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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Roscoe School Open House on Monday, New Vet Crew to be Introduced

by Dr. Kim Alexander, RCISD Superintendent
Roscoe Collegiate ISD will be hosting an Open House on Monday, August 28, at 6:00pm. We hope everyone will be able to attend as we introduce the new Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Betsy Oesch; the new Veterinary Technician, Rebecca Randall; and the new Office Manager, Leslie Cathey.

The Open House will begin in the cafeteria and expand from there with tours of Collegiate Edu-Vet at the STEM Research Center, Edu-Drone in the Shelansky Building, and the Montessori Early Childhood Center on Main Street.

Collegiate Edu-Vet, located at the STEM Research Center, will officially open on Monday at 8am. Initially, the Veterinary Hospital will provide a complete line of companion animal services, as well as supply all the advanced reproduction techniques for cattle. The plan is to open the equine division next July, along with the food animal line of medical services.

Collegiate Edu-Drone, located at the downtown Shelansky Building, is also officially open providing a full line of pilot training curriculum leading to FAA Certification for commercial drone flight. Also, Collegiate Commercial Drone is officially open to fulfill all your commercial drone requests, including agricultural data collection and real estate cinematography.

We hope you will all come out and support these RCISD business partnerships, established to provide meaningful STEM workforce certifications, along with paid apprenticeship opportunities for our students. RCISD is also currently working with Texas A&M and Texas Tech Universities to provide additional education opportunities in the form of four-year and graduate degrees to students from Roscoe and surrounding areas.



Munday gets set to run a play against the Plowboys at Friday's scrimmage.
The Plowboys pretty much played Munday to a draw in their first scrimmage at Plowboy Field on Friday, but that’s not a bad thing. Dave Campbell’s Texas Football lists the Moguls as the favorites to win district 7-2A II and adds that “Munday will once again be a threat to do postseason damage.” So, the Moguls were a good test for the new 2017 Plowboys, their mettle, and their progress in playing winning football against a tough opponent.

At first it appeared that Munday would outplay the Plowboys, who were generally unable to move the ball on their first offensive series. Initial nervousness and missed assignments no doubt played a part. At the same time, Munday had some good plays and long gainers in theirs. But the next time the Plowboys had the ball, Francisco Garcia broke free up the middle to race 75 yards for a TD, and the Plowboys settled down and played good football the rest of the afternoon.

Throughout the scrimmage, the Plowboy defense looked strong. Munday had some tall receivers that gave the pass defenders trouble, but the Plowboys stopped the Moguls’ running game all afternoon with solid hits and strong pursuit. And the offense seemed to get better as time went on. By the end of the scrimmage, if anyone had the upper hand, it was the Plowboys.

They will have a chance to work out some of the kinks again tomorrow afternoon when they take on Hawley, a 2A Division I team in the same district as Anson and Post. Once again, they’ll be facing a formidable opponent. Last year the Bearcats were a 2A-1 area finalist with an 8-4 record. Returning seven starters on both sides of the ball, their quarterback is Quay Stokes, last year’s Abilene Reporter-News All Big Country 2A Player of the Year, who was personally responsible for 51 TDs both running and passing. The scrimmage is at Hawley and begins at 6:00pm.



Players and fans enjoyed the burger supper at Plowboy Preview.

For the second year in a row, the Plowboy Preview was held indoors because of the threat of inclement weather, but that didn't damping the enthusiasm of either players or fans. After a burger supper in the cafetorium, everyone went to the Special Events Center, where the Cheer Pals performed along with the cheerleaders, and the band, the cross-country team, and the football teams and coaches were introduced. A large crowd of fans cheered them on before ending the evening with the school song.



Lyndall Underwood & the Dusty Creek Band

Roscoe’s own Lyndall Underwood and his Dusty Creek Band will be back at the Lumberyard for the first time in a while Saturday night. Since their last appearance there, they’ve played in venues all over the region and even been the feature band on a cruise ship to the Caribbean.

As always, they’ll be playing dance-friendly traditional country music, perfect for two-stepping. They’ll open around 9:30pm. Cover charge is $10.

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



Eden Baker got this great shot of the approaching front last night.
After the rains of the previous week, this past one saw the sun come out, the puddles dry up, and the temperatures rise. Every day since last Wednesday reached over 90°F with the hottest day being yesterday at 95°, while lows ranged between 69° and 73°.

Monday was the day of the solar eclipse, and although the moon didn’t completely blot out the sun like it did in other parts of the country, it did cover over half of it here at its maximum coverage. Many Roscoe folks had homemade eclipse viewing devices like cardboard boxes or cards with holes poked in them, while others had welding masks for viewing. It began here at 11:33am, reached its peak at 1:01pm, and was completely over at 2:30. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, but the eclipse did dim the brightness of the midday sun enough that it was noticeable. It also created some strange shadows under the trees. We won’t see another one until April 2024, and that one won’t be total in Roscoe, either. But the moon will cover more of the sun here than this one did.

Last night a front blew in from the northwest, dropping temperatures into the sixties, and a light rain fell for a while. My rain gauge recorded .14”, the same amount that Kenny Landfried got for the official total. The forecast is for lower temperatures for the coming week with highs ranging from today’s 84° to Saturday’s 79° before warming back up to Monday’s 86° and Tuesday’s 87°. There’s a 50% chance of thunderstorms today, 50% tomorrow, and 90% Friday, diminishing to 40% Saturday and 10% Sunday. Lows should be in the mid-sixties the entire week.  


Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Rains Boost Cotton Crop

Saturday evening's storm moves in from the southwest.
This week’s showers couldn’t have come at a better time for this year’s dryland cotton crop, and area farmers are breathing a sigh of relief over the rains that have fallen since Saturday. One referred to them as a “million-dollar” rain for the area. Ranchers also welcomed it, of course, but the cotton had reached the point that if it didn’t get a rain soon, all its early promise was going to be lost as it withered under the relentless August heat. This is not to say that decent weather won’t also be needed from now until the harvest, but at least the area is still on course for a great crop.

