December 21, 2001
Dear Subscriber:

Peg and I and our daughter Amy are going to Las Vegas for the

It will be a far cry from any Christmas we have ever had. Just
us three in the City That Never Sleeps. We're looking forward
to it, but I fear our 4 dogs will not share our enthusiasm.

If you have been a reader of the newsletter for any length of
time, you know that our dogs are just like our kids. While Amy
is our first love, she insists on having her own life, career
and friends. These 4 dogs think Peg and I are the only two
people on earth. When they come into the house after a day
in the yard, they have only two things in mind: (1) -- Pleasing
Don and Peggy and (2) -- a raw-hide chewy.

With regard to our dogs, Amy thinks we're nuts.

They range in age from 2 to 5. Three of them are dog-pound dogs
and one is a roadside park dog. Four very distinct and
interesting personalities, but they all have one thing in
common...they've never spent a night in a kennel. My bet is
they're not going to like it.

For 4 nights their little doggie brains are going to be saying
to them "yep, they've abandoned us. They're never coming back.
No more belly rubs or ear scruffs or raw-hide chewys."

Phoenix, Pogo, Misty and Tipper.

Pogo is our quiet intellectual. A true Heinz 57. He's a
pacifist (although he did hold his own against Phoenix one day
when they began fighting over the custody of a pork chop bone).
He'll spend his time in the kennel studying the other dogs.
Time will pass quickly for him.

Phoenix is our Lab-Pit Bull mix. She's the neighborhood kid's
favorite. Not a mean bone in her body when she's around people,
but she doesn't like the competition of other animals...
especially when there's a pork chop bone at issue. She snores
louder than I do, or so I'm told.

Misty is our refugee from the road-side park, where we found her
alone, sick and flea-bitten. I worry about her the most when I
think of leaving them alone. She almost has a nervous break-
down when she has to be apart from us long enough to go outside
and potty.

Tipper is our smallest mutt (she's mostly Border Collie). She's
one of those "I'm not a dog" dogs. She's disgusted when the
other dogs act like dogs. She sleeps by herself, eats by
herself and usually seeks our affection when the others aren't
around. She plays with the others only when it's her idea.
She's smart enough to know we'll be back to get her, but
she'll be totally offended by being incarcerated in a kennel.

The kennel we chose is in Alamogordo. The temperatures are mild
there, even in December. The kennel owner said the dogs would
be in dog runs during the day and would be brought in to
sleeping pens for the night. We took a tour of the facilities.

"There's no TV," I said.

"Scuse me?" sez the kennel man.

"My dogs watch TV every night when they come in the house.
They like Shepherd Smith on Fox News. They're looking forward
to the college football bowl games. Our dogs are pretty

The kennel man kicked at a pebble and said, "The Holiday Inn
is just down the street."

We decided to alleviate the dogs' trauma by boarding them in
pairs. Phoenix and Misty together (Phoenix thinks she's
cooler than Misty and Misty thinks so, too) and Pogo and
Tipper together (Pogo is almost Tipper's intellectual equal so
they can bore each other).

Peg made them each a personal cushion to take with them so they
don't have to sleep on the cold hard concrete.

Las Vegas. The world's adult playground. The food is wonderful.
The entertainment the best anywhere. I can picture myself now
at the blackjack table with a huge stack of black chips in front
of me, a table limit bet out front and a pair of kings against
the dealer's 6 showing. Isn't that Tom Cruise sitting on the
stool next to me? Pretty pitiful stack you got there, Tom.
Wanna borrow some chips?

The truth be known, I imagine my thoughts will be hundreds of
miles away...wondering if Misty is eating her Purina.

Merry Christmas, y'all.

Don Vanlandingham

After the snows of last week, the weather has been clear and
mild but there is still plenty of fluffy stuff on the ground for
holiday snow play.

Highs in the low-40s. Lows in the upper-teens.
The Cloudcroft Inn restaurant and hotel plans to close after
December and will re-open in the spring.


