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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Plowboys Open Football Season Friday in Hawley

Plowboy offense at last week's scrimmage in Munday. (Photo by Lus Pantoja)
After a final scrimmage in Munday last Thursday, the Plowboys are ready to begin the regular season this Friday against the Hawley Bearcats at Forrest Field in Hawley.

Quarterback Cutter Davila, a senior who earned all-district honors last year, will once again lead the Plowboys on offense, and running back Vincent Pantoja, who missed almost all last season with an injury, is back to share running duties with Max Nemir, last year’s district co-defensive newcomer of the year.  Sebastian Benivamondez, a first-team all-district defensive end, is also back to help lead the defense.  In all, the Plowboys return nine offensive and ten defensive starters from last year’s team, and there are also some promising newcomers.

Hawley should prove to be a strong opponent.  They also return a host of starters from a team that went 4-1 in their 2A district, defeating Colorado City and losing only to the Cisco Lobos, who went on to win the state title.  The Bearcats also went 1-1 in the playoffs.  This year they’re dropping down to play in district 4-2A, division I, along with Stamford, Anson, Windthorst, Olney, and Archer City.  (Remember, in the new state classifications, what was 1A last year is called 2A this year.  Roscoe is in district 6-2A, division II.)

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.  



The Randy Rogers Band
What could be the largest crowd of the summer is expected at the Lumberyard Saturday night when the high-flying Randy Rogers Band comes to town.  Four of their previous five albums have made it into the top ten on the US country charts, and their most recent, Homemade Tamales, released in April, has reached as high as number 11.

The group got its start in San Marcos and recorded its first album in 2002.  Since then, they have produced Rollercoaster (2004), Just a Matter of Time (2006), Randy Rogers Band (2008), Burning the Day (2010), and Trouble (2013), along with two other live albums in addition to Homemade Tamales.

Top singles include “Too Late for Goodbye,” “In My Arms Instead,” “One More Sad Song,” “Kiss Me in the Dark,” “One More Goodbye,” and “Satellite.”

They will take the stage at about 9:30pm. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door.  For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Early voting began on Monday at the County Clerk’s Office in the Nolan County Courthouse for a new Texas State Senator for District 28.  The special election was called to fill the unexpired term of State Senator Robert Duncan.  Early voting will end on Friday, September 5, at 5:00pm, and Election Day will be on Tuesday, September 9, when voting may be done at the Roscoe Community Center.

Candidates running for the office include former Texas Tech Vice Chancellor Jodey Arrington, Epifanio Garza of Wolfforth, former Sweetwater Mayor Greg Wortham, and State Representative Charles Perry of Lubbock.

Voters must present a valid photo ID in order to vote even if they present a valid voter registration card.

Beginning on January 13, the winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Senator Duncan's term, which expires in 2017.



A loaded cement truck overturned on FM 608 a couple of miles south of Roscoe at about six o'clock yesterday morning.  The driver, who was initially unresponsive, was taken to Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater in guarded condition.



Summer clouds.
There’s been so little variation in the weather this past week that it’s hardly worth mentioning.  Since Thursday daily high temperatures have ranged from 96° to 99°F, and lows have been either 74° or 75° every single day.  Skies have been partly cloudy with winds consistently from the south-southeast at speeds of 10-20mph.  And there has been no rain.

This won’t change today, but we do have a 20% chance of rain starting after midnight tonight increasing to 30% tomorrow and 40% tomorrow night.  That will decrease to a 30% chance on Friday and 20% on Saturday.  High temperatures should also be a little lower, anywhere from 90° to 92°, with lows in the low seventies.  Labor Day should see a return to typical late-summer weather with a high in the mid nineties and a low in the mid seventies.

The burn ban for Nolan County remains in effect.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Billy Joe Shaver at the Lumberyard Saturday Night

Billy Joe Shaver
This Saturday night, local folks will have the opportunity to see another country music legend bring his act to Roscoe when Billy Joe Shaver appears at the Lumberyard.  Shaver, who had his 75th birthday party last Saturday night in LA (see the LA Times’ excellent article about it by clicking here) and has just released his 23rd album, Long in the Tooth, was also the subject of an NPR interview last week and is still going strong.  (The NPR review of the album can be heard here.) 

NPR introduces its review like this: “In 1973, Waylon Jennings released an album called Honky Tonk Heroes that consisted almost entirely, with one exception, of songs written by Billy Joe Shaver, a then-unknown Texas songwriter. Since that time, his songs have been recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson, and he's considered one of the founders of the outlaw-country movement.”

Shaver, who released his first album, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, in 1973, is recognized by other country artists as one of the great songwriters in the business.  In addition to Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, and Willie Nelson, songs he wrote have been recorded by Kris Kristofferson, Charlie Daniels, David Allen Coe, Joe Ely, the Highwaymen, Patty Loveless, and many others.  In addition, he has recorded duets with Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Tanya Tucker.

He has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and CMT Outlaws.  He is a member of the Texas Country Hall of Fame and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting from the Americana Music Convention.

His latest album is currently number 19 on the US Country Music Chart and number 23 on the Indie Chart.  (Willie Nelson helps him out on one of the songs, “It’s Hard To Be an Outlaw.”)  He’ll be playing some of his new songs Saturday night along with some of his old favorites, so don’t miss this opportunity to see him.

The show starts at about 9:30pm.  The opening band will be Nine Mile Mountain beginning at 8:00pm. 
The cover charge is $10 in advance and $13 at the door. For reservations and more information, call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



The 2014 Plowboys, coaches, cheerleaders, and cross country team.
There was no shortage of Plowboy fans last Thursday at the annual Plowboy Preview.  Some 325 hamburger meals were served, and the Junior High Cheerleaders raised $2100 in the process.