The first rain came seemingly out of nowhere at midday on Saturday, and although some forecasters were giving the area as much as a 30% chance of rain for the day, most people were caught by surprise by the storm’s suddenness and ferocity as it blew in from the west. One minute the sun was shining brightly as it had been for days, and then the storm hit with thunder, lightning, high winds, and sheets of rain. It then moved on east, but while it lasted, it dropped as much as two inches. Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded 1.66” while others had more or less, depending on location. The sun came back out, and most assumed that that was it.

But that evening just about sunset, another storm blew in, this one from the southwest, and like the earlier one, it came in with a bang—thunder, lightning, and wind. The downpour didn’t last as long though, and it tapered off to a gentle rain before moving on. Totals for this one were generally less than an inch—Kenny Landfried got .77”, while I had .86”, but combined with the earlier rain, it gave most area locations somewhere around an inch and a half to two inches or more for the day.

Then yesterday morning more rain fell, and the weather was cool and cloudy all day with a light rain falling most of the time. The temperature never got out of the seventies, and the official rainfall total was .81” for the day. Not everyone got that much, but most would agree that what they got the past few days has been enough to make a real difference for the plant life in these parts. And the puddles in town are as big as they ever get, short of a flood.

The forecast is for a return to normal August weather for the next couple of weeks. Skies will be sunny today with a high of around 95°F. Tomorrow and Friday are predicted to be cloudier but with highs still in the mid-nineties. Then on Saturday, skies will clear again and highs of around 95° are forecast for the next week or so with lows of around 73°. Chances for rain are 20% or less for the foreseeable future.



Cheer Pals lead a cheer at a previous Plowboy Preview.
The annual Plowboy Preview will be held tomorrow, August 17, with a hamburger cookout behind the east stands starting at 6:00, with burger, chips, and drink costing $6.  Then at 7:00pm, this year’s football players, coaches, cheerleaders, and band will be introduced in front of the east stands.



Fans can get their first look at this year’s Plowboys in a scrimmage with Munday at Plowboy Field Friday starting at 6:00pm. Next week they’ll take on Hawley in Hawley for their final warmup before starting their season with the Haskell Indians in Haskell on September 1.

Here is the Plowboy football schedule for 2017:

Date                 Opponent         Location           Time
Aug. 18            Munday**         Home               6:00pm
Aug. 24            Hawley **         Away                6:00pm
Sept.   1            Haskell              Away                7:00pm
Sept.   8            Early                  Away                7:30pm
Sept. 15            Albany               Home                7:30pm
Sept. 22            Open
Sept. 29            Anson                Home               7:30pm
Oct.    6             Menard              Away               7:30pm
Oct.  13             Roby*                Home                7:00pm
Oct.  20             Plains*              Home               7:00pm
Oct.  27             Seagraves*        Away               7:00pm
Nov.   3             Tahoka*             Home              7:00pm
Nov. 10             Hamlin*            Away                7:00pm
                        ** = Scrimmage
                        *   = District Game

As the schedule shows, the Plowboys play three of their five district games at home, but the two that may be the most significant, Seagraves and Hamlin, are both away games. Because of the long distances needed for travel, all district games will begin at 7:00pm.



After experiencing steady growth from 2011 to 2015, the Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District has seen its initial fall enrollment level off now for the past two years. As of Monday, the total enrollment at RCISD was 611, seven more than last year at the same point but down seven from 2015, the year before. The largest growth this year has been in the Early Childhood classes.

                           Grades                    2015              2016            2017
Elementary        pre-K – 5                365               347             358*
Junior High        6-8                          118                123              121
High School        9-12                        135                134              132
Totals                  pre-K – 12              618               604              611

* This figure counts the pre-K students who have enrolled but not yet attended their first class because 4-year-olds begin next Monday, August 21, and 3-year-olds the following Monday, August 28.



Doug Richburg
A fundraiser for Doug Richburg will be held this Saturday at the VFW. All monies collected from all sources go to benefit Doug and his medical expenses and needs. There will be door prizes and an auction of donated items by individuals and businesses. Music begins at 2:00pm and lasts until at least midnight.

Free entry lasts until 7:30pm and is $10 after that. A BBQ sandwich meal provided by Big Boys BBQ will be served from 4:30-7:30pm.

If you have something to donate for a door prize or for the auction, or if you would like to make a money donation, contact Mark Wayne Hagood or Brenda Sutton Stevens by Facebook private message. They can arrange for an item to be picked up.



(Photo by Greg Jaklewicz)
The Abilene Reporter-News published another nice article on the Lumberyard and its importance as a west Texas music venue, this one by staff writer Greg Jaklewicz. It appeared in Friday’s paper and was accompanied by several photos. You can access it by clicking here.



There will be NO 3rd Sunday Lunch on August 20.
The next lunch is scheduled for September 17

The center is putting together a cookbook with all recipes from all the great cooks in our community. If you would like to submit a recipe, please get them to any board member or mail them to

Roscoe Community Center
P.O. Box 152
Roscoe TX 79545


Our next scheduled meeting is set for September 11 at 6:00pm at the Community Center.
We invite anyone who might be interested in being part of the Community Center. We have several community service projects in the works and need people to help make them successful.

For more information call President Shawn Scott at 325-242-2687 or visit with any Board member.

Several dates open for rentals, so call and book your next event
Call Misty @ 325-338-1005



Cameran Nelson
Yes, you read that right. Country singer Cameran Nelson will be playing live at the Lumberyard in an unusual Thursday night appearance tomorrow night. Nelson is originally from Haskell but now calls Blanco home. He’s lived all over Texas and studied music at South Plains College in Levelland.

