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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving is upon us once again, and people all over the country will be getting together with family and friends to celebrate this uniquely American holiday.  No matter what our race, religion, or political persuasion, we all use the day to pause, count our blessings, and give thanks for the many good things we enjoy. 

As always, the central event of the day is Thanksgiving Dinner, which involves turkey and dressing, along with the other familiar Thanksgiving dishes--giblet gravy, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie, and others. 

The holiday has also evolved over time and usually now includes playing games or watching television with friends and family.  For many, the holiday will begin with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade on TV at 8:00am.  Later, for the men and boys at any rate, what’s Thanksgiving without a good helping of football along with the Thanksgiving feast?  The Detroit Lions, who, like the Cowboys, always play on the holiday, will kick off things at 11:30 with an important divisional game with the Green Bay Packers.  Then at 3:30 Dallas faces the Oakland Raiders, a team they rarely play. 

The Cowboys game always used to be followed by the Longhorns and the Aggies, but since A&M joined the Southeastern Conference, that 118-year old traditional matchup is gone.  Instead, this year it will be the Longhorns against the Red Raiders at 6:30 in a game that should draw plenty of local interest. 

At the end of the day, we will all hopefully have had our fill of food and football and be happy to have once again touched base with dear friends and relatives. 

Since that first Thanksgiving feast shared by the Pilgrims and Indians in New England, the holiday has been observed in many ways, but if you were a boy growing up in Roscoe in the 1950’s or 1960’s, you may well have been involved in a yearly Thanksgiving ritual that was celebrated in a way like no other I ever heard of. 

(Editor’s note: I ran this upcoming account three years ago, before this blog had that many viewers, so if you’ve already read it, just skip down to the next article.  If you haven’t, though, please read on.  I run it again because it recently came to my attention that there are some Roscoe folks who didn’t know about the tradition and were having trouble believing it ever really occurred.  I hope the following narrative will convince you otherwise.)

The Roscoe Boys Club had an annual Thanksgiving Feast, usually held on a little creek on a ranch not far from Maryneal.  Each boy who participated, and there were usually about twenty or twenty-five who did, was instructed to bring a dish from home—potato salad, pie, cobbler, cake, cranberry salad, macaroni and cheese, green beans, potato chips, sweet potatoes—anything except the turkey and dressing, which was furnished by the Boys Club and prepared by the local Steak House.  Boys Club director George Parks would make up a huge steel vat of lemonade made with fresh-squeezed lemons and pour in Welch’s grape juice from quart bottles. The squeezed lemon rinds would be thrown into the vat for flavor, and the top of the lemonade was covered by crushed ice and floating lemon rinds.

All the boys would meet at the Roscoe Times office at about nine or nine-thirty on Thanksgiving morning and go out to the ranch in a borrowed school bus, arriving at the creek around ten or ten-thirty.  Time between then and feast time was taken up with games, explorations up the creek, and shenanigans of one sort or another—like stripping off all our clothes and running around “in the raw” as we called it.

Then, when it was time to eat, the food would be brought out and set up on rock ledges.  Boys would get a paper plate, line up, and fill their plates with everything that looked good to them. They would then go sit on a rock somewhere and start eating.  There was always glory for the boys who could eat the most. But everybody ate two or three times as much as normal, especially since there was always an abundance of dessert, and the time after the meal was punctuated by the moans of those who had gorged themselves, that is, the majority of the boys.  Nothing happened for at least a half hour while everyone lay on rocks and tried to recover, but then as stomachs started feeling better, activity would once again start up.  Now it was time for the Rat Race, the highlight of the day.

The Rat Race was a kind of initiation ceremony.  Boys who had run the Rat Race on a previous Thanksgiving were the throwers, and boys making the trip for the first time were the rats, the runners.  First, a nice grassy expanse was located, one which could be run on barefooted without hurting the feet.  This was always somewhere down by the creek.  Then all the half-lemon rinds in the lemonade vat would be distributed to the throwers.  There would generally be enough rinds for every thrower to have two or three.

