June 23, 2001
Dear Subscriber:

It's the tourist season in Cloudcroft and with it comes one of
my favorite pass-times, people-watching.

Peg and I make it to the village on weekends under the guise 
of buying a gallon of milk or going to the post office, but if 
the truth be known, we go mainly to see who's in town.

It's not hard to discern the visitors from the natives. Natives
don't wear Bermuda shorts, black socks and white sneakers. The
locals are much more fashion-conscious. They're the ones in
stained jeans and tape measures clamped to their belts. If you
see a neck-tie in Cloudcroft, the wearer is either lost and
looking for directions to Albuquerque, or he's the guest of 
honor in a funeral procession.

Tourists read everything. They'll read a menu posted outside
a cafe from top to bottom, whether or not they intend to go in
and eat. They consume the captions under every posture and
picture tacked up on the walls and posts around town. Usually
they'll read what is written out loud as if those within earshot
are dying to know the price of the Huevos Rancheros.

My favorite tourists are those that display social statements 
on their tee shirts. These folks would have you believe the
feelings they're sharing with you via the markings on their
clothing are deeply felt, but chances are they wouldn't wear
that TAKE THIS JOB AND SHOVE IT shirt to the company golf
scramble back home.

There are the mass-produced tee shirts...ones you can find just
as easily at a Wal-Mart as you can at a Burro Avenue gift shop
in Cloudcroft...the ones put out by Nike and Coca Cola and
Harley Davidson and the like.

What marketing genius had the courage to go to his boss and say
"We'll put our company logo on a tee shirt, sell it for twice
what it is worth, and have all these people walk around
advertising for us?"

Better yet, what boss would swallow the idea?

Probably the same guy and the same boss that said "We'll put
water into bottles, give it a French name and sell it for more
than the cost of an imported beer."

Then there are the individually designed tee shirts. The one-
of-a-kinders. Many of these can bear statements that are roll-
on-the-floor funny. Many of them are so obscene they would make
a sailor blush. Others are so wordy you have to follow a guy
two blocks just to read it all, and you're often sorry you 
wasted your time doing so.

The tee shirts displaying religious, political or life-style
positions are a waste of good cotton. I've never heard of anyone
being swayed to an opposing viewpoint because they read it on a
tee shirt.

"Mr. President, why did you decide to sign that bill into law?"

"I was completely against it, but yesterday I saw a lady walking
down the street wearing a tee shirt supporting the bill, and I
just decided to change my mind."

The most interesting tee shirt of all...the one with nothing
printed on it. A person has to have a lot of self-confidence to
wear a tee shirt like that.

Don Vanlandingham

Little episodes of rain here and there have done little to 
break the dry conditions in the Sacramento Mountains. Highs are
in the mid-70s for the most part and lows are in the mid-40s.

The National Forest Service is still maintaining restrictions 
on public land, including the prohibition of campfires except 
in officially designated areas. The fire danger posted by the 
NFS is still "extreme".
The White Sands Forest Products sawmill closed down about a 
year ago as a result of drastic cut-backs in harvesting of 
timber in the National Forest due to habitat protection for 
the Spotted Owl.

The sawmill has now been purchased by the Mescalero Indian 
Tribe and will resume operations sometime during the current 

The tribe also owns a sawmill on the reservation. The White
Sands sawmill is near Alamogordo.
Remodeled and re-decorated, Dusty's Place is a 3 bedroom, 2 bath
home designed for care-free vacationing in the Sacramento

It features a fully-equipped kitchen (including microwave and
dishwasher), satellite television with VCR and a giant party 
deck in front with a propane grill. Fireplace with wood 
furnished. Linins and towels furnished. Large capacity washer
and dryer.

Dusty's Place sleeps 8.

See the link to Dusty's Place under "Lodging" on Cloudcroft.com.
Ham was the world's first AstroChimp, and the first free
creature in outer space. He blasted off from Cape Canaveral on
January 31, 1961, and traveled 155 miles in 16.5 minutes before
splashing down safely in the Atlantic. The first American human
to orbit the earth, John Glenn, was rewarded with a seat in the
US Senate. Ham's reward was an apple.

After his space mission, Ham lived in the National Zoo in
Washington, DC, for 17 years. Fretting animal activists worried
that he languished there, a lonely superstar with a single tire
hanging from his ceiling. So in 1981 Ham was moved to a zoo in
North Carolina. There he socialized with other chimps, and 
found a special lady chimp to love. He died, peacefully, of old
age on January 19, 1983, at age 27.

Ham's body was shipped West, and is buried in the front lawn of
the International Space Hall of Fame in Alamogordo, NM, 17 miles
from Cloudcroft.
Q - I was wondering if there were any Animal Rescue
organizations or Breed Specific Rescue organizations in your
area? I am a new subscriber to your newsletter. My name is
Valerie Rickerson and I am the El Paso, TX Area Coordinator for
Mastiff Rescue.

Currently, I am also a volunteer with the Animal Rescue League
of El Paso, TX. We have three websites that can be accessed in
order to locate adoptable animals in the area. I would like to
pass the information on to any rescue programs in the 
Cloudcroft/Ruidoso area. Thanks for any help you can provide.

