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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

City Council Sets 2019-2020 Budget, Tax Rate

City Manager Cody Thompson addresses the Council at yesterday's meeting.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the Roscoe City Council set the 2019-2020 tax rate and adopted the new City budget. It approved its ongoing deal with the Atmos Cities Steering Committee. It also heard City updates from the City Manager and Police Chief as well as a proposal from Carl Childers concerning financial involvement of the City in the Young Farm Estates housing development.

Since the overall property valuation will be slightly greater this coming fiscal year, the City tax rate will drop from the current .720277 per $100 valuation to .695951 per $100 to raise the same amount of revenue. Thus, most property owners will see no tax increase unless their property valuation has changed. The General Fund will receive .553987 and the Debt Service .141964 of each $100 property valuation. The Council also approved amendments to the 2018-2019 budget.

Roscoe resident Amy Strother urged the City to do something about an excessive number of chickens and roosters near her home. She was told that the offending party has already received a citation and will receive more if not in compliance with the City ordinance concerning chickens.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that after a slow start the replacement of the sewer line between Cypress and Main Streets is proceeding as planned and should be completed within two or three weeks. He also said that he and City Employee Joe Vick completed the state-required 20 hours of Water Utility Management training in Laredo last week. He mentioned that the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department will be flushing fire hydrants this Saturday and next Saturday, so residents should expect some standing water and possible temporary tap water discoloration.

This year’s featured singer at the West Texas Wind Festival on October 19 will be T. G. Sheppard, who was selected last year but was unable to perform because of a sudden thunderstorm that rained out his show. During the festival, food and craft vendors will be selling their wares downtown, the Plowboy Mudbog will be at the baseball field, and the Fire Department will be in charge of the evening fireworks show.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja said the Police Department received some 130 calls last month and that a loose dog bit someone, causing its owner the cost of medical bills and a citation. He also reported four burglaries in August.

The Council passed an ordinance approving a negotiated settlement between Atmos Cities Steering Committee and Atmos Energy Corporation regarding a new rate structure for the coming year. The average residential customer will see a rate increase of about $2.05 a month and the average commercial customer about $6.18 a month.

Carl Childers presented a proposal regarding financial involvement by the City in Young Farm Estates, but the Council decided to table any action until the coming month when its members have had more time to study the proposal.


October 3, 4 & 5

Lots of things have changed at RHS, but “PLOWBOY PRIDE” remains the same!

   7:30pm          BONFIRE – Broadway & Cedar by Railroad Tracks
                            Come cheer with the Plowboys, Cheerleaders and 

                            (Locals can call City Hall @ 766-3871 if you have 

                            wood/brush to add to the bonfire pile)

   1:30 pm         EXES RECEPTION hosted by the RCHS Avid Class
                           at High School Event Center (the old high school 

                           Registration, refreshments, visit with exes.
   245pm           PEP RALLY   in old Gym
   4:30-7pm      POTATO BAKE – in Cafetorium benefiting the 

                           RCHS yearbook staff
   7:30 pm         PLOWBOYS vs. CHRISTOVAL COUGARS
                           Watch Roscoe EX, Jake Freeman, as he coaches 

                           the Plowboys to a BIG WIN!!
                           Band will perform during halftime and 

                           Homecoming court will be announced.

                          be held in the Special Events indoor Concession 
                          Area, just east of the Football Concession.
  8pm-12am    COMMUNITY CENTER at Broadway & 

                          Bois d'Arc for more visiting
    9am             COFFEE & DONUTS- Hosted by Roscoe Lions 

                         Club at Roscoe Community Center on Broadway
                         & Bois d’arc. Come have Coffee and visit with old 
                         and new friends
  10am             PARADE – Theme:  PLOWBOY PRIDE
                         For more information on a float entry, call Misty 

                        Reynolds @ 325-338-1005

                        the cafetorium.
                        Register for door prizes, visit with friends, silent 

                        auction, program, tours of the new school facilities, 
                        slide show and much more
11:30-1:30     LUNCH- In the cafetorium.  (MENU AND PRICE 

                        TO BE ANNOUNCED)
2:30-12am    THE COMMUNITY CENTER will be open and 

                        available for anyone who needs a place to meet with 
                        classmates.  Coffee & tea will be available, but any 
                        snacks will be on you.
                        The Museum and local business will also be open 

                        for the afternoon.