Snowmobile tours are being offered at The Lodge.


Triple M Snowplay area will be open December 22 for tubing
(with lift) and snowmobiling.
Taste gourmet smoked cheese as your ancestors did 200 years
ago. Our original recipes were brought to the Colonies with
the very first European settlers. Tom and Ruth Ann Bland are
continuing the commitment to bring you the very best original
recipe smoked cheese available. See their link on the Shopping
page of Cloudcroft.com.


"Cheez-a-Smokn" also features Cloudcroft's largest latest
selection of video tape rentals at "Cloud Video" at the West
end of the village on Highway 82.
For a 5-day forecast of Cloudcroft weather and other
information, go to


and click on the Accuweather icon on the front page.
Q -- Many of your advisories mention "4-wheel drive or chains
are advised" when mentioning Cloudcroft weather. We only have
a two wheel drive vehicle.

A -- Our highway department is dedicated to keeping the main
roads clear even in the most severe winter conditions. Our
advisories for 4wd and chains are for secondary roads and some
mountain cabin areas where the state and county are not in
charge of cleaning off the roads. If you know your specific
destination in the Cloudcroft area, email us and we'll let you
know if those roads are state or county maintained.

Two things to bring with you when coming to Cloudcroft in the
winter -- booster cables and chains (for 2wd)...just to be
December 21 -- Official first day of winter.

December 21 -- Santa Town. Zenith Park, 5-7pm.

December 21 -- Late Night Shopping. 5-7pm.

December 21, 22 -- Cloudcroft Light Opera Company. Free!
For more information, call (505) 682-3317.

December 22 -- Caroling in the Clouds. First Baptist Church.

December 22 -- Santa Town. Zenith Park, 5-7pm.

December 24 -- Christmas Eve Service.
Cloudcroft Methodist Church. 7pm.
For more information, call (505) 682-2266.

December 28 -- Cloudcroft Museum Open House. 6-9pm.

December 31 -- Torch Light Parade. Ski Cloudcroft
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

January 3 -- Cloudcroft vs. Tularosa (BB) Away.

January 11 -- Yesterday: Beatles tribute. Flickinger
Center. Alamogordo. 7:30pm

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the first Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. There will NOT be a
meeting in December or January. The February 3 meeting subject
is "Perspective." Call (505) 682-2494 for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30am 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:

Hi, I was wondering about that radio station you had. I read
your bit on the inspector coming to town and he said you were
operating at too high a power for being an unlicensed radio

Now, I know some may suggest that you get out there and get a
licence, but believe me it is not an easy task. I worked at a
radio station in a small town in West Texas called Alpine. It
was a town of about 5,000; add a few more for the college there
and you had Alpine.

One day the owner was sending in applications to renew our
licence and somehow, and no one really knows how long ago it
happened, the location of our tower was incorrectly labeled
on the current soon-to-expire licence. We checked it out and
as it turned out, according to the FCC, our tower was located
about a quarter mile away.

According to the papers, they had it right smack dab in the
middle of some guy's porch. Well, we knew that was a mistake
because the tower was no more than 50 feet away from the

Due to the infinite wisdom of the FCC, we could not just say,
"Oops, well let's just erase that and put the correct number
in there." Nooo...we actually had to get a building permit in
order to put the tower where it already is! Well, some money
and paperwork later we had everything all figured out and our
tower was where it was supposed to be, both on the ground and
on the paper.

The FCC may have some strange rules but they need to be
followed, because even those $2,000 dollars per day fine is
meant to be a scare, they can and have fined people. I in no
way mean to make the FCC look bad at all, I just think it's
kinda funny how they go about business, and besides I am
completely off track of what I was gonna ask.

The transmitter you have, can you vary the power; reduce it so
that it would be legal again? If not perhaps try and find
another transmitter. Finally out of sheer curiosity what was
the power you were transmitting at and what was legal?

Thanks for your time, let me get down off my soapbox now...any
one got a ladder.

