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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

RCHS Students Featured in Educational Video

Roscoe’s robotics program and in particular two of its students, Caleb Ward and Austin Willman, are featured in a recently released promotional video created by Nepris, an educational program that connects working professionals, such as engineers, with high school students through interactive distance-education sessions.  Roscoe is now in its second year of working with Nepris and, as can be seen in the video, Dan Boren and his robotics students have taken advantage of it.

Roscoe's robotics program is also featured in an article in yesterday's Abilene Reporter-News entitled "Big Country schools get technical for career education."  (Click title to access)



Olivia Saddler (23) goes in for a layup against Winters last night.
The Plowgirls once again split their two district games this past week, losing to Stamford 44-34 on Friday and then avenging an earlier 43-32 loss to Winters in Winters by defeating the Lady Blizzards here last night 32-17.   Here are the scores by quarters of both games, followed by individual scoring:

Stamford 44 – Plowgirls 34

Stamford          12        20        34        44
Plowgirls            8        16        22        34

Plowgirl scoring: Olivia Saddler 13, Magali Casas 6, Selena Perez 5, Danielle Dean 4, Mia Herrera 3, Samantha Ortega 3.

Plowgirls 32 – Winters 17

Plowgirls         5          19        26        32
Winters           2          12        16        17

Plowgirl scoring: Herrera 9, Saddler 8, Ortega 8, Dean 3, Casas 2, Perez 2.

The Plowgirls’ next opponent will be Albany in Albany Friday evening.  They will be back in Roscoe next Tuesday for a game with Anson.


Cutter Davila (24) shoots from the corner in last night's game with Winters.
Javier Leanos had another banner game last night, scoring 23 points as the Plowboys came from behind to beat the Winters Blizzards in a thriller, 41-38. 

However, Stamford downed the Plowboys 45-33 in Stamford Friday evening.

Here are the scores by quarters followed by individual Plowboy scoring for both games:

Stamford 45 – Plowboys 33

Stamford           7          24        33        45
Plowboys           5          10        22        33

Plowboy scoring: Isaiah Gonzales 12, Javier Leanos 8, Rafael Aguayo 7, Cutter Davila 3, Luis Villa 2, Kevin Lavalais 1.

Plowboys 41 – Winters 38

Plowboys          5          15        25        41
Winters             9          19        27        38

Plowboy scoring: Leanos 23, Aguayo 9, Davila 3, Villa 2, Lavalais 2, Gonzales 2.

The Plowboys next face Albany in Albany on Friday evening and Anson here next Tuesday.



As predicted last week, we got rain on Wednesday and Thursday when a big cold front moved through.  There was a little snow and ice-covered windshields for a short time, but mostly it was just a cold rain that started on Wednesday evening and fell through Thursday.  For both days, Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried got an official total of 1.13” at his home in east Roscoe and an unofficial 1.25” at his farm northwest of town.  Others in the Roscoe area got somewhere between an inch and an inch and a half with reports of two and above in places south of town.

After the storm passed, temperatures gradually increased daily, from a high of 44°F on Friday to 68° on Monday.  Then yesterday was one of those perfect January days that remind you that it won’t be long until more springlike weather is on the way.  The mercury climbed to 75° and the wind was either calm or only light.  After all the cold weather we’ve had since Christmas, it felt positively balmy.  Today should be a repeat of yesterday: sunny skies, light winds, and a high of about 77°.

That will all change tomorrow, though, when another cold front moves through.  The high will be about 58° and the low about 38°.  Highs for the weekend will reach only into the mid-forties, with lows in the mid-thirties.  On Friday there is a 40% chance of rain, increasing to 70% Friday night.  Saturday will have a 70% chance during the day, diminishing to 40% Saturday night.  This is all to the good, of course, as the more ground moisture we can get now, the better the chances for a good crop later on.

On Sunday, the sun will be back out and the chances of rain will be only 20%.  The high should be around 44° and the low about 28°.


by John Beryl Witherspoon

Editor’s note: John Beryl Witherspoon, who grew up in Roscoe in the 1920s, wrote some short memoirs about what it was like for him and his friend Bood to be boys in those days.  Last year, three of his stories were posted in the Hard Times, one about tent shows, another about medicine shows, and a two-part memoir about Blind Walt, a well-known Roscoe character of the 1920s and 1930s.  This is another in that series.  Its focus is on religion, seen through the eyes of the two boys, one a Baptist, the other a Methodist.  As with Witherspoon’s other stories, it gives us insight into the life of Roscoe in those times.  

The old Methodist Church, built in 1924.
They had been going up and down the streets all afternoon getting permission from merchants to put placards in their show windows.  The placard had the picture of tow men on it, one at the top and one at the bottom.  They were handsome men with their black suits on with white, stiff collars on their shirts.  The placards proclaimed that the Evangelist at the top and the Singer at the bottom would be conducting the “Methodist Summer Protracted Meeting” for two weeks beginning the next Sunday.  The man at the top would be leading the singing and each afternoon he would be conducting games, singing sessions and many other things that would interest the children.  All this sounded very interesting to Bood and me, and we vowed not to miss a single thing, except at night.