His first full-length album, Happy to Beer, was released in 2013 and nominated for three Texas music awards: Male Vocalist, Rising Star, and Record of the Year. His single “35 Runs Both Ways” was a multi-week #1 on the Texas Regional Radio Report and the Texas Music Chart. His current project, Good Thing Going, has produced two more #1 hits with “Shotgun,” and “You Can Still Wear White.” And his  single, “Little That We’re Livin’ On,” has also received radio play.

Cover charge is $10. For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.


Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Early Childhood Center Marks New Beginning for Pre-Schoolers

The Early Childhood Center on Main Street.

Classes start tomorrow for Roscoe’s Schools, and with them an exciting new program begins for pre-schoolers. The Montessori method, developed and proven in expensive private schools in the U.S. and elsewhere, will for the first time be available to public school students here in Roscoe at no extra charge.  Similar programs in Dallas cost over $11,000 a year per student, and that’s without extended stay in the afternoons.

The new program will provide students an approach which emphasizes active learning, independence, and cooperation, and instruction is designed to coincide with each child’s unique pace of development. Teachers must be trained and certified in the Montessori method, as RCISD’s all are.

The new Early Childhood Center has been designed specifically for Montessori’s classroom requirements. These include more space for storage of manipulatives and hands-on types of activities.

This fall the Early Childhood Center has six classes, each composed of about twenty-one 3-, 4-, and 5-year-olds. Five-year-olds begin tomorrow, four-year-olds August 21, and three-year olds August 28. The teachers are Kristin Bohay, Dana Elmore, Katherine Jackson, Kristi Martin, Rhonda Wilson, and Jana Young. They are all excited to be involved in this new program. Classes are from 7:55am-2:30pm, M-F.

Early success in reading and math has positive repercussions throughout all subsequent grades, as do positive attitudes toward learning, and the Montessori method is a proven system for achieving these goals for children of all backgrounds and abilities. Its implementation will strengthen the scholastic level of Roscoe’s schools from the students’ first exposure and provide them a lifelong benefit.



Plowboy linemen work out Monday morning.

Are you ready for some football? On Monday morning, the 2017 edition of the Roscoe Plowboys began fall workouts at Plowboy Field. Morning practices continued through this morning, but, since school starts tomorrow, they will be cut short, and Coach Jake Freeman will have to be satisfied with afternoon practices from now on.

The Plowboys’ first scrimmage will be at home next Friday, August 18, at 6:00pm against Munday. The following Friday, August 24, they will scrimmage against Hawley in Hawley in preparation for their season opener with the Haskell Indians on September 1.

Dave Campbell’s Texas Football, the premier publication for high school football in Texas, predicts the Plowboys will finish second in district to Hamlin, this year’s pre-season favorite. Here’s how its writers see District 4-2A-II winding up:

1.      Hamlin Pied Pipers
2.      Roscoe Plowboys
3.      Seagraves Eagles
4.      Tahoka Bulldogs
5.      Plains Cowboys
6.      Roby Lions

However, the Plowboys have won the title before after being predicted not to win, year before last being a prime example, and they are optimistic they can do it again, just like the 2015 Plowboys did. They are returning eight starters on both offense and defense.

With last year’s quarterback, Brayden Beal, lost to graduation, the Plowboys will be breaking in a new player at that position. And while nothing is written in stone yet, Jayden Gonzales (5’8” 160) has been taking the reps with the first team, while Junior Martinez (6’1” 180) also works out at the position. Several Plowboy linemen graduated last year, so the offensive line will probably be going through some growing pains in the first few games, but the players at the skill positions show a lot of promise, and the defense looks solid.

Players to watch include Jose Ortega (5’7” 160), who was 2A All Big-Country last year at wide receiver and defensive back, Francisco Garcia (5’9” 185), 2A All Big-Country running back; lineman Paul Pantoja (6’ 0” 225), 2A All Big-Country; Junior Martinez WR/DB, linebacker Tait Fullwood (5’9” 165), lineman Parker Payne (6’1” 210), WR Micheal Wright, DT Joel Guis, WR Diego Garza, LB Cade Garrett, LB Coltin Watts, C Rey Martinez, OL Garrett Bowers, and CB Brandon Lavalais.



The Roscoe City Council had no significant action items on the agenda at its monthly meeting at City Hall yesterday evening. They did, however, hear the monthly report on City works as well as the monthly Police report.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that seal-coating is currently in progress and that 7th Street from Main to Ash Streets was seal-coated yesterday. The awarded sanitary sewer project is now complete, and the City has $142,000 left over. On Friday, a project meeting will be held to discuss additional work and the Reverse Osmosis Water Treatment Plant.

The grant application applied for to the State ranked tenth, but only the first seven were funded, so according to that ranking, Roscoe should be funded in 2018.

Additional policing will be in the new school zone areas Thursday around the Early Childhood Center on Main Street.

The City Council will hold its annual budget workshops next Tuesday and Thursday, August 15 and 17, at 7:00pm.

This year’s West Texas Wind Festival has penciled in T. G. Sheppard as the feature performer at the free concert. The Plowboy Mudbog will also be held then.

The City has made claims for insurance money on a water pump that was recently struck by lightning and for a wrecked City vehicle.

The City Council also heard the Police Report for the month of July from Police Chief Felix Pantoja.



Dale Watson

A host of performers will be at the Lumberyard this Saturday when Dale Watson, Dallas Moore, Bonnie Montgomery, Billy Don Burns, Josh Morningstar, and Richie Allbright come to town for the Ameripolitan Outlaw Music Festival, an annual show that was in Austin last year.

Dale Watson will be singing tunes such as “Tonight the Bottle Let Me Down” and “I Lie When I Drink,”  Dallas Moore will sing his “Outlaw Country” and “Raisin’ Hell and Slingin’ Gravel.” Billy Don Burns will do “Lonesome 77203” while Bonnie Montgomery, Josh Morningstar, and Richie Allbright also have their turns at the mike.

