cherry
cider. So good, yum yum! 

I am still drinking it and brought back 12 gallons for my 
friends. I now have a list for cherry cider started for my next

My favorite place for a quick bite was Dave's Cafe. I had a
really good hamburger there.

Oh, I just read the letter from Bob White. He said he has a
rock named Chuck from his property in Cloudcroft and is just
waiting to retire. I know how he feels. I carry around a small
bottle of dirt from Cloudcroft. My dream is to move back home
some day. So I just want Bob to know there is another miserable
person not very far from him also counting the days. He is in
Phoenix and I am his neighbor to the north about 12 miles. 

Bob, hope you get there soon.

Sherry Thompson
Cave Creek, AZ

Good Morning Don!

I paid my first visit to Cloudcroft June 12 - 15. Missed the
"Show Me Your Shoe Parade" but had a great time visiting
relatives there. While touring the village, I asked several
people that I met if they knew you as I wanted my sister-in-law
and brother-in-law to meet you. Finally hit gold when I asked
one of the owners of the store Off The Beaten Path (GREAT
STORE). The lady either knew you or had heard of you. That's
the closest I got to us meeting you! Maybe next time.

I had a fabulous time in Cloudcroft. It's amazing. Having
driven the flats from Albuquerque to Cloudcroft, it was
amazing driving up the mountain. A different world
completely! My relatives kindly showed me all the hot spots
in the hood. Spent lots of time on their deck talking and
laughing. It was sad to leave your mountain in the clouds to go
back to cement city - Los Angeles.

But I have one complaint -- the MILLER MOTHS. I find it
interesting that people are writing the editor saying they are
not swarming this year. I have to tell you...they drove me
CRAZY at night sitting on my relatives' deck. My relatives
live in the Waterfall Lodge area...and, I guess all the moths
are THERE! 

I promised my sister-in-law that I would write you as she wants
to see you do something about the worm pods in the Aspens.
What a shame. Very much like the pine beetles killing the pine
trees in Cambria, California. Anyway, maybe this will give you
something to do over the summer! At least you don't have to
announce on the radio anymore!

Best regards,
Michael T. Sauve
Los Angeles, California

Dear Newsletter:

Enjoyed your story regarding your old days as a DJ and your
station manager at that small Texas station.

Radio station managers are notorious for being devious and
a great source of interesting stories. 

After college I took a job with the Colgate Palmolive Co. in
Philadelphia and was moved to Ft. Lauderdale, then back to
Philly and finally to Cincinnati, Ohio. 

As you know that's the home office of Proctor and Gamble, 
Colgate's chief competitor. In other words after 7 years with
Colgate they through me to the wolves with the move to

Soooo, I took a job selling time for Wsai radio, a 5000 watt
rocker in Cincy, that was 1968. A year later I moved to
WKRC-TV, also in Cincy, also selling time and was promoted
to local Sales Manager, then National Sales Manager and
finally General Sales manager, all at KRC. 

Spent 20 years there working for the Taft family. The Taft's
of Ohio....Cincinnati has 22 people now on major networks as
reporters and talent of all sorts. George Clooney's father
was our news anchor. He's currently running for US Congress
from Ky.

Nick Clooney, brother of the Rosemary, a very classy guy, BUT
the local NBC affiliate, WLW-T had a newsanchor who was fired,
then ran for Cincinnati City Council and won with the most
votes so he became Mayor at the same time. 

After his brief political career, he moved on to Chicago and
hosted his on show on television. You might know him, Jerry

Hmmmmm!! Oh well, there are so many great stories about really
wonderful and not so wonderful people in broadcasting. 

I enjoyed reading your account as well.

Jim O'Shields
Green Valley, Az 

Dear Newsletter:

I used to be a disc jockey at the University of Texas Radio
station in Arlington. Trust me this was no biggee. We had just
enough power to transmit across the campus never name across
the town, which was so small at that time that it extended
from Fielder on the west to New York Ave. on the East (and
that counted a bunch of chickens and cotton fields!) I think
it is called central Arlington now! 