The stewards and members of the congregation had been busy all that week construction a “Brush Arbor” in the back of the Methodist Church.  There was no air conditioning then, and by having the services outside, the women wouldn’t cry as much as they would if they were inside the church, and they would have more time to listen to what the Evangelist was saying.  Benches had been moved out of the church,, and “hand fans” were placed at intervals up and down the benches.  These little fans were made of card board with a little wooden handle at the bottom.  They were furnished by the merchants in town and each had their ads printed on them.  The ladies could really stir up the air with them.  The “hotter” the sermon became, the faster would fan, and it became delightfully cool iin there.

Well, during that two weeks, Bood and I didn’t miss a bit of it except at night.  But the afternoon activities were the part we most enjoyed.  Under the supervision of the Singer we played games after our singing session.  Bood liked “I want to be a Sunbeam” most.

On the Saturday afternoon before the “Protracted Meeting” was to conclude on Sunday,  I hit a long ball while Bood was playing left field, and it went all the way into Johnny Lane’s back yard, and before Bood could get the gate unfastened I was home free!  He took his glove, went home, and didn’t even say goodbye to me.

The next day, the last Sunday of the meeting, Bood and I were sitting there together and as the sermon came to a conclusion, the preacher asked the choir to sing “Just As I Am,” and at the same time he asked all the “Methodist Ladies” to come out into the congregation and talk to all us sinners.  He did this I guess because they knew us for what we were better than he did.

Bood’s mother landed on him first and within a split second, Mrs. “Hamp” Jones was beside me!  She was whispering to me quietly and after a while she said, “You believe in fair play, don’t you?”  I nodded my head.  “And, don’t you think it is fair to thank the Lord for giving you the opportunity to live here in Roscoe on “His Earth”?  Now, all you have to do is to go up there and promise to abide by “His Rules” that are defined in the Holy Scriptures or to be like those sinners, not unlike you, who might just burn in Purgatory throughout all Eternity.”  Well, that settled it.

I looked over at Bood.  His mother was earnestly talking to him and he was sobbing deep down in his stomach, and he had little white streaks on his face where tears had run down his cheeks.

We got up out of our seats and walked down the aisle, and the Preacher extended his hand and gave us a good firm handshake and told us that we had made the right decision and that he would be back and talk to us after he had shaken hands with others who were coming down the aisle.

When all us sinners were lined up in front of the rostrum, he asked all those in the congregation to also come up and shake hands with us, while the choir was still singing “Just As I Am.”

All the men gave us a big hearty handshake and smiled at us, but some of the women put their arms around us, held us close and left tear drops on us.  I never could understand that, and when I talked it over with Bood, he said, “That’s the way it is.  Women are different from men, and you have to accept that because there is nothing you can do about it, and besides I am getting tired of you “questioning” every little thing that comes up.”

When the services were over and everybody had gone home, Bood and I lingered out in the street where we had played those summer games, and we took the tobacco out of our pockets and threw it as far as we could send it and agreed to stop cussin’.

“Now,” said Bood, “there is going to be a “sprinkling” at the church next Sunday, and we can go up there together and get “sprinkled.”

I said, “Now, listen Bood, when we went up there, the preacher asked which church I go to, and I told him the Baptist, and he said that will be all right.”  “I didn’t hear that,” Bood said, and I said, “Of course you didn’t hear it because you had your head turned the other way listening to the choir singing “Just As I Am.”

With that, Bood smacked me a good one.

Charlie Hastings came out on his back porch to throw away some wet newspapers that he had wrapped around a block of ice which he had brought from town and saw us rolling in the dirt.  He came out there and pointed his finger and said, “You go this way, and you go that way.”  And that’s the way he sent us both home.

The minute I opened the front door, I could smell roast chicken and sage dressing baking in the oven and candied yams on top of the stove.  I could hear my mother in the kitchen busily chipping ice, which meant that we were going to have iced tea with our Sunday dinner!

I reluctantly went back to the kitchen, and after she had taken one look at me, she put her ice pick down and sat down in a chair.  I started blurting out, as fast as I could, what had happened.  When I gave out of breath at the end, she said, “Come here.”  I went over there, and she put her arms around me and held me close to her breast for a long time.  Then she said, “We won’t worry about it today.  We will see Brother Parks tomorrow and everything will be all right.  So now, go upstairs, clean yourself up, change into your everyday clothes, come back down, and we will have our Sunday dinner.”

But as I trudged up those stairs, I saw that my shoulder was wet with more tears.  I had lost my best friend, torn the knee out of my Sunday pants, and my new blue shirt was all but ruined.  I just knew that this had to be the worst day of my life.



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