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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Plowboys Down Junction in San Angelo 14-6

Plowboys start from deep within their own territory.  (Photo by Benivamondez)
The third time’s the charm.  After falling in their first two games this year, the Roscoe Plowboys got their first win of the season Friday night over the Junction Eagles 14-6.  The game was played at a neutral site, San Angelo Stadium, with both teams traveling some distance to get there.

The victory was a solid one for the Plowboys.  After a scoreless first quarter, the Plowboys scored first on an 18-yard run by Vincent Pantoja right before halftime.  Pablo Huidobro kicked the extra point, and the Plowboys led at the half 7-0.

Pantoja scored again in the third quarter on a 4-yard run, and after another Huidobro extra-point kick, the Plowboys were up 14-0.  Junction finally got on the scoreboard in the fourth quarter on a 3-yard run, but their extra-point attempt failed, and the score, 14-6, turned out to be the final one.

Vincent Pantoja led the Plowboys with 143 yards rushing and 2 TDs on 27 carries.  Brayden Beal completed 6 of 16 passes for 104 yards with 3 interceptions, and Kevin Lavalais led all receivers with 4 receptions for 58 yards.

The Plowboys travel to Tuscola this Friday to play Jim Ned.  The Indians, a 3A-Division 1 school, are coming off a 32-18 loss to Anson in Anson last Friday and will be looking for a victory at home.

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



In a meet that included several area schools such as Anson, Hamlin, Hawley, Lueders-Avoca, Munday, Hermleigh, Merkel, Seymour, and others, the Plowboys and Plowgirls did quite well with the Plowgirls finishing second to Merkel and the Plowboys finishing third at the Hamlin Cross Country Meet on Saturday.  Additionally, the Eighth Grade girls finished in first place while the Seventh Grade girls finished in second place.

Leaders for the varsity Plowgirls were Lyndi Wilkinson, Alejandra Solis, and Karina Cisneros.  For the varsity Plowboys it was Juan Garcia followed by Jetly Hobdy, and Braiden Moore.

Leaders for the first-place eighth grade girls were Bonnie Wilkinson, Jazmine Alvarez, and Michaela Horton, and for the seventh grade girls Madison Hickson, Jaci Alexander, and Jaleigh Morales.

This weekend the Cross Country teams will participate here in Roscoe in the Race for the Cure.



Bobby Flores
Texas swing artist and Grammy Award winner Bobby Flores and his Yellow Rose Band will make their debut at the Lumberyard this Saturday, September 20.

Perhaps best known as the former fiddle player for Ray Price, Bobby Flores has also had quite a career on his own both as a featured performer and as a session musician.  He has been playing professionally since the age of seven and has studied music theory and classical violin at Trinity University.

He has composed and performed in TV commercials and won numerous awards, among them induction into the Texas Western Swing Hall of Fame.  His recording of “I Wonder Who’ll Turn Out the Lights” is featured in the Tommy Jones movie Three Burials.  He and his band Angel Fire opened for George Strait, Garth Brooks, Tanya Tucker, Conway Twitty, and others.  His Yellow Rose Band features three fiddles and some of the world’s best musicians.

His most recent album is Fast Company.  Others include Eleven Roses, Christmas in Ol’ San Antone, Neon Nights, Direct from Blanco County, Too Many Rivers, Festival Favorites and Just for the Record.

Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door.  Nine Mile Mountain will open at 8:00pm and Bobby Flores will take the stage around 9:45.  For more information, phone the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Skies were cloudy for most of the week.
Last Wednesday the temperature topped out at 99°F, but the next day a cold front blew in and since then it’s been generally overcast and cooler than normal.  On Friday, we got another nice rain.  Lyndall Underwood got 1.25” on the west side of town, while others got more or less depending on the location.  In general, more fell west of town than east of town, and south more than north.  On Sunday, it rained just enough to get the ground wet, about 0.05” or so, and that was it for the precipitation.