The hapless victims, the runners, would then strip down completely naked.  This in itself could be harsh, especially in those years when Thanksgiving happened during a cold spell with a sharp north wind.  In the meantime, the throwers with their lemon rinds would arrange themselves in a long line running parallel to the creek.  The runners, who were at one end of the line, would wait their turn to “run the gauntlet” between the creek and the throwers.

When George said, “Go,” one of them would run as fast as he possibly could past the line of about twenty howling boys, who would pelt him with the lemon rinds as hard as they could throw them as he went running by.  When he got to the end of the line, he would jump into the creek for a quick, cold washoff because he would be covered with the sticky lemonade juice that came from his pelting.  Throwers would then retrieve their lemon rinds, line up again, and yell out threats and taunts at the next victim until George set him off and the pelting resumed.

This process was repeated until every rat had run.  The only rules for the throwers were that you could not throw until the boy was even with or past you—and that you couldn’t aim for the head.  Backs, sides, and butts were the acceptable targets, and a hard-thrown half-lemon rind could raise a welt, especially when thrown by some of the older boys.  The only mercy shown was to the littlest boys who bravely endured the ordeal.  Everyone else was pelted unmercifully.  The only solace for the runner, often through held-back tears, was that once he had run the Rat Race, he never had to do it again.  Instead, he could look forward to being one of the throwers the following year and forever thereafter. 

Happy Thanksgiving!



Icicles hanging from the roof of my house.
Mark Twain once said, “Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it.” But here in west Texas, there is often not a whole lot to talk about.  Typically, it’s clear, sunny, and breezy, and, when people do talk about it, it’s generally to complain about the lack of rain.

But this past week was different.  We have just come through one of the worst November cold spells in years, with enough frigid temperatures, freezing rain, sleet, and ice to last the entire winter.  The highways and country roads were treacherous with black and patchy ice, and, according to Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja, there were too many wrecks to count.  The bridge just outside Loraine was especially treacherous with several accidents and one fatality.

It all started on Friday when a massive cold front blew in with high north winds that sent temperatures down to 25°F and the wind chill down into the mid teens.  Then, it stayed that way until Monday, never getting above freezing and bringing most outside activities to a screeching halt.  During that time, there were constant weather advisories for the area, and you couldn’t watch anything on the local TV channels without there being a little grid of all the surrounding counties in one of the top corners of the screen. 

Saturday night was probably the worst.  Car windshields were covered with ice, and the north wind was blowing a constant 25mph with gusts up to 35.  On Saturday evening, I parked my car next to the museum, and, when I got out, I heard a loud crackling, popping sound overhead.  I couldn’t imagine what it was until I looked up and saw it was the flag, frozen and icy, flapping in the strong wind.

Sunday wasn’t much better than Saturday.  The cold remained but at least the winds died down.  There was some freezing drizzle and sleet that night.  Monday was better with the high making it to 34°, and then yesterday the sun finally came out again and the afternoon temperature climbed to a balmy 46°.  Outside, birds were once again everywhere and dogs were barking, something they’d done very infrequently, if at all, during the preceding days.

Although it was only 28° (Lyndall Underwood had 27°) this morning. the sun is out, and temperatures should once again get into the upper forties with only a light south breeze.  Tomorrow and Friday should see highs in the fifties and lows in the thirties, and by Saturday the afternoon temperatures will be back into the sixties.

The storm has moved east, and the mayhem it brought to west Texas these past few days are now being predicted for the Southeast—meaning that the people there will be dealing with cancelled flights and treacherous driving conditions on Thanksgiving weekend.  At least we can be thankful we won’t be dealing with that. 

Kenny Landfried, Roscoe’s official weatherman, reports that we officially got .83” of moisture here in town during the cold spell.  He also says that on his farm four miles northwest of town, he got 1.23”.



