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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

"Good Friday on the Highway": A Writer Remembers Roscoe with Gratitude

The 18-inch snowstorm of 1996 stranded hundreds of travelers.
Everyone who was in this area on Good Friday of 1996 will remember the freak snowstorm that dumped eighteen inches of snow that day, snarling traffic on US 84 and I-20 and leaving scores of travelers stranded and helpless.

One of those trapped travelers, Amanda Witt, certainly recalls her family’s predicament that day, and on Good Friday this past week, twenty years later, the Christian news blog, The Stream, published her account of the experience and her appreciation of the Roscoe folks who opened their churches, homes, and hearts to everyone who needed help and shelter from the unexpected blizzard.

On her way from Lubbock to Abilene with her husband and small daughter, she recounts their hitting the storm just on the Roscoe side of Snyder, their initial decision to return to Snyder only to find the way back closed, the return to the bumper-to-bumper traffic on eastbound US 84, the multi-hour drive, and her very real concerns about running out of gas and being left stranded on the side of the road somewhere—and then, finally, her great relief when they do make it to Roscoe, where they find food, safety, and a warm place to sleep (the Church of Christ), just as countless other stranded travelers did that night, thanks to the hospitality and help of the people of Roscoe.

She concludes her narrative by showing how her Good Friday experience that year is indicative of the Easter message itself. The article is well worth a read. It’s interesting, well written, and ends on a positive note. And for many, I’m sure, it will bring back old memories. You can read it for yourself by clicking here.

Amanda Witt, Ph.D., is a homeschooling mother and the author of The Red Series, a four-part thriller set in the near future. She has published fiction, non-fiction, academic articles and poetry; and has taught at Lubbock Christian, Texas A&M, and the University of Kansas.



The Plowboys finished fifth in a field of eight area schools (Clyde, Merkel, Jim Ned, Stamford, Roscoe, Haskell, Hawley, Hamlin), and the Plowgirls finished fifth in a field of nine (Jim Ned, Clyde, Hamlin, Merkel, Roscoe, Haskell, Stamford, Eula, Hawley) at the Badger Relays in Merkel last weekend.

Plowboy Max Nemir won the 300 meter hurdles, Jayden Gonzales won the pole vault and Austin Willman was second, Alfonso Islas finished second in the 1600 and 3200 meter runs, and the 4 x 400 meter relay team also finished second.


     Event                      Place            Athlete            Time/Distance 
300 meter hurdles       1          Max Nemir                     42.71
Pole vault                       1          Jayden Gonzales           11’
Pole vault                       2          Austin Willman            10’
1600 meter run             2          Alfonzo Islas                 5:11.37
3200 meter run             2          Alfonzo Islas                11:44.4
4 x 400 meter relay      2          Plowboys A                  3:39.11
   (Braiden Moore, Max Nemir, Diego Garza, Kevin Lavalais)
400 meter dash             3          Kevin Lavalais              53.46
Shot put                          5          Anthony Ortegon         39’ 4½”


The Plowgirls had three second-place finishes, two from Bonnie Wilkinson and the other from Lyndi Wilkinson:

200 meter dash             2          Bonnie Wilkinson          27.27
400 meter dash             2          Bonnie Wilkinson       1:03.97
Triple jump                    2          Lyndi Wilkinson             32’ 7”
4 x 100 relay                   5          Plowgirls A                      55.92
   (L. Wilkinson, B. Wilkinson, A. Solis, Kamri Spencer)
800 meter run               6          Alejandra Solis             2:44.57

Both teams will compete in the San Angelo Relays this weekend.



Roscoe’s One-Act Play cast didn’t finish well enough to advance to Regional this year, but they did win some individual honors. Caleb Ward was chosen as Best Actor, Adrian Ortega was a member of the All-Star Cast, and Johnny Cuellar won the Tech Award.

And, at the UIL Academics district competition last week, Caty Chavira was first and Nolan Reese third in Prose Reading and Kevin Lavalais sixth in Spelling.



Wayne "The Train" Hancock
Wayne “The Train” Hancock, who bills himself as “the King of Juke Joint Swing” will be at the Lumberyard Saturday for a return engagement. A songwriter and singer, whose eclectic musical style defies simple description, always puts on an unusual and entertaining show. describes his performances like this, “Hancock, who tosses out a roots mix of old country, roadhouse blues, western dance swing, boogie bop, and straight-up rockabilly, takes what was once old and makes it seem like it’s always been and always will be.”

Since releasing his first album, That’s What Daddy Wants, in 1997, he has produced eight others including Thunderstorms and Neon Signs (1998), A-Town Blues (2001), Viper Melody (2009), and Ride (2013). Videos include “Thunderstorms and Neon Signs,”  “Wild, Free and Restless,” and “Tulsa.”

Jamie Tollison and the Blackland Dirt Revival will open the show at 8:00pm. Hancock will take the stage about 9:45pm.

For reservations or more information, call the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.


