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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Plowboys Stop Sudan in Bi-District Playoff 39-26, Crosbyton Next

Nick Limones (12) returns a Sudan kickoff while Jose Ortega (2) and Johnathon Cuellar (65) block. (Football photos by Tamara Alexander.)
The Plowboys outscored the Sudan Hornets in every quarter last Thursday night to come away with a 39-26 victory in a bi-district playoff game played in Post. They scored a touchdown on their first drive and went up 6-0 after a failed extra point, and Sudan then tied it 6-6. The Plowboys then jumped out to a 13-6 lead on their next score and stayed ahead for the rest of the game. The halftime score was 27-13.

Here is the scoring by quarters:

Plowboys          13        14        12        0
Sudan                  6          7        13        0

Francisco Garcia led the Plowboy rushing with 129 yards in 26 carries, while Brayden Beal made 103 yards in 13 carries. Beal also had a big night passing, completing 13 of 18 attempts for 180 yards and 2 TDs. Jose Ortega led the receivers with 6 catches for 90 yards, Jayden Gonzales had 4 receptions for 73 yards, Clemente Aguayo had 2 for 13, and Cade Garrett, 1 for 4.

On defense, three Plowboys had interceptions: Ortega, Aguayo, and Nick Limones. Kicker Juan Garcia was 3 for 6 with extra-point kicks.

The Plowboys’ next opponent is Crosbyton from District 2-2A-II. The Chiefs are 6-5 for the year and won their bi-district game with Vega last week by a score of 34-32. Common opponents were Tahoka, who beat the Chiefs in the season opener 55-18, while the Plowboys beat them easily 52-6, and Sudan, which both teams beat, Crosbyton by a score of 39-19 and the Plowboys 39-26. The word on Crosbyton is that they have a fast running back (who didn’t play against Tahoka) and a big line.

The game will once again be played in Post on a Thursday, i.e., tomorrow, November 17, with Roscoe once again the designated visitors.

Kickoff is at 7:00pm.



The Plowgirls got on the winning track in their home opener Friday with a 62-33 win over Rotan. The score by quarters was like this:

Plowgirls          16        30        53        62
Rotan                  4        15        23        33

Veronica Cuellar led the Plowgirl scoring with 18 points; Bonnie Wilkinson made 13, Jaleigh Morales 8, Lynzie Atkinson 7, Bergan Trevino 2, Lyndi Wilkinson 2, Karina Cisneros 2, Jaci Alexander 2, and Jovana Peña 1.

The Plowgirls are now 1-1 on the year and play Roby in Roby next.



Once again I’ve run into a scheduling conflict with getting the Hard Times out at its regular time, which is usually sometime between 10 and 11 o’clock on Wednesday mornings. I’ve been trying to get an appointment with a doctor in Dallas for about three weeks now, and yesterday I was told I could get one this week but only if it were Wednesday morning at 10:00. So, I told them yes and will get up bright and early in the morning to make my trip to Big D. (And speaking of Big D, how ‘bout them Cowboys!)

Unfortunately, what this all means is that I may miss getting or writing up some news that I would normally include this week, such as the Plowgirls’ game with Roby tonight (I’m writing this on Tuesday). I usually also get some news on Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning. If that happens, I’ll try to pass it along to you next week.

To make up for the shortness of this week’s posting, I am re-posting an article on Roscoe in years gone by that first appeared on January 19, 2011, before many current readers had discovered the Roscoe Hard Times.

I hope everything is back in its normal routine next week.



A hot game of dominoes at Boxcar Slim's domino parlor in 1979.  Left to right are Boxcar Slim, Charlie Gray, Mr. McHenry, and Chubby Johnson.

Life is always changing, and for all the new things that come into our lives, there is always something else that is leaving, never to return.  So many things that were once common are now nothing more than distant memories, and in a generation or so, they will become so completely forgotten that it will be as though they never existed.  And one of those long gone aspects of life in Roscoe is the domino parlor.

Domino parlors were the exclusive domain of men, and, although there were no signs in them anywhere that said “No Women Allowed,” everyone—men, women, and children—understood perfectly well that they weren’t.  Women were often even reluctant to come to the door to get their husbands, instead sending the kids to go in and fetch their fathers.  In all the countless hours I spent in domino parlors, I can’t ever remember a single women coming into one anytime for any reason.  At most, they might stand at the door and wait for their husband to get up and come out to find out what they wanted.

Even so, it’s not that men did anything particularly unusual or masculine in them, because they didn’t.  It was just that whatever went on in them was done entirely without the interference, influence, or participation of females, and because of that, there was a kind of male relaxation possible there not achievable anywhere else in town, unless maybe it was somewhere like Chubby & Mac’s filling station when there were no women around.

In the domino parlors, you could cuss, fart, smoke cigarettes and flip the ashes in the floor, chew tobacco and spit in the spittoons (or, in some cases, empty three-pound Folger’s coffee cans), and say things and tell jokes that the normal run of upstanding Roscoe woman would have considered improper if not scandalous.  But such things didn’t bother the men in the domino parlors.  In fact, if anything, they enjoyed them because it meant that they were in a zone where the rules they had to follow at home, in church, and other more civilized venues didn’t apply.  In fact, I expect one of the big reasons that domino parlors were looked upon with such favor by the men was that they were a refuge from the expectations found around the churches and more respectable establishments of the community.