Irrigated cotton just east of Roscoe.
The cotton harvest is just about half done now. At the Roscoe Central Rolling Plains Co-op Gin, gin manager Larry Black reports that some 23,000 bales have already been ginned with about a hundred modules in the field, which when ginned will bring the total to around 35,000 bales. 

That figure suggests that this year’s yield will be roughly similar to last year’s 67,000 bales but maybe a little better. Black thinks that by season’s end we’ll have more than last year with a final tally of somewhere between 70,000 and 80,000 bales.  So far, the quality of the cotton has been better than expected. 

Ginning continued until Sunday when the bad weather forced it to a halt.  The hauling of modules will begin again on Saturday, and by Monday the gin will once again be running 24 hours a day.



Clemente Aguayo and Murissa Horton at the National Air and Space Museum. (All 4-H photos courtesy of Linda Hatcher.)
Roscoe eighth graders Murissa Horton and Clemente Aguayo and teachers Linda Hatcher and Katie Heaps are back from the 4-H Tech Wizard training sessions they attended at the National 4-H Conference Center in Washington, DC, this past weekend.

The group was delayed for a day because of a cancelled flight due to the bad weather, so they took advantage of their extra time by seeing some of the sights there including the Capitol building, the Lincoln Memorial, the MLK Memorial, the WWII Memorial, and the National Mall with its museums and sights. 

They are back in Roscoe now enjoying the time off from school for the Thanksgiving holidays.  They look forward to training the other 4-H student members how to help seniors with technology.



Mia Herrera (30) takes a shot against Hawley last night.
Last week, the Plowgirls got to play two games in the Irion County Tournament before it was cancelled due to the bad weather.  They lost to Rankin and won against Irion County.

Rankin beat them 40-24.  The first quarter ended with the Plowgirls behind 6-4, and by halftime Rankin led by ten 22-12.  At the end of three they increased the lead to fourteen, 30-16, and then won by sixteen, 40-24.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Mia Herrera with 8 points.  Eva Aguayo had 5, Sam Ortega 4, Whitney Williams 3, and both Sunshine Saddler and Shelby Brown had 2. 

The Plowgirls then beat Irion County.  They jumped out to a 16-5 lead in the first quarter, and at halftime led 22-15.  By the end of the third, the score was 30-24, and the final score was 35-31.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Ortega with 9 points, followed by Aguayo with 8, Saddler 6, Brown 5, Williams 3, and Dani Dean 2.

Then, last night in the RCHS Special Events Center, the Plowgirls were victorious over the Lady Bearcats from Hawley. The Plowgirls jumped out to an early 14-3 first quarter lead and at the half were still ahead by four 18-14.  They increased their lead to 30-18 by the end of the third quarter, and won the game with an 18 point cushion, 45-23.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Aguayo with 15, while Saddler had 7, Ortega 6, Brown and Payne 4, Williams 3, and Selena Perez 2.

The Plowgirls are now 3-2 on the year.  They will play Trent next Tuesday, December 3, and then in the Highland tournament on Thursday, December 7.



Anthony Ortega (30) goes for a layup against the Bearcats.
If the Plowboys had played as well in the first half as they did in the second, things might have turned out differently, but as it was, they fell to the Hawley Bearcats by a margin of ten, 45-35.

Hawley got off to a fast start and led by the end of the first quarter 16-7.  They then extended their lead by halftime to 33-12, and at that point it appeared they would blow the Plowboys out.  But in the second half, Roscoe played much better, especially on defense.  By the end of the third quarter, they had cut the lead to 15, 37-22, and in the fourth quarter continued to outplay Hawley, cutting the lead to just ten by the end of the game.  They could have cut it even further except for a scoring drought right towards the end. 

Kevin Lavalais was the leading scorer for the Plowboys with 11 points, followed by Javier Leanos and Rafael Aguayo, who both had 8.  Jesus Leanos and Chase Cathey both had 3, and Cutter Davila had 2.

The Plowboys are now 0-2 on the year, having lost to Colorado City in their first game 51-29.  Their next game is next Tuesday at home against Trent, followed by the Highland tournament starting next Thursday.



