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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Happy Halloween!

Halloween will be on Monday this year, so remember to buy some trick-or-treat candy if you haven’t already done so, and keep in mind that kids will be trick-or-treating and walking the streets before and after sundown.   

Although Halloween may not be the wide open affair it once was, it is still observed with some semblance of its old spirit in Roscoe. After living in the big city for so many years, I assumed that the “trick or treat” part was just about dead, and I was dubious last year when people told me to buy at least three bags of candy. 

But they were right. By the end of the evening, I had only about three Reese’s Sticks left from the three bags I bought. Some of the little kids did have mothers taking them around in cars, but more often than not it was big sisters or brothers out walking the streets with them, just like in the old days.

That’s a lot better than the urban suburbs, where one bag of candy is usually more than enough—at least where I lived. Trick-or-treating starts there about an hour before dark, and the kids in costume are invariably accompanied by mothers who stand a few steps back and carefully watch whoever answers the door. Many won’t even knock at a door that doesn’t have the porch light on and also something like a jack-o-lantern on the front porch to indicate that the house is a “safe” one.  

And an hour or so after dark, it’s all over. Maybe a couple of twelve-year-olds come around at 7:30 or so, but after that there are no more knocks. As far as the treats go, no mother is about to let her kids eat anything that’s not pre-packaged for fear the candy might have LSD in it or razor blades or something toxic. 

That’s not the way it was in Roscoe some fifty years ago. Back then, “trick-or-treat” meant trick or treat.  If we kids said, “Trick or treat,” and the person who answered the door didn’t give us some candy or if they told us to go away, then a “trick” was fair game. I can remember carrying a piece of soap to write with on window screens in case of such an eventuality, and I can also remember kids with toilet paper as well. 

And there were no adults out walking us around. When we were ready to go, our parents told us to behave ourselves, and then they went back in the house while we headed out for a night of adventure with masks on our faces and empty paper sacks that we were anxious to fill. 

We roamed the town knocking on doors and hoping to hit the jackpot with candy. As far as treats went, the best were not pre-packaged but home-made candy apples or caramel popcorn balls—although getting something like a Milky Way or Three Musketeers was a rare and treasured gift. Usually, though, the treat was something like candy corn, marshmallow peanuts, Kits, Tootsie Rolls, or some other kind of penny candy.

And prank playing was a regular part of the evening, especially for the older kids. While the younger ones were trick-or-treating, teenagers were out prowling around and running in packs looking for some kind of monkey business to get involved in. Those big enough to be going around in cars sometimes had water balloons, and if you were a kid walking the streets, you had to watch out for them. 

 When we got back home from our trick-or-treating, we emptied our sacks onto the table and checked out our take for the evening, and, if our mothers weren’t watching too closely, we ate too much of it, starting with the best first. 

Still, although Halloween has changed over the years, I’m sure today's kids enjoy the adventure much as we did.  

(For a Halloween greeting, click here.)



It was another tough game for the Plowboys Friday night as the Crosbyton Chiefs came in and methodically put them away with solid displays of both offense and defense.  The Chiefs’ Adam Ortiz returned a Plowboy fumble for a touchdown on the opening kickoff, and that pretty much set the tone for the rest of the game.  

The score at halftime was 21-0, and the Plowboys were held scoreless until Chris De Leon scored on a 38-yard touchdown run with 3:23 left to go in the fourth quarter.  The Plowboys played hard, but with their five turnovers—four fumbles and one interception—there was no chance of them staying in the game.  

Standouts on defense for the Plowboys were Landon Jones, Eric Padilla, and Luke Rovig and on offense Padilla, Rovig, and Chris De Leon.

The Plowboys play at home again this Friday, this time against the Ralls Jackrabbits, who are 3-5 on the year and 2-1 in district play.  Last Friday they beat Roby 20-6.  Kickoff is at 7:30.



The Roscoe Plowgirls’ cross-country track team came in third in the district meet on Monday to qualify for the regional meet on Saturday, November 5.  Girls on the team are Amber Craig, Danielle Dean, Crystal Luna, Jacinda Morales, Alura Renteria, Miriam Solis, and Whitney Williams.  