Valerie Rickerson
El Paso Area Coordinator, Mastiff Rescue

A - There are no "breed specific" rescue organizations that I 
am aware of in the immediate Cloudcroft area.

Otero County maintains a very well equipped and well staffed
animal shelter in Alamogordo for all breeds (and cross-breeds)
of dogs and cats.
June 23-24 -- Blue Grass Festival. Camp Chimney Springs
For more information, call (505) 687-3520.

June 30 -- Fiddling Contest -- Open Air Pavilion
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

June 30 -- Fourth of July Parade and Craft Fair, Timberon.
10:30am. For more information, call (505) 987-2258.

July 4 -- Fireworks Display, Space Center, Alamogordo.
For more information, call (505) 437-6120.

July 7 -- Lumberjack Contest. Zenith Park, 11am.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

July 13-14 -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion.

July 14-15 -- July Jamboree. Zenith Park. Crafts Fair, 
Horseshoe Competition, Street Dance.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733. 

July 20-21 -- Melodrama. Open Air Pavilion.

July 20-22 - Bluegrass Festival. Weed, New Mexico.
For more information, call (505) 687-3648.

July 28 -- Chili Cook-off. Ski Cloudcroft.
For more information, call (505) 437-6259.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Thursday of each month
in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494 for 
more information.

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

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:

First things first. Thanks, Don, for the wonderful laughs I got
from your story of the experts in the Western Bar.

And to answer this question:

"Does anyone out there remember the Bowling Alley? It's been
many, many years. I remember spending every summer there growing
up. Remember pinsetters?"

I recall well the old bowling alley. The building still exists 
of course - now a tourist lodging. They only had "duck pins" 
as I recall, and those small balls without holes that are used
for the smaller pins.

Your recollection of the pinsetters brings back memories of my
own days of setting pins - in the old Hull Bowling Alley in 
Ruidoso. We had to put the pins on spots, one pin at a time, 
and woe to us if we didn't "spot the pin" exactly for those 
exacting bowlers. We earned a dime a game from the owners, and
if we did our spotting well, often a tip came sliding down the
boards at the end of the person's bowling session.

Of course we fed that small change right back into the "illegal"
slot machines and pinball machines that were the norm in those
WWII days in many establishments in Ruidoso. Mr. Hull let us
play on the pool tables whenever business was slow - no charge -
so it was a natural for us village kids to hang out there when
we had time to kill, and Mr. Hull had a ready supply of eager 
pinsetters always available.

Jack Schuller

Dear Newsletter:

I have never been to Cloudcroft, but am planning a trip up there
August 13-17. My better half worked and lived there for awhile
several years ago, and we're anxiously awaiting for August.

Your newsletter is great, and it helps me know what to expect.
Sounds Beautiful. Can't Wait!!!!

Rhonda Kendall
Joe Wynn, Jr
Fort Worth, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I finally made my way to your lovely village the end of April. 

On our first day there, we found ourselves at The Western Bar 
after the shops had closed. We met a couple passing through town,
celebrating their first anniversary. We met a bartender named 
Tina, and several locals. The locals took us in as if we 
belonged, including us in a birthday celebration.

The birthday girl was Mary. Her cake was made by Laura. There
was also Norma, Lydia, Judy, Michelle, Tom, Jim, and others.
They were indeed experts on various crafts and trades. I have
a lovely birdhouse by Tom Taylor. The cake was made by a retired
pastry chef who now constructs teepees. There were several 
artists. One works in stained glass, and others work in 
different mediums.

The talent they all had in common was making strangers feel 
welcome to their beloved village. They were all experts at that,
and we greatly appreciated them. 

Sherry Taylor 

Dear Newsletter:

Really appreciated you relating your experience meeting all 
those experts. By trade I'm a court reporter and I thought you 
might enjoy learning what the definition of an expert is, 
according to one very unlucky lawyer from Albuquerque many 
years ago during a deposition.

This was a deposition of the plaintiff's expert in the value of 
a liquor license in Las Cruces, NM. The young lawyer from 
Albuquerque was relentless in his questioning of Mr. Smith 
(names are changed to protect the ignorant--no, innocent).

Anyway, after much to do about all his experience, his years of
being behind the bar, as well as owning more than 10 different
kind of liquor establishments all in New Mexico, the young 
lawyer from said:

"Well, Mr. Smith, you really do consider yourself to be quite an
expert, don't you?"

Mr. Smith replied: "It depends on your definition of expert."

"There is a luxury to my position, you see, I get to ask the
questions, not you," replied the young lawyer.

"Well, an expert is as follows: An 'ex' is a 'has-been' and 
a 'spurt' is just a drip under pressure."

There was dead silence and then no one could hold it in any 
longer. After picking ourselves up from the floor, and me 
almost knocking my stenography machine over from the laughter, 
the young lawyer graciously said he had no further questions.
Wise man he became in such a short period of time.

As the saying goes, "If you don't know the answer to the 
question, don't ask it." 

Truly hope Cloudcroft gets some rain soon. Thanks again for the

Your e-mail friend in El Paso,
David Burks

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Copyright © 2001 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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