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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Let's Celebrate! City's "Spring Fling" is Saturday

Rance Norton and the Cadillac Cowboys
The City of Roscoe will celebrate the coming of Spring this Saturday with its fourth annual Spring Fling downtown. 

Highlights include street vendors on Cypress Street and Broadway, a kids’ area with a bounce house and other inflatables in Old Town Park, a chili cookoff at the Lumberyard, a street dance “on the bricks” with country music star Rance Norton and band playing traditional country music, and a fireworks show to top it all off. 

The Third Annual “Screw Terlingua" Chili Cookoff will kick the day off with visitors able to sample different teams’ chili with $1 tasting tickets beginning at about noon.  Street vendors will be plying their wares in the afternoon while kids enjoy themselves in the bounce houses located in the downtown parks.  The Roscoe Historical Museum will also be open for guests.

The free concert and street dance with Rance Norton and the Cadillac Cowboys will begin at about 7:00pm and continue to 9:30.  The fireworks show will begin shortly thereafter and conclude the day’s events.   

Those who aren’t ready to stop celebrating at 10:00 can continue at the Lumberyard, where TJ Broscoff and band will be playing on the outdoor stage with no cover charge. 

The Lumberyard will actually begin its festivities the night before with the return of the Zach Harmon band on the outdoor stage starting at 9:00pm.  Cover charge is $5. 

Given decent weather, it should be a great weekend with plenty of music, activities, and opportunity of fun for all.



Mule Butt Chili came in last in last year's Chili Cookoff.
The Third Annual “Screw Terlingua” Chili Cookoff will take place in the yard of the Lumberyard on 7 Cypress Street.  Check-in and set-up begins Saturday morning at 8:00am and cooking begins at 9:00.  By 12:00-1:00pm visitors will be able to visit the team sites and sample their chili by buying $1 tasting tickets with proceeds going to Open Door Day Care.  

There will also be a Salsa contest as well two mixed-drink contests: Bloody Mary and Margarita.  These may be sampled without tickets, although contributions are encouraged.

Judging will take place at 2:00pm with the announcement of winners and presentation of awards at 3:45pm.  Plaques will be awarded for first, second, and third places as well as a showmanship award in the Chili Cookoff.  Salsa, Bloody Mary, and Margarita plaques will go to the winner of each of those events.

Entry fees for the Chili Cookoff are $25, and $10 each for the Salsa, Bloody Mary, and Margarita contests.  Proceeds will benefit the Open Door Day Care Center.

Entry forms and information about rules and regulations are available at the Lumberyard, Roscoe City Hall, and the Rockin’ S Cantina.  For more information, contact City Hall at 325-766-3871 or the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Max Nemir won the 300 meter hurdles at the Area Meet.
Several Plowboys and Plowgirls did well enough at last week’s Area Meet at Highland to advance to the Regional 1A-II Track and Field Meet at Angelo State University in San Angelo this weekend.

In order to qualify for regional, individual athletes or relay teams had to finish in the top four of their event in the Area Meet held at Highland last week.  Here is a list of the Plowboys who did:

Event                           Place             Athlete                          Time
1600 meter run             2            Jesus Leanos                5:08.60
3200 meter run             2            Jesus Leanos              10:46.79
400 meter dash             2            Kevin Lavalais                 52.35
800 meter run                3            Braiden Moore            2:09.50
300 meter hurdles        1            Max Nemir                        41.70
4 x 100 meter relay      3            Plowboys                          45.09
    Dillon Freeman, Kevin Lavalais, Max Nemir, Shelton Toliver
4 x 400 meter relay      3            Plowboys                      3:32.70
    Max Nemir, Kevin Lavalais, Braiden Moore, Shelton Toliver

As a team, the Plowboys finished fifth of fourteen schools with a total of 71 points.

The Plowgirls' relay team won one first and two seconds at the Area Meet. Left to right: Olivia Saddler, Eva Aguayo, Whitney Williams, Lyndi Wilkinson.

Event                              Place           Athlete              Time/Distance
1600 meter run               4             Alejandra Solis              6:16.50
800 meter run                  4             Danielle Dean               2:44.90
4 x 100 meter relay        2             Plowgirls                            52.84

       L. Wilkinson, W. Williams, O. Saddler, E. Aguayo
4 x 200 meter relay       1            Plowgirls                           1:51.73
       L. Wilkinson, W. Williams, O. Saddler, E. Aguayo
4 x 400 meter relay       2              Plowgirls                        4:17.40
       W. Williams, L. Wilkinson, O. Saddler, E. Aguayo
Pole Vault                           4              Magali Casas                      7’ 0”

The Plowgirls finished fourth of fourteen schools with a total of 67 points.



Last Tuesday, Roscoe Police made another bust, this one on I-20.  Officer Steven Spencer pulled over a woman from Odessa and, while interviewing her, became convinced that criminal activity was taking place.  He did a probable-cause search of the vehicle and located a large bundle, which he presumed was illegal contraband since he found it in an area that is naturally void.  He detained the woman, and the vehicle was taken to the Roscoe Police Department. 