Except for the lack of precipitation, Roscoe enjoyed a week of almost perfect weather, with highs in the low to mid eighties and lows in the high fifties.  It’s that time of year when neither air conditioners nor heaters are needed, and windows can be left open all day.  

That’s all supposed to change today with a norther blowing in and a 30% chance of rain tonight.  Tomorrow will bring a 50% chance of showers with a low tomorrow night in the upper thirties, which will be the coldest it’s been so far this year.  

The rain we got a couple of weeks ago has revived all the lawns around town, and everything is a lot greener now than it has been all year.  Even so, the Nolan County Commissioners re-instated the burn ban at their meeting on Monday, and a nice rain today or tomorrow would be more than welcome.  

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wind Festival a Huge Success

Spectators crowd Cypress Street to hear the Bellamy Brothers. (Photo Courtesy of Leslie Schmidt)  

On a day when the weather was almost as perfect as anyone could ask for, a huge throng of local  folks and visitors from surrounding communities converged on downtown Roscoe to enjoy the fifth annual West Texas Wind Festival, which turned out to be the biggest and arguably the best one yet.

The free concert starring the Bellamy Brothers and the fireworks show were attended by an estimated crowd of 3500, which filled the downtown parks and Cypress Street from the stage next to the Roscoe State Bank all the way back to the Lumberyard. 

The Barbecue Cookoff sponsored by the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department had more entries and prize money than ever, and the always popular Plowboy Mudbog drew a sizable crowd at George Parks Field while vendors of all types sold their wares on the downtown streets.  

Kids enjoyed the inflatable slides, bounce houses, and games in the downtown park, and the ones who participated in the Mudbog Dash for Cash at the baseball field were covered with mud as they raced, stumbled, fell, and crawled through the blackland sludge of the mudbog to the delight of the onlookers.  

Food and snacks of all types were available everywhere, and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves as they watched or participated in the many festivities. 

Lawless Flatz kicked off the free concert and street dance and got the crowd revved up for the Bellamy Brothers, who followed and pleased the audience with old favorites such as their “Let Your Love Flow,” “Old Hippie,” “Redneck Girl,” and “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body,” while mixing in some of their more recent hits like “Guilty of the Crime,” “Jalapeños,” and others.

Despite the huge crowd, events seemed to go off without a hitch, and most who attended went away pleased with the way the festival was run.  All the planning and hard work by the organizers of the event paid off, and the result was one the city can be proud of.  



Scenes from the 5th annual Wind Festival, including the Plowboy Band, street scenes, the Plowboy Mudbog, the Mudbog Dash for Cash, and cookoff scenes.


Scenes from the 5th annual Wind Festival, including street scenes, kids' inflatables, Lawless Flatz, cookoff awards, fireworks, and the Bellamy Brothers singing "Old Hippie" and "Guilty of the Crime."


The Bellamy Brothers sing "For All the Wrong Reasons," "Let Your Love Flow," and "If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body" at the street dance.



The Roscoe Plowboys put up their best defensive effort of the season against the Roby Lions last Friday, but the offense couldn’t capitalize, and the Plowboys lost once again.  Roby jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter on touchdown runs by Matt Fells and Troy Stevenson, and that was the end of the scoring for the evening for either team.  Roby is now 2-1 in district play and Roscoe is 0-2. 

Chris De Leon rushed for 70 yards to lead the offense while Luke Rovig, Landon Jones and Matthew Cuellar stood out on defense.

This Friday the Plowboys are at home against the Crosbyton Chiefs, who are 4-3 on the year and 2-0 in district play.  They are coming off a 60-15 shellacking of Rotan.   



Funeral services were held on Friday at the Roscoe Church of Christ for Martha Ruth Light, 96,  who passed away on Wednesday, October 12, at Sweetwater Healthcare Center.  Interment followed at the Roscoe Cemetery.