The east stands were full as the 2014 football team, coaches, managers, cheerleaders, and cross country team were introduced while the Big Purple Plowboy Band provided the music. 

Cheer Pals and cheerleaders entertain the crowd.
The cheerleaders, assisted by the always entertaining Cheer Pals, led some cheers and the evening concluded with the school song.



The Plowboy offense sets to run a play against Haskell.
On Friday afternoon at Plowboy Field, the Roscoe Plowboys’ football teams, both varsity and JV, got their first taste of competition with another school, and the Haskell Indians, who look improved over their last year’s team, provided the Plowboys with plenty to work on.  Series alternated between the varsity and JV teams, and both sides learned where they’re good and where they need to improve.

Tomorrow (not Friday, as was misprinted on the schedule) the Plowboys’ varsity and JV teams travel to Munday for their last scrimmage before the regular season starts on August 29 in Hawley.  The scrimmage in Munday begins at 6:00pm.



Demolished house at 109 Hickory.
Three years ago the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs approved funding for Roscoe’s involvement in a program to tear down up to five old, substandard homes and replace them with new ones.  Three homes in Roscoe were approved for the program, and last week the work finally began as the old homes were knocked down.  Their remains will be burned sometime this week, clearing the way for new homes to be built in the same location.

The program is one in which the State provides the financing and the homeowners pay back whatever portion their income allows. The financial advantage to the homeowners is obvious, and the City of Roscoe will benefit by the increase in the tax roll and by having new homes going up in town.

Ameriway Construction Company of Kerrville has contracted to destroy the old homes and build the new ones.  The three homes are located at 901 Hickory, 104 Hickory, and 307 N. Cypress.



About a tenth of an inch fell in Roscoe yesterday morning.
Early yesterday morning a light shower fell for about fifteen minutes with about a tenth of an inch falling in Roscoe, and on Sunday there was just enough precipitation to get the sidewalks wet, but other than that there was little to no precipitation in the area.  There was thunder and lightning in the north and northwest a couple of evenings last weekend, enough to raise hopes, but nothing that ever materialized.

Sunday, Monday, and yesterday were a cooler than usual with highs of 91°, 82°, and 89° respectively.  Otherwise, it was typical August west Texas weather with highs in the mid to upper nineties, lows in the seventies, and winds from the south.  The hottest day was Friday with 100°.

The forecast is for more of the same, sunny or partly cloudy skies, highs in the mid to upper nineties and lows in the low to mid seventies.  There is no rain in the forecast.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Roscoe School Year Begins with Another Enrollment Increase

School began in the Roscoe ISD on Monday morning, and, just as in the previous three years, student enrollment is larger than it was the year before.  Counting all grades, there are 573 students this year compared to last year’s 526, an increase of 47 students overall.

Here are the first-day enrollment figures for the past four years:

                                 Grades          2011      2012        2013       2014
Elementary        pre-K - 6           234        284         338         359
Junior High              7-8                   31           53            78           98
High School             9-12                98         110          110         116
Totals                  pre-K - 12          363        447         526         573

As the figures show, the greatest increases have been in the Elementary and Junior High grades.  High School enrollment is up only 6 students over last year and only 18 more than in 2011.  Even so, the consistent growth indicates the school’s local popularity as most of the increase is due to transfers coming in from area communities.

The largest grades are the eighth with 55 students and the fourth with 53.  Pre-K also has 53 students and kindergarten has 48.

Now that school has begun, everyone should keep in mind that children are walking to and from school.  Please observe speed limits and pedestrian crossings, and do not use cell phones in school zones.



City Manager Cody Thompson reports to the City Council
At its monthly meeting in City Hall last night, the Roscoe City Council received an update on water and sewer issues and dealt with a number of action items.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that contractors are still in the process of completing work on the SCADA system and the reverse-osmosis water treatment plant.  They should be completely done sometime next month, at which time the City of Roscoe will have some of the best drinking water in the state of Texas.  Once they are finished, the City will begin some major water line improvements that will take approximately three to four months.

Thompson also said that plans are underway to construct a new road for industrial development along US 84 between FM 608 and Smartt Industries.

He also reported that this year’s West Texas Wind Festival will take place on Saturday, October 18.  It will feature country singer Radney Foster and band along with the usual street vendors, Plowboy Mud Bog, live music, kids’ area, and fireworks.  Anyone interested in being a vendor should contact City Hall at 325-766-3871.

The Council awarded the bid for construction of the three new homes funded by the Texas Housing Development to Ameriway Construction Company of Kerrville and set August 25 and 26 for their annual budget workshop.



Plowboys and Plowgirls at last year's Plowboy Preview.
The annual Plowboy Preview will be held tomorrow, August 14, and Plowboy fans will have the opportunity to meet this year’s Plowboys and Plowgirls.  These include the football players, cheerleaders, the cross country team, and the Big Purple Marching Band.  The Cheer Pals will also be performing.

The hamburger meal will start at 7:00pm in the west foyer of the Special Events Center.  Burger, chips, and drink will cost $6, and proceeds will go to the Roscoe Junior High Cheerleaders.

First Financial Bank will also be serving free watermelon.  So come on out and show your support.



Plowboys prepare for 2014 football season.
Fans can get their first look at this year’s Plowboys in action when they scrimmage the Haskell Indians at Plowboy Field Friday afternoon at six o’clock.  The JV Plowboys will also scrimmage with Haskell starting at 5:00pm.  The Plowboys, both varsity and JV, will have another scrimmage next week with Munday, but that will be at Munday, so your best chance to see them before the regular season starts is this week.