                        ENTERTAINMENT ($10 cover charge)
                             8-9:30 – BLACKLAND BULLET CO.  plays a mix 

                        of Red Dirt Country & Southern Rock. Band 
                        Members include Jady Underwood & Toby Young 
                        (Class of '98)
                             9:30-1 –LYNDALL UNDERWOOD (Class of '79) 

                         & DUSTY CREEK BAND plays a mix of Traditional 

Homecoming Bonfire, October 3
Anyone with burnable items to add to the bonfire on October 3 contact city hall for dump site and times.

Homecoming Parade October 5
floats, bikes, atv's, old cars, new cars, horses. and walking ENTRIES 
NEEDED contact Misty Reynolds  325-338-1005 for more information.

RSVP Requested
If you didn't receive an invitation in the mail but plan to attend, please notify Connie Baize at 325-338-1287 or, and specify number of people in your group.
If you have any questions or comments, please contact:
Teresa Watson 325-280-1960 or email or Connie Baize 325-338-1287 or email



The Miles Bulldogs are now 3-0 after defeating the Plowboys 49-27 in Miles Friday night. It was the Plowboys third loss although they have looked good at times in each contest. They have still been in the game at halftime in all three but have let the game get out of hand in the third quarter, a quarter in which they have been outscored by a total of 40 points to 0.

In the Miles game, the Bulldogs scored first on a 7-yard Davian Martinez run to go up 7-0, which was also the score at the end of the quarter. In the second quarter, Martinez scored again and the Bulldogs led 14-0 before Junior Martinez went over from the 4 to score the first Plowboy touchdown. The kick was no good, making the score 14-6. Later the Plowboys tied the game at 14-14 when Martinez hit Vidal Aguayo with a 1-yard pass to make it 14-12 before running in the extra point himself. However, the Bulldogs answered with another TD, and at halftime Miles led 21-14.

Then came another bad Plowboy third quarter as the Bulldogs scored two more touchdowns for a commanding lead of 35-14. In the fourth period both teams scored two TDs apiece to make the final score 49-27. For the Plowboys, Martinez made the first on a 1-yard run, and Jaythan Coale made the second when he returned a kickoff 80 yards.

Scores by quarters:
Miles                7          14        14        14        49
Roscoe             0         14         0         13        27

Junior Martinez completed 29 of 48 passes for 255 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception. Ryan Highsmith led the receivers with 7 catches for 89 yards, Vidal Aguayo had 9 for 69 with 1 TD, Antonio Aguayo 7 for 30, Kolten Hope 2 for 26, Jaythan Coale 2 for 16, Zachary Parrott 1 for 13, and Gunner Helm 1 for 12. The Plowboy rush game was basically non-existent with 21 carries for -10 yards, although Martinez did have 2 rushing TDs.

On defense, Jake Gonzalez led the Plowboys with 9 tackles, Vidal Aguayo had 7, Junior Martinez and Gunner Helm both had 6, Kolten Hope 5, Garrett Bowers 4, and 5 others with fewer.



Friday before last, September 6, the Plowboys lost to Stamford in Stamford, 30-13. The Bulldogs, ranked in the Texas Football’s Top 20 for 2A-D1, was a heavy favorite, just as Hawley had been the week before.

Stamford drove down the field early and scored on a D’Marcus Barber 10-yard run to go up 8-0. Roscoe responded with its first touchdown on a 20-yard Junior Martinez pass to Ryan Highsmith. The extra-point kick was good, and Stamford led at the end of one, 8-7. Early in the second quarter, the Plowboys took the lead on a 5-yard Martinez run. The extra-point attempt failed, but Roscoe was ahead 13-8.  Later in the quarter, Stamford’s Zhawn Holden recovered a Plowboy fumble and returned it 60 yards for a Bulldog TD. The extra-point conversion failed, and Stamford led at halftime 14-13.

The Bulldogs received the second-half kickoff and drove down the field, but the Plowboys intercepted an errant pass to kill the drive. However, the next time Stamford got the ball, they scored on a one-yard plunge and increased their lead to 22-13. That ended the scoring for the quarter. In the fourth quarter, the Plowboys fumbled at the Stamford 10-yard line. Later, the Bulldogs scored their final touchdown on a 7-yard Trace Price run and converted the extra points to reach the final score, 30-13.