She was born April 7, 1915, in Mitchell County and married Leland “Runt” Light on April 5, 1947, in Hermleigh.  She attended Wastella schools and lived in Nolan and Mitchell Counties all her llife. She attended beauty school in Abilene and worked as a beautician for many years.  She was also a housewife and member of the Roscoe Church of Christ.

Survivors include her daughter, Schylon Boyd of Sweetwater, granddaughters Sabrina Bishop of Roscoe and Sharessa Garrett of Sweetwater; a sister, Ruby Parker of Roscoe, and brother, Wayne Hagood of Sweetwater; a great-granddaughter and many nieces and nephews.



Funeral services were held on Sunday at the First Baptist Church for Archie Joseph Hunter, who passed away at home on Thursday, October 13.

He was born on May 27, 1932, and graduated from Roscoe High School in 1952.  After attending Arlington Junior College on a football scholarship, he served in the U.S. Army and played on the all-Army football team before returning to college at Hardin-Simmons University, where he played for Coach Sammy Baugh. He married Sherry L. Hunter on February 25, 1956. 

After graduating with a degree in accounting, he moved back to Roscoe and went to work for Flintkote in Sweetwater, where he rose in rank to become the North American comptroller before retiring in 1994.

He was a long-time Deacon of the First Baptist Church. He was also a high school football and basketball official for many years.  He attended all Plowboys and Plowgirls sports events and was a leader in the booster club.  He was also a community leader, serving on the school board and groundwater district board.

Survivors include his wife, Sherry, of Roscoe; daughter Sandy Graham of Stephenville; sons Arthur Lee Hunter of Crawford and Dan Hunter of Stephenville; sisters Audrey Hunter and Mae Hunter of Coppell and Sue Sanford of St. Louis, Missouri; brother Howard Hunter of Odessa; four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Pallbearers were the Roscoe Plowboy coaches and honorary pallbearers were the Deacons of the First Baptist Church.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Big Rain Breaks Long Dry Spell

Rain falls on my driveway early Saturday morning.
On Saturday the big rain finally came that everyone in west Texas has been hoping for all year long.  It started in Roscoe about 8:30am and continued off and on for the rest of the day.  Some places recorded a tenth or two on Sunday, but in general, it all happened on Saturday. There was no hail, and, outside a couple of hard bursts, the rain was almost completely of the slow, easy variety that soaks in instead of running off.

Amounts of rainfall in the area varied depending on location, but most places got somewhere between three and four inches, including Roscoe. Although some people on the southwest side of town reported over four inches, the official amount recorded by Kenny Landfried on the east side was 3.45”, bringing the year’s total to 5.98”. 

The most rain reported in the Roscoe area was in the south and west.  Some places around Maryneal got more than five inches, and the same was true for some farms closer to Loraine.  Jill Frizzell, who lives across I-20 from Frances Richburg on the Champion road six miles west of town, recorded 5.25”.  

Jerry Rannefeld, four miles west, got 4.5”, and David Duncan, three miles west got 2.8” while John Bergstrom, two miles out, also got 2.8”.  Northwest of town Gary Pieper got 4.5” in Wastella, while Inadale got 4.0”.  North of town, Darrell Aljoe had 3.6”, Jeremy Baker 4.0”, and Billy Joe Jay 4.1”.

The rain was not confined to the Roscoe area but fell throughout much of the Big Country.  Sweetwater got 4.0”, Rotan 2.62”, Abilene 3.57”, Clyde 2.94”, Ballinger 2.7”, Coleman 2.44”, Brownwood 5.21”, Brady 2.75”, Haskell 2.87”, Throckmorton 4.75”, and Albany 3.5”.

On Monday, the Nolan County Commissioners lifted the county burn ban that has been in effect since early last spring.



The Bellamy Brothers

Roscoe’s Community Development Board met at City Hall last night to discuss final plans for the fifth annual Wind Festival coming up on Saturday.  This is most likely to be the largest one ever, primarily because of the popularity of the Bellamy Brothers, who are the feature group for the free concert to be held “on the bricks” in Cypress Street in front of the Roscoe State Bank.