Date                      Opponent                                  Site                          
Aug. 29                 Hawley                                      Hawley
Sept.  5                 Hamlin                                       Roscoe
Sept. 12                Junction                                    San Angelo
Sept. 19                Jim Ned                                     Jim Ned
Sept. 26                Eldorado                                    Eldorado
Oct.  3                   OPEN
Oct.  10                 *Miles (Homecoming)        Roscoe
Oct.  17                 *Winters                                    Winters
Oct.  24                 *Roby                                        Roscoe
Oct.  31                 *Menard                                    Roscoe
Nov.  7                  *Bronte                                      Bronte

* District Game

Kickoff for all games is at 7:30pm.



A Mongolian eagle lights on my arm before a giant statue of Genghis Khan.
After a two-week hiatus, the Roscoe Hard Times resumes posting this week and, barring unforeseen circumstances, should continue for the foreseeable future.  As most of you already know, I spent the last couple of weeks on a 13-day trip to Hong Kong and Mongolia, and a memorable trip it was.

Besides seeing the sights of Hong Kong and several places in Mongolia, including the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, I got to spend time with my daughter Vanya and attend the fifth birthday party of my granddaughter, Olive.  Vanya is a fourth-grade teacher at the American International School and has been there for a year.

The three of us went on the Trans-Siberian Railway to a working ranch in northern Mongolia about 25 miles from the Siberian border for a couple of days, and stayed in a yurt while we were there.  We also went in a Land Rover on a tour of eastern Mongolia, where we visited a 13th century reconstruction of life as it was during the time of Genghis Khan.

There were many highlights, but perhaps the most remarkable thing that happened on the trip was an incident that occurred on the eight-hour train ride back to Ulaanbaatar from the ranch.  About an hour into the ride, my granddaughter Olive suddenly woke up coughing and crying and saying she couldn’t breathe.  She was in distress for about twenty minutes and was unable to catch her breath and breathe normally.  This had never happened to her before, so her mother had no idea what to do.  Someone came in with an inhaler, and she tried that, but it didn't help.

Then, a woman who had heard the coughing came into our compartment and told Vanya to take Olive to the ladies’ room at the end of the car.  There she had Olive urinate on a cotton cloth.  Then she wrapped the wet cloth in a dry one and tied it around Olive’s neck.  The coughing immediately stopped, the breathing became normal, and Olive, worn out from the ordeal, laid down and went right off to sleep.  Vanya and I were amazed at how well this home remedy worked, and when Olive started coughing again a couple of hours later, Vanya took her back to the ladies’ room, repeated the operation, and Olive was again immediately relieved and went right back to sleep.

Later, Vanya got on the computer and did a Google search trying to find out about this cure but was unable to locate anything.  One of her Mongolian friends, however, said that he’d had asthma as a child and this remedy was one his mother used on him.  I have no idea what a doctor here would do, but whatever it is, it couldn’t possibly work as fast or as efficiently as that Mongolian method did. 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Roscoe in Years Gone By: The Tabernacle

Baptisms at Seale Creek in 1927.
Editor’s note: Mary Edna Worthy, who taught English and other subjects in Roscoe High School for many years, also wrote about many of her memories growing up as a member of Roscoe’s Baptist Church.  The following, one of those, is an excerpt about the old tabernacle on Main Street, which stood about where the Purple Passion Salon is now.  Used by all denominations, it played a prominent part in the life of the town from the teens to the fifties.  It was torn down in 1951.

The Tabernacle
by Mary Edna Worthy

A facet of Church life that occupies a prominent place in my memory is that of the summer revival meetings held annually at the tabernacle.  This tabernacle, located in the two-hundred block of Main Street, was owned jointly by the four local churches then in town [i.e., Baptist, Church of Christ, Methodist, and Presbyterian].  It had a large square concrete floor, a shingled roof, and was open on three sides.  The center section of the south side was closed, and there was an elevated section to accommodate the choirs and a pulpit.  Each congregation held a summer revival, and much negotiation was required to achieve satisfactory schedules.  It was considered a disadvantage to have a revival coincide with a political election.  Prior to 1959 both political primary elections were held later in the summer than they are now.  In those pre-television days political campaigns involved much personal electioneering and many political rallies.  Special trains and car caravans of campaigners were not uncommon.  Presumably such activities served as distractions from whatever revival was in progress; so each congregation chose a representative perceived to be a “good negotiator” to meet with other representatives to set dates.  Obviously, not everybody was satisfied every time.

Revivals were of two weeks’ duration, and two services were held daily.  Generally, services were well attended, particularly the evening services.  The physical location of the tabernacle made it convenient to drive cars up close on the three open sides, and occupants could enjoy the sermon from the relative comfort of their cars.  For many of the elderly, the infirm, and mothers of small infants, this was not a minor consideration.  The tabernacle pews were rough (very rough) wooden benches, and torn clothing and painful splinters posed a real threat.  Many people came supplied with cushions or old bed quilts which were folded and placed on the benches to make them more comfortable.  Not everyone, however, found the benches a daunting proposition.  One ancient lady, who didn’t attend Church any other time, had her large rocking chair brought in for the revival services.  She insisted on having it placed at the front right near the piano.  There she sat, wearing her black silk split bonnet, rocking lustily.  From time to time during the song service during prayers, she was so moved by the spirit of the occasion that she gave vent to her feelings by shouting out loud—much to the discomfiture of the young pianist seated nearby.