Funeral services were held this morning at 10:00am in the Wright Colonial Funeral Home chapel in Snyder for Lonnie Henry, 75, of Snyder, formerly of Roscoe, who passed away on Sunday in Snyder. 

He was born on June 13, 1938, in Jacksonville, Texas. He owned and operated Lonnie's Barber Shop in Roscoe until his retirement in 1978. He then drove a bus for Snyder ISD and McKinney ISD for ten years. 

Survivors include three daughters and two sons-in-law: JoAnn and Robby Cearly, Von Dale Henry, and Terri Sue Henry and Steve Hand, all of Snyder; One son and daughter-in-law: Tom E. and Shawna Henry of North Carolina; One brother and sister-in-law: Tommie and Nell Henry of Hermleigh; eight grandchildren: Sarah Cearly, Bear Hand, Bubba Hand, and Julie Hand, all of Snyder, T.J. Jones of Austin, Troy Joe Henry of Lubbock, and Brandon and Austin Henry, both of North Carolina; One great-grandson: Cameron Joe of Snyder; One niece: Mande Reaves and family of Lubbock; and one nephew: Jimmie Joe Henry of San Angelo.

Online condolences may be expressed by visiting


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Remembering November 22, 1963

The motorcade in Dallas in 1963.  (Photo from Internet.)
There are certain public events in life that occur with such impact that anyone who lives through them always remembers where they were and what they were doing when they happened.  Examples that spring to mind are the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Coming of the New Millennium on January 1, 2000, and the attacks on the Twin Towers on 9-11, 2001.

One of the most momentous was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963, and this Friday will mark its fiftieth anniversary--a fact we are all sure to be reminded of if we watch the news or read the paper that day.  But anyone old enough to remember that time will also remember how it shook the country to the core when it happened.

It was a day that started out with so much promise.  If I’m not wrong, it was the first time any President had ever visited the state of Texas, and Kennedy got a grand welcome in Fort Worth before heading over to Dallas for a downtown motorcade, and we all know what happened there.

Where were you when you learned that the President had just been assassinated?

I was a sophomore at Texas Tech and was in the Broadway Drug just across the street from the Tech campus.  Three friends and I were in the back playing pinball for quarters.  The pinball machine was next to the pharmacy counter, and the pharmacist had his radio on listening to music, which was interrupted with the news that the President had just been shot and taken to Parkland Hospital.

My roommate, Rick, who was from Mississippi and despised Kennedy, smiled and exclaimed, “So, they finally got the s. o. b.!” whereupon my friend Tom said to him, “If you say another word, I’ll beat your brains out!”  I also remember seeing Jack Ruby shoot Lee Harvey Oswald on national TV a couple of days later and also watching the military funeral given the President through the streets of Washington.

It’s a time I’ll never forget, and, if you’re old enough to remember it, I’m willing to bet that the memory is impressed just as indelibly in your mind as it is in mine.



Aston Payne makes a layup in 3rd quarter action against Winters.
In a game that saw several lead changes, the Plowgirls came through with a strong finish Friday evening to defeat Winters 31-27.  The Lady Blizzards led 8-7 at the end of the first quarter, 18-14 at the half, and 20-19 at the end of three.  But the Plowgirls went ahead to stay early in the fourth quarter and came away with their second win of the season.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Eva Aguayo with 10 points.  Aston Payne had 8, Shelby Brown 7, Sunshine Saddler 3, Whitney Williams 2, and Selena Perez 1.

In the early game, the Stamford JV beat the Plowgirls JV 51-17.

Then last night in Colorado City, the Plowgirls lost to the Lady Wolves 41-22.  The score was 13-5 at the end of one, and by halftime it was 27-6.

Aguayo was again the high scorer for the Plowgirls with 10 points.  Saddler had 4, Mia Herrera 3, Payne 2, Brown 2, and Danielle Dean 1.

The Plowgirls JV lost the first game to the Colorado City JV 41-29.  High scorer for the Plowgirls was Magali Casas with 14 points.