The contraband in the bundle turned out to be over $20,000 in cash, whereupon the woman was charged with money laundering and booked into the Nolan County Jail.  An investigation into the source and destination of the money is currently underway.

This was the second large currency seizure in a month for Officer Spencer and the Roscoe Police Department.



Even the old mesquite trees have budded out.
Although forecasters gave the Roscoe area a 40% to 50% chance of rain on Saturday evening and during the day on Sunday, all that happened was a light sprinkling too little to measure around midnight Saturday night.  Temperatures up through Sunday were cooler than normal with highs in the sixties and mid seventies and lows in the fifties. 

Since Monday, however, it’s been sunny and warmer.  Monday’s high was 87°F, and yesterday’s was 85°.  Today’s is forecast to get up to 88° with a 30% chance of rain this afternoon and 40% this evening.  The low will continue to be around sixty, as it has for the past few days.  The outlook for the weekend is for highs around 92° or 93° with a 30% chance of rain Saturday evening.


Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Asleep at the Wheel, Stoney LaRue to Perform in Roscoe This Weekend

Asleep at the Wheel
Roscoe’s growing reputation as the music Mecca of West Texas will be reinforced this weekend when two highly popular country music artists, Asleep at the Wheel and Stoney LaRue, return for encore performances at the Lumberyard.

Appearing on Friday evening are nine-time Grammy Award winners Asleep at the Wheel.  Led by Ray Benson, who also hosts the television series Texas Music Scene, the group has been a fixture of Texas music since the seventies, appearing on Austin City Limits a record ten times.  They have been named the Best Country Music Band by Rolling Stone magazine, toured Europe, performed for George and Laura Bush, and appeared in the movies Roadie and Wild Texas Wind.  They are members of the Texas Music Hall of Fame and have received numerous other major awards. 

Cover charge for Asleep at the Wheel is $15 in advance and $18 on the day of the show.  Their performance begins about 9:30pm.

Stoney LaRue
Then on Saturday night red-dirt icon Stoney LaRue and his band, the Arsenals, will be in town. Born in Texas but raised in Oklahoma, LaRue is famous for developing the Red Dirt sound along with friends Cody Canada, Jason Boland, and Brandon Jenkins. His 2005 CD, “The Red Dirt Album,” reached the Billboard sales charts its debut week, and in 2006 he released the best seller “Live at Billy Bob’s.”  More recently, he has achieved acclaim for his 2011 CD, “Velvet.”

Cover charge for Stoney LaRue is $12 in advance and $15 on the day of the show. The Remains from Brownwood will be the opening band. They will take the stage around 8:00pm, and Stoney LaRue will come on at around 9:30.  

For more information, phone the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Finding an egg at last year's city Easter Egg Hunt.
The City-sponsored Easter Egg Hunt is this Saturday, April 19, from 2:00-4:00pm at Old Town Park across from City Hall on Cypress Street. Hunts are planned for three separate age groups: 0-3 years old, 4-7 years old, and 8-12 years old. Everyone is invited.

Please bring cameras and baskets for goodies.  For more information, contact City Hall during business hours at 325-766-3871.



Max Nemir passes the baton to Kevin Lavalais in the 4 x 400 meter relay, an event the Plowboys won.
At the District 13-1A Track Meet in Highland last Thursday, several Plowboys and Plowgirls qualified for the Area Track Meet, which will also be held at Highland this Friday, April 18.  To qualify for Area, athletes had to finish in one of the top four places.  Here is the list of those who did:


Event                       Place          Athlete                            Time/Distance
3200 meter run          1         Jesus Leanos                                 11:22.02
                                           2         Luis Villa                                       11:44.95
                                           3         Javier Leanos                               11:52.12
1600 meter run           1         Jesus Leanos                                   5:14.95
                                           3         Luis Villa                                          5:22.63
800 meter run             1        Braiden Moore                                2:10.43
400 meter dash           1        Kevin Lavalais                                    53.85
110 meter hurdles      1        Dillon Freeman                                   16.46
300 meter hurdles     1        Max Nemir                                           41.93
4 x 100 meter relay   1        Roscoe                                                  44.97
     Dillon Freeman, Kevin Lavalais, Max Nemir, Shelton Toliver
4 x 200 meter relay   2        Roscoe                                               1:37.57
     Rafael Aguayo, Jesus Leanos, Javier Leanos, Shelton Toliver
4 x 400 meter relay    1       Roscoe                                               3:37.41
     Max Nemir, Kevin Lavalais, Braiden Moore, Shelton Toliver
Shot Put                           2        Anthony Ortegon                        37’ 3½"

Alejandra Solis won the 1600 and 3200 meter runs.