Mosquitoes and other night-flying insects could be a problem, and it sometimes happened that a member of the congregation injected an unexpected note into the service by spraying for bugs.  There were no aerosol cans then, and the weapon used was the ancient “Flit Gun.”  These guns were operated by a hand-operated plunger used in rapid succession.  The plungers were not exactly noiseless, nor was the Flit odorless.  Its aroma circulated over the tabernacle, aided by the vigorous use of hand-held cardboard fans, usually donated by undertaking establishments.

The pulpit stand and the piano were brought from the Church, and someone furnished a wagon sheet to cover the piano between services to protect it from the elements.  Song books used were usually paper-backed collections of somewhat more spirited and informal selections than were found in the more traditional hymnals.  All of these items were left unsecured at the open tabernacle for the duration of the revival meeting.  If there was ever any vandalism or theft, I never knew it.

The visiting evangelist and singers stayed in the homes of Church members who also provided them with breakfast.  They were invited to different homes each day for the noon and evening meals.  They would be accompanied by the pastor and his family, and it was considered an added treat when a family member of the visiting preacher or singer could be present at these occasions.  Hostesses outdid themselves to provide sumptuous meals, and prodigious amounts of fried chicken, baked ham, fresh corn, homemade ice cream and cake, and other summer delicacies were prepared.

A rather ecumenical spirit prevailed during revivals, with people of different faiths attending services of whatever revival was in progress.  Most churches dismissed their Sunday evening services to attend the revival.

On the final Sunday afternoon of the meeting or the first Sunday following its close, baptismal services were held for those who had made professions of faith since the last previous baptismal service.  Since this rite was held out-of-doors, it was prudent to observe it only during warm weather.  A favorite site for these services was at a creek south of town known variously as Seale’s Creek or Woodward’s Pasture.  It was a scenic spot with trees, grass, and running water.  There was a serene atmosphere which rendered the service even more impressive and reverent.  Occasionally, for some reason, baptisms were held at other locations.  This writer recalls her own baptism in the old Santa Fe Lake, and even as a child I felt the occasion to be somewhat diminished by the presence of nearby swimmers and the noise of a passing motor boat.

With the advent of air-conditioned churches, the open-air tabernacle became obsolete; and when a building with a baptistery was finally constructed, outdoor baptismal services became another memory.



Eddy Raven
Country legend Eddy Raven, whose fame as a Cajun country singer goes back decades, will appear at the Lumberyard for the first time Friday night.

Over his long career, the Lafayette, Louisiana, native has had over thirty-five singles hit the charts and has produced 16 studio albums.  His first No. 1 single was “She’s Playing Hard to Forget,” in 1982, and since then he has had six others: “I Got Mexico,” “Shine, Shine, Shine,” “I’m Going to Get You, “Joe Knows How to Live,” “In a Letter to You,” and “Bayou Boys.”  Many others also made it to the top ten, including “I Wanna Live,” “Who Do You Know in California?” “Right Hand Man,” “Operator, Operator,” “I Wanna Hear It from You,” “Sometimes a Lady,” “I Should’ve Called,” and several others.

He is also a noted songwriter and has written songs for a wide range of rock and country artists, including Elvis Costello, Johnny Cash, Kenny Chesney, George Jones, Waylon Jennings, Don Gibson, Faron Young, Jerry Jeff Walker, Roy Acuff, the Oak Ridge Boys, Gene Watson, and others.

The show begins around 9:30 pm.  Opening band is Nine Mile Mountain, who will take the stage at 8:00pm.  

On Saturday night, the Hot Texas Swing Band from Austin will be at the Lumberyard.

For more information or to make reservations, call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Mel Tillis at the Lumberyard last year.
Editor’s Note: Since I won’t be here to announce this next week, I thought I’d go ahead and give everyone advance notice this week.

Mel Tillis, whose fame as a songwriter and performer stretch back over a half-century, will return Saturday, August 2, for an encore performance at the Lumberyard.  He very much enjoys playing in Roscoe, and last year after the show he hung around and signed CDs, guitars, and hats, and got his picture taken with many fans.  

Tillis is a winner of the National Medal of the Arts for his contributions to country music, just one of the many awards he has received over the years.  He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Nashville Song Writers International Hall of Fame.  He has also been named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Comedian of the Year six times, and Songwriter of the Decade for two decades.

Over the years, he has recorded over sixty albums and had 36 Top Ten singles with nine going to Number One, including “I Ain’t Never,” “Good Woman Blues,” “Coca Cola Cowboy,” “Heart Over Mind,” “Send Me Down to Tucson,” “I Believe in You,” “Southern Rains,” and many others.

He has also written over a thousand songs, approximately 600 of which have been recorded by major artists.  These include “Detroit City,” “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” “Burning Memories,” “Thoughts of a Fool,” “Honey (Open That Door),” and “The Snakes Crawl at Night.”

A large crowd is expected.
For more information or to make reservations, call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



That rain we were supposed to get last week never really came.  We did get around .2” here in town Wednesday afternoon, and it appeared that Champion area got more, but, all things considered, it wasn’t much compared to what could have been.  We did get some cooler weather on Thursday and Friday, when the highs were 80°F and 82° respectively, and that was nice while it lasted.

But on Saturday the hot weather returned, and since then we’ve been enduring more typical July heat.  On Sunday the high was 96°, and Monday and yesterday both topped out at 98°.  Today should be more of the same as the forecast is for sunny skies and a high of 99°.  Tomorrow could hit triple digits, Friday’s forecast is for a high of 101°, and Saturday may be only slightly cooler with a projected high of 98°.  Lows for all these days should be in the mid seventies.

There is no rain in the forecast.