The domino parlors in Roscoe were always in those old, high-ceilinged buildings with wooden plank floors.  There would be a number of square wooden tables in the place with wood or cane-bottom chairs and brass spittoons or coffee cans on the floor next to them for convenient spitting.  On the tables were sets of dominoes and those little abacus-looking counters, little round beads on rows of wires that were used for keeping score.

The game played was always the one known as “matching ends,” where you scored by getting the dots on the ends to add up to multiples of five, and by counting up your opponents’ remaining points if you “dominoed,” or were the first one to finish playing all your dominoes.  Each little bead on the counter was worth five points, and there were five rows with ten beads to a row, that is to say, 250 total points for a game.  You had to have four men to play a proper game because you always played partners with the person sitting across from you.

If you and your partner won the game, not only did you get bragging rights, at least temporarily, but you also got to play for free.  The losers had to pay the establishment a nickel apiece for the privilege of playing the game.  That wasn’t so bad, though, because it meant you could play for a couple of hours or more for a quarter, and, if you were hot, you might even get out without paying a cent.

Of course, beating the old men was not an easy thing to do.  There is a real science to playing dominoes, and the old men had decades of experience to draw on.  The good ones could tell what you had in your hand after just a couple of rounds and, if they had a halfway decent hand, could block you from playing your last two or three dominoes.   You also had to be careful how you played because they would expect you to know what it meant if they played a certain domino in response to one the opponent played.

But men didn’t go to the domino parlor just to play dominoes.  They also went there to find out what was going on around town, who’d bought a new tractor, who’d been arrested, who’d been getting drunk, and so on.  Women always had the reputation of being gossips in the beauty shops, but, if the truth were known, they probably weren’t gossiping any more than their husbands were in the domino parlors.

When someone mentions domino parlors, the first one that always pops into my mind is the one Boxcar Slim used to run.  It was on the north side of Broadway, across the street from the Steak House and Russell Haney’s Tailor Shop and a couple of doors to the west of the Pool Hall.  In an earlier time, it had been Check Farmer’s Barber Shop, but by the early sixties, it was Boxcar Slim’s domino parlor.  Slim lived there.  In the back behind a cloth curtain there was a single bed not much bigger than a cot, and I don’t guess he ever took a shower, probably just washing his face and hands in the little lavatory that was in the restroom.  Old men, usually retirees, would start showing up for games in the mornings, and the games would go on for the rest of the day.

But the best place in town to play dominoes was not at Boxcar Slim’s, but at the Pool Hall.  The Roscoe Pool Hall, the one run by John Smyrl and later by Orville Faught with the assistance of his sons Billy and Buryl, had the unique benefit of being a pool hall and a domino parlor all in one.  On one side of the establishment there was a row of pool tables running all the way from the front to the back, about eight in all, with the two in the front being full-sized snooker tables.  And on the other side were a half-dozen or more domino tables.  So, when you went in the front door, there were pool tables to your right and domino tables to your left.

It’s hard to imagine with Roscoe the way it is today, but I can remember times in the fifties, especially on Saturdays in the fall when the town was full of Mexican braceros who’d come to Roscoe to pull cotton, that there wouldn’t be an empty pool table in the place, and, on the other side, there would be several tables full of men playing dominoes while others sat and watched, often sitting backwards in their cane-bottom chairs with their legs straddling the back of the chair.

As bizarre as it may sound, there was something warm and cozy about being in the pool hall on a cold winter’s night with people like Walter and Lawrence Sims, Billy and Buryl Faught (who also ran a shoe-shine operation on the side), Dewey “Catfish” Chapman, Lewis Snyder, Chubby Johnson, Charlie Gray, Snuffy Jones, and other old men who used to hang out there.  It’s sometimes hard for me to realize that I’m as old now as they were then, and there are times when I’d appreciate the privilege of going back and playing a game or two of dominoes with them like we used to do.



There was not a cloud in the sky at yesterday's sunset.
The cool weather we’d been experiencing from the week before lasted through Saturday with highs in the upper fifties or low sixties and lows in the upper forties or low fifties. 
Then on Sunday the skies cleared, the sun came out, and the afternoon temperature rose to 71°F. Monday was similar with the high reaching 74°, and yesterday was even warmer with a high of 80°. And the days have been gorgeous. You can’t ask for prettier weather than what we’ve had since Sunday.

And the next couple of days should be more of the same except for the gradually increasing breezes from the south-southwest. Today they should be around 17mph and tomorrow 25mph. Then on Friday, a cold front moves in and winds will shift to the north-northeast and blow at about 21mph, which will considerably increase the wind chill. The temperature will drop to 37° or so Friday morning, the lowest it's been so far this fall. And the high on Friday is only a forecast 59°. Saturday will be similar with a low of 40° and a high of only 57°, although it may not feel as cold as the winds  diminish.

Warmer weather returns on Sunday, and highs next week should all be in the sixties with lows in the mid to upper forties. Right now the meteorologists are giving us a 50% chance of showers next Tuesday, but there is little to no chance of precipitation otherwise.



  1. Good luck at your doctor's appointment. I always love rereading about the domino parlor!

    1. Oh, and I distinctly remember the smell of Boxcar's parlor. I did not like it.


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