Scores by quarters:
Stamford          8          6          8          8          30
Roscoe              7          6          0          0          13

Junior Martinez completed 14 of 30 passes for 198 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception. Ryan Highsmith led the receivers with 6 receptions for 92 yards and 1 TD. Jaythan Coale caught 3 for 73 yards, and Vidal Aguayo 3 for 22.

Gunner Helm led the defense with 7 tackles and an assist, followed by Kolten Hope with 6 tackles, Vidal Aguayo, Garrett Bowers, and Ryan Highsmith all with 4, and Brayan Medina with 3. Zachary Parrott had an interception and a pass breakup. Highsmith broke up 3 passes and forced a fumble.

Plowboys vs. Chico in Cisco Friday

Due to the loss of Munday and Baird to the six-man ranks this year, the Plowboys are playing a nine-game regular schedule. They are also playing a non-district game with Chico this Friday, September 20, in Cisco. The game was a late addition to make up for some of the shortfall in the schedule.

Chico is a town of 1000 between Fort Worth and Wichita Falls, 14 miles northwest of Decatur. Cisco, where the game will be played, is about midway between Chico and Roscoe.

The Dragons are a 2A-Division 1 school in the same district as Seymour and Olney. Last year, they were 5-6 overall and 2/2 in district. They return seven starters on offense and six on defense and are 2-1 so far this year after games with three 2A-Division 2 opponents. They defeated Petrolia 40-14, lost to Electra 52-14, and defeated Era 34-12. Players to watch include QB/CB Eddie Salinas, RB/CB Billy Morgan, and LB Kenyon Hedrick.

Kickoff at Chesley Field in Cisco is 7:00pm.



Flying With One Wing, former Roscoe farmer Cliff Etheredge’s latest book, is now available on The work deals with the farm injury that cost him his right arm and his coping with the obstacles that arose from it afterwards.

The 192-page paperback edition (6” x 9”) sells for $14.95. For more information, consult the book's webpage on Amazon, available here.



The puddle at 4th and Cypress after Friday's rain.
Fall doesn’t officially begin this year until next Monday, September 23, but last week the consistently hot days we’ve experienced since the beginning of July finally ceased, daily temperatures dropped a bit, and on Friday we got a nice shower, breaking the dry weather we’ve had since June. Highs never got above the low nineties, and lows dropped into the upper sixties.

The rain was welcomed by everyone, especially farmers and ranchers. Here in town, Kenny Landfried recorded an official 1.17” at his home in east Roscoe, but I got a total of 1.6” at my house in the middle of town, 1.3” that morning and .3” more after that. Similar amounts fell west and southwest of town, but south of town got more with reports of 2.5” to more than 4”. Areas north of the railroad generally got less than an inch, as far as I could tell, but that may vary, depending on the area.

The high today will be around 93°F, but tomorrow it will be back down to 90° and on Friday 89°.  Also, on Friday, there’s a good possibility of more rain with chances currently set at 40%. The weekend will be partly to mostly cloudy with highs of 90° on Saturday and 89° Sunday. Lows will be right around 70°.

Fall officially begins on Monday and highs next week will drop into the upper eighties and the lows into the mid-sixties.



A memorial service at 2:00pm on Sunday, September 8, at Roscoe Community Center celebrated the life of Richard D. Moorhead, 86. He died peacefully in his sleep at his home in Roscoe in the early hours of September 5.

Born in Santo, Texas, May 17, 1933, Richard enlisted in the USAF where he served for over 20 years until his retirement as Master Sergeant. He was a veteran of the Korean and Viet Nam wars.

After his military retirement he became a master marine engine mechanic, a trade he followed until his final retirement. An avid hunter and fisherman, he loved the outdoors.

He is survived by his wife, Valda; his children, Foy, Larry, Mandy and Johnny; 5 grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren. He also was stepfather to Lesa and Todd; grandfather to 4 step-grandchildren; and 5 step-great-grandchildren.

Due to his military career, Richard and his family lived in many places, but in his later years, he settled into his current home in Roscoe where he spent the last 14 years of his life.

He will be laid to rest in the Abilene Veterans Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family wishes donations be made to St. Jude's Children's Hospital.


Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Hawley Overpowers Plowboys 39-0

Junior Martinez runs for a gain in second quarter action against Hawley.
The heavily favored Hawley Bearcats took a while to get untracked Friday evening, but a big third quarter doomed the Plowboys as the Bearcats rolled to a 39-0 victory. Even so, Roscoe hung tough the first half, holding the potent Hawley offense for the most part and moving the ball well at times on offense. The Plowboys held Hawley to a scoreless first quarter and were still in the game at the intermission, down only 14-0.