But we had a blast, played Peter Gunn (very racy stuff) and I
learned to speak! (No small accomplishment!) 

Enjoyed your story.

Carol Buckingham

Dear Newsletter:

Enjoyed your "radio days" newsletter.

Reminded me of my experience at the college radio station at
Texas Western College (we were a year away from being UTEP). 

The campus radio station didn't offer much training - I guess
because it was supposed to be so easy - but every time I
entered the studio to do my easy listening show I was very
nervous. I was always unsure about volume levels, which
buttons I needed to push, how to introduce each piece of
music, etc. 

I did my best - I introduced the velvet throat of Mel Torme
(instead of the Velvet Fog) and I would announce the soothing
sounds of Henry Mancini while playing a horror movie theme.
Happily, the broadcast barely made it to the dorms on campus

But my unforgettable moment came when I needed to read a public
service announcement about children's immunizations. I stumbled
over the word "immunization" early in the ad as I was reading.
Even though this word was certainly in my vocabulary, for some
reason, I could not put the emphasis on the proper syllable. I
think I actually pronounced it im-MUN-i-zay-shun. And I still
had half a paragraph to go. 

As I continued reading, my eyes glanced ahead and near the end
of the paragraph, I saw a form of that dreaded word again. I
decided to change it to something I could pronounce.

Proudly, I read the final sentence "Be sure and have your
children shot today." 

Not long after that, I decided that radio was not for me....

Gary Gilmore
Dallas, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

Noticed the $850,000 for thinning?

I called the Ranger Station and asked about the full slash pit.
It's full and the burning ban is on. I sent the Governor an
email about it. All the property owners want to reduce the fire
hazard too, but no where to dump the wood. 

Maybe we can add to the piles of the kindling created by the
$850,000. Is there something I am missing?

Maybe more people need to write someone who can assist is
solving this never ending problem.

Dale Tyler
Robin Hood

Dear Newsletter:

I'm normally in Cloudcroft this week almost every year and I'm
feeling a bit "mountain" sick today. We had planned to come up
the 10th for a week of camping in the Saddle campground, but
my oldest daughter wasn't able to join us and threw what could
only be called a "hissy fit". How could we "even think of going
to the mountains" without her (she'll be with her Youth Group
in Costa Rica--moping in her room thinking about her poor 
parents and sister left in the desperate heat of Texas--YEAH...

We bowed to pressure and will be wasting away on the beach
ourselves, Texas not Costa Rica. But while I float on the waves
& wash sand from places I don't even want to think about, I'll
be dreaming of the pines and the cool, fresh air of Cloudcroft,
counting the days until next summer when we WILL be there. 

Keep the newsletters coming, I love when you are able to include
pictures from the area. I need a good one to add to my screen
saver file!

Grand Prairie, TX

[Here are some nice photos taken at Sunspot by Kit Richards and
published in previous newsletters.]




A winter photo:


Here's an old Cloudcroft postcard provided by Hellen Sills.


See Helen Sills' wonderful historical article here:


To unsubscribe, email: unsubscribe@cloudcroft.com
You MUST put Unsubscribe in the Subject line.
To subscribe, go to
If email to an address bounces (returns to us), that email
address is automatically deleted from our mailing list. If you
cease getting this newsletter suddenly, probably your provider
bounced your newsletter. This can happen when a provider is too
busy or is shutdown for some reason. If this happens to you, 
just revisit our site and re-add your email address to our list.
If you have comments or suggestions for this newsletter, please 
direct them to: newsletter@cloudcroft.com
You MUST put CC-Editor in the Subject line.
Please feel free to pass this newsletter along to your friends.
However, we ask that you keep it intact and forward it in
its entirety.

Copyright © 2004 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
Previous Newsletter Next Newsletter