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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

City Ready for Roscoe's Spring Super Sunday

Merle Haggard
Spring has arrived, and to celebrate it, the City of Roscoe is throwing its Spring Festival this Sunday, March 29.  Roscoe retailers will be open from noon to 6pm, the museum will be open, the Community Center will be selling hamburgers and hot dog meals, and  the Lumberyard will host what should be its greatest day of country music yet with Jamie Richards and band, the Playboys Special Edition Band, and country legend Merle Haggard and his band, The Strangers.  Live music begins at three and will go on to about 10pm.

The Lumberyard has now completed its remodeling, and red-dirt country music star Stoney LaRue was the first to play on the new stage, which he did Saturday night.  The new stage is located on the north wall about four feet above ground level, which allows 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 also creates extra room on the dance floor for those who want to dance.  The lighting and sound are also better than before. 

Unlike the free concerts on the streets, however, this one won’t be free as the price of the performers won’t allow it.  For ticket information and reservations, call the Lumberyard during business hours at 325-766-2457.

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 free of charge.  Participating businesses are the Blackland Smokehouse, Burritos Zacatecas, Main Street Antiques, McVey’s Native Nursery, Mexico Lindo, Pepe’s Imports, the Rockin’ S Cantina, Roscoe Thrift Store, Southern Belle Salon, the Lumberyard, the Wildflower Boutique, and Vickie’s Gifts.



The Roscoe Community Center
The Roscoe Community Center will be open and serving hamburger and hot dog meals this coming Sunday from 12:00-6:00pm. Meals will consist of a hamburger or hot dog, chips, a soft drink, and dessert.

So, if you want to eat some good food while helping out a good cause, please go on by.  All proceeds will go to help fund new flooring for the Community Center.

For more information, contact Gail Presley at 325-518-4139.



The smoke at dawn on the second day of Spring.
“Injun Robert” McBride has built his sunrise fire on the second day of spring 2015, and the direction of the smoke—from the north and northwest to south and southeast—is an auspicious sign of better crops in this area than we had last year.

As you may recall, in 2012 “Injun Robert” revived the ancient practice of Plains Indians of using the direction of the wind on the first day after the first day of spring as a means of foretelling the success of crops for the coming year.

If the wind that carried the smoke upward was from the east or northeast, crops would be plentiful. A north or northwest wind foretold average yields, a west wind was bad, a southwest wind worse, and a south wind the worst of all.

This ritual was known in the Comanche language as Taba’na Yuan’e or the “Sunrise Wind” ceremony.  It was observed around 1880 by a Mr. Crim, who was in charge of the mule teams used in building the T&P railway across west Texas.  While in the Van Horn area on the morning of March 22, he noticed puffs of smoke coming from all the Indian huts in sight.  He asked what was going on and was told that the Indians were seeing what kinds of crops they would have that year by building a fire just before dawn and then, as the sun appeared, observing which direction the wind blew the smoke.  This was always done on the morning after the first day of spring.

In the early 1970s George Parks, editor of the Roscoe Times, learned of the ceremony, which was still being performed annually in Muleshoe by old Mr. Crim’s son, referred to by the locals there as “Injun John.”  “Injun George” found out the particulars from “Injun John” and replicated them here for many years until shortly before his death in 1983.  In addition to observing the smoke, “Injun George” added a rain dance around the fire in hopes that the dance would lessen the effects of a bad forecast and increase those of a good one.

Last year, “Injun Robert” tried to mitigate the wind’s forecast of an inferior crop by introducing another Native American practice by adding a “rain turtle” to the ceremony.  It involved drawing a turtle on the ground with a stick and then spitting on its back.  However, as is evident by the number of fields that were never even stripped of their cotton last year, we can rule out the “rain turtle,” or at least “Injun” Robert’s version of it as completely ineffective, and this year it was omitted.

In any case, this year’s crop should at least be an average one, and with the rains the area has received thus far, we certainly seem to be heading in the right direction.



Kim Norris
Kimberely Nicole Norris, 22, a 2011 graduate of Roscoe High School, suffered a brain aneurysm and died on March 19 in Hawaii.  She was a member of the 2008-2009 state runner-up Plowgirl basketball team and a varsity cheerleader her senior year.

A senior at the University of Hawaii, she was majoring in fashion and was employed at Hooters.  Although her life was cut short, she was able to help others through organ donation.

A Kimberely Nicole Norris Texas Celebration of Life will be held at the First Methodist Church in Spur this Saturday, April 4, at 5:00pm with Larry Burton officiating.  Visitation will be at the church from 1pm-5pm, and the funeral service begins at 5:00pm.

Shelbi Williams has set up a fund online, the Kimberely Nicole Norris Love Fund, to help out her family with medical expenses.  To locate it, just google Kimberely Nicole Norris or click here.



Wildflowers in Duncan Meadow, formerly known as my back yard.
There’s no getting around it—spring is here. It officially arrived last Friday, March 20, at 5:45pm CDT with the vernal equinox, when day and night are exactly the same, twelve hours each, and the sun rises exactly in the east and sets exactly in the west.

But more to the point, the signs of spring are also back—the temperatures are warming up, trees are budding out, wildflowers are beginning to bloom, and, since Monday, the buzzards are back in the west Texas skies.  Of course, the old mesquites are still in winter mode.  They seem to be telling us that just because we’re in a new season doesn’t necessarily mean we won’t get any more cold weather.

