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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

20 Roscoe High School Seniors to Graduate at Friday Commencement

RCHS Class of 2012 Valedictorian Jacinda Morales and Salutatorian Lynnsi Moses.
A chapter of life will close for twenty Roscoe Collegiate High School Seniors as they cross the stage to successfully complete their high school careers on Friday night.  

And, as was the case last year, over half of them will graduate with their Associate’s Degree from Western Texas College in Snyder already in hand, thanks to Roscoe High’s collegiate program. 

This year’s valedictorian is Jacinda Morales, who finishes high school with a four-year average of 99.08.  She will enter the University of Texas in the fall.  The salutatorian is Lynnsi Moses with an average of 96.08.  She plans to go to Midwestern University. 

Here is a list of the Class of 2012:

*Amber Adames  A
Isabel Aguayo
*Natalie Anthony  A
*Hannah Box  A
Dakota Bradbury
Matthew Cuellar
Devon Freeman  A
*Corey Hatcher  A
John Hermosillio  A
*Sara Herrera
*Sara Kingston  A
Anjelica Lomas
*Katie McIntire  A
Shlana Mitchell
*Jacinda Morales  A
*Lynnsi Moses  A
Eric Padilla
Adrian Segura
Corey Vrubel
*Hannah Weems  A

* = Top Ten
A = Earned Associate’s Degree

Dakota Bradbury, Anjelica Lomas, and Corey Vrubel are early graduates who completed their work at the end of the fall semester. 

The Commencement ceremony will begin at 7:00pm this Friday, May 25, in the Roscoe High School cafetorium. 

Baccalaureate services were held for the graduates at the First Baptist Church this past Sunday evening.



The 2011-2012 Roscoe FFA Awards Banquet drew a sizeable crowd to the Roscoe High School cafetorium last night for a supper, awards ceremony, and auction.  Roscoe’s ag students were recognized for achievements in several local and district competitions, graduating seniors were given a sendoff, and new local and district officers were named for the coming year. 

Here are Roscoe’s FFA Officers for 2012-2013:

President: Torrey Willman
Vice President: Kendall Moses
Treasurer: Jose Rangel
Secretary: Stina Tomlin
Sentinel: Faith Boren



The day Roscoe kids have been looking forward to for some time now—the last day of school—will finally arrive on Friday.  At 1:55pm school lets out for the summer.

Unfortunately for some, the recess will be brief as summer school begins on Monday, June 4. 



One of the strangest—if not the strangest—of businesses ever to set up shop in Roscoe had to be the Uranium Sitting Parlor.  The year was 1955, and it didn’t stay open for too long, but I can still remember the place and the stir it caused at the time. 

It was in that old red brick building on the west side of the first block of Main Street, the one that had the Barq’s Root Beer advertisement painted on its north wall, and was next to Mrs. Clausell’s laundry.  It was somewhat dark and dingy inside with old people lying in red sand in areas separated from one another by planks.  Some of them were completely covered up to their necks while others had sand over only the affected areas, such as wrists, ankles, and feet.

The sand was radioactive and said to be wonderfully capable of alleviating aches and pains from arthritis,  rheumatism, and other similar maladies.  Customers paid by the hour, and their certainty that the uranium was beneficial caused for a booming business.

Those of you who weren’t around back then may not know that the discovery of radioactivity, its presence in uranium, and the part it played in the creation of the atomic bomb all had a profound effect on the popular thought of the time.  No one was quite sure what it all meant, but the atomic bomb blasts were proof that mankind was dealing with something new and powerful.

A movie of the time entitled “Them” (1954) captured some of the prevalent wonder.  In the movie, ants exposed to radioactivity from atomic testing in the desert became huge and invincible and attacked mankind, reinforcing the impression that radioactivity was a mysterious force with unusual powers. 

Thanks to Stanley Cleckler, who provided me with a couple of articles, one from the Roscoe Times about the local sitting parlor and the other from the San Angelo Standard-Times about the origins of the craze, I am able to supply details that would otherwise have been impossible. 

According to the article from the San Angelo paper, the craze began in Comanche.  A dairy farmer there by the name of Jesse F. Reese discovered that sand on his 216-acre farm had uranium in it.  Not too long afterwards, a stranger knocked on the door one day and asked if he could sit in Mr. Reese’s ditch.  He explained that back home in Washington state, he paid for radiation treatments to ease his rheumatism pains, and he was thinking he might get the same relief from the radioactive sand in the ditch. 

Reese agreed, and before long word got around about the healing powers of uranium sand, and several other people showed up to do the same thing.   Rather than run them off, Reese built a shed in his back yard with enough room for six sitters.  He put sand under the floor and in the walls and charged two dollars an hour. 

Business started slowly, but soon he was getting 150 visitors a day, and it wasn’t too long before a uranium sitting parlor was established in Brownwood.  It was also a big success.

At this point, Harvey Cleckler, a Roscoan who was living in Brownwood, decided to get involved.  He was a character and an entrepreneur who, among other ventures, was the man who used to bring the donkey basketball games to Roscoe.

He came to Roscoe with some of the uranium sand and established the Roscoe Uranium Sitting Parlor.

According to the Roscoe Times, people “literally began sitting on the first shovel full” of radioactive sand that he unloaded, and the place was soon averaging “upwards of thirty people a day.”  Mr. Cleckler made no claims that the radioactive sand would cure or even help any disease.  He merely made the sand available and charged a price for people to sit in it. 

Here's one customer's testimonial copied verbatim from the Roscoe Times article, "It's the only thing that's ever helped my arthritis.  I could hardly get up the stairs until I started uranium sitting.  Now I walk up them easily."

Harvey's brother Frank took charge of the Roscoe parlor while Harvey moved on to Lubbock to establish another one there.

The Roscoe parlor originally had two “beds,” but that was later increased, and I seem to remember at least five or six.  I don’t remember how long the parlor remained open, but it wasn’t too long.  I guess at some point people figured out that their rheumatism or arthritis was still bothering them and gave up on the sitting sessions and the curative powers of radioactivity. 

But it was all the rage for a while and is now an indelible part of the history of the town.  If anyone has any pictures of the place, inside or out, I’d love to have a copy for the museum.


Skies were sunny with breezes were from mild to gusty as the area experienced a week of typical May weather.  Highs reached the upper eighties and lower nineties, and lows were in the high fifties and lower sixties.  On Sunday evening there was a solar eclipse right at sunset.

The forecast is for more of the same—minus the eclipse—with no rain in sight and temperatures even warmer with triple digits forecast for tomorrow and highs in the upper nineties for the days following.  Lows will be in the upper sixties and lower seventies.

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