Event                       Place          Athlete                            Time/Distance
3200 meter run           1         Alejandra Solis                                14:11.6
                                            4         Karina Cisneros                            15:55.69
1600 meter run            1         Alejandra Solis                                 6:21.90
                                             3        Karina Cisneros                               6:44.21
800 meter run               1        Danielle Dean                                   2:42.68
100 meter hurdles       3        Sunshine Saddler                                16.66
4 x 100 meter relay     2        Roscoe                                                   52.77
     W. Williams, L. Wilkinson, O. Saddler, E. Aguayo
4 x 200 meter relay    2         Roscoe                                               1:55.56
     W. Williams, S. Ortega, M. Sanchez, E. Aguayo
4 x 400 meter relay    1         Roscoe                                              4:20.76
     W. Williams, L. Wilkinson, O. Saddler, E. Aguayo
Pole Vault                        4         Eva Aguayo                                         7’ 0”   

The Area 13-1A and 14-1A meet will begin at 9:00am with the 3200 meter run, followed by field events from 9:30-12:00.  Running finals will begin about 2:30 and end about 4:45.  Presentation of team awards will follow.



The 1892 Poll List. (Click to enlarge.)
Gene and Sherry Cox have donated to the Roscoe Historical Museum a valuable old city artifact, the poll list of a general election held on November 8, 1892, the same year the town changed its name from Vista to Roscoe.  At that time, Roscoe was in Precinct 1 of Nolan County.

The poll lists 39 men in Roscoe’s precinct who voted in the election.  Women, of course, didn’t vote in those days.  Of the men listed, several names are recognizable:  E. B. McBurnett, who moved to the Roscoe area in 1881; D. B. Whorton, who has descendants still living in Roscoe; G. C. Spires, who owned the first store in town; C. S. Knott, a. k. a. Professor Knott, Roscoe’s first schoolteacher; W. G. Goode, J. R. Lagow, and several others. 

Mr. and Mrs. Cox also donated a large blown-up photo of downtown Roscoe that was on a penny post card dated October 23, 1906.  They bought both items at the estate sale of J. B. Cooper, Jr.  Both these artifacts will be on display at the Museum during Spring Fling on April 26.



Pepper  plants killed by yesterday morning's freeze.
The weather proceeded in typical Jekyll-Hyde fashion this past week with summerlike highs followed by a cold front that dipped below the 32° mark long enough to wipe out the peppers and most of the tomato plants I transplanted into my garden last week.  Winds for the week ranged from calm to high with sustained high winds of 33mph on Sunday with gusts up to 44.

From Thursday through most of Sunday, temperatures were balmy with afternoon highs in the upper eighties and lower nineties and lows in the sixties.  On Saturday and Sunday there were wind advisories and fire weather warnings.  Then on Sunday night a windy cold front blew in, and by Monday morning the mercury had dropped to 36°.  The high on Monday was only 55°, but after all the warm weather of the days preceding, it felt colder than that. 

On Monday evening a freeze warning was issued for the Big Country, and by Tuesday morning local temperatures had dropped anywhere from 24° to 32°, depending on location.  Roscoe's weatherman, Kenny Landfried, recorded an official 24° at his home in east Roscoe and believes it may be some kind of record for this time of year.  David Duncan had a low of 28° at his home three miles west of town. 

Yesterday’s high was 65°, and today and tomorrow will be slightly warmer with highs in the lower seventies and lows in the fifties.   Friday and Saturday will be similar, but on Saturday there is also a 30% chance of thunderstorms.  Sunday and the first part of next week will see afternoon highs back in the mid eighties with lows in the upper fifties.


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

City Council Approves Cinco de Mayo Event, Re-Opens Bids for Swimming Pool Operators

Cody Thompson gives City Manager's report to the Council.
At its monthly meeting last night, the City Council unanimously approved Jesse Gonzalez’s request to hold a Cinco de Mayo celebration in downtown Roscoe on Saturday, May 3.  This year’s event will include a parade, street vendors, and a free concert and street dance on Cypress Street in front of City Hall.  A parade down Broadway starting at 10:30am will kick off the celebration, and music for the evening will feature German Aguayo and Audio M.  The event will conclude at 10:00pm. 

The Council also moved to receive letters of intent to operate the City Swimming Pool this summer.  So far, the field is open to qualified people who are interested.  The Council will decide on its choice of operators at the next City Council meeting on May 12.  For more information, contact City Hall during business hours at 325-766-3871.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported to the Council that work has begun on the east wall of Memorial Park, which will improve the stability, longevity, and looks of the wall.  The surface will be stucco on a metal lathe.

The dry and warmer weather has allowed the Water Treatment Plant and line improvements to catch up to schedule.  The Water Treatment Plant is now hooked up, but won’t become operational until mid May to early June.  Water line improvements will begin in three to four weeks, and bids for work on sanitary sewer lines will go out in the next three to four months.  RISD is planning water and sewer improvements for the new STEM building west of town.

Construction on the sewer line at Young Farm Estates continues, and within the next thirty days, work will begin on the Stone Tower RV Park in north Roscoe.  The RV park near the City barn and the baseball field in east Roscoe will soon have six self-contained rental units like those across the street from the Community Center at the Plowboy Center Lodge.

The Council declined a contractor’s offer to build the three new homes financed and approved by the Texas Department of Community Affairs.  The low bid was $83,000 each, which is $3000 too high, so the Council moved for a re-bid.