US 84 traffic is rerouted to I-20 West as workers repair bridge.
For the past week, the US 84 overpass east of town has been closed as repairs were necessary after the recent truck wreck there, and traffic has once again been detoured with much of it coming through Roscoe as a short cut to I-20 East. 

According to TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) spokesperson Darah Waldrip, that should all cease next Tuesday, November 26, as that is the scheduled date for the completion of bridge repairs. 

TxDOT will also open bids soon for the installation of lighting on I-20 West at the curve just before the underpass in the same location.  Hopefully, the lights will cut down on the number of wrecks there.



The 4-H Conference Center in Washington, DC.
Two local 4-H Club members, Clemente Aguayo and Murissa Horton, both eighth graders, have been chosen to participate in a 4-H Tech Wizard technology training workshop at the 4-H Conference Center in Washington, DC this weekend.

The trip is funded by AARP (American Association of Retired People) and will be repaid with student community service.  Students will mentor senior citizens in the use of such modern technology as computers, cell phones, and the new high-tech televisions.

Aguayo and Horton were selected to represent the Roscoe 4-H Club from the quality of the essays and presentations they made as members of the Roscoe 4-H Club’s Tech Wizard program.  The director of the Roscoe 4-H Club is Roxanna Reyna.



If you want to enjoy a good Thanksgiving dinner but not the hassle of fixing it, or if you’re away from family this year with nowhere to go, the solution to your problem is at the Roscoe Community Center, which is hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner with turkey, dressing, and all the trimmings on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, from 11:00am to 3:00pm.

There is no charge for the dinner, but donations will be accepted, and all are invited.  For more information, contact Helen Perry at 325-766-3149.



The weather this past week has been relatively unremarkable for this time of year.  The weekend was beautiful with highs of 81°F on Saturday and 80° on Sunday.  It was a bit breezy but not that bad.  Monday and yesterday were sunny but cooler with highs of 64° and 72°, respectively, and today should be similar.

There is a 20% chance of rain tonight and tomorrow, increasing to 40% tomorrow night and Friday as a cold front blows through.  Friday will be much cooler with highs in the upper thirties and lows in the upper twenties.  

We could see some sleet or freezing rain Friday night and Saturday.  Sunday and Monday will also be cold with a 30% chance of precipitation.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Christmas Open House on Sunday a Huge Success

Shoppers check out the wares at the Wildflower Boutique on Sunday.  (All Open House photos are courtesy of Patty McBride.)
Cars lined the streets of downtown Roscoe on Sunday afternoon as a largely female crowd partook of some early Christmas cheer and good bargains at several Roscoe businesses.  Sales were brisk as a larger than anticipated number of shoppers showed up to enjoy the event.

Participating businesses included the Wildflower Boutique, Lumberyard, Plowboy Center Lodge, Vickie’s Gifts, Southern Belle Salon, Purple Passion Salon, Rockin’ S Cantina, and McVey’s Nursery. 



City Manager Cody Thompson updates the City Council on public works.
At its monthly meeting last night, the City Council authorized the issuance of Certificates of Obligation amounting to $1,040,000 for City water and sewer line improvements.  It also awarded the sale of the certificates to the Texas Water Development Board.  City Manager Cody Thompson told the Council that the Texas Water Development Board says they can sell them at from 1.9% to 2.1% interest.

Thompson also gave the Council an update on the progress of the improvements currently underway on the water and sewer lines and the water treatment plant.  The SCADA system is nearing completion and will soon be online.  He and the contractors meet at City Hall on the first Tuesday of each month to discuss their work and report on progress. 

Thompson said that the approximately $250,000 remaining from the original $1,765,000 loan-forgiveness “loan” from the Texas Water Development Board for the water treatment plant will be used this spring to repair and upgrade water lines. 

Thompson also reported that Gordon Nemir has purchased two acres of land just east of the Stone Tower RV park in north Roscoe and plans to put storage units there. 

The City Council also discussed and approved the City’s fourth quarter investment report.