Mitch London
Austin, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Don, I appreciate the newsletters. It helps keep me in touch
with home. My ancestors moved into the Weed Country in the late
1880s to find a better life. I moved to Kansas City in the late
1980s to find a job.

I read your tale of the FCC inspector with a sense of irony. I
too am a federal enforcement officer except with the
Environmental Protection Agency. I'm proud of the work I do.
It has nothing to do with butterflies. I try to use common
sense and consideration when enforcing regulations. I'm trying
to help people. But, I understand it when an inspector just
shakes his head and says, "Sorry, that's the law." It doesn't
make it right, it doesn't mean it's the best, but it is the law.
Sometimes our hands are tied, but yours are not. I encourage
you to seek appeal of that decision and a waiver from the FCC.
I don't know their regulations, but if they are anything like
the EPA's you may have some recourse. Cloudcroft should have a
radio station like that.

On the flip side, I too am a victim of the anonymous complaint.
I live in the big city, and thus my business seems to be my
neighbors' business. This summer when I was building a front
porch on our house, the city building inspector wouldn't let me
finish the roof because four neighbors complained that the roof
was too flat. Go figure. They weren't concerned if it was steep
enough to shed water and snow. It will. They were concerned
that it "looked like and addition." Duh. It is an addition!
Anyway, we got it all straightened out and put the roof on in
time for winter anyway.

I am impressed with your good humor in that situation. Please
investigate the possibility of a waiver. Keep up the good work.

Edwin G. Buckner, PE

Dear Newsletter:

Another great story, Don. You never cease to amuse me and make
my week much more pleasant that it otherwise might be.

Maybe that "complaintiff" who turned you in to the FCC will
read this story and just come talk to you. Perhaps it's only a
bit of programming that irritates them (too much of this, not
enough of that) and they'll withdraw their complaint. This
could tilt the scales of justice in your favor, and then you
can double your duties once again and start up "Radio Free

Thanks again, Don.

Jim Ground
Irvine, CA

Dear Newsletter:

A comprehensive and interesting Newsletter. Thanks for the
re-cap on "Radio Cloudcroft", and remember it well. Would like
to know who the tattle-tale was.

Your weather outside is frightful, and I consider it delightful.
Our winter home here in Scenic Hills, Texas is snow-free so
far, but chilly and wet...but a great boost for the Aquifer.

The snow photos of Burro Ave are hung in my hobby room as a
reminder of past winters we spent in Cloudcroft. We're looking
forward to our return in April....

The Riverwalk in downtown San Antonio is splendid, as usual.
Thousands of lights, Carolers, and Christmas is expressed
everywhere. We will be doing our usual tour of the Riverwalk,
and have tickets to "Cats" at the Majestic Theatre.

Let it snow, let it snow...in Cloudcroft, of course!

Best Regards,
Dayt and Ann Blanchard (Cloud Nine Townhouses)

Dear Newsletter:

Have been getting your newsletter for several months now and
am really enjoying it. The one today was awesome. Love those
pictures. Wish I was there.

My husband and I have visited Cloudcroft several times and
wish we could live there. Not quite ready to retire yet, but
maybe some day.

Keep those newsletters coming and especially those pictures.

Mary Williams
Burnet, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

My husband and I were up in "the mountains" this past weekend.
We had gone to visit my daughter and 7 year old granddaughter.
(my daughter manages the Alta Vista Chalet Motel.) My 
granddaughter was in the 2000 Decembers Ago Cantana. Besides
the 'show' being delightful, we were so impressed by the warmth
and fellowship that we received from the very gracious people
at Cloudcroft Baptist Church! These wonderful people are
another "feather in the cap" for the Cloudcroft lifestyle!
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!!!

Carole & Ted Arnold
El Paso, TX
(Just moved back here from Axtell, TX!!)
Dear Newsletter:

Thank you for another lovely news letter. I always send it to
my husband who is working this year in Gail, Texas...while I
stay here in Rowlett and teach piano lessons and let my
Granddaughter who is 16, and lives with us, finish her school,
private lessons, etc.

