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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Improvements in Progress at City Park

City workers near completion on third new pavilion at City Park.

At the City Council meeting on February 10, the Mayor and Council Members unanimously approved further improvements at the City Park, and in the past week considerable changes have been evident there.  Workers have erected two new pavilions and are nearing completion on a third.  These pavilions will provide a roof and shade for the new picnic tables beneath them, making for a more attractive park and a pleasant experience for the picnickers who use them.    

The City Council also approved improvements to the little city park across from the Roscoe State Bank downtown as well as replacing the fence at George Parks Field.  Three new live oak trees will also be planted downtown.   



Funeral services are pending at McCoy Funeral Home for Jimmy Lynn Buckner, 60, who died Sunday at Nolan Nursing and Rehab in Sweetwater.  Jimmy Lynn grew up in Roscoe and was a member of the class of 1969 at Roscoe High.   



Qualified citizens desiring to run for Mayor, City Council, or membership on the RISD School Board have until Monday, March 14, to file an application. Both City and School elections will be on May 14, and early voting will be from May 2 to May 10.  



Plowboy football star Caden Smith has been invited to participate in the Myrle Greathouse Fellowship of Christian Athletes All-Star Game in Shotwell Stadium in Abilene on June 4.  He will play for the North squad.  Players from Classes A to 5A were chosen and will not only participate in the game but also attend a banquet honoring them on April 17 at the Abilene Civic Center.  


Tejas Brothers lead singer Dave Perez awards the two best dancers on the floor a new Tejas Brothers CD.
Patrons at the Lumberyard on Saturday night got a sneak preview of the Tejas Brothers, the band that will headline the entertainment at Roscoe’s Spring Fling on April 16.  To get an idea of what’s in store for Roscoe then, click on the following links for YouTube videos of  last Saturday’s performance: Tejas Brothers, Part 1, Tejas Brothers, Part 2.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Demolition Under Way at Roscoe High School

And the walls came tumbling down.

Demolition of the old Roscoe High School building began in earnest last Thursday and, according to Superintendent Kim Alexander, should pretty well be a fait accompli by this weekend.  All week, local RHS exes have been driving by the school to view the progress, and many have stopped to take pictures or retrieve a brick as a keepsake of the building which was once so central to their lives. 

Built in 1938, it was not completed until the fall semester began that year, so its first graduating class was in 1939.  The last to attend classes in it were this year’s freshmen, making for a total of 74 consecutive classes, including practically every Roscoe High School graduate alive today along with countless others who are not.

Mindful of the feelings it evokes in those who went to school there, the superintendent and others involved in the current construction have been careful to preserve something of the old building for the new one going up.  The stone lintel over the entrance of the old building with the words Roscoe High School has been carefully removed and will become a part of the new building.  The new building will also have twin bell towers to preserve the characteristic look of the old one. 

Architect Don Smith, Contractor J. O. Pearson, Construction Supt. Mr. Ross, School Board Members C. D. Maloney, A. M. Coleman, Rev. G. W. Parks, R. L. Adams, J. H. Scruggs, E. J. Worthy, and Superintendent I. R. Huchingson.
  The photo above appeared in the 1938 Gleaner, and along with it the following statement:
     “It has been the pleasure and purpose of the Board of Education and of the Administration to erect a building which will better serve the educational needs of the students of Roscoe of the present and future.
       It is for the development of character, leadership, industry, and achievements that make life worthwhile that the building has been planned and constructed.  The sincere wish of those directly in charge of its erection is that it may serve well its purpose and be an inspiration for service to each of the great number of students who may enter its doors.”

Indeed, the old building has “served well its purpose” and been an “inspiration for service to the great number of students who entered its doors.”  May the new building going up do the same for the students it serves over the next decades! 



The Roscoe Plowboys basketball team lost to the Moguls in Munday Friday night 68-42, killing their chances for making the playoffs and ending their season at 13-12 overall and 5-5 in district play.



When last week’s issue of this blog was posted, Roscoe was experiencing single-digit temperatures and below-zero wind chills, and now we’ve just had two of the prettiest days you could ask for with sunny skies, light breezes, and temperatures in the seventies and even low eighties.  The forecast for today, tomorrow, and the next few days is for more of the same with highs around 80°F.  Maybe the groundhog was right this year and winter really is over. 
But that’s the good news.  The bad news is that there has been practically no precipitation around here since the beginning of the year, and unfortunately there is none in sight.  Some wheat planted in November still has yet to come up, and if the area doesn’t start getting rain soon, prospects for a decent cotton crop this year won’t be good.  The price of cotton is higher now than it’s ever been and should remain that way, but it won’t make any difference if our farmers can’t make a crop.  So, come on, rain! 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Intense Cold Punishes Area

The results of a broken hot water line in my ceiling.
The coldest weather in more than a generation has left in its wake a multitude of broken water pipes and related disasters in Roscoe and the surrounding area.  At least half the people I’ve talked to in the past few days have related some tale of woe concerning their problems with ice and broken water lines, and the impact of the storm has been readily apparent in such places as A-1 Wholesale Plumbing Supply in Sweetwater.  Normally open only M-F, it opened its doors on Saturday to long lines of people with broken pipes and fixtures in their hands looking for replacements. 