The Plowboys had a tall order for the game with Roby Friday night—win by 15 points to continue their season and move on to bi-district play.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be an order they couldn’t fill, and their season ended on a down note as Roby jumped out to an early lead and never looked back, winning handily 40-14.

On a cold, drizzly evening in Roby, the Lions came out ready to play, scoring on a 70-yard pass play on their opening series to go up 6-0.  They then made two more touchdowns before the quarter was done and were ahead 20-0.  In the second quarter, they scored two more on passes and at halftime led 34-0. 

The Plowboys got on the scoreboard with a 14-yard TD run by Jesus Leanos in the third quarter and got another touchdown on a 9-yard Brayden Beal pass to Shelton Toliver in the fourth, but it was too little, too late. 

Brayden Beal led the Plowboys in rushing with 51 yards in 8 carries.  He also completed 9 of 14 passes for 94 yards with one interception. Cutter Davila completed 7 of 20 for 87 yards with no interceptions.  Leading receivers for the Plowboys were Shelton Toliver with 10 catches for 107 yards and Leanos with 5 catches for 65 yards.

Roby is now 6-4 on the year and finishes district play in third place with a 5-2 record.  They now move on to a playoff game, while the Plowboys end their season with a 4-6 record overall and 3-4 in district.   

The district champions are the Albany Lions who beat Hamlin, the runner-up, 17-14 Friday night on a late fourth-quarter field goal. 



In their home opener on Saturday evening, the Plowgirls lost a close one to Coahoma 40-36, but then last night they rebounded with a win in Robert Lee 50-38.

The Plowgirls led for most of the game against Coahoma before losing in overtime. Jumping out to an early lead, they ended the first quarter ahead 15-10, and at halftime they were up 26-17.  

At the end of three the score was still 30-20 Roscoe, but the Bulldogettes rallied in the fourth quarter with 14 points to the Plowgirls’4, tying the game at 34 and sending it into overtime.  They then outscored Roscoe 6-2 to win 40-36.  High scorer for the Plowgirls was Olivia Saddler with 10 points.

Then last night, the Plowgirls led the entire game to beat Robert Lee 52-38.  The score after one was 14-4 and at halftime was 33-12.  High scorers were Eva Aguayo with 21 and Samantha Ortega with 10, while Olivia Saddler and Whitney Williams both had 5.

The Plowgirls’ JV team also won one and lost one, falling in a close game to the Coahoma JV 21-20 and easily defeating the Robert Lee JV 41-10.  

High scorer for the Plowgirls in both JV games was Magali Casas.  She made 12 points in the Coahoma game and 17 against Robert Lee.  In the Robert Lee game, Caty Chavira had 7, and both Shirley Sanchez and Lyndi Wilkinson had 5.

The Plowgirls’ next action is with Winters here at home Friday evening.  The JV game starts at 5:00 and the varsity game at 6:15.



Roscoe got its first freeze of the year early this morning.  The temperature at daybreak was  25°F.  The freeze was pretty late in coming considering all the predictions I heard from various people about how we were going to have an early one this year.  But it’s the middle of November now, so that’s pretty normal for these parts.

It’s been cold and windy since a norther blew in about 3:00am early yesterday morning.  Yesterday the winds were blowing 15-25mph and were downright nippy, but they’ve died down to practically nothing this morning.

We had a light frost last Thursday.  It got down to 34° here in town, and Lyndall Underwood just west of town had 33°.  There was also some drizzle but not enough to register in the rain gauge.  The weekend was nice, though, with beautiful weather on Saturday and Sunday.   The temperature on Saturday afternoon was 75°.  It was a little cooler on Sunday but still very nice. 

The forecast is for sunny skies and a warming trend up to the weekend, when the highs should be back in the mid seventies with lows in the fifties.  There is no rain in the forecast.



Funeral services were held at 3:00pm on Saturday, November 9, at the Cate-Spencer & Trent Chapel for Lowell Wray Snowden Abeita, 59, who passed away last Tuesday, November 5.  Burial followed at the Sweetwater Cemetery.