Highs from Thursday through Sunday were in the seventies with lows in the fifties, except for Saturday when it got up only to 64°.  Monday and yesterday were warmer with highs of 86° and 82° respectively and lows of 68° and 71°.

The possibility of more rain is in the forecast with clouds from the Pacific hurricane Odile heading this way.  There’s a 40%-50% chance of rain today and tomorrow, diminishing to 30%-40% on Friday, and 20%-40% on Saturday.  High temperatures will be in the low to mid eighties and lows in the mid to upper sixties. 



In some ways it’s hard to believe, but the Roscoe Hard Times has been providing the Roscoe news for over four years now and with this post begins its fifth.  In that first post on September 9, 2010, I announced my intention to regularly provide Roscoe news to current and former Roscoans by way of a blog on the Internet.  I followed it a couple of days later with my first news report, an account of the Roscoe-Stamford football game, and the Hard Times has been in business ever since.  

At first, I didn’t have any regular day to post and just put up the news as I received it.  But after a month or so, I found it easier to do it all on a weekly basis and settled in to posting on Wednesday mornings and have stuck to that schedule since then.  

Over time the readership has steadily grown, and with the help of Google Analytics, a free service provided by Google, I’m able to see how many readers the blog has and where they are located.  So, for example, the Hard Times had 355 hits, or visits, this past week, which is pretty normal.  As you might expect, about half of these come on Wednesdays with the rest scattered out pretty evenly over the rest of the week.

The vast majority of these visits come from computers located in the US, 96% to be precise, but there are always a few from far-flung parts of the globe.  I’m not surprised when the Hard Times gets hits from Norway or Mongolia since my brother and his wife, kids, and in-laws live in Norway and my daughter lives in Mongolia.  But in the past month, the blog also has been visited by people in India, Peru, Chile, France, Germany, Great Britain, Nigeria, Malaysia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and others.  Of course, there is no way to know which of these are former Roscoe folks and which are computer users who just happen in some way to stumble across the Hard Times as they surf the Internet.

Almost from the outset, I had requests from people who don’t use computers, mostly older folks, to provide a print version, but that would have turned the venture into a full-time job with all sorts of expenses and complications, and I never seriously considered it.  However, about a year and a half ago, the editor of the Sweetwater Reporter asked if I’d be willing to provide stories for a “What’s Happening in Roscoe” page every Thursday, and I’ve been happy to do that since it solves the problem for the people who don’t use computers.

When I started the blog, I had no idea or thoughts about how long I’d keep it up—and I still don’t.  I guess I’ll just continue for as long as I consider the reward greater than the effort.  It’s my way of giving back to the community in a way that keeps me busy and mentally active, so I’m happy to do it.

Anyway, thanks to all you readers who regularly check the Hard Times to find out what’s going on in Roscoe.  You make me feel relevant and keep me on my toes.



For more information and details visit the Roscoe Homecoming 2014 Facebook page.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

City Council Approves Purchase of Downtown Building for Police Department

Cody Thompson addresses the City Council at last night's meeting.
At its monthly meeting last night, the Roscoe City Council approved the purchase of the Guelker Building just across the street from City Hall.  The building used to house Meares’ Flower Shop and, more recently, Brooklin’s Heavenly Treasures.  The purchase price was $20,000.  It will be the location for the Roscoe Police Department, which will pay for most of the interior improvements with drug-forfeiture funds.  

The Police Department, currently located on the second floor above City Hall, is lacking in a number of ways but, most significantly, does not conform to ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) guidelines because it is accessible only by climbing a long flight of stairs.  The Guelker Building does not have that problem.  It has wheelchair access and is also easy reached from the alley.

The Council also approved new water rates for the coming year, which will be slightly higher because of the added expense of running the new reverse-osmosis water plant.  There will be a minimum increase of $4 per household on the monthly bill along with an increase of 50¢ per 1000 gallons.  Council members agreed that these modest increases are a small price to pay for the purer R-O water and the more stable water pressure that the new plant provides.

