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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Friday, June 29, 2012

Economic Development Board Approves Support of New Liquor Store

The Rockin' S Cantina will be located on this lot just west of the Shell station in south Roscoe.
At its last meeting, the City of Roscoe's Economic Development Board, also known as the A Board, approved a proposal to support a new liquor store projected to open in south Roscoe shortly before the annual Wind Festival in October.

The establishment, known as the Rockin’ S Cantina, will be run by Jason and Tarrah Stuart and will be located on the lot just west of the Chillerz Shell station on the access road to I-20 West. 

It will be housed in a metal building with a drive-thru facing I-20 and will be a combination liquor store and gift shop.  The Stuarts say they have already spoken to some local residents about providing homemade canned goods, art work, and other items for sale there. 

They hope to create a hometown atmosphere and provide as many as five part-time jobs for local residents.  



Music for the street dance will be provided by country music star Curtis Potter.
The Plowboy Mudbog will be only one of the attractions for Roscoe’s annual Independence Day Celebration next Saturday.  In addition, there will be a parade down Broadway starting at 10:00am, street vendors on Broadway and Cypress all afternoon and evening, live music and a street dance on the stage between the Roscoe State Bank and Old Town Park—and, of course, a spectacular fireworks show.

There will also be plenty of entertainment for the kids as there will be three kinds of bounce houses to keep them busy—one for ages 3-5, a larger one for ages 5-12, and yet another, a twenty-foot slide, for ages 12 and up.

This year’s live music will be provided by country music star Curtis Potter.  More information about him can be found by clicking here

Complete details about the celebration will be provided in next week’s Roscoe Hard Times—but make plans now to attend.  You don’t want to miss it.



Organizers of this year’s Independence Day Plowboy Mudbog expect it to be the biggest and best yet as some of the most well known mud boggers in the region are planning to compete here. 

This will include for the first time “Bug Nasty” and “Headhunter” from Hobbs, New Mexico, as well as contestants from Amarillo, Odessa, Ballinger, Colorado City, Roscoe, and elsewhere. 

The mud track, just beyond right field of the baseball park, will be 200 feet long and go from two-feet deep to four-feet deep in good ol’ squishy Roscoe blackland mud.  Winners are those that go the farthest before coming to a halt. 

Entries will be in five classes:

1.    Street: 35” tires and under with limited engine modification
2.    Super Street: 35” with engine vac under 13”
3.    Modified: 36” to 39” with limited engine modification
4.    Super Modified: 36” to 39” with engine vac under 13”
5.    Open: 40” and over.  

Since there’s an advantage in going last rather than first, each truck takes two runs, with the second run in reverse order from the first. 

The registration fee for entries is $30 with the winners of each class taking the fees as prize money.

Registration begins at 11:00am on Saturday in front of the baseball field at Second and Sycamore Streets. The public gate will open at 11:00am.  Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for kids from 8 to 14.  Children 7 and under are free.  All proceeds go to benefit the Roscoe baseball little league and the Roscoe FFA. 

For more information, contact Felix Pantoja at 325-514-8384 or David Pantoja at 325-280-1917.



This is the kind of view of Hawaii you'd expect to see, except that those trees out on the point are mesquites.

For those of you who are interested, my trip to Hawaii was a nice break from the west Texas heat.  One of my daughters was there house-sitting for a friend who was on a month-long vacation to Canada.  I’d never been to Hawaii, so when she invited me out and told me her friend was happy to let me stay at her house, I felt that I should take advantage of the opportunity.

I spent my entire time there on the biggest island, Hawai’i, which is the size of Connecticut and Rhode Island combined.  It has three major mountains on it, all volcanoes, many unusual sights, and miles and miles of beaches and shoreline.  The island has a wet side and a dry side, and each has its own characteristics. 

The wet side is lush and tropical with more weird and unusual plants than I’ve ever seen in one place.  The dry side, which averages only ten to twenty inches of rainfall a year, is in some ways unique and in others surprisingly familiar for someone from west Texas.

My biggest surprise was in discovering that large parts of the dry side of the island are covered with—get this—mesquite trees!  No, I am not making this up and am posting photographs to prove it. 

One day my daughter said we should go to Kiholo Bay Beach, which is a great place for swimming and also where big wild sea turtles come to shore to sun on the rocks.  The beach is public, but to keep it from being overrun by tourists, the locals purposely post no signs to it and have blocked off road access so that the only way to get to it is to park at an unmarked spot near the road and then hike down a mile or so through the woods—which is what we did.