Hawley received the opening kickoff, and on their second play from scrimmage All-Big Country running back Colton Marshall broke free and ran 58 yards into the end zone. However, an illegal block at the 17-yard line negated the apparent touchdown, and the penalty put the ball at the Plowboy 32. Hawley then drove to the 10-yard line before the Plowboy defense held on downs, killing the drive. The Plowboy offense took over and looked sharp, moving the ball up the field on a series of quick, short passes and runs before being held on the Hawley 44. Junior Martinez, making his first start as a quarterback, was sharp, hitting his receivers, who on their part were making the catches. During the quarter both teams moved the ball, but neither was able to score, and the period ended with the score 0-0.

The Bearcats broke the tie in the second quarter when quarterback Xavier Rodela scored on a 34-yard scamper up the middle. The extra-point run was good, and Hawley was up 8-0. On their next possession the Plowboys advanced to the Hawley 40 before having to punt. The Bearcats then drove to the Plowboy 12-yard line, where Marshall scored on a burst up the middle to put his team ahead 14-0. The extra-point try failed, and at halftime Hawley led 14-0.

The third quarter sealed the game for the Bearcats, who scored three times while shutting out the Plowboy offense. The first touchdown came when the Plowboys were held at their own 9-yard-line and attempted a punt. It was blocked and recovered by Hawley in the end zone to make the score 20-0. On Hawley’s next possession, Marshall ran 61 yards untouched and Hawley upped their lead to 26-0. The third score came on a 25-yard Rodela pass to the end zone, and at quarter’s end the score was 32-0.

Early in the final period, the Plowboys drove to the Hawley 8, and on fourth and three, Martinez threw a short pass to Gunner Helm, who headed for the end zone but was hit at the one. He tried to extend the ball over the goal line but fumbled in the process, and Hawley recovered. There was some question whether the ball had broken the plane before the fumble, but the refs said no, and the Plowboys’ deepest drive of the game was ended.

The Bearcats scored again a couple of plays later on another Marshall run up the middle, this one for 75 yards. The extra-point kick was good, making the final score 39-0.

For some reason, the scoreboard was out the entire game and fans were unable to consult it for the score, the down, yards needed for a first, or time left in the quarter or half. The play clock was also out, so both players and fans had to guess how much time was left to get the play off, and at one time or another both teams were penalized for delay of game. Like the water that’s not missed until the well runs dry, a functioning scoreboard and play clock are not properly appreciated until they’re not there.

Junior Martinez showed promise at quarterback, completing 18 of 28 passes and rushing for 52 yards on 13 carries. Sophomore Gunner Helm in his first varsity game ran 9 times for 11 yards and caught 3 passes for 32. Ryan Highsmith caught 4 for 39 yards, Jaythan Coale 3 for 18, Antonio Aguayo 6 for 28, and Vidal Aguayo 2 for 15.

On defense, Vidal Aguayo led the Plowboys with 8 tackles. Helm and Brayan Medina both had 4 with 2 assists, and Highsmith had 3 with 1 pass breakup.

Ryan Highsmith (6) awaits a Martinez pass in the third quarter.

Plowboys vs. Stamford in Stamford
Things don’t get any easier for the Plowboys Friday when they travel to Stamford. The Bulldogs are coming off an impressive 30-8 home win over the 3A-II Merkel Badgers. Stamford’s offensive player of the game was quarterback Trace Price, who completed 9 of 11 passes for 1 TD, and the defensive player was linebacker Chris Dennis, who had 4 tackles, 6 assists, and 2 sacks. The Bulldogs, who return several starters, were 9-3 last year, 3-1 in district, and an area finalist in 2A, division 1. Kickoff is at 7:30pm.


Due in part to lost time this summer because of a broken pump, the City Swimming Pool will be open this year during the month of September.

The pool will be open on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays from 4:00pm to 8:00pm. It will be closed on Thursdays and Fridays due to football games. On Saturdays and Sundays, it will be open from 1:00pm to 5:00pm.

Available dates for private parties are still left.

For reservations or more information, contact Candy Aguayo at 325-232-4086.