The show begins at 6:00pm. For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Thunderhead in southeast sky on Sunday afternoon.

The past week saw showers in some local areas but in Roscoe itself, there was little precipitation as had been predicted. On Sunday, areas north and northwest of town got measurable rainfall, somewhere between a quarter and half inch, Some areas west of town also got rain, but others got none, and the dryland cotton still needs a good August rain.

Temperatures rose into only the 80s on last Wednesday and Thursday, but then on Friday it climbed to 94°F, on Saturday to 98°, and on Sunday to 99°. But then after the cold front moved through Sunday evening, temperatures dropped and we’ve had wonderfully cool weather for August the past two days. Highs on Monday and yesterday were only 83° while lows since Sunday have been in the sixties.

Today’s high will be warmer at 90° and tomorrow’s, Friday’s and Saturday’s even warmer at 95° or 96°. There are no chances of rain before Sunday, when the percentage climbs to 40%. Let’s hope this time we get something substantial, enough to make everybody smile.



Virginia Garcia Guerrero, 89, of Roscoe went to rest with her Lord and Savior on Tuesday, August 8, 2017.

Services will be at 2:00pm on Thursday, August 10 at McCoy Chapel of Memories with Dr. Chris Stephens officiating. Interment will follow at Roscoe Cemetery. Family visitation will be Wednesday from 6:00 until 8:00pm. McCoy Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

She is survived by three sons, Jessie Guerrero and wife Susan, Margarito Guerrero, and Joe Guerrero; five daughters, Patricia Da Silva and husband Jonimar, Laurie Willman and husband Gus, Yolanda Lansford and husband Wayne, Maria Soto and husband Joe, and Virginia Rangel. She is also survived by two brothers, Juan and Amado Garcia; one sister, Tana; and numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren.


Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Jessie Marth, Roscoe's Oldest Resident, to Turn 103

Jessie Marth
Roscoe’s oldest citizen, Jessie Marth, will celebrate her 103rd birthday, next Thursday, August 9.

She won’t be having a big party this year, but well-wishers are welcome to send birthday greetings to her at 1200 12th Street in Roscoe.

Happy Birthday, Jessie!



Two men, Bobby Jack Moody, 85, of Abilene and Stephen Joshua Arndt, 34, of Clyde were killed instantly in a head-on collision that occurred in the northbound lane of US 84 about a mile north of Roscoe around 6:25 Sunday morning. Moody was driving south in a 2013 Dodge Caravan and crossed over into the northbound lane, where he crashed head-on into a 2015 Subaru Impreza driven by Arndt.

Both men were pronounced dead at the scene. Both were wearing seat belts at the time of the collision. The accident is still under investigation.



New Principals John Bolton, RCHS, and Crystal Althof, Roscoe Elementary.
Lindsay Mann, Kalyn Tate, Glenn Wortham, Katherine Jackson, Kristin Bowhay, Shawn Speck, Dana Elmore, Scott Riley, Tanner Mann.


The Early Childhood Center on Main Street.
Next Thursday a school zone will be put into effect for the new Early Childhood Center on Main Street. It will extend on Main from Seventh Street to the I-20 access road and will likely have a speed limit of 25mph. The work and its expenses will be handled by the State since FM 608 is a state highway.



It’s another big summer weekend at the Lumberyard with country great Crystal Gayle on Friday night and Bruce Robison on Saturday.

Crystal Gayle
Crystal Gayle, the little sister of Loretta Lynn, was born Brenda Gail Webb, the youngest child in a poor coal-mining family. While growing up, she learned to play guitar and sing backup and toured with her sister while still in high school. She changed her name to Crystal Gayle when she signed a record deal with Decca Records. Her first top ten hit, “Wrong Road Again,” came in 1974, and her first number one hit, “You Never Miss a Real Good Thing,” came in 1976.

Her most famous hit, “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” came the following year, and in the following decade, she had many big hits, both country and crossover, and won many awards. She received a Grammy for Best Female Country Vocal Performance and was the Country Music Association’s “Female Vocalist of the Year” in both 1977 and 1978. She is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from NAMM, and has her own star in the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

During a long career, she has produced 28 albums. Top singles include “Don’t It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” “You and I” (with Eddie Rabbitt), “When I Dream,” “Let Me Be There,” “The Sound of Goodbye,” “Talking in Your Sleep,” “Half the Way,” and many others.

Bruce Robison
Bruce Robison, the brother of Charlie Robison, is better known as a songwriter than individual performer, and songs of his that have hit number one include Tim McGraw’s “Angry All the Time” and the Dixie Chicks’ “Travelin’ Soldier.” But he wants to change all that and is currently on tour to promote his new solo LP Bruce Robison & the Back Porch Band, which received this popular review in The Rolling Stone.

Currently, his most popular performances have been with his wife, Kelly Willis. They include “Angry All the Time,” “Long Way Home,” and “Leaving.”

For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.


Roscoe resident Enez Ensenia has published a children’s story, Sourpuss Longbottom, categorized at Amazon under Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, and Myths. The print edition is available on Amazon for $6.00, and the e-book for Kindle is $2.99.

For more information, click here.



Cloudy skies over Roscoe this morning.
After eleven consecutive days in which the temperature reached 95°F or more culminating in Friday and Saturday’s 100° maximums, the heat finally abated somewhat with Sunday’s high of 94°, Monday’s 89°, and then yesterday’s 79°. There was a 60% chance for rain yesterday, and the meteorologists were right in that we did get some rain. However, it was only enough to settle the dust and no more. I got .08” in the afternoon and then .02” more last night for a grand total of .1”—not enough to matter in the greater scheme of things. Area farms didn't get much more, and some didn't get any.

The next few days will be cooler, though, and that is a welcome change. Today’s high is forecast to be 83° under cloudy skies, tomorrow’s 91° and sunny, and then 87° and 89° with clouds for Friday and Saturday but little possibility of rain.