In addition to the vote to place two new members on the City Council and to approve the City’s local sales and use tax, the election on Saturday, May 10, will also include voting on a proposal to expand and renovate Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital.

Known as the Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital Phase 4 Renovation Bond, the vote will be for approval to issue up to $25,212,000 of bonds.  

The proposed improvements include renovations to 18,995 square feet and new space of 21,286 square feet.  These include new labor and delivery rooms, renovations to the OR and ICU, a new obstetrics department, MRI space to allow in-house access and “open” MRI capability, front entry upgrades to make them ADA accessible, an outpatient dialysis unit center, a new emergency generator, and the installation of a hospital-wide nurse/patient call system.

A public meeting on the proposed bond election will be held at the Roscoe Community Center on Wednesday, April 23, at 5:30pm.  Early voting is April 28 through May 6, 8:00am to 5:00pm, at the RPMH Administration Office.  For more information, consult the Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital website at or call RPMH at 325-235-1701.



Plowboys and Plowgirls got their last warm-up for the District Meet last Thursday at the Lone Wolf Relays in Colorado City.  The 13-A District Meet is at Highland tomorrow afternoon.

At Colorado City, the Plowboys competed against athletes from Borden County, Cisco, Coahoma, Colorado City, Forsan, Snyder, Stanton, Sweetwater, and TLCA of San Angelo.  The Plowboys finished fourth with 81 points.  Those scoring points are listed below.


Event                             Place               Athlete                   Time/Distance
1600 meter run               2             Jesus Leanos                            5:13.44
                                                6             Javier Leanos                         5:24.41
3200 meter run               1            Jesus Leanos                           11:07.92
                                               4            Javier Leanos                          11:50.89
                                                6            Luis Villa                                  12:40.62
110 meter hurdles          3           Dillon Freeman                              18.48
400 meter dash               3           Kevin Lavalais                               53.68
300 meter hurdles          3           Max Nemir                                     43.82
                                                6            Dillon Freeman                           45.32
4 x 100 meter relay        3           Roscoe                                            46.23
     Dillon Freeman, Kevin Lavalais, Max Nemir, Shelton Toliver
4 x 400 meter relay       3           Roscoe                                         3:38.42
     Max Nemir, Kevin Lavalais, Braiden Moore, Shelton Toliver
4 x 200 meter relay        5          Roscoe                                           1:41.36
     Rafael Aguayo, Jesus Leanos, Javier Leanos, Rafael Aguayo
Long Jump                          1           Shelton Toliver                              20’1”


The Plowgirls competed with athletes from Borden County, Cisco, Coahoma, Colorado City, Forsan, Snyder, Stanton, Sweetwater, and TLCA.  They finished fifth with 78 points.

Event                           Place              Athlete                        Time/Distance
1600 meter run          2                Alejandra Solis                           6:15.52
                                           5                Karina Cisneros                       6:35.63
3200 meter run          2                Alejandra Solis                         14:10.13
                                           4               Karina Cisneros                      14:45.30
100 meter hurdles      3               Sunshine Saddler                          18.92
800 meter run              6               Danielle Dean                             2:53.63
4 x 100 meter relay    3               Roscoe                                            52.13

      W. Williams, L. Wilkinson, S. Saddler, E. Aguayo
4 x 400 meter relay    1               Roscoe                                         4:27.56
      W. Williams, L. Wilkinson, S. Saddler, E. Aguayo
4 x 200 meter relay    4               Roscoe                                         1:57.21

      W. Williams, Samantha Ortega, Mireya Sanchez, E. Aguayo
Long Jump                      6              Lyndi Wilkinson                    13’10¼”
Triple Jump                   5              Lyndi Wilkinson                      31’ 3¾”
Pole Vault                       3               Eva Aguayo                                   7’ 6”



Roscoe Collegiate’s boys and girls were in fine form at the District 13-A Junior High Track Meet held at Plowboy Field on Monday.  Competing with the Junior High kids from Highland, Loraine, Hermleigh, Ira, and Westbrook, here are the ones who finished in the top three of each event.


Event                              Place                 Athlete                Time/Distance
100 meter dash                3                 Clamente Aguayo                  13.18
200 meter dash                2                 Jose Ortega                           26.27 
                                                 3                Gary Shaw                            26.58
400 meter dash                2                 Francisco Garcia                   59.52
                                                 3                 Isaiah Olivera                   1:03.96
800 meter run                  2                 Alfonso Islas                       2:25.79
                                                 3                Clamente Aguayo             2:20.47
1600 meter run                2                 Tagen Adkins                      6:04.52
                                                 3                Jayden Gonzales               6:12.49
2400 meter run                1                 Alfonso Islas                         8:56.65
                                                 2               Tagen Adkins                     9:06.88
110 meter hurdles            2                 Parker Payne                          19.75
300 meter hurdles           2                 Parker Payne                          52.96
4 x 100 meter relay         1                 Roscoe ‘A’                                49.93
     Jose Ortega, Gary Shaw, Francisco Garcia, David Gratton
4 x 200 meter relay         1                 Roscoe ‘A’                            1:50.39
     Braxton Parrott, Isaiah Olivera, Gary Shaw, David Gratton
4 x 400 meter relay         1                 Roscoe ‘A’                            4:04.18
Pole Vault                            1                 Jose Ortega                               9’ 0”
                                                  2               Jayden Gonzales                      7’ 6”
Long Jump                           2                 Francisco Garcia            16’ 10½“
Triple Jump                        2                 Jose Ortega                             33’ 9”
Shot Put                                1                 Paul Pantoja                       35’ 7½“
                                                 2                  J. R. Guia                        34’ 2½” 
Discus Throw                     3                  Paul Pantoja                           88’ 5”


