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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Merle Haggard Booked for March 29 Show at Lumberyard

Merle Haggard

Mark your calendars.  Country music great Merle Haggard is coming to the Lumberyard on Sunday, March 29, and will be the feature attraction of the Roscoe Spring Super Sunday.  The Lumberyard will open that day at noon, and live music will begin at 3:00pm and go until about 10:00pm.  Merle Haggard will take the stage around 7:30pm.

The Lumberyard has been remodeling, and Haggard and his band, the Strangers, will play on the new stage. Located on the north wall about four feet above ground level, it will allow people at tables a good view of the performers, as people standing near the band won’t block the view for others.  The new arrangement will also create extra room on the dance floor for those who want to dance.

Roscoe businesses will have open houses that day from noon until 6:00pm, and the Roscoe Express will be carrying patrons from location to location.

For ticket information and reservations, call the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457.



The Plowgirls lost to Albany 39-32 last Friday in Albany and to Anson 37-23 here last night.  Here is the scoring by quarters for both games followed by individual scoring.

Albany 39 - Plowgirls 32

Albany              6        20        30        39
Plowgirls        14        24        26        32

Plowgirl scoring: Olivia Saddler 14, Samantha Ortega 13, Mia Herrera 2, Mireya Sanchez 1.    

Anson 37 - Plowgirls 23

Anson               8          21       30        37
Plowgirls          9          11        17        23

Plowgirl scoring: Ortega 6, Saddler 5, Magali Casas 5, Herrera 3, Danielle Dean 3, Sanchez 2.

The Plowgirls travel to Hawley on Friday and return to Roscoe to play Hamlin next Tuesday.



The Plowboys were defeated twice this past week, losing to Albany in Albany 56-37 on Friday and to Anson 56-37 at home last night.  Their next opponents are Hawley in Hawley on Friday and Hamlin here next Tuesday.  Scoring by quarters for both games is followed by individual scoring:

Albany 56 – Plowboys 37

Albany              13        30       46        56
Plowboys            9        12        21        37

Plowboy scoring: Javier Leanos 12, Kevin Lavalais 9, Luis Villa 7, Rafael Aguayo 4, Cutter Davila 3, Isaiah Gonzales 2.

Anson 48 – Plowboys 35

Anson                11        24        39        48
Plowboys          10        18        28        35

Plowboy scoring: Villa 11, Davila 7, Leanos 4, Aguayo 4, Gonzales 4, Lavalais 3.



Bee Caves Bob predicts an early spring for Texas.
Another rain fell this past weekend with amounts varying anywhere from a half-inch to an inch and a half, depending on location.  Roscoe's weatherman, Kenny Landfried, recorded an official total of .64", and in south Roscoe it was almost the same at .6".  However, Royce Walker got well over an inch in Inadale, and places south and southwest of town recorded similar amounts. As with the other precipitation we’ve gotten in January, the rain was slow with little runoff.  The month as a whole was a good one for moisture with totals of anywhere from two to three inches, which is a good start for the year as far as ground moisture is concerned.

Temperatures were cool, but that’s normal for the end of January.  The high for the week was 61° on Thursday, and highs were otherwise in the forties and fifties.  The low was on Monday morning when it dropped to 24°.  Winds were breezy enough to feel nippy, especially on the colder mornings.

Monday was Groundhog Day, and in Pennsylvania Punxatawny Phil saw his shadow, meaning that winter will continue for six more weeks up there.  On the other hand, down in Austin the armadillo, Bee Caves Bob, is predicting an early spring, and that’s what temperatures will feel like this weekend.  The high today should be in the mid-sixties, but a cold front will move through tonight and by tomorrow morning the low will be around 28° with north winds of 15-25mph.  Tomorrow’s high will be only about 47°, but then the weather will be springlike from Friday to Tuesday with sunny skies and temperatures in the seventies or high sixties.

There is, however, no rain in the forecast.