The past week had a little of everything, including a nice slow rain that fell intermittently on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday with area amounts varying from three-quarters of an inch to an inch and a quarter depending upon location.  Weatherman Kenny Landfried got an official total of .82" at his home on the east side of town, while gauges on the south side recorded about an inch.  In any case, the fields are wet, and the farmers are smiling.

The coolest days were on Friday and Saturday, when skies were cloudy and rainy with highs of 52° and 54° respectively.  The warmest days were Monday and yesterday when skies were sunny and the highs were 84° and 85° respectively.

The forecast for the next few days is for sunny skies and generally warm temperatures.  Today should be a repeat of yesterday with a high of 86°F, but tonight will be cooler with a low of 42° as a front moves through.  Tomorrow’s high will be only about 64°, but Friday’s high will be back to 73°, and Saturday’s should be 80°.

The outlook for Spring Super Sunday should be sunny with a high of 83° and a low of 55°.  There is no more rain in the forecast.



Graveside services were held at the Roscoe Cemetery on Saturday, March 21, at 2:30pm for longtime Nolan and Taylor County farmer/rancher Billie K. Compton, who passed away on Thursday, March 19,  after a lengthy illness.

Born to Jeff Davis and Billie Porter in Roscoe, she was preceded in death by her parents, her two sisters and her husbands, M.L. Compton and John L. Massey. She is survived by her three children, Sharon London and husband Larry, Susan Massey, and Mike Massey; five grandchildren: Britt London, Blake London, Brooke Dignan, Alex Massey, and Michael Merritt Massey; eleven great-grandchildren, and brother-in-law, Dean Perkins of San Angelo.

The family would like to extend gratitude to her private caregivers, Home In Stead and Hospice, for their devotion to her care. In lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be made to the Alzheimer’s Association and Envoy Hospice. Condolences may be expressed online at McCoy Funeral Home of Sweetwater. 



Services were held at 2:00pm on Thursday, March 19, at McCoy Chapel of Memories in Sweetwater for Steven Lomas, 56, who passed away on Monday, March 16. Interment followed at Roscoe Cemetery.

Mr. Lomas was born on May 6, 1958, in Del Rio. On July 15, 1979, he married Norma Delgado in Sweetwater. Steven loved animals and never put himself before others.

Survivors include his wife, Norma Delgado of Roscoe; daughter, Norma Stewart and husband, Christopher, of Three Rivers, TX; sons, Steven Lomas, Jr., and wife, Amanda, of Roscoe; Donald Lomas and wife, Krystal, of Roscoe; Carlos A. Lomas and wife, Heather, of Roscoe; Anthony Lomas and wife, Heather, of Roscoe; 11 grandchildren; brothers, Richard Lomas and wife, Eva, of Roscoe; Joe Lomas of Abilene; Alex Lomas of Sweetwater; Harvey Lomas of Roscoe; Eloy Lomas and wife, Mary, of Roscoe; Carlos Lomas of Sweetwater; Art Lomas and wife, Sylvia, of Sweetwater; Baldimore Lomas of Roscoe; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

He was preceded in death by his parents and one sister.



Peggy Patty, 78, passed away on Sunday, March 15 at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene. She was a resident of Roscoe. No public services were held.

Peggy was born on February 27, 1937, in Burnet. She moved to Sweetwater in 1972 and lived there until she moved to Roscoe in 1986.  She was a member of Avondale Baptist Church and a past member of the Ladies Auxiliary VFW Post 2479 and American Legion Post 227. She worked for the Dairy Queen, Corp. as a manager, Southwest Canvas, and Larry's Tire Center in Roscoe as a bookkeeper. Peggy loved her trips to the casinos, especially when she won!

Survivors include her daughters Joyce Kingston and husband, Johnnie, of Roscoe; Sherry Baugh and husband, Price, of Roscoe; and Pat Lorentz of Fort Pierce, Florida; her brother, Jimmy Williamson and wife, Jo, of Hermleigh; 7 grandchildren; 8 great-grandchildren; 14 great-great-grandchildren; 2 great-great-great-grandchildren and her wife-in-law, Audrey Massingill of Amarillo.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Roy L. and Burthina (Henkell) Williamson, and a daughter, Melba Dee Milholland, on April 17, 2002.



James Wells Young, III, passed from this life on Saturday, March 21, 2015 at the age of 60.

Graveside services will be held 10:00 A.M., Thursday, March 26, 2015 at Sweetwater Cemetery with Pastor Brian Brownlow officiating.  Burial will follow.  Arrangements are under the direction of Cate-Spencer & Trent Funeral Home.

He was born on November 21, 1954, in Sweetwater, Texas, to J Wells and Louise Young, Jr.

Wells was a guitarist and keyboardist extraordinaire.  He traveled the country in several bands and made friends wherever he went.  He was also a rancher, leaving a lasting impact on the Y5 Ranch as the third generation steward of the land.

He is survived by his daughter, Ashleigh Young and her husband Brett Oliphant; by his sister, Gay Ann Young; grandsons, Ashton, Noah, and Jacob Stanford; and grandpuppies, Sookie, Lyla, and Oscar.  Other survivors include three nieces, Kearsie Wylie, Rebecca Day, and Katie Young; and one nephew, Jason Young.  Wells also leaves behind several cousins and countless friends.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, Thomas Flack Young.

Family will receive friends at the funeral home on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 from 6:00-7:30pm.


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