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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Plowboys Open Football Season Friday in Hawley

Plowboy offense at last week's scrimmage in Munday. (Photo by Lus Pantoja)
After a final scrimmage in Munday last Thursday, the Plowboys are ready to begin the regular season this Friday against the Hawley Bearcats at Forrest Field in Hawley.

Quarterback Cutter Davila, a senior who earned all-district honors last year, will once again lead the Plowboys on offense, and running back Vincent Pantoja, who missed almost all last season with an injury, is back to share running duties with Max Nemir, last year’s district co-defensive newcomer of the year.  Sebastian Benivamondez, a first-team all-district defensive end, is also back to help lead the defense.  In all, the Plowboys return nine offensive and ten defensive starters from last year’s team, and there are also some promising newcomers.

Hawley should prove to be a strong opponent.  They also return a host of starters from a team that went 4-1 in their 2A district, defeating Colorado City and losing only to the Cisco Lobos, who went on to win the state title.  The Bearcats also went 1-1 in the playoffs.  This year they’re dropping down to play in district 4-2A, division I, along with Stamford, Anson, Windthorst, Olney, and Archer City.  (Remember, in the new state classifications, what was 1A last year is called 2A this year.  Roscoe is in district 6-2A, division II.)

Kickoff is at 7:30pm.  



The Randy Rogers Band
What could be the largest crowd of the summer is expected at the Lumberyard Saturday night when the high-flying Randy Rogers Band comes to town.  Four of their previous five albums have made it into the top ten on the US country charts, and their most recent, Homemade Tamales, released in April, has reached as high as number 11.

The group got its start in San Marcos and recorded its first album in 2002.  Since then, they have produced Rollercoaster (2004), Just a Matter of Time (2006), Randy Rogers Band (2008), Burning the Day (2010), and Trouble (2013), along with two other live albums in addition to Homemade Tamales.

Top singles include “Too Late for Goodbye,” “In My Arms Instead,” “One More Sad Song,” “Kiss Me in the Dark,” “One More Goodbye,” and “Satellite.”

They will take the stage at about 9:30pm. Tickets are $17 in advance and $20 at the door.  For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Early voting began on Monday at the County Clerk’s Office in the Nolan County Courthouse for a new Texas State Senator for District 28.  The special election was called to fill the unexpired term of State Senator Robert Duncan.  Early voting will end on Friday, September 5, at 5:00pm, and Election Day will be on Tuesday, September 9, when voting may be done at the Roscoe Community Center.

Candidates running for the office include former Texas Tech Vice Chancellor Jodey Arrington, Epifanio Garza of Wolfforth, former Sweetwater Mayor Greg Wortham, and State Representative Charles Perry of Lubbock.

Voters must present a valid photo ID in order to vote even if they present a valid voter registration card.

Beginning on January 13, the winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Senator Duncan's term, which expires in 2017.



A loaded cement truck overturned on FM 608 a couple of miles south of Roscoe at about six o'clock yesterday morning.  The driver, who was initially unresponsive, was taken to Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater in guarded condition.



Summer clouds.
There’s been so little variation in the weather this past week that it’s hardly worth mentioning.  Since Thursday daily high temperatures have ranged from 96° to 99°F, and lows have been either 74° or 75° every single day.  Skies have been partly cloudy with winds consistently from the south-southeast at speeds of 10-20mph.  And there has been no rain.

This won’t change today, but we do have a 20% chance of rain starting after midnight tonight increasing to 30% tomorrow and 40% tomorrow night.  That will decrease to a 30% chance on Friday and 20% on Saturday.  High temperatures should also be a little lower, anywhere from 90° to 92°, with lows in the low seventies.  Labor Day should see a return to typical late-summer weather with a high in the mid nineties and a low in the mid seventies.

The burn ban for Nolan County remains in effect.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Billy Joe Shaver at the Lumberyard Saturday Night

Billy Joe Shaver
This Saturday night, local folks will have the opportunity to see another country music legend bring his act to Roscoe when Billy Joe Shaver appears at the Lumberyard.  Shaver, who had his 75th birthday party last Saturday night in LA (see the LA Times’ excellent article about it by clicking here) and has just released his 23rd album, Long in the Tooth, was also the subject of an NPR interview last week and is still going strong.  (The NPR review of the album can be heard here.) 

NPR introduces its review like this: “In 1973, Waylon Jennings released an album called Honky Tonk Heroes that consisted almost entirely, with one exception, of songs written by Billy Joe Shaver, a then-unknown Texas songwriter. Since that time, his songs have been recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson, and he's considered one of the founders of the outlaw-country movement.”

Shaver, who released his first album, Old Five and Dimers Like Me, in 1973, is recognized by other country artists as one of the great songwriters in the business.  In addition to Waylon Jennings, Elvis Presley, and Willie Nelson, songs he wrote have been recorded by Kris Kristofferson, Charlie Daniels, David Allen Coe, Joe Ely, the Highwaymen, Patty Loveless, and many others.  In addition, he has recorded duets with Johnny Cash, Kris Kristofferson, and Tanya Tucker.