The good news, however, is that the chances for precipitation are high for all next week starting on Sunday. Let’s hope the forecasters are right and we get enough to make a difference this time.


Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Jason D. Williams & Lucky Tubb Play Lumberyard Saturday for West Texas Rehab's Don Richburg Scholarship

Jason D. Williams and Band
The Lumberyard will be rocking this weekend with two great performers. Jason D. Williams plays boogie-woogie piano in a way not seen since the style was perfected in the fifties by Jerry Lee Lewis, the man said to be his father. Williams is the adopted son of Baptist missionaries, hence his last name, and his talent at the piano is phenomenal. In fact, he was the piano player in Great Balls of Fire, the movie of Jerry Lee Lewis’s life starring Dennis Quaid. He never rehearses his shows but just plays in response to the crowd. His 2014 album Hillbillies and Holy Rollers was recorded at Sun Studios in Memphis. He has appeared in numerous TV shows and played backup for Johnny Rivers, Dale Watson, Billy Ray Cyrus, and others.

To confirm that he's a chip off the old block, check out his version of “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Goin’ On” by clicking here.

Lucky Tubb
The show will feature both him and Lucky Tubb, a great nephew of country great Ernest Tubb. Tubb’s music is a lot less rock & roll and a lot more country,  as  this video of “Damn the Luck” demonstrates.

The performance is for a good cause since proceeds will benefit West Texas Rehab’s Don Richburg Scholarship fund. People in Roscoe all remember Don, a local farmer who was a guard for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier when he served in the military and the father of Allen Richburg. His work with West Texas Rehab over the years is the reason for the scholarship, which is given to deserving students connected with that organization. More details are provided in an article and video on the Big Country Homepage. Both can be accessed by clicking here.

So, contribute to a worthy cause and come on out for what should be a memorable evening at the Lumberyard. With a great show in store, you’ll be glad you did.

Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 on the day of the show. Tables are $150. For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Don't remind the kids, but the start of school is just around the corner. The Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District begins its fall semester on Thursday, August 10. The early start for Roscoe is done so its finish in May will be more in sync with that of Western Texas College in Snyder, which offers many of the classes the RCHS students take. 

Since most schools start the following week, the State of Texas's tax-free weekend for school supplies and clothing is that weekend, August 11-13. For details, consult the Texas Comptroller's Office by clicking here.



(This article is an update of one that appeared in the Hard Times on February 29, 2012.)

Maurine Whorton in 1914 and the cover of her novel published in 1975.

A while back I learned that someone had written a novel set in Vista*, the early-day precursor to Roscoe, and, when I did, I immediately went online and did a search for it.  I located a hardback copy for ten dollars at a bookstore in North Carolina, ordered it, received it a few days later, and read it.

It was written by Maurine Whorton Redway, a graduate of Roscoe High School and member of the class of 1914.  Her father, Daniel Boone Whorton, was one of the first settlers of the area, and much of the novel is based on family stories Maurine heard while growing up.

The story begins in 1890 with the arrival of the Hunter family at Stop 53 west of Sweetwater.  Stop 53 is the author’s fictional name for Katula, the original name for what is now Roscoe. The main character, Boone Hunter, is obviously based on the author’s father, and his family closely resembles the Whorton family that came to Roscoe at that time.

At first just a boxcar used as a depot, Stop 53 was a water stop for the T&P trains that came through.  Their steam engines had to stop for water about every ten miles, so depots were set at each of the stops, and most of them later became communities: Cisco, Baird, Clyde, Abilene, Tye (originally called Tebo), Merkel, Trent, Eskota, Sweetwater, Roscoe, Loraine, Colorado City, etc.

When the Hunters arrive from Georgia in a boxcar to buy a farm and settle on the cheap, rich, newly available land of the Blackland Divide, only one other family lives by the depot, the Fullers, and they immediately become friends.

As the story progresses, the Hunter family undergoes all the trials and tribulations encountered by early day settlers—drought, tornadoes, ice storms, wild animals, rattlesnakes, and worst of all, a group of rowdy cowboys led by the scoundrel Buck Brooks.  These remnants of the open range drink whisky, run wild, and oppose the coming of the “nesters” who want to civilize the area, cultivate the land, raise families, build churches, and start communities.

While the story is fictional with the plot elements and characterization that make a novel a novel, it is laced with a lot of the early history of the area and provides the reader with a pretty good picture of what it must have been like to live in Roscoe in those early days when it was still known as Vista.

When the author describes the first church meetings taking place upstairs in the community’s only store, and the first school as just a bare building with desks paid for by fund raisers such as box dinner auctions, she is no doubt basing her descriptions on fact.

Sometimes she throws in long forgotten tidbits of history that are a revelation to read.

One example is the Johnson grass seed that Boone Hunter brings back from his first trip to Colorado City in 1890.  Given to him by a farmer there, he is told that it will be good for grazing, but Boone has read that it is hard to get rid of, a fact substantiated that same year when the Texas legislature passed a law prohibiting the sale or gift of Johnson grass seeds.

Characters in the story include the Long family whose farm was southeast of town and Germans from the German settlement west of town, both obviously based on historical fact.  

The story builds to a wild climax with a shootout and a big fire, after which peace is restored and the locals move into the twentieth century with high hopes for the future of their growing community.

Although the novel, published in 1975, never won a Pulitzer Prize or any other major literary awards, it is a rewarding read for anyone interested in the settling of this area and life as it was in the 1890s in Vista and early Roscoe.

     * The first inhabitants of Roscoe originally called their new community Vista, but when they applied for a post office in 1891, they were told that there was already a town in Texas by that name, so they decided to call it Roscoe instead.


About the author: Born in Roscoe in 1898, Maurine Whorton grew up here and graduated from Roscoe High in 1914.  She later earned a B.A. from the University of Texas and an M.A. from Washington University in St. Louis.  She taught in Texas high schools for twenty-six years before joining the faculty at SMU, where she taught history for five years.