Wade E. Forester, Jr., 79, who passed away Saturday, January 31, was born in Roscoe to Wade Edwin & Marjorie Neblett Forester on July 27, 1935. He descended from some of Roscoe's first citizens, WEB & Clarinda McBurnett, Aaron Liberty & Mary Reeves Forester, and Valentine & Martha McBurnett Forester. Wade's mother, Marjorie, was related to the Cain, Jones, Jowell, Neblett & Sloan families who were early settlers of Stephenville, Erath County, TX.

Following his 1953 graduation from Sweetwater High School, Wade attended Texas Tech and Hardin Simmons University. He married Barbara Abbott on September 7, 1957. After his 1958-61 service in the US Army at Fort Lewis, WA, he served in the National Guard reserve at Sweetwater where he was Service Manager at Forester Chevrolet. He moved to Hurst, in 1968, where he was a forklift service mechanic until his retirement in May, 2001. He was a member of The Crusaders Class at First Baptist Church of Hurst. Wade served as a Leader for each of his sons' Boy Scout Troops, and was a frequent supporter of all sport or fine arts activity in which his children and grandchildren participated. He hauled many folding chairs, umbrellas & coolers to numerous swim meets and soccer, baseball, volleyball & football games, and rarely missed a band, choir or theater performance.

Survivors include his wife of 57 years, Barbara Forester; sons, Warren and wife Rae Ann Forester of Grand Prairie and Scott and wife Elizabeth Forester of Bedford, grandchildren: Aaron and wife Diana Forester of Hurst, Kayte Forester of San Marcos, Sarah Forester of Denton, and Ethan Forester of Austin; sister, Valentine Walkup of Henrietta; niece, Camille Denham & family of Wichita Falls.

The family asks that, in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to: Relay for Life – Grand Prairie Metro Rotary team or Alzheimer’s Association, 2630 West Freeway, Suite 100 Fort Worth, TX 76102.


by John Beryl Witherspoon

Editor’s note: In last week’s posting of the Hard Times, John Beryl Witherspoon told of the time he and his boyhood friend Bood went to a Methodist revival, where both boys went up with others and confessed their sins. Afterwards, Bood, a Methodist, told John that they would both get “sprinkled” the following Sunday, and John said he wouldn’t go with him because he was a Baptist.  They then got into a fight in their Sunday clothes.  A neighbor broke up the fight, but in the process John’s pants got torn and his new shirt got dirty.  This concluding episode relates what happened next.

An outdoor baptism at Seale Creek, four miles southeast of Roscoe, in 1927.

When Monday morning came, my mother milked Nanny, our cow, took care of the milk, made our breakfast, washed the dishes, cleaned the kitchen, and then called me in and said, “Now, what I told you at breakfast about what happened yesterday; everything is going to be just fine.  Today is wash-day, so I have to go change the linens on the beds and clean the bedrooms.  This is your responsibility, and I think you should follow it to a conclusion without any help from me.  I want you to take Nanny out to the vacant lot and stake her out so that she can have some green grass, and then I want you to go to the Post Office and wait for Brother Parks to come for his mail.  When he does, I want you to tell him exactly what happened yesterday as you told it to me.  But take your time.  When you have finished, I want you to come straight home so that you can help hand out clothes on the clothes line.”  All the time she was talking, I was nodding my head vigorously.

I staked out Nanny and then went directly to the Post Office.  As I passed in front of Mr. Haney’s furniture store, where he had a wind-up Victrola, it was playing “Beautiful Ohio,” and I would have given anything if I could stay there and listen to more, but I had to go to the Post Office.  When I got there, I looked inside but Brother Parks wasn’t in there.  I waited out in front watching people who came in to pick up their mail.

Then, suddenly I saw Bood coming to the Post Office to pick up their mail.  He stopped and glared at me and said, “What are you doing here?” and I said, “I came here to talk to Brother Parks when he comes to pick up his mail.”  He said, “Yes, and I know what he is going to say.  He is going to say, ‘Don’t come sniveling to me.  Just go up there to the Methodist Church and get sprinkled because that’s the church you joined.’ And I don’t blame him because that is what happened!”  Then he dashed through the door into the Post Office.  I felt devastated.  I didn’t want to call Brother Parks “Brother” because really he wasn’t my brother because I didn’t have any brothers, and besides it sounded too bold and disrespectful for someone as insignificant as me addressing a man of his stature in such a way.  Mrs. Parks always addressed him as Mister Parks when referring to him, and I liked that.