The Bellamy Brothers, David and Howard, have been performing together since 1968 and over the years have established themselves as one of the premier musical groups in the country.  Even if you’re not a big country and western fan, you’ll be familiar with many of their songs. “Let Your Love Flow,” released in 1976, hit number one on the pop charts in both the U.S. and Europe, and their country classic, “If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body, Would You Hold It Against Me,” also was a crossover number one hit.  It was also named the 1979 “Song of the Year” in the UK. 

The pair also had a string of hits in the eighties and nineties, including such songs as “Redneck Girl,” “Santa Fe,” “Old Hippie,” and others.  In 2005 they recorded “Angels & Outlaws, Volume 1,” a compilation album with Dolly Parton, George Jones, Tanya Tucker, Alan Jackson, and Montgomery Gentry, while more recent albums include “The Anthology, Volume 1,” with the single, “Guilty of the Crime,” and a CD of gospel music entitled “Jesus is Coming.”  

The Wind Festival will almost certainly be your only chance ever to see them for free, so if you live in the area, make plans to take advantage of the opportunity.  The opening band for the free concert will be Lawless Flatz, a popular group from Roby. 

Another popular event on Saturday will be the Plowboy Mudbog, which is shaping up to be the biggest and baddest ever with entries from as far away as Hobbs, New Mexico, planning to attend.  Prices for admission will be $5 for 14 and up, $2 for 7 to 13, and free for kids 6 and under.  Events will run from noon until finish around 4:00 or so. , All proceeds will go to Roscoe’s Little League Baseball program.  The Roscoe Academic Booster Club will handle the food concession.  

The Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department will also hold its annual Barbecue Cookoff  with prizes for steak, ribs, and chicken:

                          1st Prize    2nd Prize  3rd Prize 
     1. Steak        $1000        $500         $250
     2. Ribs            $500        $250          $150
     3. Chicken     $250        $150             $75
The entry fee is $75, and contestants must enter all three categories. 

Arts, crafts, and food booths on downtown streets will include a number of local non-profit organizations including school groups from both Roscoe and Highland, and the kids’ area downtown will once again feature several inflatables.

There will also be a fireworks show at 8:45pm.

Weather permitting, this year’s Wind Festival should be a memorable event.  



In the district opener for both teams, the Hamlin Pied Pipers methodically beat down the Roscoe Plowboys for a 40-8 victory.

The Plowboys held the Pipers until the latter part of the first quarter when Taylor Lambert found Tanner Kieschnick wide open in the Plowboy secondary for an easy 64-yard touchdown pass, and the game went downhill for the Plowboys from there. 

By halftime, the score was 18-0, and the outcome no longer in doubt as the Plowboys were unable to sustain any drives on offense.  Finally, in the last minute of the game, Eduardo Gallegos scored on a 63-yard run and Eric Padilla ran over the extra points to avoid the shutout.

This Friday, the Plowboys travel to Roby to take on the 1-5 Roby Lions.  The Plowboys are now 0-6 for the year.



A graveside service was held on Friday at the Roscoe Cemetery for Willie Arpe Crow, 82, who died in Granbury on Tuesday, October 4.

She was born April 1, 1929, in Hunt County and married Woodrow J. Arpe on Feb. 20, 1946, in Nolan County. She was a member of the Roby Church of Christ and had lived in Roscoe since 1946. She worked for the George Thompson Agency and Bennett & Baucum Agency before going to work at the Nolan County Auditor’s office in 1978. She later was appointed Nolan County Auditor and held that position until her retirement in 2001.

Survivors include two sons, Billy Arpe of Roscoe and Jackie (Chuck) Arpe of Stephenville; one daughter, Patricia Davis of Giddings; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fire Department to Hold Raffle for Barbecue Pit

Barbecue Pit to be raffled off at Wind Festival
The Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department will be selling raffle tickets at its booth at the Wind Festival on Saturday, October 15, for a beautiful barbecue pit built and donated by Stewart Williams.  

This is your chance to win a barbecue pit as well as to support your local firefighters, who have been busy enough, to say the least, over the past few months. 

A $1 donation will get you one chance, and a $5 donation will get you six chances.  Tickets may also be purchased before the festival from local firefighters.  