On the hike down, I was struck by how much the landscape resembled west Texas—and how much the trees were like mesquites.  Then I looked more closely at one and noticed that it had beans hanging from it as well as the characteristic mesquite leaves, thorns, and limbs.  I then realized the whole countryside was covered with what were unmistakably mesquite trees and that the wild goats we encountered there are living on mesquite beans.

I was mystified by this discovery until later on when we did some research on the computer and found out that in 1828, a South American priest, Father Bachelot, the head of the first Catholic mission to Hawaii, planted a mesquite tree on the grounds of the mission, and all the mesquite trees in Hawaii have descended from that single original tree.

The priest introduced them to control soil erosion, but they quickly spread and are now a permanent fixture in the dry areas.  In Hawaii they are called kiawe trees, and their wood is prized for barbecue, just like it is here. I tasted one of the mesquite beans, and they taste as you would expect but without the bitterness you find in the local mesquite beans. 

My image of Hawaii will never be the same after discovering how common they are there. 

Photos of my trip are available for viewing by clicking here.  



I don’t know what it was like before Tuesday because I wasn’t here, but the temperatures have hit triple digits every day since then with Tuesday at 105°F, Wednesday at 106°, and yesterday about the same. 

The forecast for today is for a high of 99° and tomorrow 98° with Sunday in the mid-nineties.  There is no rain in the forecast.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

No Roscoe Hard Times this week.

There will be no issue of the Roscoe Hard Times this week as ye olde editor is in Hawaii.  I will return on June 25.  Aloha!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Asleep at the Wheel to Play Here Friday Night

Roscoe’s growing reputation as the music Mecca of West Texas will advance to another level Friday night when nine-time Grammy Award winners Asleep at the Wheel perform on the outdoor stage of the Lumberyard.

Led by Ray Benson, who also hosts the television series Texas Music Scene, the group has been a fixture of Texas music since the seventies, appearing on Austin City Limits a record ten times.  They have been named the Best Country Music Band by Rolling Stone magazine, toured Europe, and appeared in the movies Roadie and Wild Texas Wind.

The group starred in the musical A Ride with Bob, about Bob Wills, which played to standing-room-only houses in Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas, and won a regional Emmy Award.  When it played at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, it was attended by President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush. 

In fact, the group would have played in the White House but never made it because they were scheduled for the fateful September 11, 2001.

In 2007, they practically swept the Austin Music Awards, winning Band of the Year, Songwriter of the Year (Benson), Country Band of the Year, Record Producer of the Year (Benson), Male Vocals of the Year (Benson) and Acoustic Guitar Player of the Year (McQueen).

In 2009, they collaborated with Willie Nelson to produce the album "Willie and the Wheel," which has several western swing classics.  It was nominated for a 2010 Grammy Award for Best Americana Album. 

They are members of the Texas Music Hall of Fame and have received numerous other major awards. 

The recent appearance of the Bellamy Brothers at the Lumberyard drew a crowd of over seven hundred people, and a similarly sized crowd, if not more, is expected Friday night.

The cover charge will be $12, and the show begins at 9:00pm. 



Top of the Heap: The Roscoe Padres (Padres photos courtesy of Lus Pantoja.)

The Roscoe Padres are the Freshman League Champions of the Colorado City Baseball League and will go on to the district playoffs in Hawley in July.  Exact dates and opponents have not yet been set, but the games will be during the week of July 9th.

The Padres’ last week of the regular season was an exciting one.  They entered it in first place with only a single loss to the Colorado City Reds.  But then they lost to the Colorado City A’s and were thrown into a three-way tie with the Reds and A’s. 

The next game against the Reds was a gimme, since only eight of their players showed up and they were forced to forfeit, taking them out of contention.  That left only the A’s and the Padres, so everything came down to the final game between the two teams.

The A’s jumped out to an early lead and by the third inning had a six-run lead over the Padres.  But the Padres battled back and tied the A’s in the final inning, throwing the game into extra innings—which they went on to win by a single run to become the league champs.

Later, in a game played to determine second place, the A’s held off the Reds and will also advance to the district playoffs.