Lillian Gish battles the west Texas wind in the 1928 movie The Wind.
Back in 1928, an award-winning silent movie called The Wind starring Lillian Gish depicted the story of a Virginia girl who becomes a mail-order bride and moves to west Texas, where she is slowly driven crazy by the relentless wind.  And for the past three weeks, it’s been hard not to sympathize with her plight as the winds have dominated the weather with little relief, blowing both day and night and from all directions. I guess it’s not for nothing that Roscoe is referred to as “The Wind Capital of the World.”

This past week’s weather seemed unable to make up its mind whether it wanted to be hot or cold. Last Wednesday’s high of 81°F dropped on Thursday to a high of 63°, was back up to 80° on Saturday and back down to 64° on Sunday. The cooler days actually felt colder than the temperature would suggest because both were accompanied by chilly north breezes. The low for the week was 40° Friday morning. Skies for the entire week were either partly cloudy or clear, and there was no precipitation.

The winds will continue to blow today and the high should climb to 84°, but tomorrow a cold front will move through and the forecast high for Friday is only 53° with a strong north wind. But that’s the bad news. The good news is that the meteorologists are giving us a 70% chance of rain Friday, although it probably won’t be a heavy one. But some is better than none, and we’ll be happy for any we can get.

Saturday will be considerably warmer, and the weekend promises to be a nice one.



Holy Mass of Christian Burial for Evelyn Elizabeth (Machart) Krejci, 89, was at 11:00am yesterday, March 29, at Holy Family Catholic Church in Sweetwater with Monsignor Larry Droll officiating. Burial followed at Garden of Memories Cemetery. She passed away Thursday, March 24, at Sweetwater Healthcare Center.

Evelyn was born April 9, 1926, in Moulton, Texas. She attended Moulton schools, where she also played volleyball. She married Raymond Frank Krejci on August 15, 1943, in Hermleigh. They lived in Inadale from 1946 until 1951 before moving to Roscoe. Evelyn was a homemaker and member of Holy Family Catholic Church. She loved dancing and gardening and was a superb cook.

She is survived by two sons, Ronnie Krejci and wife Amanda of Sterling City and Loran Krejci of Roscoe; brother, Franklin Machart and wife Mary of DeKalb, Texas; grandchildren, Alan Jenkins and wife Amanda and sons Tripp and Ty of Glen Rose; Katrina Krejci Goodwin and husband Chais of Garden City; Ashley Kay Krejci and husband; Lee and husband Jerry and daughter Sienna of Waco; Kirsty Krejci of Austin, Kaylyn Krejci Muscarello and husband Kyle of Waco; Crystal Krejci of College Station;  and Ashlee Lauren Fullwood, husband Jake and sons Jaxton, Jagger, and Jetten of Aledo; brother-in-law James Krejci and wife Barbara of Washington State; and numerous nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her parents Frank and Mary Rose (Balajka) Machart, husband Raymond Krejci, sons Gary and Ivan Krejci, and sisters Dorothy Burrow, Mary Crowder, Gladys Guelker and Bernice Williams Branson.

Pallbearers were Chais Goodwin, Alan Jenkins, Scott Fullwood, Jake Fullwood, Jerry Lee and Kyle Muscarello.

Memorials may be made to Dr. Swann Wellness Center, P.O. Box 726, Sterling City, Texas 76951. Thanks to Lucy Webb and the staff at Sweetwater Healthcare Center for their special care.



Services for Harvey H. Harris, 91, were at 2:00pm yesterday, March 29, at McCoy Chapel of Memories with Reverend Rick Wilson officiating. Interment followed at Sweetwater Cemetery. Mr. Harris passed away on Thursday, March 24, in Austin. He was a resident of Austin and formerly of Big Spring.

He was born in Sweetwater on November 9, 1924, and grew up in Roscoe. He served in the United States Army during World War II and married Joyce Dean Kuykendall on January 21, 1950, in Sweetwater. They moved to Big Spring in 1953. Harvey was baptized with his wife, Joyce, on June 20, 1965. He was a deacon and faithful member of Baptist Temple Church in Big Spring and also served 22 years in the bus ministry. He was also a member of Staked Plains Masonic Lodge #598 in Big Spring.

Survivors include three nieces, Tobie Kuykendall and wife, Maria, of Austin; Nell Carter and husband, Danny, of Whitney; Judy Quinn of Odessa; and two nephews, Tim Kuykendall and wife, Phyllis, of Fort Worth, and Donald Kuykendall, Jr., and wife, Christy, of Tampa, Florida.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Joyce, on November 8, 2011; her parents, Oscar Harris, on April 23, 1985, and Ida Nell (Ellison) Harris, on March 9, 2002; three brothers, Alfred C. Harris, Oscar C. Harris, Jr., and Leonard L. Harris; and two sisters, Bertie Lea Roberts and Ida McCain.

Pallbearers were Tim Kuykendall, Jared Kuykendall, Jerome Phifer, Alan Johnson, Daryl Wood and Ray Hiltbrumer.


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