Funeral services for Harold Lynn Williamson, 85, of Baytown will be held at Navarre Funeral Home in Baytown at 10:00am on Friday, July 25.  Burial will follow at Memory Gardens.  He passed away yesterday, July 22, in Baytown.

Mr. Williamson was born to Robert and Mary Blackmon Williamson in Seagoville on November 1, 1928.  He grew up in Roscoe and was a 1947 graduate of Roscoe High School, where he played football and basketball and ran track.  He was also a member of the Boy Scouts and became an Eagle Scout who passed on his love of hunting and fishing to his kids and grandkids.  He lived in Baytown for over 50 years and was a retired supervisor from Chevron with more than 35 years of service.  He was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather, and a dedicated little league and soccer coach.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Merle Fitts. Survivors include his wife, Mildred Williamson of Baytown; children, Tommy Williamson and wife Linda, and Terry Williamson and wife Naomi all of Houston, Patti Carhart of Shoreacres, Donald Motley and wife Becky of Trinity, and Paula Widner and husband Michael of Cove; 11 grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren, and several nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 5:00-7:00pm tomorrow, July 24, at Navarre Funeral Home, 2444 Rollingbrook Drive, Baytown, Texas, 77521, 281-422-8111.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Shriners Hospital for Children at


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Johnny Rodriguez Returns to Lumberyard Saturday Night

Johnny Rodriguez
It looks like another big weekend for music in Roscoe as Rance Norton and the Cadillac Cowboys will play at the Lumberyard on Friday night, and Johnny Rodriguez returns for an encore performance Saturday.

Country music great Johnny Rodriguez, who always draws a large crowd, will be playing here for the third time.  His former number one hits on the country chart include “You Always Come Back to Hurting Me,” “Ridin’ My Thumb to Mexico,” “I Just Can’t Get Her Out of My Mind,” “Just Get Up and Close the Door,” and “Love Put a Song in My Heart.”  He was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and year before last released a new album, Johnny Rodriguez: Live from Texas.

Tickets for Johnny Rodriguez are $13 in advance and $15 at the door.

Rance Norton and the Cadillac Cowboys
Rance Norton and the Cadillac Cowboys were the headline band at the Spring Fling earlier this year.  They have also opened here for Mel Tillis and Moe Bandy.  Norton’s two CDs, True Country and Here We Go Again, are filled with traditional country music.  As Norton says, “If it doesn’t have a fiddle or steel guitar, it isn’t country music.”

Tickets for Rance Norton and the Cadillac Cowboys are $10.  For more information, call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Post Commander Donnie Willman presents Kevin Pantoja with a Certificate of Appreciation.
Roscoe’s Frost-Whittington American Legion Post 227 honored this year’s local Boys State participants with an awards dinner Saturday evening at the Post.  The three boys, Matthew Davila and Laramie Cathey from Roscoe and Kevin Pantoja from Highland, were sponsored by the local Post for the annual trip to Austin to participate with other Boys State selections from all over the state.

Kevin Pantoja reported to the assembled crowd some of his experiences on the trip and was presented with a Certificate of Appreciation by Post Commander Donnie Willman.  The boys were selected by the quality of essays on their qualifications and reasons for wanting to attend Boys State.

American Legion Boys State is among the most respected and selective educational programs of government instruction for high school students. It is a participatory program where each student becomes a part of the operation of his local, county, and state government.  Texas Boys State is held in Austin every summer and lasts for five days.  This year’s dates were June 8-June 13.

American Legion Post 227, which sponsors the boys’ attendance, sincerely thanks the Roscoe State Bank, the Loraine State Bank, the Sweetwater Jaycees, and the Sweetwater Jaycee Roosters for their generous donations.  They also received help from Brookshire’s Supermarket in Sweetwater and Fullers Foods in Colorado City in helping to pay for the food.



A white, 43-year-old man from the Houston area caused a stir at the I-20 overpass next to Stripes on Saturday afternoon when he threatened to commit suicide by jumping off the overpass.  He was upset because he was separated from his family and couldn't see them.

Jerry Williams, a local resident, spoke with the man and talked him out of committing suicide.  Roscoe Police then took the man to Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater for evaluation by their Mental Health Unit. 



Young cotton.
The summer heat which was here for most of the week abated somewhat yesterday as a cool front moved through, dropping high temperatures from the mid to upper nineties down to a more pleasant 85°F.  The high for the week was 98° on Monday, and there was no rain.  It sprinkled on Monday just enough to get the sidewalk wet, but that was it.

Today should be mostly cloudy with a high back up into the mid nineties, and there is a 60% chance for rain tonight.  Forecasters are also giving us a 50% chance of precipitation tomorrow and tomorrow night.  It would be a great thing for this country if we could get a good rain right now.  Rains are hard to come by in July, and this would definitely be a good time for the cotton and feed crops.

By the weekend we should be back into typical July weather with highs in the mid nineties, lows in the mid seventies, sunny skies, and winds from the south.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

City's July 4th Celebration is a Huge Success

Cypress Street and Old Town Park were packed for the free concert and street dance.

Roscoe’s July 4th celebrations just seem to get bigger and better every year.  From the morning parade down Broadway to the fireworks show that closed the day, everything seemed to run smoothly and to the enjoyment of all.  

Downtown, street vendors sold food, drinks, and merchandise on Cypress and Broadway and along the south wall of Old Town Park, kids played in the bounce houses and on other inflatables in the City’s downtown parking lot, and the Roscoe Historical Museum was open and received many visitors.  At the baseball field, a large crowd enjoyed watching souped-up vehicles tackle the blackland mud at the Plowboy Mudbog, and a huge evening crowd was on hand for the free concert and street dance followed by the fireworks show.