Event                               Place                 Athlete                 Time/Distance
400 meter dash                 1                 Bonnie Wilkinson              1:07.62
                                                  2                Megan Kirkland                 1:12.19
1600 meter run                 1                 Ashley Maestas                6:42.67
2400 meter run                 1                 Ashley Maestas              10:11.36
300 meter hurdles            2                 Lynzie Atkinson                   54.96
4 x 100 meter relay          2                 Roscoe ‘A’                              56.83
      M.Mims, L. Atkinson, M. Horton, B. Wilkinson
4 x 200 meter relay          3                 Roscoe ‘A’                          2:08.40
      J.Pena, L. Atkinson, M. Horton, B. Wilkinson
4 x 400 meter relay          1                 Roscoe ‘A’                           4:45.58
      J. Pena, L. Atkinson, M. Horton, B. Wilkinson
High Jump                           3                 Lynzie Atkinson                   3’10”
Long Jump                           1                 Bonnie Wilkinson            14’ 4½”
Triple Jump                         1                 Bonnie Wilkinson         28’ 10½”

Discus Throw                      3                 Haley Bridges                       58’ 7”



The fog was thick on Sunday morning.
Roscoe’s weather was a mixed bag this week with a little hot weather, a little cool, a little windy, a little fog, and even a little rain.

The rain, which was light and slow, amounted to .26” according to Roscoe weatherman, Kenny Landfried.   That amount, which fell on Sunday and Monday, seemed to be general throughout the Roscoe area.  High for the week was 85°F on Thursday afternoon, and the low was 43° on Monday morning.

The outlook for the rest of the week is for warmer weather with temperatures of 90° or above forecast for tomorrow and Saturday.  Highs otherwise should be in the eighties with lows in the high fifties and low sixties until Sunday evening, when another cool front will bring lows into the mid forties and highs into the sixties.

There is a 20% chance of rain on Sunday.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Roscoe in Years Gone By: Tent Shows

Audience inside a tent show in the 1920s. (Photo from Internet)
Here's another John Beryl Witherspoon memoir of his childhood adventures with his friend Bood in Roscoe during the 1920s.  Traveling tent shows, a popular form of entertainment in the early part of the twentieth century, came to Roscoe every year just as the medicine shows did.  One of the most popular was the one run by Harley Sadler.  Sadler was from Avoca, just south of Stamford, and his shows were popular all over Texas. 

The Texas Historical Association website offers more information about traveling tent shows by clicking here and more about Harley Sadler here.

by John Beryl Witherspoon

Bood and I went to the dark side of the tent and we laid down on our stomachs.  We had barely got our heads under the side of the tent, and the glare of the lights from the stage was blinding.  We were looking at the people in the “Reserved Section” and blinking our eyes when suddenly two strong hands grasped us by the back of our pants. 

We were lifted to our feet and a harsh voice said, “Come out in front of the tent where the lights are and let’s see what you look like before I take you to jail!”

When we got in front of the tent, I was so scared I didn’t know what to do.  I looked at Bood and his face was white and he had a blue spot on each cheek, and I knew he was scared, too.  Those two strong hands held on to us, and when we looked at his face, we saw that it was X. B. Sanders!  He was our City Marshal, and he represented Law and Order.

He put his big strong hands around the back of our necks and marched into the tent right up to the lady who was selling tickets for reserved seats.

In a very official voice he said, “Do you have a place where these boys can sit?

She nodded her head and pointed to the bleachers behind us.  There were two sections of bleachers, one on the left side of the entranceway and one on the right.

He took us to the one on the left and one at a time he hoisted us up shoulder high onto two vacant seats, and he said, “Now you two boys sit here on this ‘Buzzard’s Roost’ while I go out here and do what I have to do, and when the show is over you can meet me outside and I’ll take you both to jail!”  With that he turned on his heel and walked out of the tent.

I looked over at Bood, and it appeared that he had recovered completely.  The little blue spots were gone from his cheeks, and his face wasn’t white any more.

I don’t know what I looked like, but I was stricken with the terror that I might have to go to jail!  All I could think about was the “Black Hole of Calcutta” that I had read about.  And, what would my mother think??  And, besides that, every step we took when we were coming into the tent, X. B.’s six-shooter hit me right in the middle of the back, and that added to my fright.

“I don’t want to go to jail,” I said in a frightened voice.

“He won’t do it,” Bood said defiantly.

“He said he would.”

“I don’t care what he said.  He won’t do it.  Now shoosh, the curtain is coming up!”

