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News, page 3

Feature, pages 18-19

Schools, page 21

Mountain Monthly


298th Edition, December 2012

Cloudcroft, NM

36 pages / 50¢

A fun-filled December in Cloudcroft By Lisa King Executive director Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce Once again the Chamber planned a fun evening for this year’s Annual Banquet. The 2012 event was a centennial theme celebrating 100 years of New Mexico’s History. Dr. David Townsend, this year’s guest speaker, gave a fascinating talk about the difficulty New Mexico had in actually becoming a state. Dinner was prepared by the Cloudcroft Sideliners. The group received a portion of the ticket proceeds that will go to help fund the sports programs in the middle school. Many attendees were decked out in costumes from different eras over the last 100 years and all the guests enjoyed guessing what era each of the table’s decorations represented. The Chamber introduced three new board members who will begin their terms in January. We would like to welcome Travis Dempsey, Carol Williams and Susan Leeah to the 2013 Chamber Board of Directors. Each year one of the highlights of the Chamber banquet is the announcement of Citizen of the Year. Once again the award went to a couple for the dedication and service to our community and to the Cloudcroft chapter of the Boy Scouts of America. Although they were not able to be in attendance to receive the award, Lance and LeOrla Wright were announced as this year’s deserving winners! Their nomination letters made it a clear choice, “These two exemplify the meaning of caring giving and serving.” “ Both have given above and beyond to helping our community with their leadership and involvement with the Boy Scouts of

Cantata a treasured Christmas tradition Our Village of Cloudcroft seems to be built on traditions ... including the murder mysteries at the Lodge with our own resident ghost, Lumber Jack Day, the Aspencade, 60 years of Cloudcroft Art Workshops, our own homegrown light Opera Company, all of our parades during the year and all of our myriad of Festivals held all summer long up and down Hwy. 82. BUT this time of year, we need something to nurture our souls, something to put us in the spirit of the season. For a number of years now, our local churches have come together to provide a musical celebration for the birth of our savior. We practice once a week for about 3 months to prepare for what we call our “Christmas Cantata”. All of our hard work and time preparing is our Christmas gift we give to the community. So ... we would like to extend this invitation for you to add this gift from our churches to your list of yearly traditions. WHEN: December 9th, 3 p.m. WHERE: Cloudcroft United Methodist Church HOW: With lots of hard work and dedication from our choir and our choir Director – Judy Gillett WHY: to experience a wonderful, uplifting Christmas experience as a united community of Cloudcroft. Refreshments will be served after the performance America.” “Even if there is not a call for help, these two amazing people think of ways to help and they just do it. Many times anonymously, they are not looking for public praise, they just sincerely want to help.” Congratulations Lance and LeOrla. Gearing up for this year’s Mardi Gras the announcement was made for the 2013 King and Queen Congratulations Robert and Wendy Adams! This year marks the 3rd year for the Lighted Christmas parade and it is getting bigger and better each year. Get your entry form at the Chamber to sign up for the Dec. 8 parade. The parade begins at 7 p.m. and we will have the tree lighting immediately following the

parade! This year the Boy Scouts will be out on Burro Avenue beginning at 5 p.m. with hot chocolate and goodies so come early for the best spot on the parade route! The Cloudcroft High School Choir and Boy Scouts will also be providing song sheets so everyone can participate in an evening of caroling around the Christmas Tree! Santa visits Zenith Park again on Dec. 22. Thank you CLOC and Cloudcroft Kiwanis for taking over this event and making it bigger and better! This year not only will there be marshmallows for roasting but hot dogs, snacks and baked goods! Bundle up, bring your cameras and let the kids have one last chance give Santa their Christ-

4.5 Photo provided

Don't miss the chance to share some holiday fun with your pets in the annual Kiwanis Pet Parade Dec. 1. See more details on Page 35.

mas list. The fun begins at 4 and Santa and Mrs. Clause arrive at 5! The Chamber has been getting a bit of a facelift all year. Thank you to the Village Crew for working on our deck and expanding it around the building. Thank you to Tom Belverude and Dan Edwards for not only donating the carpet that was installed this summer but for moving the entire office outside while the installation was being done and moving it all back in again! And thank you to Donna Clapper and Judy Siebanaler for making our building look so festive during the holidays! They have spent many hours making sure all the details were (see Fun-filled page 2)

Cloudcroft village council makes quick work of short agenda By Ed Woten The Cloudcroft Village Council held their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday the 13th at 6 p.m. and managed to break two long-standing records. For the first time in his mayoral career, Dave Venable was not present. He actually got some time off with his lovely wife Jan to take a long-awaited vacation to Costa Rica.