Her other books are Early Texas Homes, Marks of Lincoln on Our Land, and Marks of Lee on Our Land.  She died in 1981 and was buried in the Roscoe Cemetery.  Roscoe relations include the Whortons, Jays, and Frys.

Maurine Whorton Redway. Out of the Whirlwind: A West Texas Saga. San Antonio: Naylor, 1975.



Southeast skies on Sunday.
Unlike other parts of the year when variations in the weather typify this area, late July is almost always the same, and this year appears no different. Winds are from the south, skies are partly cloudy, and the weather is relentlessly hot with 95° to 100° temperatures in the afternoons cooling off to somewhere around 70° to 75° in the early mornings. Showers are possible but not likely.

And that’s just the kind of weather we got this past week. We did get a shower on Sunday in some places. Here in town I got a quarter of an inch, while Kenny Landfried reported an official .31”. Some places got a bit more while others didn’t get any. The high for the week was Saturday’s 101° and the low was 64°, also on Saturday.

The forecast for the rest of this week is for more of the same with highs of 96° or 97° and lows of 73° or 74°. Starting on Sunday the weather should cool off somewhat and stay that way for the rest of next week when highs will be only in the upper eighties and lows in the upper sixties. There’s also a good possibility of rain with chances ranging from 30% to 60% all week. At least, that’s the forecast for now. Let’s hope the Weather Channel is right and we get a shower or two.


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

City Council Hears Reports on City Works

Whitney Underground workers set a manhole at 9th Street yesterday.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall last Tuesday, the City Council was updated on City works currently in progress as well as plans for the immediate future.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that work on Seventh Street will resume next week and will be done by the first week of August. The street will then be sealcoated along with other City and County streets and roads.

Work on the sanitary sewer project is on schedule. New lines and manholes are currently being laid in the alley between Cypress and Bois d’Arc Streets and has progressed as far as Tenth Street.

The City’s B Board has allocated funds to have a mural painted on the west wall of the former McFaul’s Garage on Broadway. The artist, Calina Mishay Johnson, is the same person who recently painted the mural on the building behind Smacker’s on Main Street.

The City Council will update the City ordinance on the keeping of chickens in Roscoe at next month’s meeting. The ordinance will conform to the recently passed Texas Senate Bill 1620, which mandates that Texas towns and cities allow residents to raise chickens. Individual municipalities may limit the number of chickens over six that a household may raise. They also may prohibit breeding and the raising and keeping of roosters, and may also set a minimum distance between a coop and residential structure.

The City Council will hold its next budget workshop right after the next regular City Council meeting, probably Thursday, August 10.



by Shelley Gunter

Texas FFA Vice President John Smithwick, Hannah Ward, Agriscience Fair Supt. Dr. Rudy Ritz, and the ExxonMobil Gold Sponsor.
Corpus Christi.– Hannah Ward of the Roscoe FFA Chapter placed first in the Texas FFA Agriscience Fair at the 89th annual Texas FFA State Convention held July 10-14 in Corpus Christi.

Ward participated in the Animal Systems category, division one. The Agriscience Fair fuses the traditional science fair with agriculture. FFA members conduct cutting edge agricultural research to compete in categories such as biochemistry and microbiology, environmental science, zoology, botany and engineering.

The Agriscience Fair was made possible by the ExxonMobil Corporation. State award winners in each category will receive a scholarship from the Richard Wallrath Education Foundation.

The 89th annual Texas FFA Convention recorded approximately 12,000 members and guests. Members of the state’s largest agricultural youth leadership organization spent the week attending leadership workshops, participating in events and activities, being recognized for their achievements, and serving as the legislative body for the Texas FFA Association.

The Texas FFA is the nation’s largest state FFA association with a membership of more than 119,000. FFA gives students the opportunity to apply practical classroom knowledge to real world experiences through local, state and national competitions. For more information about the Texas FFA, visit

If Ward’s project passes preliminary judging at the end of July by the National FFA Organization, Ward will be headed to the National FFA Convention in October to compete against other Agriscience projects across the United States.

Roscoe FFA members at State Convention. Back: Logan Wicker, Hannah Ward, Nolan Reeves, Caleb Boren, Kayla Justiss, Abigail Meadows. Middle: Tait Fullwood, Kaylee Palacios, Morgan Bowers. Front: Zeke Murphy, Becca Shaw.


This year’s school football camp for grades 2-9 will be held on Monday, July 24, and Tuesday, July 25 from 6:00-8:30pm at Plowboy Field. Registration begins at 4pm on the 24th. Camp is free of charge, and campers will be provided with a camp t-shirt that allows them free admission to all home Plowboy games.

For questions and concerns, contact Plowboy head football coach Jake Freeman at 325-721-0892.



Jason Williams, the son of Jerry Lee Lewis, and Lucky Tubb, the great nephew of Ernest Tubb, will perform at a special concert at the Lumberyard on Saturday, July 29, to raise money for the Don Richburg Scholarship at the West Texas Rehab Center.

Details are provided in an article and video on the Big Country Homepage. Both can be accessed by clicking here



A photographer for the Abilene Reporter-News was on hand at the Plowboy Mudbog on July 1 and got some excellent photos of the event. They have been posted in the Reporter-News’ Big Country Journal, which you can access by clicking here



Jo Dee Messina
Country music great Jo Dee Messina will make her first appearance ever at the Lumberyard Saturday night. Over the past two decades, she has had nine number one singles on the Billboard country charts, been nominated for two Grammy awards, had two Platinum and three Gold-certified albums, and been honored by the Country Music Association and the Academy of Country Music. She is also the first female country singer to have three number one songs from the same album.