For more information contact Gary Armstrong at 325-235-4110.



8:00am – Cook’s meeting. Deadline to enter Cookoff.
9:30am – Registration for Plowboy Mudbog contestants begins.
10:00am – Vendors, Kids’ area open
11:00am – Public gate for Plowboy Mudbog opens
12:00 – 5:00pm – Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field
4:00pm – Judging for steaks, ribs, chicken in Cookoff
5:30-7:30pm – Free Concert begins with Lawless Flatz
7:30pm – Cookoff prizes awarded
8:00-8:45pm – Free Concert continues with Bellamy Brothers
8:45-9:05pm – Fireworks Show
9:05-10:00pm – Free Concert continues with Bellamy Brothers
10:00pm – Festival Ends

Contacts for more information:

Vendors – Kelly Etheredge, 325-725-0756
Barbecue Cookoff – Gary Armstrong, 325-235-4110
Plowboy Mudbog – Felix Pantoja, 325-514-8384, or David Pantoja, 325-280-1917
Free Concert and Street Dance – Kelly Etheredge, 325-725-0756
Roscoe City Hall – 325-766-3871

More details are available in last week's edition of the Roscoe Hard Times.



After a week off, the Roscoe Plowboys will open district play this Friday, October 7, at Plowboy Field against the Hamlin Pied Pipers, who also had an open date this past week. 

The Pied Pipers were pre-season picks of both the Abilene Reporter-News and Dave Campbell’s 2011 Texas Football magazine to win District 7A-II, so the Plowboys will have their hands full. 

Hopefully, the Plowboys' grueling pre-district games will give them the experience they need to handle their district foes and make it to the playoffs once again.  Kickoff  is at 7:30pm.



Funeral services were held last week in Yuma, Arizona, for Betty Jean Nance, who passed away on Sunday, September 25.

She was born Betty Jean Hestand on September 26, 1935, in Roscoe and married Edgar Nance, Sr.  She graduated from Roscoe High School in 1954.  Survivors include her husband, Ed, Sr. of Yuma; sons Ed Jr. of Yuma, John of Eugene, Oregon, and Robert of Tucson; daughter Rebecca of Yuma; brother David Hestand of La Junta, Colorado; and sister Dorothy Young of Sweetwater. 



Antonio Quintana, 95, passed away at home on Sunday, October 2.  Services were held yesterday, October 4, at Immaculate Heart of Mary in Sweetwater followed by interment in the Roscoe Cemetery.

Antonio was born May 10, 1916, in Shafter, Texas.  He moved to Mitchell County in 1932, married Cecilia Santiago on November 13, 1936, in Loraine, and farmed and lived west of Roscoe for the rest of his life.  He is survived by sons Rosalio S. (Chale) of Waxahachie, Jose S. (Bill) of Roscoe, and daughter Eufelia Quintana of Roscoe; six grandchildren; and ten great-grandchildren.    


Willie Arpe Crow, 82, died yesterday, October 4.  Arrangements are pending with McCoy Funeral Home.



The Reel Deal Game Room, which opened on August 3 in Doc Daily's old office on Main Street, has closed its doors and ceased operations.



The area experienced some cooler weather this week with two mild cold fronts.  Last weekend saw high temperatures in the eighties and lows around sixty followed by a couple of days that got up into the low nineties.  These were followed however by the last couple of days, when temperatures dropped back to maximums in the upper eighties and lows in the high fifties. 

The forecast is for cooler weather this weekend with increasing chances for showers starting at 20% today and increasing to 30% on Friday evening, 40% on Saturday, and 50% on Saturday night, decreasing to 40% on Sunday and 20% on Sunday night.



The drought is apparently having an effect on the local wildlife as more animals have been seen in and around town lately.  Nolan Martin, the manager of the Lumberyard café on Cypress, reports that he has seen the following animals downtown: raccoon, possum, skunk, silver fox, and red fox, and on Monday David Duncan saw two pronghorn antelopes just a couple of miles west of town.  Apparently, the search for food and water is causing the animals to stray from their usual haunts.  

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