When Bood came out of the Post Office, I called to him and he came over to where I was standing and said, “What is it now?” and I said, “Bood, I need help.  I don’t want to call Brother Parks “Brother” because he isn’t my brother.”

“Oh, for Pete’s sake!” he said.  “Every minister in this town is called “Brother,” and nobody in town thinks anything about it except you.  It is what is called Common Practice, and, besides that, a dentist is called a dentist because that’s what he is.  He is not a tooth-puller or a tooth-filler, he is a dentist.  In the Catholic faith, they call their priests “Father,” but that doesn’t mean he is their real daddy.  You are going to have to learn that there are some things you have to accept without question.  Now I have to take this mail to my Dad, and tomorrow afternoon I will bring my glove to your house and we will play catch.”

I was standing there pondering over what Bood had said, and I looked up and saw Brother Parks coming down the street to pick up his mail.  I began to shake all over.  He had his head bowed and appeared to be in deep thought.  He didn’t even see me.  Even though I knew he was a kind, scholarly man as big as a bear with soft gray twinkly eyes and would not hurt me, I was scared just the same.  When he came out the door, I called timidly to him, but he didn’t hear me.  Then, I called his name in a loud, quavering voice.  He turned to me and I guess he could see that I was upset because I was still shaking and couldn’t stop.  He could instill confidence in anybody because of his kindness and unexcitable nature.  He put a big, warm hand on my shoulder and said, “What is it, son?” and I told him my mother told me to come and see him on account of what happened yesterday.  “I have already talked to the Evangelist,” he said, “and I am aware of everything that transpired yesterday.  Now, as to that later incident, when church was over, I wish to commend you for defending your convictions.  However, I deplore the manner in which you went about it.  There are many ways of resolving our differences without resorting to violence.  We will have a long talk after you have been baptized and are a full member of the church.  So, you may be baptized next Sunday night.”

With that, he smiled at me, patted me gently on the back and said, “I am very proud of you.”

As he walked away, I noticed I had stopped shaking and I felt so good!  I ran all the way home to help hang out the clothes.

After Bood and I played catch the next day, we had forgotten all about our disagreement, and, as the days went by, Sunday was there before I knew it.

My mother said, “Now, tonight when you go to be baptized, wear your everyday clothes because Brother Parks will be wearing one of his old suits so that neither of you will damage your good clothes.”

Underneath the rostrum at the church, there was a tank with plenty of water in it.  So, when the sermon was over and Brother Parks had taken his seat, two of the deacons, J. V. White and J. E. Clayton, went up there and started preparing for the baptism while the choir was singing.  When they had finished, Brother Parks got out of his seat, walked over there and walked down three or four steps into the water.  When they called my name, I went up there and went down those same steps.  He put his left hand around my neck and back, and in his right hand he had a folded, white linen handkerchief.  He closed his eyes and looked to the heavens and said, “I baptize you in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”  Then, instantly, he slapped the handkerchief over my nose and mouth and over backwards I went!  I thought I was a goner for sure.  But, suddenly, he lifted me up and when I got my breath and water out of my eyes, I blinked and could see the lights and knew I was all right.

As I went up the steps to get out of there, he whispered to me and said, “Go to the side door and Mr. Clayton will let you out and you can go home and get your wet clothes off.”  I ran because it was just a block away.

When I had changed into my night clothes, I went upstairs and snuggled deep into my bed.  I was at peace with the world.  My best friend wasn’t mad at me anymore, my mother had mended my Sunday pants, and she had washed my new blue shirt and it was as good as new.  The last thing I remembered before I went to sleep was that I hoped they drained that tank at the church because I knew that water was black with sin.


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