He has performed at the Grand Ole Opry and CMT Outlaws.  He is a member of the Texas Country Hall of Fame and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Songwriting from the Americana Music Convention.

His latest album is currently number 19 on the US Country Music Chart and number 23 on the Indie Chart.  (Willie Nelson helps him out on one of the songs, “It’s Hard To Be an Outlaw.”)  He’ll be playing some of his new songs Saturday night along with some of his old favorites, so don’t miss this opportunity to see him.

The show starts at about 9:30pm.  The opening band will be Nine Mile Mountain beginning at 8:00pm. 
The cover charge is $10 in advance and $13 at the door. For reservations and more information, call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



The 2014 Plowboys, coaches, cheerleaders, and cross country team.
There was no shortage of Plowboy fans last Thursday at the annual Plowboy Preview.  Some 325 hamburger meals were served, and the Junior High Cheerleaders raised $2100 in the process.

The east stands were full as the 2014 football team, coaches, managers, cheerleaders, and cross country team were introduced while the Big Purple Plowboy Band provided the music. 

Cheer Pals and cheerleaders entertain the crowd.
The cheerleaders, assisted by the always entertaining Cheer Pals, led some cheers and the evening concluded with the school song.



The Plowboy offense sets to run a play against Haskell.
On Friday afternoon at Plowboy Field, the Roscoe Plowboys’ football teams, both varsity and JV, got their first taste of competition with another school, and the Haskell Indians, who look improved over their last year’s team, provided the Plowboys with plenty to work on.  Series alternated between the varsity and JV teams, and both sides learned where they’re good and where they need to improve.

Tomorrow (not Friday, as was misprinted on the schedule) the Plowboys’ varsity and JV teams travel to Munday for their last scrimmage before the regular season starts on August 29 in Hawley.  The scrimmage in Munday begins at 6:00pm.



Demolished house at 109 Hickory.
Three years ago the Texas Department of Housing & Community Affairs approved funding for Roscoe’s involvement in a program to tear down up to five old, substandard homes and replace them with new ones.  Three homes in Roscoe were approved for the program, and last week the work finally began as the old homes were knocked down.  Their remains will be burned sometime this week, clearing the way for new homes to be built in the same location.

The program is one in which the State provides the financing and the homeowners pay back whatever portion their income allows. The financial advantage to the homeowners is obvious, and the City of Roscoe will benefit by the increase in the tax roll and by having new homes going up in town.

Ameriway Construction Company of Kerrville has contracted to destroy the old homes and build the new ones.  The three homes are located at 901 Hickory, 104 Hickory, and 307 N. Cypress.



About a tenth of an inch fell in Roscoe yesterday morning.
Early yesterday morning a light shower fell for about fifteen minutes with about a tenth of an inch falling in Roscoe, and on Sunday there was just enough precipitation to get the sidewalks wet, but other than that there was little to no precipitation in the area.  There was thunder and lightning in the north and northwest a couple of evenings last weekend, enough to raise hopes, but nothing that ever materialized.

Sunday, Monday, and yesterday were a cooler than usual with highs of 91°, 82°, and 89° respectively.  Otherwise, it was typical August west Texas weather with highs in the mid to upper nineties, lows in the seventies, and winds from the south.  The hottest day was Friday with 100°.

The forecast is for more of the same, sunny or partly cloudy skies, highs in the mid to upper nineties and lows in the low to mid seventies.  There is no rain in the forecast.


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Roscoe School Year Begins with Another Enrollment Increase

School began in the Roscoe ISD on Monday morning, and, just as in the previous three years, student enrollment is larger than it was the year before.  Counting all grades, there are 573 students this year compared to last year’s 526, an increase of 47 students overall.

Here are the first-day enrollment figures for the past four years:

                                 Grades          2011      2012        2013       2014
Elementary        pre-K - 6           234        284         338         359
Junior High              7-8                   31           53            78           98
High School             9-12                98         110          110         116
Totals                  pre-K - 12          363        447         526         573

As the figures show, the greatest increases have been in the Elementary and Junior High grades.  High School enrollment is up only 6 students over last year and only 18 more than in 2011.  Even so, the consistent growth indicates the school’s local popularity as most of the increase is due to transfers coming in from area communities.

The largest grades are the eighth with 55 students and the fourth with 53.  Pre-K also has 53 students and kindergarten has 48.

Now that school has begun, everyone should keep in mind that children are walking to and from school.  Please observe speed limits and pedestrian crossings, and do not use cell phones in school zones.