When the first act was over and the curtain gently lowered, a handsome young man came on stage.  He was dressed as a gaucho.  He had the straight-brimmed hat cocked jauntily over one eye with a chin strap under his chin.  His dress was all black except for his snow-white shirt, which had full, flowing sleeves.  He wore a black, shiny leather vest over the shirt, and his black trousers ballooned out from his legs.  They reminded us of the big, black bloomers our school girls wore when they played basketball.  His black, shiny boots were knee length, and in his hand he carried a bull whip.  He cracked the whip at each side of the stage.  Then, as the music began to play, he coiled the whip.  He planted his feet wide apart, raised his arms high in the air, and began to sing in a golden baritone voice that resounded throughout the tent:
        Ramona, I hear the mission bells above,
        Ramona, they’re ringing out our song of love,
        I’ll press you, caress you, and bless the day you taught me to care
        And always remember the rambling rose you wore in your hair.
        Ramona, when day is done, you’ll hear my call,
        Ramona, we’ll meet beside the waterfall.
        I dread the dawn when I awake to find you gone,
        Ramona, I need you, my own.

The applause was deafening.  He bowed graciously and returned backstage.  The applause continued.  He came back out and acknowledged the applause with a graceful bow.  The music began to play and he began to sing in his rich, resonant voice again:

        In a little Spanish town ‘twas on a night like this,
        Stars were peek-a-booing down, ‘twas a night like this,
        I whispered, “Be true to me,” and she sighed, “Si, si.”
        Many skies have turned to gray, because we are apart
        Many moons have passed away, but still she’s in my heart.
        We made a promise and sealed it with a kiss
        In a little Spanish town, ‘twas on a night like this.

When he was finished, many of the ladies in the reserved section had out their handkerchiefs and were dabbing at their eyes.

Bood and I had never heard these songs before.  The melodies were appealing and we instantly fell hopelessly head-over-heels in love with Ramona.  We dreamed of rescuing her from burning buildings and raging streams—of placing her on cool grass on the banks of the stream to rub her delicate hands and wrists and revive her from a dead faint.  Never once did she lose the rambling rose in her hair!  Our fantasies were unlimited.

When the curtain came down after the second act, Harley Sadler came out and made a little speech.  He always thanked everybody for coming and described what they could expect in the coming performance.  While he was still on stage, the curtain came up again, and there displayed on the stage were all kinds of prizes—all the way from ladies’ hose to wrist watches and air guns.  There was something for everybody.

On each item a large number was displayed.  Bood and I wondered what that could mean, and Harley said, “Members of the company will come among you and pass out delicious confections, and the price is only 15¢.  In each box there is a prize, and if there isn’t a prize in the box, there will be a number.  If your number corresponds to one of these prizes on the stage, then that is the one you win.”

The actors still had their make-up on because they had one more set to go.  They came down the aisles with large pasteboard boxes tied to their necks so their hands would be free.  They held their hands high in the air displaying the boxes while the music played.  Those who had an extra 15¢ to spare bought one. 

We didn’t have 15¢, but we watched in eager anticipation as those around us opened their boxes to see what mysterious prize they had won.

When the third act was over, we all started down out of the “Buzzard’s Roost,” and we lingered until almost everybody was out of the tent because our dread was overwhelming.  We braced ourselves and went out anyway. 

Sure enough, X. B. was standing over at the side, saying goodbye to the men and tipping his hat to the ladies, and when he saw they had all about dispersed, he mounted his horse and rode down the street. 

Bood glared at me accusingly, pointed his finger at X. B., and said, “See?  Didn’t I tell you?”



City of Roscoe planners are soliciting feedback about the possibility of starting a Farmer’s Market here. They want input from both potential vendors and customers.  The idea is that the market, a place to buy and sell locally grown produce, would be held on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month between May and October. 

If you have any interest, ideas, or opinions about such a venture, please make your feelings known at City Hall, either by dropping in there or calling 325-766-3871.



Both Plowboys and Plowgirls participated in the annual Double Mountain Relays at Aspermont last weekend.  They competed there with athletes from Abilene Christian, Afton Patton, Aspermont, Cool Runnings Track, Crowell, Guthrie, Hermleigh, Highland, Ira, Jayton, Knox City, Lueders-Avoca, Meadow, Newcastle, Paducah, Paint Creek, Rule, Spur, Throckmorton, Vernon Northside, and Woodson.

Those scoring points are listed below.