Texas Tech's Masked Rider gives Tech's familiar "Guns up" sign. 
The day began with a big parade down Broadway with a wide variety of floats, vehicles, and participants.  The Parade Marshal was Jessie Marth, who recently celebrated her 100th birthday, and there were fire trucks, vintage cars, riders on horseback, motorcycles, tractors, kids on bicycles, and, of course, plenty of candy thrown to the kids who lined the streets.  Even the Texas Tech Masked Rider was on hand for the event.

Here is a list of the parade’s prize winners:

      1. Best Bicycle - Wetsel Family
      2. Best Motorcycle - Brandon Gray
      3. Best Patriotic - Maryneal Volunteer Fire Department
      4. Best Antique Car - Danny Wann
      5. Best Float - Bob McNair
      6. Best Mardi Gras - Leyendecker Family
      7. Best Truck - Roscoe Junior High Cheerleaders
      8. Best Semi - Roscoe T-Ball

Parade organizer Valerie Pruitt extends special thanks to Amy Lara Castillo and Joanna Chavira for being Parade Judges, Zela Gail Belsher-Armstrong for driving the Parade Marshal, Danny Wann for loaning the Thunderbird, Jessica Stein and Katie for carrying the sign, Schyler Kimbrell for leading the parade, and Staci Armstong and Dustin Tatro for all their help.  Special thanks also to the Texas Tech Masked Rider crew.

She also wishes to thank all the businesses that donated or advertised--McVey's Native Nursery, Wildflower Boutique, TSTC, Compass Hospice, State Farm, the National Guard, Sonic, Stripes, RVFD, and the Lumberyard.  And finally, she thanks all the participants, who made the parade bigger and better. 

Mark Macy in Bug Nasty makes his run through the Roscoe mud.
The Plowboy Mudbog was also a huge success.  About 1500 people showed up to brave the summer heat and watch some of the best mud vehicles in the region compete against one another.  The Roscoe Little League made about $3000 from the gate and concession stand, and some of Roscoe’s baseball players picked up by Colorado City teams going to the state tournament were allowed to sell baked goods and wash mud vehicles to raise an additional $1000 for their trip.

There was a total of 59 entrants in the various classes, which was down from last year’s 90, but was actually a blessing in disguise.  For one thing, the smaller number allowed for an earlier finish to the competition, which last year ran on into the late evening, and, for another, the quality of the vehicles was better with a larger open class and participants from a wider range than ever.

The Abilene Reporter-News, which had a reporter covering the event, ran a nice article, which you can access by clicking here.

Additionally, the Plowboy Mudbog made international news when a photo of the Mudbog submitted by the Reporter-News’ Thomas Metthe appeared in The Guardian, an English newspaper.  The Guardian selected it for one of its photos of the week, along with such other international events as the World Cup, the Tour de France, the Calgary Stampede, and the running of the bulls in Pamplona , Spain.  You can see it by clicking here


Here are the top three finishers of the various vehicle classes along with their home towns:

      1. Harley Rich                         Hobbs, NM
      2. Kyle Bradshaw                   Aspermont
      3. Shane Laird                         Big Spring

Super Street
      1. Justin Davis                         Seminole
      2. Anthony Montgomery    Big Spring
      3. Ryan Grammer                   Tonganoxie, KS

      1. Pam Alvarez                        Colorado City
      2. Von Rhodes                         Big Spring
      3. Jay Vickers                          Hobbs, NM

Super Modified
      1. Brandon Oden                     Colorado City
      2. Daryl Haag                           Colorado City
      3. Arden Alvarez                     Colorado City

      1. Donny Scott                         Hobbs, NM
      2. Marc Macy                          Hobbs, NM
      3. Jim Martinez                       Ballinger


At six o’clock, the free concert and street dance began, and music filled the air from the stage set up between City Hall and Old Town Park.  Nine Mile Mountain, a local band with members from Roscoe and Sweetwater, got things started.  They were followed at eight o’clock by Jason Boland and the Stragglers, one of the best of the Red Dirt/Texas Country bands.  By the time they were done, an estimated crowd of 3500 was either watching or dancing in the street.

The concert was followed by another of Robert McBride’s fireworks extravaganzas, which was a fitting way to end the day and the celebration of our country’s independence.

As usual, the event organizers did an excellent job and deserve the thanks of everyone who attended the activities and enjoyed the day.



On Saturday afternoon at the July 4th celebration, Mayor Pete Porter took the stage in Cypress Street before a large audience to present long time City Council member Helen Perry with a Civic Leadership
Award for her unceasing dedication to the City of Roscoe over the years.  Her daughter, Bea Rocha, a 1974 RHS grad, delivered an eloquent introduction to the presentation, noting what an inspiration her mother has been over the years and citing some of her accomplishments. 

Helen Perry has served on the City Council for fourteen years and has just begun another three-year term.  She is a member of the American Legion Post 227 Ladies' Auxiliary, and has run or helped run the Roscoe Community Center for many years.  We appreciate her leadership, hard work, and dedication and wish we had more people like her.



City Manager Cody Thompson addresses the Council.
At last night’s monthly City Council meeting, the Council approved conducting a speed limit survey on N. Cypress St. and FM 608 on the City’s north side.  It also heard reports from the City Manager and Chief of Police and denied a variance to the City’s animal ordinance.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that he met with the contractors for the water treatment plant yesterday.  They are still tweaking the water quality and working on the finishing touches.  The final meeting and completion of the project will take place in late August or early September.