Sweetwater Economic Development’s Facebook page reports that the plan to repair the West Broadway bridge that connects I-20 to West Broadway in Sweetwater was approved by TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) on August 30, and work can start as early as next week. The target completion date is around Thanksgiving.



The Plowgirls’ cross-country track team opened their season at a meet in Eula yesterday. Here are the results:

Team Results:
Varsity Girls - 5th
Junior Varsity Girls - 2nd
8th Grade Girls - 10th
7th Grade Girls - 7th

Itzel Ortega-Solis (Varsity) – 4th
Mahalia Calderon (JV) – 2nd
Mia Lavalais (JV) – 6th
Kaidy Ornelas (8th) – 8th



Yesterday's clouds.

On Saturday afternoon, a couple of showers fell in the Roscoe area, but the rainfall was localized rather than general, and some got as much as 1.5” and more, while others got no more than a sprinkle. Some of the farms around Champion got 1.5” and three miles due west of town got 1.4” while less than a mile north got only .1” or less. Here in town, I got .75”, and Kenny Landfried reported an official 1.07" at his house. Darrell Aljoe east of town also got 1.1”. Farms south and southwest of Roscoe got amounts varying from over an inch to not enough to measure. For most who got a shower, it was the first measurable rainfall since July 8.

Temperatures remained on the hot side. Highs on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday were 97°, 98°, and 96° respectively with lows of 72°, 73°, and 65°. Since then, though, the weather has cooled a little with highs of around 93° and lows of around 70°.

Today should be similar with a high of 93° and mostly sunny with a light east wind. The weather starting tomorrow and continuing through the weekend will be a bit warmer with highs of 95° and 96° and lows of about 71° with mostly sunny skies. Monday should be similar but a bit cooler with a high of 93°. In other words, this next week will look very similar to the past week with sunny skies, southerly winds, and afternoon highs in the nineties.

Once again, there is little chance of rain in the forecast.



A Memorial Service for Elizabeth Ann (Perry) Feaster, 63, of Roscoe was held at Abilene Bible Church in Abilene at 3:00pm, Sunday, August 25, conducted by Dr. Daiqing. Burial was on Saturday, August 24, at Colorado City Cemetery. She passed away on Tuesday, August 20, at Hendrick Hospice in Abilene.

Elizabeth was born in Abilene on December 19, 1955, to Cecil Lilburn Perry and Ruby Sara Dennis Perry. She was a born-again Christian and lifelong member of Abilene Bible Church. As a child, she participated in Bible Memory Association camps and Five-Day Child Evangelism clubs. In her youth, she ran track as a sprinter with Margaret Ellison’s Texas Track Club and competed in the Texas Relays and pre-Olympic trials, narrowly missing a Junior Olympics bid. She danced for 12 years at the Patty Harper Dance Studio. She was a talented actress, performing in many productions with Abilene Community Theater and Abilene Children’s Theater. 

She graduated from Cooper High School in 1974 and went on to major in Speech and Drama at the University of North Texas, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree. She later earned her teaching certificate at McMurry University and went on to teach speech, debate, drama, and English at various schools and worked as a Qualified Mental Health Professional at Abilene State School. She taught Bible Drill and Vacation Bible School at Champion Baptist Church in Roscoe. Her proudest accomplishment, however, was being a mother and dedicating herself to homeschooling and raising her children.

Survivors include husband of thirty-two years, Randall Jay Feaster of Roscoe; daughter, Faith Elizabeth Parten and son-in-law Austin Parten of Spring; son, Madison Randall Feaster and daughter-in-law Cheyenne Feaster of Conroe; and grandchildren, Paige Elizabeth Parten, Rhett Woodley Parten, Brooks Perry Parten, and Madeleine Mae Feaster; brothers, Dr. Steven C. Perry of Austin, Christopher Dennis Perry of Salado; and sisters, Sue Perry Fluty of Bedford and Laurie Perry Stewart of Allen.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sister-in-law Sandra Smith Perry of Abilene.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Plowboys Host Hawley in Opener Friday

Junior Martinez (4) carries the ball in last year's game with Hawley.
After holding their own in pre-season scrimmages with Ozona and Forsan, the 2019 Plowboys play their first regular season game at Plowboy Field Friday evening with the Hawley Bearcats.