We "discovered" Cloudcroft in the mid 60's when we lived in
Hobbs. We have been making Christmas trips(or to be P.C. Winter
Holiday) to Cloudcroft and Ruidoso for the past few years now
and had to miss last year because of other obligations.

This year we will be there, and are chomping at the bit to get
going. Thanks for keeping the feel and flavor of Cloudcroft and
New Mexico going for us until we can get back.

Carol Mehaffey
Rowlett, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks so much for the beautiful pictures in the recent
newsletter. Of course we don't see things like that in this
big city of Houston. It is such a great reminder of Cloudcroft
and how much we miss it.

Please include more pictures in upcoming newsletters.

Roger Schuler
Houston, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I received the link to connect to your site from a friend. I
saw the pictures of the snow and would love to be there skiing.

I grew up in Carlsbad, and attended Sunset Church of Christ
which had their church camp up above Weed for the longest time
until it burned down in the fire that swept the mountain
recently. I have so many fond memories of that area. Stopping
in Mayhill before going up the side of the mountain. Going to
Cloudcroft to run around and spend our allowances as kids. It
was an absolute paradise for a kid to grow up in. I miss that

I live in the Houston area and don't get much snow. I am glad
to receive your newsletter and want to say what a wonderful job
of writing you do. Keep up the good work. I don't suppose that
the local people would spring for the cost of the license to
operate that little radio station? That would be great to come
and hear a radio station there. 

Thank you for providing an escape from the rat race that we
live in, even if its only in our minds eye. Looking forward to
your next letter.

Phil Duncan
The Woodlands, TX
By way of Carlsbad, New Mexico

Dear Newsletter:

In August, I was reading your newsletter in August from a Sarah
Kent who wrote in. She sounded familiar in her letter and I
asked you to forward my name to her so I could find out who
she was.

Turns out she and I lived across the street from each other
before we attended elementary school in Carlsbad and we both
graduated from Carlsbad High in the early 1960s.

I saw her and her husband at a reunion in Carlsbad on September
9th and got caught up. She has since relocated back to Carlsbad
and, I think, has a cabin in Cloudcroft, too.

I've missed the newsletter lately as my E-mail at work has
changed. I have resubscribed today to have it sent to my home.

Thanks for an interesting newsletter. This also proves that
lots of people from far away places read your newsletter. 

Art Busier 
Woodinville, WA

Dear Newsletter:

Thank you for all that you have written about Cloudcroft. I
grew up in El Paso. However, I tried to get to Cloudcroft every
chance I could get. My fondest memories are going to the
campgrounds in the summer for weeks at a time and spending
weekends in the winter: skiing, ice skating, and tubing down
the slopes.

The best part of it all was when my family got land in the
area called Quarris Acres. I have dreams all the time of
building a large loft-like building and living up in the fresh
mountain air. Eventually, I shall get back to the place of my
childhood memories.

Thank you for all of the fond memories that you have brought
back to me. I especially loved going to the shop, "House of
Treasures" and wondering at what "little treasures" I will find
to take home with me.

I hope that Cloudcroft will have snow somewhere in early March.
I hope to get to El Paso and Cloudcroft then and introduce my
children to the great wonders of the fresh, clear mountains.

Michelle Miller
San Antonio, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks so much for posting the beautiful photos. As a native
Texan, it has been my dream to someday see a "goodly" amount
of snow at Christmas. Now, my dream is to spend a Christmas in

I continue to enjoy your musings, and am so thankful you
continue to share with all of us. You have a wonderful gift of
being able to touch a soul with your writings. Thank you.

Sherry N. Taylor
Granbury, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

I just want to tell you how very much I look forward to and
enjoy your newsletter. You do such a good job. I have been
pretty much out of touch with Cloudcroft since I left in 1970. 