Thompson also met yesterday with Scott Hay of E/HT, the Abilene engineering firm overseeing the current work on the City’s water lines.  The City still has about $162,000 from the money provided by the State, and most of that will be used to bore with casing two different lines under the Union Pacific railroad tracks to make sure the water system is looped correctly and we never have damages concerning the railroad.  Permits, insurance, bonding, etc., will also have to be obtained since most of the work will be in the highway and railroad right of way.

Following up on complaints from residents on the north side of town about speeding trucks, the Council also approved a speed limit survey.  Since FM 608 is a state road, any change to its speed limit will have to follow state rules.  These include a traffic count and a study of the average speed of vehicles on the roadway and will take two or three months before the results are known.  The study is being conducted by a group from Abilene.

The Council also denied the request of a resident on South Main Street for a variance in the animal ordinance.  The resident wants to keep a Shetland pony on his property, but he failed to attend the meeting to make his case.

Roscoe Chief of Police Felix Pantoja also gave the Council the Police Report for the month of June.  There were 3 arrests, 12 citations issued, 4 cases filed, 1 crash report, and 83 calls for service.



A Nolan County grand jury recently indicted three young men from Roscoe suspected of committing crimes in and around Roscoe.  Luke Clark, Tony Leyba, and Jeremy Solano were all indicted for engaging in organized criminal activity.  All were cited in court documents for entering a habitation with intent to commit theft on December 20, 2013, and each had bond set at $15,000.

Clark was also indicted for assault with a deadly weapon, a second degree felony.  Court documents state that he stabbed the victim in the torso with a knife.  His bond was set another $15,000 for that offense.

The Roscoe Police Department worked with the Nolan County Sheriff’s Department on the investigation.



Summer skies over Roscoe.
Last Wednesday afternoon we got a little shower.  Here in town it didn’t amount to much, only about a tenth of an inch, but in some areas there was more.  East of town got about a quarter of an inch, but Champion got about an inch with as much as an inch and a half reported south of Champion.  Areas west and northwest of town didn't get a drop.

Other than that it was typical July weather with sunny or partly cloudy skies with high temperatures in the low to mid nineties and lows ranging from 68° last Thursday to 72° on Monday.

The outlook through the weekend is for more of the same—highs in the low to mid nineties and lows in the low seventies.  Skies will be sunny or partly cloudy with winds from the south at 10-15 mph.

There is no rain in the forecast.


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Independence Day Celebration is Saturday

Jason Boland & the Stragglers are the featured band at the free concert.
Preparations are being finalized for the City of Roscoe’s July 4th celebration, which takes place this Saturday, July 5.  Here are the major events of what is shaping up to be another great fun-filled day:

The Independence Day Parade

The party starts early with a parade down Broadway starting at 10:00am.  Parade line-up is at 9:30 at the starting point at Cedar and Broadway.  The parade will come down Broadway from the west and conclude at George Parks Field in east Roscoe.

The Roscoe Historical Museum

The museum, which contains photos, stories, and memorabilia of old Roscoe, will be open from around 10:00am to 6:00pm.

Street Vendors

Vendors will be on Broadway and Cypress Streets as well as in Old Town Park across from City Hall.  They will begin setting up at 10:00am and be open until the end of the fireworks show at around 10:00pm.  Everything from food and drink of various kinds to jewelry, clothing, and other merchandise will be available.

Kids’ Area

Bounce houses and other inflatables will be in Old Town and/or Memorial Park for the kids from about 10:00am to 6:00pm.

The Plowboy Mudbog

The Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field should be bigger and better than ever this year.  Entrants will be coming from as far away as Hobbs and Roswell, NM, El Paso, and Dalhart as well as from local communities.  Former open class winners such as Headhunter and Bug Nasty from Hobbs will compete along with some new contestants with monster vehicles.

Registration for entrants is from 8:00-10:00am at the northwest corner of the baseball field at Second and Sycamore Streets.  The driver entry fee is $30.

The public gate opens at 11:00am and competition begins at 12:00 noon.  It will conclude when all vehicles of the different classes have made two runs, probably around 6:30pm or so.

The concession stand will be open throughout and will be run this year by the Roscoe Little League.

Admission for kids 7 and under is free; from ages 8 to 14 is $2.00; and from ages 15 and up is $5.00.  All proceeds go to the Roscoe Little League.

Swimming Pool

Swimming at the Roscoe City Pool will be free of charge from 1:00-5:00pm.  The City Pool is located at 4th and Cedar Streets next to the City Park.

Free Concert and Street Dance

The free concert and street dance will be on Cypress Street between City Hall and Old Town Park in downtown Roscoe.  Live music will begin at 6:00pm with Nine Mile, a popular band from Sweetwater featuring Jamie Tollison on vocals.  The band plays traditional country music made for dancing.

They will be followed at 8:00pm with the headline act for the evening, Jason Boland and the Stragglers.  One of the most popular of the “Red Dirt/Texas Country” bands now dominating the Texas music scene, the group got its start in Stillwater, Oklahoma, in 1998 and released its first album, Pearl Snaps, in 1999.  Since then, they have gone on to produce six more studio albums: Truckstop Diaries (2001), Somewhere in the Middle (2004), The Bourbon Legend (2006), Comal County Blue (2008), Rancho Alto (2011), and Dark & Dirty Mile (2013), along with two live albums: Live and Lit at Billy Bob’s Texas (2002) and High in the Rockies (2010).

This will be your only chance ever to see them free of charge, so make sure not to miss them.  They will play to about 9:30pm.

The Fireworks Show

This year’s firework show will begin at the close of the free concert and street dance.  It should also be bigger and better than ever and will be a fitting conclusion to another great celebration of our country’s independence.