This non-district matchup will be a stiff test for the Plowboys as the Bearcats are a formidable foe. A 2A, division 1 school (the Plowboys are 2A division II), they are picked to win their district by both Texas Football and the Abilene Reporter-News. Last year, they were 4-0 in district (10-2 overall) with a 56-42 win over Stamford for the title. This year they return All-Big Country running back Colton Marshall and a big line with four starters over 215 pounds. Marshall also leads their defense as a linebacker along with defensive back Robert Ybarra. They return 7 starters on offense and 8 on defense.

The Plowboys will counter with Junior Martinez making his debut as the Plowboys’ starting quarterback. Gunner Helm will be the main running back and Jaythan Coale one of the receivers with Garrett Bowers leading the Plowboy line. Top defenders include Bowers, Martinez, Brayan Medina, Zachary Jordan, and Ryan Highsmith. The Plowboys return 4 on offense and 5 on defense.

This will be fans’ only opportunity to see the Plowboys at home before October as all their games in September are away games. Kickoff is at 7:30pm.



Wade Bowen
Red Dirt/Texas Country singing star Wade Bowen returns with his band to the Lumberyard Friday night with Dalton Domino opening the show.  

Bowen, originally from Waco and a Texas Tech grad, has grown in popularity over the years and now has a large following. His albums include Try Not to Listen (2002), The Blue Light Live (2004), Lost Hotel (2006), If We Ever Make It Home (2008), Live at Billy Bob’s Texas (2010), The Given (2012), Wade Bowen (2014), and Then Sings My Soul: Songs for My Mother (2016).  He’s also produced two CDs with fellow Texas Country artist Randy Rogers—Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 (2015) and Watch This (2016). His latest studio album is Solid Ground, released last year.

Top singles include “Trouble,” “Songs About Trucks,” “Who I Am,” “Mood Ring,” and “Why Can’t You Love Me.”

Dalton Domino
Opening for Wade Bowen is Dalton Domino from Lubbock. An up and coming singer/songwriter, his music is a blend of everything—Texas country, red dirt, and southern rock and blues. His latest album is entitled Corners

Singles include “All I Need,” “Killing Floor,” and “Corners.”

Live music begins at 8:00pm. For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Roscoe High School, 1939-2010.
Homecoming letters were mailed Monday for the upcoming  RCHS Homecoming, October 3,4,5, 2019.

Plans are still being made and a schedule of events will be posted soon.

If anyone is planning a class reunion, please let us know and we will be happy to add it to the program.

For more info call or email:
                Connie Baize @ 325-338-1287 or
                Teresa Watson @ 325-280-1960 or

We will have a Parade on Saturday morning, October 5.
We need groups or floats to participate.  For more information call
                Misty Reynolds 325-338-1005 or

The Bonfire will be Thursday, October 3.  If you have burnable items, you can bring them to Cedar and Broadway (by the water treatment plant)  between 8am-6pm only. If you have any questions, contact City Hall 325-766-3871.



The Roscoe State Bank is getting an interior facelift with a new paint job and other renovations. The work, which should last for about a month, will not impede normal business, and the bank will remain open throughout. 



Thursday's shower in Sweetwater as seen from west of Roscoe.
It’s been quite a week for the weather so far, but the big news today is that the 40% and 50% chances for rain that forecasters gave us for yesterday and today have given us some thunder and lightning, but as far as I know, no more than a sprinkle. Since a good rain would give this parched country such a boost, the continued lack of significant moisture comes as a palpable disappointment, one that as West Texans, we are all too familiar with. 

Actually, there was a little rain here and there Thursday and Friday, but not enough to make any difference. Kenny Landfried recorded an official .11" Friday. Sweetwater got a nice afternoon shower Thursday, but Roscoe remained sunny and dry.

Unlike the rest of this month, which has been monotonous for its lack of variety, this past week had both the coolest day of the month, yesterday’s high of 89°F, as well as its hottest, the day before, at 107°. In fact, Monday’s 107° is the hottest day we’ve had all year. 

Today should be even milder than yesterday with a high of only 86°. However, any serious chance for rain essentially expired this morning around 9:00am. This is unfortunate because the forecast for the rest of the week is not encouraging with rain chances of only 20%, 10%, and 0%. Temperatures should also return to summerlike heat tomorrow with highs in the low to mid nineties until Sunday when the forecast high drops to 89°.

I don’t know about you, but I’m ready for some fall weather.


Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Roscoe in Years Gone By: Rooster Rhea

Downtown Roscoe as it was around 1950.
Editor's note: I've been busy with other matters and haven't really had a chance to go out and gather the news this week, so I thought I'd give readers something a little different this time, a memory of a former town character. 