City Manager Cody Thompson reports to the City Council
At its monthly meeting in City Hall last night, the Roscoe City Council received an update on water and sewer issues and dealt with a number of action items.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that contractors are still in the process of completing work on the SCADA system and the reverse-osmosis water treatment plant.  They should be completely done sometime next month, at which time the City of Roscoe will have some of the best drinking water in the state of Texas.  Once they are finished, the City will begin some major water line improvements that will take approximately three to four months.

Thompson also said that plans are underway to construct a new road for industrial development along US 84 between FM 608 and Smartt Industries.

He also reported that this year’s West Texas Wind Festival will take place on Saturday, October 18.  It will feature country singer Radney Foster and band along with the usual street vendors, Plowboy Mud Bog, live music, kids’ area, and fireworks.  Anyone interested in being a vendor should contact City Hall at 325-766-3871.

The Council awarded the bid for construction of the three new homes funded by the Texas Housing Development to Ameriway Construction Company of Kerrville and set August 25 and 26 for their annual budget workshop.



Plowboys and Plowgirls at last year's Plowboy Preview.
The annual Plowboy Preview will be held tomorrow, August 14, and Plowboy fans will have the opportunity to meet this year’s Plowboys and Plowgirls.  These include the football players, cheerleaders, the cross country team, and the Big Purple Marching Band.  The Cheer Pals will also be performing.

The hamburger meal will start at 7:00pm in the west foyer of the Special Events Center.  Burger, chips, and drink will cost $6, and proceeds will go to the Roscoe Junior High Cheerleaders.

First Financial Bank will also be serving free watermelon.  So come on out and show your support.



Plowboys prepare for 2014 football season.
Fans can get their first look at this year’s Plowboys in action when they scrimmage the Haskell Indians at Plowboy Field Friday afternoon at six o’clock.  The JV Plowboys will also scrimmage with Haskell starting at 5:00pm.  The Plowboys, both varsity and JV, will have another scrimmage next week with Munday, but that will be at Munday, so your best chance to see them before the regular season starts is this week.


Date                      Opponent                                  Site                          
Aug. 29                 Hawley                                      Hawley
Sept.  5                 Hamlin                                       Roscoe
Sept. 12                Junction                                    San Angelo
Sept. 19                Jim Ned                                     Jim Ned
Sept. 26                Eldorado                                    Eldorado
Oct.  3                   OPEN
Oct.  10                 *Miles (Homecoming)        Roscoe
Oct.  17                 *Winters                                    Winters
Oct.  24                 *Roby                                        Roscoe
Oct.  31                 *Menard                                    Roscoe
Nov.  7                  *Bronte                                      Bronte

* District Game

Kickoff for all games is at 7:30pm.



A Mongolian eagle lights on my arm before a giant statue of Genghis Khan.
After a two-week hiatus, the Roscoe Hard Times resumes posting this week and, barring unforeseen circumstances, should continue for the foreseeable future.  As most of you already know, I spent the last couple of weeks on a 13-day trip to Hong Kong and Mongolia, and a memorable trip it was.

Besides seeing the sights of Hong Kong and several places in Mongolia, including the capital city, Ulaanbaatar, I got to spend time with my daughter Vanya and attend the fifth birthday party of my granddaughter, Olive.  Vanya is a fourth-grade teacher at the American International School and has been there for a year.

The three of us went on the Trans-Siberian Railway to a working ranch in northern Mongolia about 25 miles from the Siberian border for a couple of days, and stayed in a yurt while we were there.  We also went in a Land Rover on a tour of eastern Mongolia, where we visited a 13th century reconstruction of life as it was during the time of Genghis Khan.

There were many highlights, but perhaps the most remarkable thing that happened on the trip was an incident that occurred on the eight-hour train ride back to Ulaanbaatar from the ranch.  About an hour into the ride, my granddaughter Olive suddenly woke up coughing and crying and saying she couldn’t breathe.  She was in distress for about twenty minutes and was unable to catch her breath and breathe normally.  This had never happened to her before, so her mother had no idea what to do.  Someone came in with an inhaler, and she tried that, but it didn't help.

Then, a woman who had heard the coughing came into our compartment and told Vanya to take Olive to the ladies’ room at the end of the car.  There she had Olive urinate on a cotton cloth.  Then she wrapped the wet cloth in a dry one and tied it around Olive’s neck.  The coughing immediately stopped, the breathing became normal, and Olive, worn out from the ordeal, laid down and went right off to sleep.  Vanya and I were amazed at how well this home remedy worked, and when Olive started coughing again a couple of hours later, Vanya took her back to the ladies’ room, repeated the operation, and Olive was again immediately relieved and went right back to sleep.

Later, Vanya got on the computer and did a Google search trying to find out about this cure but was unable to locate anything.  One of her Mongolian friends, however, said that he’d had asthma as a child and this remedy was one his mother used on him.  I have no idea what a doctor here would do, but whatever it is, it couldn’t possibly work as fast or as efficiently as that Mongolian method did. 


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