The Council set the tax rate for 2014-15 to be the same as it is this year, and property owners will see no tax hike unless their property valuation increases.  The Council also approved the proposed budgets for the Type A and B boards.

City Manager Cody Thompson informed the Council of water and sewer updates for the building projects on the north side as well as for the STEM Research Center just west of town.  Police Chief Felix Pantoja gave his city police report for the month of August, citing 97 calls, 3 arrests, 3 vehicle collisions, and an unspecified number of citations as the computer file is currently offline and inaccessible.

The Council also heard the complaints of Roscoe resident Lix Bex, who is unhappy with the uneven ways vehicles receive red tags (as abandoned vehicles) in the city.



Newly annexed property now within Roscoe City Limits.
Acceding to the request of a landowner to annex his farm property to the City of Roscoe, the City has done so, and said property is now within the Roscoe City Limits.  The farm land comprises some 195 acres on two tracts of land on either side of Interstate 20 just west of County Road 152 between Roscoe and Sweetwater. 

The City has also annexed the right of way on Interstate 20 from the previous city limits just east of the old sewer ponds at County Road 104 (Cemetery Road) all the way east to County Road 152, west of Sweetwater Steel.



Election volunteers await voters in the Community Center yesterday.
Voters in Roscoe and Nolan County voted pretty much the same way the entire district did in electing Charles Perry (R) to fill the vacated seat of District 28 in the Texas State Senate.  Roscoe, Nolan County, and District 28 all gave Perry more votes than they did the rest of the field.  Local candidate Greg Wortham (D), former Sweetwater mayor, got a fourth of the Roscoe vote, and a third of the Nolan County vote, but only 13%, or about an eighth of the district vote.

Here are the totals (both early voting and election day) for Precinct 6 (Roscoe), Nolan County, and the entire District:

Candidate               Precinct 6          Nolan County         District 28

Jodey Arrington  11 (13.1%)           76 (8.1%)            12,956 (30.27%)

E. M. Garza               2 (0.2%)              6 (0.6%)                  347 (0.81%)

Delwin Jones            0 (0.0%)              2 (0.2%)                 675 (1.57%)

Kerry McKennon     3 (0.4%)             9 (1%)                    357 (0.83%)

Charles Perry          49 (58.3%)      523 (56%)           22,849 (53.39%)

Greg Wortham        21 (25%)          318 (34%)             5,605  (13.09%)

Totals                         84                         934                           42,789



After dropping their first game to Hawley 46-14 in Hawley, the Plowboys played their second game Friday night in the friendly confines of Plowboy Field.  However, they were up against a strong Hamlin squad, and ultimately the results were roughly similar to the previous week as the Pied Pipers prevailed 49-21.

After a scoreless first quarter, Hamlin broke the game open in the second with four touchdowns, three of them by running back Tyrone Johnson, who gave the Plowboys fits all evening long.  The bright spot for Roscoe came after Hamlin’s third TD when Max Nemir ran back the ensuing kickoff for 81 yards and a touchdown.   At halftime the score was 28-7.

Following another long Johnson touchdown run for the Pied Pipers early in the third quarter, the Plowboys scored again on a 19-yard run by Vincent Pantoja.  But Hamlin’s Johnson followed with another TD, and at the end of three it was Hamlin 42-Plowboys 14.

The Plowboys got another TD in the fourth quarter when Luis Villa recovered a Pied Piper fumble in the end zone.  However, Hamlin put up 7 more points on another Johnson run to make the final score 49-21.

Plowboy quarterback Brayden Beal was 9 for 19 in passing for 80 yards with one interception.  Vincent Pantoja was the Plowboys’ leading rusher with 123 yards and one TD.  Javier Leanos had 2 rushes for 20 yards; Kevin Lavalais 3 for 15; and Max Nemir 1for 11.