Born and raised in Massachusetts, she always loved country music, and after playing local clubs in the northeast, she moved to Nashville when she was 19. In 1996 she released her first album, Jo Dee Messina, which had two top ten hits and was certified Gold by the RIAA. Her second album, I’m Alright (1998), sold over two million copies and was certified Platinum. It had three number one singles. Her third album, Burn (2000), contained the hit singles “That’s the Way” and “Bring on the Rain.” Since then, she’s released three more studio albums and five EPs and other albums. Her latest CD is entitled Me.

Top singles include “Bring on the Rain” (with Tim McGraw), “Bye Bye,” “My Give a Damn’s Busted,” “I’m Alright,” “Heads Carolina, Tails California,” and “Stand Beside Me.” Her latest is “Noel.”

For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Summer clouds over Roscoe yesterday.
This past week was typical July weather for west Texas, sunny and partly cloudy, winds from the south, hot days, and warm nights. It wasn’t scorching with triple-digit numbers as July sometimes is, but it was definitely summer. The high temperature for the week was Saturday’s 95°F and the low Sunday’s 69°. Other than Sunday when showers threatened and actually produced some rainfall west of town, about a half-inch, it was dry as July typically is. The lowest high was also on Sunday when the temperature rose to only 90°.

The forecast is for more of the same with the highs for the next nine days within a degree either way of 95° and lows of 73° or 74°. And according to the Weather Channel website, the next chance of rain is not until July 31 when the chances rise to 10%.

The recent thunderstorm on July 4 was devastating for about 5000 acres a few miles west of town, where the hail was more intense than elsewhere. A lot of baby cotton was wiped out either partially or completely, and we extend our condolences to the farmers of the affected area.



Funeral services were held 11am Saturday, July 15, at First Baptist Church in Roscoe for Forest Hess, 90, of Roscoe, who passed away Wednesday, July 12, at Lynn County Hospital in Tahoka. Interment followed at Hillside Memorial Gardens in Snyder under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home.

Forest was born July 22, 1926, in Inadale to the late David and Bernice (Simmons) Hess. He married Norma Lacy on December 26, 1946, in Lubbock.

He is survived by his wife, Norma Hess of Roscoe; sons, Jimmy Hess and wife Vickie of Lubbock, and Bruce Hess and wife Maureen of Slater, Missouri; daughters, Cathy Mitchell and husband Byron of Ropesville, and Lois Chambliss and husband Terry of San Angelo; ten grandchildren and eleven great- grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a favorite charity or to the Benevolent Fund at First Baptist Church of Roscoe, 401 Main St., Roscoe, TX 79545.


Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Large Crowd Enjoys July 4th Celebration

The fireworks show.

The July 4th celebration was once again a huge success for the city of Roscoe. From the Lions Club Pancake Breakfast in the morning to the fireworks show that evening, people gathered to enjoy the day and celebrate the nation’s independence. Downtown, street vendors sold food, drinks, and merchandise on Cypress and Broadway, kids played in the park or swam free at the swimming pool, and the Roscoe Historical Museum was open and received many visitors.

At the baseball field, the Plowboy Mudbog was in full swing as drivers from all over the Big Country and as far away as Dallas and New Mexico tried their hands at driving their mud vehicles through the blackland slush. In the evening, a huge crowd estimated at around 3500 was on hand for the free concert and the fireworks show.

And afterwards, many continued the celebration at the free music and dance at the Lumberyard. As far as I could tell, everyone who attended had a good time.



The Astros are going to the playoffs.

All three of the Roscoe Little League teams that play in the Colorado City League are going to the State Playoffs, two of them to Colorado City and one to Groesbeck, which is east of Waco. The playoffs will be later this month. The freshman Astros (ages 12-14) qualified by winning their division, the Brewers (ages 10-12) finished second in theirs, and the Rangers (age 9 and under) won theirs.



Tables were full at the Pancake Breakfast Saturday morning.
The Roscoe Lions Club would like to thank everyone who came out and supported the Pancake Breakfast during Roscoe’s Independence Day Celebration! All the money raised will go towards the Club’s civic and charitable projects. We hope everyone enjoyed the breakfast as much as we enjoyed preparing it, and we hope to see you all again!



Max Tomlin was one of the Parade winners.

Here are the winners of the various categories of parade entries:

Best Antique Vehicle: Dean Sells
Best Bicycle: Lydia Draper
Best 4-Wheeler: Dakota Freeman
Best Motorcycle: Keith Willman
Best Western: Max Tomlin
Best Semi: Stealth Trans. & Crop Production
Best Overall Float: Roscoe Little League
Most Patriotic: The Medicine Place
Biggest Truck: Toby Walker “Back Door Muddin’”

The July 4th Parade would like to thank the Lumberyard for sponsoring the event and the following for goodie bags: Sonic Drive-In, First National Bank, Vickie’s Gifts, Wildflower Boutique, TSTC, Compass Hospice, Kindred Hospice, Medicine Place, Rockin’ S Cantina, Roscoe Fire Department, Hagerman’s Auto Parts, State Farm Insurance.

Thanks also to the Department of Public Safety, Roscoe Fire Department, Roscoe Police Department, and Nolan County Sheriff’s Office, who let the kids look at and climb in the vehicles and engines.



Here are the top three finishers in each of the vehicle classes of this year’s Plowboy Mudbog. Distances are listed unless the vehicle cleared the pit, in which case the times in seconds are given.

1. Jeff Walker               Corinth             “Mudstang”        302’ 9”
2. Kevin Weinrick       Granbury          Chevy Blazer      297’ 4”
3. Braden Walker        Corinth              “Mudstang”        293’ 1”

1. Jared Waters            Hobbs, NM        “Mistress”           372’
2. James Nelson           Hobbs, NM        “Mistress”           371’
3. David Smallwood     Rotan                 “Mudslut”           369’

Super Modified
1. Wacey Daniel             Big Spring         “Green-Go”      7.3 sec.
2. Anthony Montgomery Big Spring      “Green-Go”     9.5 sec.
3. Raymond Martinez Colorado City  Dodge Dakota  10.75 sec.