Plumbers worked overtime to make repairs before the next cold spell hit, which unfortunately happened to be last night as the temperature plummeted again for the second time in a week.  At 5:00 yesterday afternoon, it was 66°F, but by 11:30 last night, only six and a half hours later, it had fallen over fifty degrees to 15°F with high winds.  There were below-zero wind chill temperatures throughout the night, and by morning it was down to 9°F.  Like others here, I’ve got my fingers crossed that the recent repairs were good ones and the water lines make it through this latest spell without breaking.

I wish I could say I’ve been spared so far, but I haven’t.  Last Thursday evening at about midnight a ¾” hot water line in the ceiling directly over the Roscoe Hard Times “office” (i.e., my computer hutch with computer, printer, scanner, router, etc.) suddenly burst, shooting out a steady stream of water and causing a big chunk of the ceiling to collapse and fall to the floor, covering everything below with broken sheetrock, wet insulation, and water. 

At the water heater, the shutoff valve to the hot water line was stuck from years of nonuse, and an attempt to open it only caused the handle to break, so a considerable amount of water poured onto the carpet before I managed  to turn off the water at the meter outside.  The resulting mess was too shocking for me to put on this family blog (actually, taking pictures was the last thing on my mind at the time), but I can assure you it wasn’t a pretty sight. 

Unsurprisingly, the scanner and keyboard were ruined by water, falling sheetrock, and wet insulation, but the computer miraculously still works—although without sound from either the speakers or the headphones.  And, even though sound is not necessary for most computer operations, it is needed for creating YouTube videos, such as the ones I have posted on this blog and elsewhere, so I will have to fix the problem soon or get another computer. 

On the bright side, the gaping hole in my ceiling has been replaced with new sheetrock, and a new hot water line now runs under the floor rather than above the ceiling.  Like many other people around here, I’ve got my fingers crossed that these latest repairs will hold, that this frigid weather will end, and that life will soon return to normal.  



After winning two of three basketball games this past week, the Roscoe Plowboys can secure a place in the playoffs with a win over the Moguls in Munday this Friday.

The Plowboys beat the Pied Pipers 34-30 in Hamlin last Friday as Caden Smith led the way with 17 points while Cody Graham got 10.  Then on Saturday they hammered Rotan 59-24 in a game made up from the one postponed last Tuesday because of the bad weather.  Smith again was high scorer for the Plowboys with 21 points, and Cody Graham got 20.

Last night the Plowboys lost at home to first-place Stamford (9-0) 63-51 with Smith scoring 25 points and Graham 12.  Roscoe is now 13-11 for the year and 5-4 in district play.  Munday is also 5-4 after beating Haskell on Saturday, so the winner of Friday’s game will secure the final playoff spot with a 6-4 record. 

The Plowgirls had another rough week, losing to Hamlin 57-27 on Friday and to Rotan 46-38 on Saturday.  Last night they played well against the Stamford girls but fell just short, losing 39-37.  Against Hamlin, Lindsey Williams, Kim Norris, and Faith Boren all scored 6 points, and against Rotan Williams had 13 and Norris 8.  Jacinda Morales was the Plowgirls’ high scorer against Stamford with 10, while Williams had 9.    

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wintry Blast Hits Roscoe

My back yard at dawn with a temperature of 6°F and a below-zero wind chill.
Roscoe finally got its first snow of the year on Monday night.  After a couple of relatively balmy days on Sunday and Monday in which the afternoon temperatures were in the mid-seventies on Sunday and mid-sixties on Monday, a winter storm, preceded by high gusty winds, blew in from the northwest with sleet, snow, thunder, lightning, and steadily falling temperatures, dropping fifty degrees in fifteen hours.  By Tuesday morning it was down to 15°F with a sharp north wind and by this morning was down to 6°F with a wind chill of -12°F. 

Roscoe schools were closed as kids saw their first two snow days of the year, and I-20 had more than its share of jack-knifed trucks and vehicles in the ditch. Up until this storm, Roscoe had been lucky this winter, missing most of the bad weather that has hit other parts of the nation, but this front has hit Texas hard, just as it has about two-thirds of the rest of the country.  



The Plowboys lost big to the Indians in Haskell last Friday night after almost beating them in Roscoe a couple of weeks ago.  This game was no contest, though, with Haskell ahead 22-12 at the half.  Caden Smith had 13 points and Devan Cole 7 to lead the Plowboys, who are now 3-3 in district play.

The Plowgirls also had a rough night, losing to the Maidens 42-26.  Lynnsi Moses and Carolina Perez had 7 points each for the Plowgirls, who are now 1-6 in the district. 

Last night’s scheduled games with Rotan were postponed due to the cold weather and bad roads.  



Some of you may have figured out by now that for the past couple of months I have fallen into a pattern of posting new issues of the Hard Times sometime on Wednesday mornings, and I’d planned to do the same today, but just as I sat down to the computer at 8:20 this morning the electricity went out all over Roscoe, and it didn’t come back on until after 10:30, disrupting my morning and my plans of writing for the blog.  

Unfortunately, I also discovered that I don’t have hot water, so the cold here is definitely a problem, and, like everyone else around here, I’m looking forward to the thaw and some warmer weather.  According to the weather forecast, however, we’re going to have to wait until Friday afternoon before we see anything above 32°F.

Last week I posted a link to the photos of the new classrooms and other renovations at the school.  If for some reason you missed them or want to access them again, you can do so by clicking here

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