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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Blackland Smokehouse to Open on Friday

A new restaurant opens in downtown Roscoe.
A new barbecue restaurant, the Blackland Smokehouse, will make its debut on Friday.  Located on the north side of Broadway in downtown Roscoe between The Wildflower Boutique and Memorial Park, it will be jointly owned and run by ex-Plowboys Randy Williams, Class of ’74, and wife Fonda, and their son Travis, Class of  ’03. 

Randy and Fonda Williams have a proven track record with barbecue.  From 2003 to 2009, they owned and ran Spyke’s BBQ in Kingsland on Lake LBJ and were quite successful with that venture, building up a large clientele before selling the establishment at a nice profit.

They then lived in Ecuador for a couple of years before returning to Roscoe last year.

The Blackland Smokehouse will have a barbecue buffet setup, serving beef brisket, pork ribs, sausage, and chicken along with the usual barbecue trimmings.  It will also feature a Plowboy Special, which is basically a pile-on, and there will also be a different special every day, such as pulled pork or a chicken special, which will be on the same day from one week to the next. 

Beverages served will include cokes, tea and coffee.  Beer and wine will not be available, but customers may bring their own to drink while dining.

Hours of operation may change later, but for now they are 11:00am-8:00pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 11:00am-3:00pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.  The restaurant will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

We wish the Williamses all the success with their new venture.



Mel Tillis brings his act to the Lumberyard on Friday night.

Roscoe will once again host one of country music’s top stars Friday night when Mel Tillis sings on the outdoor stage of the Lumberyard. 

In February, President Obama bestowed upon Tillis the National Medal of the Arts for his contributions to country music, just one of the many awards he has received over the years.  He is a member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Nashville Song Writers International Hall of Fame.  He has also been named the Country Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year, Comedian of the Year six times, and Songwriter of the Decade for two decades.

Over the years, he has recorded over sixty albums and had 36 Top Ten singles with nine going to Number One, including “I Ain’t Never,” “Good Woman Blues,” “Coca Cola Cowboy,” “Heart Over Mind,” “Send Me Down to Tucson,” “I Believe in You,” “Southern Rains,” and many others.

He has also written over a thousand songs, approximately 600 of which have been recorded by major artists.  These include “Detroit City,” “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town,” “Burning Memories,” “Thoughts of a Fool,” “Honey (Open That Door),” and “The Snakes Crawl at Night.”

West Texans will be treated to a rare, and perhaps final, opportunity to see the star, who doesn’t do that many shows and, when he does, performs all over the country.  He is doing only two shows this month, both in Texas, one of which is his appearance here at the Lumberyard.

Tickets are $15 in advance or at the door, and a huge crowd is expected.  Tables are sold out, but guests can bring a lawn chair.  The show will begin at 9:30pm.



This photo of George Parks will appear on the monument.
Thanks to the generosity of a large number of people, the $3100 needed to fund a permanent memorial to George Parks was reached yesterday.  The order has been placed with Sterling Monument in Eastland, and work on the marker will soon be underway. 

This past week saw nice contributions from the following donors:

        Jim Boston
        Josh & Delma Boston
        Jimmie Cantrell
        Larry Cornoyer
        Larry Holderman
        Larry London
        Larry McBurnett
        Johnny Pepper
        Gene Witherspoon

There is now a tentative plan in the works for Roscoe artist Larry Cornoyer to create a bronze bust of George Parks, possibly to be placed in Old Town Park where the Times Office used to be.  The Hard Times will keep readers informed on the progress of this second venture as more particulars develop.

Thanks to all who have contributed time and/or money to the project.


The Swimming Pool is history for 2012.
The City Swimming Pool has been closed since Thursday due to problems with the filtration system leaking sand into the pool.   Repairs may not be made quickly, and since the pool was due to close in a week anyway, it will now be closed for the rest of the summer.

Repairs will be addressed when pool companies are not as busy as now, and the pool should be as good as new when it re-opens next spring.  Scheduled pool parties have necessarily been canceled and will be given refunds.



This year will be the sixtieth anniversary of the class of 1952, and some of the graduates of that class are planning a gathering on the weekend of October 5-6 centered around the Plowboy game against Cross Plains and a dinner at one of the local restaurants.  

Jimmie and Mary Lynn Cantrell of Abilene, Bobby Haney of Imperial, CA, and Eddie Perry of LaBelle, FL, will attend.  They welcome all RHS graduates of 1952 and surrounding years to take part.  They are also looking for someone from Roscoe or Sweetwater to help coordinate the event.


Once again, we had typical August weather with highs in the upper 90s and low 100s and lows in the mid to lower 70s.  The hottest day was on Sunday when the temperature climbed to 106°F before cooling off.  On Sunday evening there was plenty of thunder and lightning, and it actually rained enough to get the ground wet but little more.  Measurable amounts were between one and two tenths of an inch.

The forecast is for continued hot and dry weather with a 20% chance of rain over the next couple of days.  On Friday, the chance increases to 30% and on Saturday to 40%, along with temperatures cooling to highs of around 90°F over the weekend.  

The cotton crop is still looking okay in most places but would benefit greatly from a good rain in the next week or so. 


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