1. Jeremy Sisk          Sweetwater    “Harley Worth It”  14.06 sec.
2. Toby Walker        Midland           “Karma”                18.56 sec.
3. James Pantoja      Roscoe            “Nothing Sacred”    448’



It’s summertime, and these hot July nights are perfect for outside shows, country music, cold beverages, dancing, and seeing the singers whose music you love. Two of those singers will be at the Lumberyard this weekend—Wade Bowen on Friday night and Sam Riggs on Saturday.

Wade Bowen

Bowen, originally from Waco and a Texas Tech grad, has grown in popularity over the years and now has a large following. His albums include Try Not to Listen (2002), The Blue Light Live (2004), Lost Hotel (2006), If We Ever Make It Home (2008), Live at Billy Bob’s Texas (2010), and The Given (2012), Wade Bowen (2014), and Then Sings My Soul: Songs for My Mother (2016).  He’s also produced two CDs with fellow Texas Country artist Randy Rogers—Hold My Beer, Vol. 1 (2015) and Watch This (2016).

Top singles include “Trouble,” “Songs About Trucks,” “Who I Am,” “Mood Ring,” and “Why Can’t You Love Me.”

Sam Riggs
Sam Riggs will be making his first appearance ever at the Lumberyard. He’s an Austin-based singer/songwriter who’s receiving more recognition than ever. He learned his finger-picking style from Ray Wylie Hubbard, and after playing in cafes and bars in and around Austin, he released two extended plays before his first studio album, Outrun the Sun, in 2013. Its first two singles made the top ten on the Texas Music Chart, and the video for “When the Lights Go Out” hit number one on CMT’s Pure 12-Pack Countdown. He was named Artist of the Year at the first Texas Magazine Texas Music Awards, and his second album, Breathless, debuted last year at number 12 on the Billboard Country Albums chart. His popularity is increasing, and his shows are drawing ever larger crowds.

Singles include “The Lucky Ones,” “When the Lights Go Out,” and “Hold On and Let Go.”

For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.



Friday showers. (Photo by Chris Brawley)

It’s been a week for typically hot summer weather with mostly sunny skies, two days that hit triple digits, and the rest all reaching 90°F or above. The most potentially significant event of the week, however, came yesterday afternoon at about 4:00pm, when a cloud unexpectedly made up practically overhead and then rained for about a half-hour, more or less depending on the location. The moisture of course was welcome, but this shower also came with high winds and hail. Here in town, my rain gauge recorded .60” with some wind, but not enough to cause much, if any, damage. There was also some hail, but it never got larger than pea or marble size.

Hailstones that fell on Allen Richburg's farm west of town.
West of town, however, the storm was more intense. The rain fell harder, the wind was higher, and the hail was thicker and in some cases larger. Some was even golf-ball sized. I was told that on I-20 cars pulled over and those who could took shelter under overpasses. In many fields, the cotton is still small enough that the hail and high winds could cause considerable damage. I haven’t talked to enough people yet to know just how much the crop was affected or in what areas damage was done other than west of town. After the rain stopped, I went out and checked my garden, but as far as I could tell, here in town the damage was minimal.

Yesterday’s rain wasn’t the only one we got this past week. At about 4:30 early Saturday morning we also got a shower. On that one, my rain gauge recorded .40”. So, combined with yesterday’s .60”, I got an even inch for the two showers. Kenny Landfried got only .28” in his gauge in east Roscoe.

And that’s really about it for weather events. The hottest days came on Thursday and Friday, which both reached 101°. The coolest maximum came on Saturday, when the high was only 90°. Lows were all within two degrees of 70° except for Saturday with a low of 64°. Sunday, Monday, and yesterday all had highs of 95° or 96°.

Today’s high should be slightly cooler at 92°, tomorrow’s 93°, and then the next seven days are forecast to have highs of 94° to 96° and lows of 72° or 73° with partly cloudy skies. Today and tomorrow have a 20% chance of precipitation, but the weekend and the next week or so are given a 0% chance with the exception of Sunday with 20%. Skies will be mostly sunny.



Ina Gloria (Gabler) Althof, 89, of Roscoe passed away Sunday, July 2, at Hendrick Hospice Center in Abilene.
The family celebrated her life on Saturday, July 1, by having her 90th birthday party with friends and family. A video of 90 years of memories was shared by all.

A graveside service was held on Monday, July 3, at Roscoe Cemetery with Reverend Steve Carter, a family friend, and special music by Daylon and Nancy Althof. McCoy Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.

Ina was born July 6, 1927, in Roscoe. She married Raymond Althof October 14, 1944, in Roscoe. She was a homemaker, farmer, lifelong resident of Roscoe, and lifetime member of First Salem Lutheran Church. She served as leader of youth, Luther League and Sunday School, and served on the ALCW women’s board and the board committee to help build the new Lutheran Church in Roscoe. She also served on the first board committee to help build the Roscoe Community Center. She received an award for “Outstanding Conservation of Soil, Water and Related Resources” in 1993, “Conservation Homemaker Award” in 1994, and County 4-H Chairman. She loved to have lots of company and cooking, quilting, needlework and embroidering, and loved social gatherings and making cakes for her cottage friends.

Ina is survived by her daughters, Maxine Watt and husband Tom of Roscoe, and LeAnna Pitts and husband Danny of Streetman, Texas; four grandchildren, Bryan Watt and wife Shannon of Amarillo, Vikki Woody and husband Brandon of Aiken, South Carolina, and Kellie and Britney Pitts of Dallas; five great-grandchildren, Layton, Levi, Lane, and Lauryn Woody and Aiden and Abbigail Watt.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Arthur Gabler August 1, 1987; Anna Lydia (Sauer) Gabler October 19, 1988; her husband, Raymond, October 26, 2009; sister, Gladys Ona Morris Johnson, January 4, 2000; and her brother, O.C. Gabler, September 11, 2003.


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