Event                           Place                   Athlete                                   Time
400 meter dash             1                Kevin Lavalais                           54.04
800 meter run               3                Braiden Moore                        2:17.86
1600 meter run             2                Jesus Leanos                           5:12.42
                                             4                Javier Leanos                          5:23.14
3200 meter run             2                Jesus Leanos                         11:01.13
                                             4                 Javier Leanos                       11:46.19
300 meter hurdles       2                 Max Nemir                                 45.08
                                             6                 Dillon Freeman                          45.38
4x200 relay                   6                 Roscoe ‘A’                                1:39.57
      (Rafael Aguayo, Shelton Toliver, Javier Leanos, Jesus Leanos)
4x400 relay                   1                 Roscoe ‘A’                                3:39.03
      (Max Nemir, Kevin Lavalais, Braiden Moore, Shelton Toliver)


Event                           Place                  Athlete                    Time/Distance

400 meter dash            2                  Eva Aguayo                            1:04.85
                                            4                  Lyndi Wilkinson                   1:05.42
800 meter run              6                  Danielle Dean                          2:50.13
1600 meter run            2                  Alejandra Solis                       6:18.43
3200 meter run            4                  Alejandra Solis                    13:54.18
                                             6                  Karina Cisneros                 14:43.24
100 meter hurdles       2                  Sunshine Saddler                      16.95
4x100 meter relay      4                  Roscoe ‘A’                                    53.81
     (Whitney Williams, Lyndi Wilkinson, Sunshine Saddler, Eva Aguayo)
4x400 meter relay      3                   Roscoe ‘A’                             4:30.46
     (Whitney Williams, Lyndi Wilkinson, Sunshine Saddler, Eva Aguayo)
Long Jump                      6                   Lyndi Wilkinson                   14’0.5”

This weekend Plowboys and Plowgirls will compete in the Lone Wolf Relays in Colorado City.  The District 13-A Track Meet will be on April 10 at Highland.



Blooming bushes at John Strother's house on Bois d'Arc St.
Signs of spring are busting out all over.  The buzzards are back, and so are the robins and hummingbirds.  Various trees and bushes are budding out—but not all.  The old mesquites, cautious as always, are still in winter mode.  The springtime winds have been a nuisance and at times excessive.  There were sustained high winds of 36mph on Thursday night with gusts up to 43mph, and Sunday was just about as bad with high winds of 31mph with gusts up to 41. 

Temperatures are also rising.  Since Sunday, afternoon highs have been in the eighties with nighttime lows in the fifties and sixties.  Yesterday’s high of 87°F under cloudy skies was the warmest day we’ve had so far this year, and the today’s outlook is for a high of 88°.  Starting on Friday, though, the weekend weather should be milder with highs in the seventies and lows in the forties.

There’s a 20% chance of rain tonight and Saturday night.



Funeral Services were held yesterday at 10:00am at the Salem Lutheran Church in Roscoe for Ronnie Lee Gardner, 63, followed by interment in the Roscoe Cemetery.  He passed away on March 28 at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene. He was born in Fisher County on February 21, 1951.

Survivors include his wife, Connie, of Sweetwater; sons Brad Gardner and wife, Amber, of Abilene; Lance Gardner and wife, Evie, of Garland; Michael Gardner and wife, Allie, of San Angelo; John David Gardner and wife, Sheila, of Roby; brothers Terry Gardner and wife, Brenda, of Sweetwater; Leon Gardner and wife, Zenita, of Sylvester; sisters Sue Sutton and husband, Buddy, of Sweetwater; Jane Chew and husband, Elvin, of Abilene; Doris Squires and husband, Winfred, of Carrolton; ten grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Willie Lee and Willa May Christopher Gardner; three brothers, Jim Gardner, Donald Gardner and Sonny Gardner; six sisters, Darlene Schoonover, Jo Faught, Peggy Eaton, Billie Martin, Sandra Estes, and June Squires.

Pallbearers were Basil Stags, Jackie Williams, Bobby Briscoe, Jay Suggs, Glen Barton and Gene Sorrows.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Injun Robert" Say "Ugh, Sunrise Wind Not So Good"

The pre-dawn fire burns brightly in preparation for the Sunrise Wind ceremony.
“Injun Robert” McBride lit his fire and did his dance as the sun rose on Friday, the morning after the first day of Spring, and just as last year, his forecast is not an auspicious one.  He found the wind to be out of the southwest, which traditional Indian lore sees as an omen of below-average crops for the coming year.

For those of you who don’t know the history of Injun Robert’s rain dance, a little background is in order.  The ritual was an annual custom of the Plains Indians long before the white man came. 

Known in the Comanche language as Taba’na Yuan’e or the “Sunrise Wind” ceremony, it was observed around 1880 by a Mr. Crim, who was in charge of the mule teams used in building the T&P railway across west Texas.  While in the Van Horn area on the morning of March 22, he noticed puffs of smoke coming from all the Indian huts in sight.  He asked what was going on and was told that the Indians were seeing what kind of crops they would have that year by building a fire just before dawn and then, as the sun appeared, observing which direction the wind blew the smoke.  This was always done on the morning after the first day of spring. 

If the wind that carried the smoke upward was from the east or northeast, crops would be plentiful. A north or northwest wind foretold average yields, a west wind was bad, a southwest wind worse, and a south wind the worst of all. 

In the early 1970s “Injun George” Parks learned that the ceremony was still being performed annually in Muleshoe by old Mr. Crim’s son, referred to by the locals there as “Injun John.”  “Injun George” found out its particulars from “Injun John” and replicated them here for many years until shortly before his death in 1983.  In addition to observing the smoke, “Injun George” added a rain dance around the fire in hopes that it would lessen the effects of a bad forecast and increase those of a good one.