The meeting was conducted by Mayor Pro-Tem Brad Rasch. And if that wasn’t amazing enough, the Council managed to break their 20minute record set last summer with a 14-minute meeting. Call Ripley’s. Village Trustees Bruce Smaga and Andy Olsen took turns making and seconding motions. The agenda and minutes were quickly approved. Mr. Rasch had only one concern to

bring to the Council about a power pole near the Alta Vista Motel, which was scheduled to be re-engineered by the Otero County Electric Coop. The various Village reports were submitted and approved. New business began with the approval of Resolution No. 2012-16 concerning the Open Meetings Act, which has to be reviewed annually. Also approved was a motion to ac-

cept CES Purchasing Services as a possible source for future vendors. CES has been widely used by school districts in the past and was expanding their client base to include municipalities. With the approval of the Monthly Financial Report and the payment of bills, the meeting was promptly adjourned at 6:14. Amazing!

Page 10 — FOREST

Mountain Monthly, 298th Edition, December 2012


Sacramento District Review A look back at the Christmas tree By Jason Schultz It’s almost that time of year again, the time when we leave the confines of our homes to claim our own piece of Christmas spirit: The Christmas tree. If you decide to go to your local supermarket and purchase a tree, or take the more traditional approach and venture into the forest for one, battling inclement weather and woodland creatures along the way, you are partaking in an event that dates back many centuries. Though there are mixed opinions as to when the use of a Christmas tree first came about, many historians have credited the start of the Christmas tree to having originated in Germany around the 16th century. Christians at this time would bring trees into their homes and decorate them. It is widely believed that Martin Luther, a 16th Century protestant reformer, was the first individual to add lighted candles to the tree. It is said that while walking toward his home one winter evening, he was awed by the brilliance of stars twinkling amidst the evergreens. To recreate the scene, he put up a tree in the main room of his home and lined it with candles. It wasn’t until around the 19th century that Americans became familiar with Christmas trees. The first record of one actually being on display was in the 1830s in Pennsylvania by the German settlers. Most of the 19th century Americans found the display of Christmas trees to be an odd practice

and as late as the 1840s, Christmas trees were seen as a pagan symbol and were not accepted by the majority of Americans. To certain religious followings, like the New England Puritans for example, Christmas was a sacred event, not to be “paganized” with fancy decorations or any other frivolous things. Influential individuals like Oliver Cromwell took a very strong stance against such “heathen traditions” such as Christmas carols, trees, and any joyous occasions that he believed desecrated the sacredness of Christmas. In 1659, the general court of Massachusetts enacted a law making any observance of December 25th a penal offense, unless it was for church and worship services only. It wasn’t until the 19th Century, when German and Irish immigrants fought and defeated the Puritan legacy that Christmas trees became more widely accepted. In 1846, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert were drawn into an illustration of the London News. In the picture, the Queen and Prince are seen standing with their children around a Christmas tree. Queen Victoria was favored among her people and what was done in her court always became fashionable and popular in Britain. In fact, its popularity reached across the globe and hit the eastern coast of America by storm. The Christmas tree had “officially” arrived. Around the 1890s, shipments of Christmas ornaments were ar-


Photo provided

A lighted Christmas tree has only been a part of widespread Christmas traditions since the early 20th century.

riving from Germany and Christmas tree popularity continued to rise in the U.S. It wasn’t until the early 20th century that Christmas tree decorations started evolving for American people. Mostly homemade ornaments were used, and some of the German American community decorated their trees with apples, nuts, and cookies. Eventually colored popcorn joined in the mix. Once electricity became prominent in our everyday lives, it was possible to have Christmas tree lights that would sparkle and glow indefinitely. Though the history of the Christ-

1.75 Photo provided

The 1956 National Community Christmas Tree at the White House was delivered to Washington, D.C., from the Lincoln National Forest.

(see Sacramento District on page 11)

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