He was born on April 16, 1954, in Gallup, NM, to Alvin Patrick Abeita and Helen Hays and was raised by Eva Snowden.  He married Carol Beck on September 16, 1972, in Sweetwater.  A Baptist, he worked as a welder for Sweetwater Machine Shop and also worked for A-1 Auto Parts.

He is survived by his wife, Carol Abeita of Roscoe; two sons, Brandon Abeita and Noah Abeita, both of Roscoe; daughter, Tera Trotter and husband Michael of Roscoe; five grandchildren: Iven Abeita, Thea Abeita, Krysten Abeita, Kenzi Trotter and Alec Trotter; two great-grandchildren, Mason Wray Staggs and Jase Wyatt Staggs; mother-in-law, Charlene Wrenn of Sweetwater; two sisters, Leona Abeita and Vickie Abeita; and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, and  nephews.

Pallbearers were Joe Montemayor, Jr., Spider Whorton, Joe Rodriguez, Wrangler Little, Alec Trotter, Donnie Willman, Lonnie Orman, and Allan McGowan.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fiery Friday Crash at Destruction Junction Snarls I-20, US 84 Traffic

Traffic is halted as bridge burns. (Photo courtesy of Jason Freeman.)
New ships are christened with champagne, but the newly completed US 84 overpass east of Roscoe received its baptism with burning diesel Friday afternoon when an eastbound 18-wheeler overturned and its fuel tank exploded, sending a column of thick black smoke into the sky and backing up traffic for over a mile on I-20 and US 84.  Luckily, the driver managed to escape in time, and no one was hurt.

The accident occurred when the driver, hauling groceries from Amarillo, started off the pavement on the bridge over I-20 and overcorrected, causing the truck to overturn.  The spilled fuel engulfed the top and side of the overpass in flames and was hot enough that it damaged the recently poured concrete. 

Temporary repairs allowed traffic to open again on Saturday afternoon, but the damage will require more permanent work in the long run.  The crash left locals deploring the design of the merger of these two major highways as countless wrecks have occurred there over the years, many of them fatal.  Unfortunately, the recent year-long repair of the bridge involved no significant design changes to the overpass, the eastbound and westbound US 84 merge points, or the dangerous curve just east of the bridge’s underpass on I-20 West. 



Rafael Aguayo returns a kickoff against Hamlin.
After handily defeating Gorman a week before, the Plowboys had the tables turned on them Friday evening as a strong Hamlin team came in and overpowered them 34-0.  The Pied Pipers, whose only loss this year came on their opening game against state-ranked Anson, are on an 8-game winning streak and were just too big, fast, and talented for the Plowboys. 

Hamlin started fast, scoring on their first offensive series to go up 7-0.  However, that was the only score of the quarter as the Plowboys held them defensively but were unable to generate any sustained drives on offense. 

In the second quarter, the Pied Pipers began to pull away with two more touchdowns from their quarterback, making the halftime score 21-0.  Then in the third quarter, Hamlin made two more TDs, and the scoring for the evening was finished with Hamlin winning 34-0.

Hamlin’s passing attack was the best the Plowboys have seen this year, and the Pied Piper pass defense also kept the Plowboys from mounting any scoring drives.  Hamlin’s Caymon Georges completed 13 of 21 passes for 213 yards and two TDs, while Cutter Davila finished with 19 of 39 for 131 yards and 3 interceptions. 

The leading rusher for the Plowboys was Max Nemir with 12 carries for 61 yards, while Davila had 16 carries for 23 yards and Brayden Beal 4 for 17.

The Pied Pipers are now 6-0 in district play and will play undefeated and state-ranked Albany in Hamlin Friday night for the district championship. 

The Plowboys are 4-5 on the year and 3-3 in district play.  They are still in the running for third in district and could advance to a bi-district game with a win in Roby by at least 14 points on Friday.  The Lions are 4-2 in district and 5-4 on the year.   