In 2012, “Injun Robert” McBride revived the practice, and the prediction turned out to be accurate.  On dawn of the day after the onset of spring, the wind was from the northwest, forecasting an average crop—and that’s just what we got. Then last year’s southwest wind predicted a below average crop, but we actually did somewhat better than that, so perhaps it was his rain dance that gave our chances the necessary boost. 

This year “Injun Robert” included another traditional Native American practice by adding a “rain turtle” to the ceremony.  This ritual, believed to bring rain to drought-stricken areas, involves drawing a turtle on the ground with a stick and then spitting on its back.  According to Wikipedia, the time required for the desired rain to come varies from almost immediately to several days.  And this morning, it did rain about a tenth of an inch, so maybe the “rain turtle” did work, but you could hardly call it a drought breaker.  Even so, every little bit helps, and more may be on the way.  

In any case, we still hope for a good crop this year. 



Whitney Williams threatens Adrian Ortega as Ashton Payne and Adam Pope look on during a performance of "The Phony Physician" at the Dinner Theater in the RCHS Cafetorium last week.
Roscoe High’s One-Act Play cast won their zone competition in Westbrook on Monday with their performance of “The Phony Physician.”  They will compete with Hermleigh, Rotan, and Trent for the district title in Westbrook tomorrow at 2:00pm. 

In the competition on Monday, the Best Actress Award went to Whitney Williams.  Selected to the All-Star Cast were Adrian Ortega and Ashton Payne with Korie Rogers receiving honorable mention.  Amber Craig received a Technical Crew award. 

The Director is RCHS Librarian Gay-Lynn Moses.



Plowboy Max Nemir prepares to pass the baton to Kevin Lavalais in the 4 x 400 meter relay. (Photo courtesy of Gordon Nemir.)
Several Roscoe athletes competed in the Angelo Relays at San Angelo last weekend. 

The Plowboys competed against athletes from Blackwell, Christoval, Forsan, Grape Creek, Panhandle, Pecos, Perryton, Reagan County, San Angelo Central JV, San Angelo Lake View JV, Sonora, Stanton, and Wall.  Here are the Plowboys who scored points:

Event                                Place             Athlete                            Time
3200 meter run                6             Jesus Leanos               10:46.72
300 meter hurdles           5             Max Nemir                        42.94

The Plowgirls competed against athletes from Ballinger, Forsan, Grape Creek, Midland Lee, Panhandle, Pecos, Perryton, Reagan County, San Angelo Central JV, San Angelo Lake View JV, Sonora, Stanton, and Wall. Here are the Plowgirls who scored points:

Event                                Place              Athlete                           Time
3200 meter run                6               Alejandra Solis          13:47.14
4 x 100 m. relay               6               Roscoe*                              54.79
100 meter hurdles           4              Sunshine Saddler            17.86
4 x 400 m. relay               5               Roscoe*                         4:25.40

* The Plowgirls’ relay teams comprise Lyndi Wilkinson, Whitney Williams, Eva Aguayo, and Sunshine Saddler.



The NOAA's official 90-day forecast for the US.  EC means the Roscoe area has an equal chance for above normal, normal, or below normal precipitation over the next three months.
For the past couple of days, weather forecasters were giving us a 40%-50% chance for rain last night and this morning, and we did get some precipitation at about six.  But it wasn’t much—maybe a tenth of an inch—just enough for “Injun Robert” to claim his “rain turtle” worked.  In any case, it’s the first appreciable precipitation we’ve had all year, so maybe it will bring us some more.

Otherwise, it’s been an up-and-down week as far as temperatures go.  On Friday the high was 85°F and the low was 59°, while two days later on Sunday the high was only 54° and the low 34° with the rest of the week somewhere in between.  The one constant has been the wind, which has blown from one direction or another all week.

And it will continue to blow today with 25-30mph south winds this afternoon with gusts up to 45mph.  Today’s high will be only in the mid-sixties, but tomorrow and the weekend will be warmer with afternoon temperatures climbing into the upper seventies and morning lows in the mid to upper forties.

At this time, there is no more rain in the forecast.



Graveside services for immediate family are pending for Mitchell High, 64, formerly of Roscoe, who passed away on Saturday, March 22, at Medical City in Dallas.

Mitchell was born to Roy and Margaret High on October 13, 1949, in Palestine, Texas, and moved with his family to Roscoe in 1956.  He was an active member of the Roscoe Boys Club and a 1967 graduate of Roscoe High School.  After graduation, he joined the U.S. Army and served in Germany.  Following his discharge, he followed in his father's footsteps and became a long-haul trucker.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Roy and Margaret High; brothers C. J., Gary, and Ricky; and by his sister Sue Iverson. He is survived by his brother, Roy High of Sweetwater, and sisters Marilyn Billard of Arlington, Texas; Deborah Leach of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and Cathy Hurd of Atlanta, Georgia; as well as many nieces, great-nieces, nephews and great-nephews.

A memorial gathering is planned for Thursday, March 27, at the home of Marilyn Billard in Arlington.