Hamlin quarterback  Caymon Georges had 15 completions in 24 attempts with 2 TDs and 2 interceptions.  Tyrone Johnson led the Pied Piper rushers with 14 carries for 248 yards and 5 touchdowns.  He also had one pass reception for a TD.

The game with Junction will be played at San Angelo Stadium in San Angelo, so it is not a home game for either team.  Like the Plowboys, the Eagles are 0-2 after falling to Ingram Moore 49-25 and Grape Creek 53-46.

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



Prosecution and defense teams at yesterday's mock trial at the Nolan County Courthouse.
You may remember the classic short story “The Most Dangerous Game,” for decades a perennial favorite for high school English classes.  In the story, a General Zaroff loves to hunt “the most dangerous game,” i.e., people, and when Sanger Rainsford falls off a yacht and swims to Zaroff’s island, he becomes Zaroff’s prey, but in a turn of events manages to elude the General and in the end apparently kills him in his own bedroom.

Kelly Jo Sexton’s ninth-grade English class read this story and used it as the basis for a mock trial, which took place yesterday in the Nolan County Courthouse with local attorneys assisting and teaching the students about courtroom protocol and procedures.

The prosecution consisted of students acting on behalf of Roscoe Collegiate High School in charging Sanger Rainsford with murder while the defense argued that he acted in self defense and was therefore innocent.  In presenting their cases, both teams had an opening statement, questions and cross examinations of witnesses, and a closing statement.

Local lawyers who volunteered to help were Assistant D.A. Barrett Thomas, who aided the prosecution, Chris Hartman and Ricky Thompson, who acted as judge and jury, and Meghan Strickland, who aided the defense.  The Court Reporter was also there recording the proceedings.  The entire ninth-grade class got involved, either as members of the prosecution or defense teams or as actors representing witnesses, detectives, or the defendant Rainsford.

The verdict of the two judges was a split decision, in effect a hung jury, but the final outcome is a group of high school kids who now know a lot more about how criminal trials are actually conducted, thanks to the lawyers who donated their time and expertise.



Merced Flores, 32, of Sweetwater, the man who led Nolan County law enforcement officers on a high-speed car chase Monday through the streets of Sweetwater before crashing into a tree and being killed, was wanted for crimes committed earlier in the Roscoe School parking lot.

At about 1:30pm on Monday the Roscoe Police Department received a call from the Roscoe ISD reporting suspicious activity by a male driving a silver sports car in the student parking lot.  When school personnel attempted to accost him, he jumped in the vehicle and fled.  It turns out that the car, a silver Camaro, had earlier been reported as stolen in Colorado City.

Three student vehicles had been burglarized.  Roscoe Police then notified other local law enforcement officers to be on the lookout for the suspect vehicle.  Within a few minutes, it was located on West Broadway in Sweetwater.  An officer conducted a traffic stop and ordered the driver to step out of the vehicle.  Instead, the driver attempted to flee, leading officers on a chase involving speeds of over 100mph and the eventual fatal crash.  He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident at about 2:15pm.



Evening skies. (Photo by Eden Baker)
Although the weather last week began as a continuation of the relentless dry August heat, a cold front that blew in on Saturday lowered temperatures and finally brought some welcome rain to the parched west Texas earth.  High temperatures on Saturday and Sunday were 76°F and 79° respectively, and both days had some early morning precipitation.

The shower on Saturday morning was really just a teaser, dropping about .15” here in town with similar amounts recorded in the countryside around.  But the rain that fell shortly before dawn on Sunday was more substantial, significantly so in some areas.  The amount that fell varied widely, depending upon the location.  The Aljoes, just northeast of town, had a two-day total of .4”, while Avenger Field, five miles east, got only .17”.  The Pyron area, northwest of town, also got only .4”, and a farm north of Loraine totaled .6”.  On the other hand, a farm just east of Loraine recorded 3.4”, and areas around and south of Champion got from 2.8” to 3”.  The Bakers north of Roscoe got over an inch, as did Kenny Landfried on his Cottonwood Creek farm northwest of town with 1.02”.  Amounts also varied here in town.   Kenny Landfried recorded Roscoe’s official .78” total on the east side of town while Helen Perry had 1.6” on the north side and Ken Brawley on the south side got an even 1”.