The Padres players are Clemente Aguayo, Gage Braden, Sean Cuellar, Francisco Garcia, Diego Garza, Derrick Hudson, Jose Ortega, Paul Pantoja, Adrian Rangel, Zack Rangel, Ethan Scott, Konner Turney, Jazmine Alvarez, and Jovana Peña (the only two girls to play in the league). 
Padres Coaches are Edward Garcia and David Pantoja—and thanks are due to proud mom Lus Pantoja, who provided me with all this information. 



Cotton planting has been going on around Roscoe for the past couple of weeks and is 80% to 90% complete in most places.  

Despite washout from recent rains necessitating some replanting around Champion, the area crop seems to be off to a promising start with good stands and healthy young plants. 



The City of Roscoe hopes to make this year’s Independence Day parade the best ever and is asking for your help in making it a success.  The parade, which begins at 10:00am on Saturday, July 7, will kick off a day of celebration full of fun and activities culminating in live music, a street dance, and a fireworks show. Line-up for the parade will be on W. Broadway at 9:30am, and judging will be at 9:45am. 

Parade organizers are looking for creativity and variety.  Float awards will be presented to best overall, best western, and most patriotic, and prizes will also be awarded for the best bicycles, antique vehicles, motorcycles, semis, and farm implements.   

For more information, call Valerie Pruitt at 325-338-4666.



After a week of unseasonably mild temperatures, the weekend heated up with Saturday’s high in the upper nineties and Sunday topping out at a torrid 104°F.  At midnight that night, it was still 87°F.

Monday’s similar heat produced an afternoon thundercloud that cooled things off and brought the double rainbow pictured at the top left as well as strong wind gusts, but no more than a sprinkle as far as precipitation was concerned. 

The forecast is for a 30% chance of rain tonight but no more after that.  Temperatures the rest of the week should be typical for this time of year with highs in the low nineties and lows in the low seventies.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

No Roscoe Hard Times this week

There will be no regular issue of the Roscoe Hard Times this week due to a death in the family.



Funeral services for Laura Fay Duncan, 105, will be held on Wednesday morning at 10:00am at the First United Methodist Church in Roscoe, followed by interment in the Roscoe cemetery.  There will be a visitation on Tuesday evening, 6:30-8:30 at McCoy’s Funeral Home in Sweetwater.   Mrs. Duncan passed away on Saturday, June 2, 2012, at Sweetwater Healthcare Center.

Laura Fay Wilson was born in Cisco, Texas, on May 7, 1907, and graduated from Cisco High School in 1924.  In 1928, she graduated with a B. A. in English from Texas Woman’s College in Fort Worth and that fall began her teaching career at Divide, where she taught for two years.

In 1930, she moved to Roscoe, where she was the high school English teacher until 1939.  The seniors of 1939 dedicated the annual to her, and that same year she retired from teaching and married Everett Duncan, who remained her husband until his death in 1978.  In 1941, she completed her M. A. at Hardin-Simmons University.  She had three sons: Joe, Edwin, and David, and spent the forties and fifties raising them.

As long as she was able, she was active in church and community and for many years was well known as a public speaker who gave talks to women’s clubs and organizations all over the big country.  An artist, she also taught art classes and worked with ceramics, and over the years made too many quilts to count.  One of her paintings of a desert flower is in a museum in Arizona.  

A lifelong Methodist, she had been a member of the Roscoe congregation since 1930 and taught Sunday School there for over seventy years.  

She lived at home until she was 100 but had been at the Sweetwater Healthcare Center since November 2007. 

This past month was proclaimed “Laura Fay Duncan Month” in Roscoe by the Mayor and City Council, and in 2007 she received a similar honor and was Grand Marshal of Roscoe’s July 4 parade.

She is survived by three sons: Joe and wife Tove of Lillesand, Norway; Edwin of Roscoe, and David and wife Rebecca of Roscoe; eight grandchildren: Hans, Erik, and Heidi, all of  Norway; Vanya of Denver, Colorado; Mary Grace and Laurie of Atlanta, Georgia; Karsten of Sacramento, California, and Katherine of Houston; and six great-grandchildren.   

Pall bearers will be Lonnie Orman, Landon Orman, Pete Porter, Billy Joe Jay, Kenny Landfried, Gary Pieper.  Honorary pall bearers are Arlon Wayne Orman, Harold Duvall, and Darrell Aljoe.


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