When I was a kid growing up Roscoe in the 1950s, there were several local characters that everyone knew—Boxcar Slim, who chose Roscoe to be his home after a life of hoboing, Lester Stevens, a black man with no legs who swept the downtown sidewalks, and Pete Stewart, a retired railroad hand who always waved to the workers in passing trains and was everybody’s friend.

Another one was Rooster Rhea. Rooster was not a big guy, slender and a little below average height. He knew all sorts of things and could fix anything that was fixable. Once a bug got in a kid’s ear, and it went in so far that no one could get it out. The kid was screaming bloody murder, and the adults were trying to come up with a way to get the bug out without hurting the child. Rooster walked up and saw what was going on. He told someone to bring him a glass of water, and when they did, he had the kid lay his head sideways and then poured the water into the ear, and the bug came out.

Once someone called him to kill a skunk that was living under their house, and when he did, he found that it was a mother skunk with a bunch of baby skunks. The little ones were so small they didn’t have their eyes open, so he gathered them up and gave them away, all but two, which he gave to his youngest boy, Bill. At the time I had a mother cat with kittens the same age as those little skunks, so I put the one I got in with them, and the mother cat let it drink milk along with the kittens. Rooster told us that we didn’t have to worry about our skunk being able to spray until it was three or four months old, and when it reached that age, he would “deodorize” it with a razor blade. Bill’s two skunks grew to full size, and they became a familiar sight downtown, following Bill around, one behind the other in a line, just like baby ducks follow mama duck.

Rooster’s downfall was alcohol. Sometimes when he started drinking, he would keep it up for days, during which time his wife and kids didn’t know where he was, or even if they did, couldn’t do anything about it.

His family barely managed to get by and always lived in the most modest of circumstances, in old hotels or sometimes in buildings that were otherwise abandoned. The mother, Marie, was bright enough to do tasks like dishwashing, floor mopping, and cotton picking, but incapable of jobs requiring reading or figuring.

Besides his skills as a handy man, Rooster was also known as the biggest liar in town, and the lies he told were often so fantastic that he left people in wonderment about what they had just heard. As far as I know, he never entered a liar’s contest, but if he had, he would certainly have been a contender.

And he would lie to anyone, including kids. Back when George Parks used to be the editor and publisher of the Roscoe Times, he hired boys from the ages of about 11 to 16 to help him get out the weekly newspaper and do the town’s job printing. And for about five years in the late ‘50s, I was one of those boys. We worked every day after school Monday through Friday and eight to noon on Saturdays. During the summer we were in the Times Office most of the day but not always working.

On slow summer mornings, George would sometimes let us play stickball in the open area behind the Times office known as T. O. Stadium. One summer morning, some of us were back there doing just that, and Rooster was sitting on a stack of cross ties next to the building watching us.

During a break in the action, some of us were talking about big-league baseball teams and players. Rooster said something about one of the players, and Cuppy Graham, around eleven at the time, asked him a question. “Rooster,” he said, “did you ever play baseball when you were young?” “Why, son,” said Rooster, “I used to be the hind catcher for the New York Yankees.” “Really?” asked Cuppy. “Just listen,” answered Rooster, “and I’ll tell y’all what happened one time when I was playing for the Yankees.” And we all moved in a little closer to hear what he was about to say.

“Lefty Grove was pitching that day,” he began, “and I was catching. We were playing the Tigers, and Ty Cobb was on first base. He was the best base-stealer in the American League, and I could tell he was fixing to head for second on the next pitch. So, I signaled to Lefty to throw me a fastball, and I got into a crouch so I could fire the ball to second base as quick as I caught it. Sure enough, as soon as Lefty kicked his leg up in the air to make the pitch, out of the corner of my eye I saw Cobb take off for second base as fast as he could run. I caught the ball and in one motion fired it to second base as hard as I could. It got there so quick that the shortstop didn’t get his glove down in time, and the ball went right through his legs and hit the center field wall on the fly and bounced back to second base on one bounce. The shortstop turned and put his glove up just in time to catch it, and in one motion swept his glove down and tagged Ty Cobb out just as he was sliding into second.”

Finished with his story, Rooster leaned back, tipped up the brim of his fedora hat a little bit, and looked triumphantly at us with a little grin on his face. “He never tried to steal on me again,” he said.