Sunny skies and heat returned on Monday, which had a high of 90°, and yesterday with a high of 96°.  Today’s high should be about like yesterday’s, but another cold front is due tonight bringing with it cooler temperatures and a 40% chance of rain.  Tomorrow’s high will be only about 82°, and there will be a 40% chance of rain.  The highs on Friday and Saturday will  be only in the mid seventies with a 50% chance of precipitation on Friday.  Lows will be in the mid to low sixties. Temperatures will remain mild through Sunday.  Both Saturday and Sunday should be dry.



A Memorial Service was held on Saturday, September 6, at Trinity Baptist Church in Sweetwater for Sonny James Hermosillio, Sr., 38, who died on Monday, September 1, at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.

He was born in Colorado City on March 27, 1976, and attended schools in Roscoe and Grand Prairie.  He moved back to Sweetwater from Lubbock two years ago.  He was a truck driver for Underwood Farms.

Survivors include his daughter, Inez Hermosillio of Sweetwater; sons Sonny Jr., Lewis Ray, Damian, and Jacob Ray Hermosillio, all of Sweetwater, and Adrian James Hermosillio of San Antonio; father, John Hermosillio, Sr., of Roscoe; mother, Hope Villegas of Grand Prairie; brother, John Hermosillio, Jr., of Roscoe; sisters Melissa Sarabia of Roscoe, Debbie Cuellar of Loraine, Hope Hermosillio of Grand Prairie; granddaughter, Samantha Hermosillio of Sweetwater; paternal grandparents, Felipe and Solia Hermosilliio of Roscoe and maternal grandfather Adolph Villegas of Wastella.



Funeral services were held on Wednesday, September 3, at St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Sweetwater for Evelyn Schattel Clifton, 88, who died on Sunday, August 31, in Fredericksburg.  Burial followed at Lone Wolf Cemetery.

Mrs. Clifton was born December 11, 1925, in Scurry County to Emil and Louise Schattel and graduated from Pyron High School in 1944, where she was a member of the basketball team.  She married Billy Joe Clifton in the Scurry County home of her parents on May 10, 1947.  She was a beloved wife, mother, and grandmother and a member of St. Stephens Episcopal Church in Sweetwater and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Fredericksburg.  The Evelyn Clifton Farm recently received recognition by the Texas Department of Agriculture for 100 years of continuous years of family farming.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Billy Joe Clifton on April 17, 1998; her daughter, Lisa Ann Clifton Bowman on April 27, 2014; her brothers, John Schattel, Leo Schattel, Walter Schattel, and Eugene Schattel; and her sister, Della Light.

She is survived by her daughter, Cynthia Clifton Grinslade of Fredericksburg; son-in law Ricky Bowman of Hermleigh; granddaughters Stacy Jenschke and husband Craig of Fredericksburg,, Talia Jaryszak and husband Rick of Abilene, Shelly Davis and husband Edward of Odessa, and Chaile Allen and husband Dusty of Shreveport, LA; along with six great grandchildren;  brother, Ernest Schattel and wife Janet of Roscoe, and sister-in-law Fern Schattel of Sweetwater.

Pallbearers were Craig Jenschke, Rick Jaryszak, Ed Davis, Dusty Allen, Morris Light and Emil Schattel.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

No Roscoe Hard Times This Week

Dear Readers:

As many of you already know, I have been having some health problems since Saturday night, spending most of my time since then at Hendrick Memorial Hospital in Abilene.  They released me last night, and I got home about 9:30 or 10:00pm.  As a result, I was unable to make my rounds this week and find out what's been going on around town. 

Here's hoping everything will be back to normal next week.

Edwin Duncan
Roscoe Hard Times


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