I grew up there. I was a "Town Rat." Dad was a lineman for
Otero County Electric Coop and my best friend to end all best
friends was Rodney Hinshaw. We had a domain in the research
forest that backs up to the North side of town that would be
the envy of any youngster. Tree forts all over the place, the
crater down by the Mescalero turn off, the gravel pit, bears,
porky pines, skunks, squirrels, chipmunks and even mountain
lions (although I never saw a mountain lion - only heard them.) 

So many good memories. Cloudcroft was the perfect place to grow
up. The people loved us and cared about us. Any success we have
had as adults is at least partly a result of the values and
relationships that were so much a part of growing up there. I
hope to come to my class reunion sometime. I have failed to
respond so many times that I think I have been removed from the
list. Ole Raymond (Norman) Flores was always a good friend. By
the way, I can tell you how he was renamed Norman instead of
Raymond and by whom. Also, have some great stories about some
of the folks that still live in and around Cloudcroft. For
instance, I could tell you how many "pounds" of Chocolate chip
cookies Mike Rogers could eat when he was in High School. I
know because Mom cooked them and Mike ate them. 

There were people that had a tremendous impact on my life and
people I will always remember with fondness. Rusty and Billie
Hinshaw (my other Mom and Dad), Wesley and Wilma Lane, Mary Jo
and Ray Clendenin, Bill and Julia Dockray, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert
Dockray, Hutch and Tommy Hutchinson, Hubert and Marie Cope,
Doggie and Lillie Scott, Mr. and Mrs. Derrick, Kerm and Mariada
Spears, Percy and Dorothy Harris, Mr. and Mrs. Wimsatt, Mr. and
Mrs. Verbal Scott, Roscoe "C." Vaughn, Mr. and Mrs. Howard
Miller, Wayne and Judy Crowley, Mr. and Mrs.(W.T.) Bill Myers,
Mr. and Mrs. Dick Meyers, Mr. and Mrs. Ritter, Tommy Harrell,
Jimmy Sewel, Shorty Jones, Bud and Babe McLane and Pop, Mrs.
Davis, Mrs. Posey, Rollah Posey, Ben Longwell, Ernest and Vida
Rogers, Gladys Bonnell, Mr. and Mrs. Bonnell (Leroy and Georges
Mom and Dad), Dale and Candy Earthman, Mr. and Mrs Leon Green,
Mr. and Mrs. Bynum, Mr. Vreeke(sp), Beth Runyan, Dave and Sylvia
York, Bud and Margaret Hendrickson, Mr. and Mrs. Shorty Bowie,
Dot Steel, Mr. and Mrs. Spradling, Mr. and Mrs. Loper, Mr. and
Mrs. Riddle, Mr. and Mrs. Russ, Mr. and Mrs. Pyburn, Mrs.
Tillmont, Mr. and Mrs. Pender, Mr. and Mrs. Talley, The
Zimerley' family, Mrs. Kirkpatrick, Mrs. Boyd, Mr. J.N. Ogle,
The Northcutt family, Joe Baldarama, Jay and Charlotte Lassiter,
Mr. and Mrs. Brown (two sets of Browns - unrelated), Mr. and
Mrs. Dave Swope, Flossy Zigafoose(sp), Doc Lumbard, The
Mancillas family, The Sepeda family (Johnny and Lupe), The
Moreno family, Harley and Jo Burgett, Mr. and Mrs. Orvil
Overstreet, The Griffin family, Mr. and Mrs. Bernie Bounds,
Mr. and Mrs. Al Corn, The Allercon(sp) family (Natcho),
Citiosco and his wife (rumor was that Citiosco wrangled horses
for Pancho Villa when he was a kid), Marie ( I never knew her
last name but she lived to be over 100 years old and passed
away after I left Cloudcroft), Lexie and Grace, and many many

Thanks for the news, it always conjures up good memories of a
great life that began on a mountain in Southeast New Mexico.

Sam (Sammy) Bradley
Conroe, Texas

To unsubscribe, email: unsubscribe@cloudcroft.com
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
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 © 2001 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
Previous Newsletter Next Newsletter