After Hours Party

Those who want to continue celebrating after City festivities close with the fireworks show may do so at the Lumberyard, where another local band, the Blackland Bullet Company, will be playing on the outdoor stage.  Admission is free and the party will go on until 1:00am.

The People’s Tram

During the afternoon a people’s tram will shuttle people back and forth between the Plowboy Mudbog at the baseball field and downtown.  It will also be free of charge.

Everyone planning to attend the free concert and fireworks show is encouraged to bring their own folding chairs and coolers.  So come on out and listen to the live music, visit with friends, eat, drink, and enjoy yourselves at another memorable Independence Day Celebration in downtown Roscoe.



Jake Hooker & the Outsiders
The July 4th weekend in Roscoe begins Friday evening, July 4, with the return of the ever popular Jake Hooker and the Outsiders at the Lumberyard.  Hooker and his band, masters of Texas Country Swing, always bring a big, enthusiastic crowd.

Jake Hooker was born listening to the traditional country music of his father’s west Texas country band.  He began playing the bass at the age of seven and formed his own band when he was fourteen.  After studying music theory at South Plains College in Levelland, he moved to Fort Worth in 1998, where he quickly became a local favorite.

Since then, he and his band have produced seven albums, Jake Hooker & the Outsiders (Live - 2000), Jake Hooker & the Outsiders (Live – 2002) sets 1 and 2, You Had a Call (2003), Faded Lights (2005), The Outsider (2007), Lost Along the Way (2009), and One Man World (2011).

Tickets are $12 in advance and $15 at the door.  For more information, call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Roscoe Police Officer Steven Spencer made two significant arrests last Wednesday, the first involving a highway drug bust of two men and a woman, and the second the location and detention of a San Angelo man wanted for injury to a child.

Around 8pm on June 25, Officer Spencer pulled over a car on I-20 for speeding.  The driver, a man from Odessa, showed unusual signs of nervousness, and a woman passenger, also from Odessa, acted in ways that convinced Spencer that criminal activity was taking place.  During a roadside investigation, Spencer learned that the other passenger in the car, a man from San Antonio, was wanted in Bexar County and took the man into custody.

Spencer obtained consent for a search and found an undisclosed amount of cocaine and marijuana, weighing scales, and materials used for packaging and distributing.  The Odessa woman claimed ownership of the cocaine and was arrested for possession with intent to distribute.  The San Antonio man was booked for the Bexar County warrant and both were taken to the Nolan County Jail.

Earlier on the same day and working with the Tom Green County Sheriff’s Office, Spencer located a San Angelo man wanted in that area for injury to a child.  Tom Green authorities quickly obtained an arrest warrant, and, as soon as the judge signed it, contacted Spencer, who arrested the man for first-degree felony injury to a child, an 18-month old in a San Angelo hospital with multiple fractures and contusions allegedly sustained in a series of beatings from the man.  The suspect was taken into custody and prearranged bond set at $500,000.  He is currently awaiting transport back to Tom Green County.

Roscoe Police also responded to a family violence assault at 530 Ash Street, where they arrested Tony Leyba, 18, at about 2:30am on Monday.



The road gravel near the Community Center used to sealcoat the streets.
The City of Roscoe and Nolan County are currently sealcoating various city streets in town with the City furnishing the road gravel and asphalt and the County providing the equipment and manpower.  Already completed are North Ash, North Bois d’Arc, and Sweetwater Streets in north Roscoe and Tenth Street from Cedar to Ash Streets in south Roscoe.

The City has also just finished improvements to Cypress Street at the west I-20 service road, where recent rains created a big pool of water that impeded traffic.



Eden Baker took this shot of last Wednesday's rainbow.
Roscoe lived up to its name of wind capital of the world the past few days with almost unceasing strong winds from the south-southeast from last Thursday up until yesterday morning.  Thursday’s sustained high winds of 18mph with gusts up to 25mph increased to Friday’s 31mph with gusts up to 39, Saturday’s 31 and 38 respectively, Sunday’s26 and 33, Monday’s 29 and 34 and yesterday morning’s 21 and 30.  The next few days, however, should be calmer as winds will to diminish to 5-10mph.

The past week was also marked by mostly sunny skies and more traditional summer heat.  Highs have been in the low to mid nineties with lows in the mid seventies.  So, all the puddles in town left by the previous rains have now dried up, and the area feels more like it usually does for this time of year.

The good news is that there is a 20% chance of precipitation later today, a 50% chance tonight, and a 20% chance again tomorrow.  Beyond that, we should experience typical mid summer heat with highs in the mid nineties and lows in the low seventies through the weekend and days following.



Services were held in Broadway Baptist Church of Sweetwater on Monday for Richard Glen McIntire, 62, who passed away at his home in Sweetwater last Wednesday, June 25.  Interment followed at the Roscoe Cemetery.

He was born on November 7, 1951, in Loraine and lived in Nolan County all of his life.  He loved to farm cotton and was an IBEW Journeyman Electrician who spent thirty years in the electrical field.  He was a Baptist.

Survivors include his son, Richie McIntire of Price, Utah; daughters, Nicole Carpenter of Loraine and Robbin Baker of Sweetwater; mother, Marcia McIntire of Sweetwater; sister, Melanie Houston of Sweetwater; brother, Van McIntire of Eugene, Oregon; eight grandchildren; and long time companion, Shirley Baker of Sweetwater.

He was preceded in death by his father, Glen Ivron McIntire, in 2007; his first wife, Debbie Teaff in 1976, and his second wife, Dorothy Eaton.