Young Farm Estates
Work has begun on Phase 1 of the housing development at Young Farm Estates in north Roscoe.  Contracts have been signed, and the rough cutting of streets is underway. 

When the current work is finished, contractors will lay the sanitary sewer lines, then the water lines, then the natural gas lines, and then the electrical lines.



Rep. Susan King
State Representative Susan L. King will be in Roscoe on Friday afternoon to host a town hall meeting at City Hall beginning at 2:00pm.  She will provide an update on the recent legislative session and will answer questions and address any concerns that her constituents may have on the district or state level.    

Rep. King is from Abilene and represents Texas District 71, which includes Nolan, Taylor, and Jones Counties. 



Election judges Frances Hughes, Celia Pietzsch, and Doc Pietzsch were ready for voters at the Community Center yesterday.
Precinct 6 voters easily approved all nine constitutional amendments yesterday, along with the rest of Nolan County and the State of Texas.  A total of 111 citizens voted in Precinct 6, which includes the Roscoe, Highland, and Champion areas.  

Proposition 6, probably the most controversial and important, passed by a statewide 73% to 27%. It will take $2 billion from the state's "rainy day fund" and use it for loans to expand state water supplies, either by developing new ones or preserving and managing existing ones.  Local governments will provide funding for the projects.  

In Fisher County, voters approved the sale of alcohol by a vote of 537 for to 430 against. This approval includes beer and wine in grocery stores, package sales in liquor stores, and liquor by the drink in bars.



Roscoe Community Center
The tamale sale during last Saturday’s garage sale at the Community Center exceeded expectations as around 140 dozen tamales quickly sold out.  According to Community Center Events Coordinator Helen Perry, who made the tamales herself, they were gone before noon. 

The proceeds went to the Community Center fund and netted over $900, according to Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja, who is also the President of the Community Center.  Helen Perry is also a member of the Roscoe City Council. 

The Community Center will be hosting a Thanksgiving Dinner again this year on Thanksgiving Day.  There will be no charge for those who can’t afford it, and a donation jar will be there for those who can. 

Our thanks go out to Police Chief Pantoja and Councilwoman Perry, who donate their time and efforts to organizing and putting on these events.


(from the Roscoe Police Department)

26 reportable calls including the following:

        4 unwanted subject calls at Stripes
        1 barking dogs complaint
        2 public assistance calls (fix flats, etc.)
        3 criminal trespass warnings
        1 report of drunk driving
        2 locked vehicles
        1 loud music complaint
        1 domestic disturbance
        3 fights in progress

The theft of Tom Griffith’s 1993 dark grey Chevy diesel pickup on October 23 was handled by the Nolan County Sheriff’s Department. 



The Plowgirls opened their basketball season last night with a loss to an always powerful Eula team in Eula 40-22.  Eula got off to an early start and led at the end of the first quarter 20-2. The halftime score was 28-6.

High scorers for the Plowgirls were Eva Aguayo with 9 and Samantha Ortega with 6.  Sunshine Telemantez had 5 and Ashton Payne 2.

The Plowgirls will play their home opener with Coahoma at the Special Events Center Saturday evening.  Tip-off for the JV game is at 5:00 and for the varsity at 6:15.



Although we were given 30% and 40% chances for precipitation the past couple of days, all we got was some clouds, and there was never any serious threat of rain.  A cold front with 15-25mph north winds moved in last night, and temperatures dropped to a low of 44°F this morning.

This past week has really begun to feel like fall.  Daily highs never rose above the low seventies, and morning lows were in the upper forties and low to mid fifties.  The time change on Sunday has made obvious the shortening hours of light every day, leaves are falling, cotton is being stripped, and trucks are taking modules to the gin, all reminders that summer is history and it won’t be long until Thanksgiving.    

The forecast for today is for a high in the lower sixties and a low of around forty tonight.  Temperatures will slowly warm up again tomorrow and by Saturday will be back into the lower seventies with  lows in the fifties.  There is no rain in the forecast. 


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