On another occasion, I don’t remember what the topic was or how it came up, but it involved England, and someone asked Rooster if he’d ever been to England. He looked a little offended by the question and said, “Have I ever been to England? Son, you are looking at the man who put the plumbing in Buckingham Palace.”

One of Rooster’s kids was a boy named Bobby, a slow learner who never really learned how to read or write much beyond his name. His understanding was also limited, so he was a perennial problem at the end of the school year. He had already repeated a grade once or twice in elementary school without really making any improvement, so the teachers and principal just took to passing him each year so he could stay in the same grade with kids who were in the same general age range, whether he learned anything or not. And in this way, by the time he was around 16, he was in high school taking Mrs. Anthony’s American History class.

Mrs. Anthony, or Miz A, as we called her, had a special unit in which she had students learn about their family histories. One of their assignments was to go home and ask their parents about their family backgrounds, including anything significant or interesting that the class might like to hear about. Then, when their turn came in class, they would report to the other students and Mrs. A what they had learned. So, Bobby went home and asked Rooster about his family history.

A couple of days later, it was Bobby’s turn in class. Mrs. A asked him if he had anything interesting to report about his family background, and Bobby answered that he did. She asked him what it was, and he replied that his grandfather and grandmother were the king and queen of England. This answer produced some stifled merriment among the boys in the back of the room, and Mrs. A realized Bobby had unwittingly been put up to that response by Rooster. Since students were writing down something in their notebooks for each of their classmates’ responses, someone asked Mrs. A what they should write for Bobby. “Just put that Bobby is related to English royalty,” which in its own way was just as ridiculous as Bobby’s answer. But that’s what his class put about him for the project.

Still, I think my favorite Rooster tale is the one Clifford Jones, my old college roommate, once told me when we were comparing Rooster Rhea stories. Here it is.

“A few years ago,” said Rooster, “I was working in Snyder and had just about finished for the day when I looked to the northwest and saw a dark cloud approaching with rain, thunder and lightning. My pickup back then was an old beat-up Ford with a broken-out front windshield. It had engine trouble and could go only about 30 miles an hour top speed. I realized that if I was going to make it back to Roscoe without getting drenched, I’d have to pack up my tools and leave right then.”

“So that’s what I did. By the time I made it out to the highway, the storm had already hit in Snyder and was right on my tail. I drove that old pickup as fast as it would go, but I could see in my rearview mirror that the rain was just pouring right behind me. And this kept up as I drove past Hermleigh, then through Inadale, and then through Wastella. I crossed Cottonwood Creek, drove on into Roscoe, and crossed the railroad tracks with that storm on my tail the whole way. Then, I headed home, and just as I drove that old pickup into the garage, the storm hit outside with the rain coming down in sheets—and I realized I had made it all the way back from Snyder without getting hit by a single drop of rain. I got out, and when I did, I was surprised to see the pickup bed was completely full of water.”



Jon Wolfe
Jon Wolfe will make his first appearance ever at the Lumberyard on Friday, August 23. A native of Oklahoma, Wolfe has been a professional musician since 2004, when he settled in Austin and became a regular performer on the Lone Star honky tonk circuit. 

He released his debut album, Almost Gone, in 2004, and has produced three other studio albums since then: It All Happened in a Honky Tonk (2010), Natural Man (2015), and Any Night in Texas (2017).

Top singles include “That Girl in Texas,” “I Don’t Dance,” “What Are You Doin’ Right Now,” and “Boots on a Dance Floor.”

For reservations of more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



The August heat wave continues, and this past week was a continuation of the two before it. 

There was only one day, last Wednesday, with a high of 93°F, in which the high was lower than the upper nineties. The other six reached 98° or above, and the weekend was especially hot with a high of 104° on Saturday and 105° on Sunday. No rain ever materialized, and the coming week offers little hope for cooler or wetter days. Forecasters are giving us a 20% chance of rain for tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday, so there is a least a possibility, even if it’s a slim one. However, the hot weather will continue along with the steady south winds.

A break from this weather would be nice, but we may have to wait another week or so before getting it.



Services for Carola M. Martin, 54, will be at 2:00pm on Saturday, August 24, at the Roscoe Church of Christ with Philip Tomlin officiating. Interment will follow at Champion Cemetery under direction of McCoy Funeral Home. She passed away yesterday, August 20, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater.

A visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00pm on Friday, August 23, at the funeral home.


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