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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Memorial Planned for George Parks

George Parks with a group of boys on a trip to New Mexico in the 1940s.
George Parks spent his life working for the good of Roscoe and, although he has been gone for almost thirty years, he is still remembered by many as a teacher, mentor, and friend who changed their lives for the better. 

Now, several former Boys Club members are working to honor his memory with a monument to be placed in Memorial Park. 

The monument will be made by Sterling Monument of Eastland, the same company that made the veteran’s memorial now in Memorial Park, across from the museum.  It will be gray granite, 32” tall, 22” wide, and 6” thick and will have a 5” x 7” porcelain photo of George above the engraved words George Parks.  Just below that will be an 18” x 18” bronze plaque with the words in the left-hand column.

The completed monument will cost $3100, which will be raised through donations. 

This is where we need your help.  If you are one of those whose life has been enriched by George Parks, this is your chance to honor his memory by contributing to the purchase of the monument.
About a third of the required amount has already been raised, but we still need the rest and hope to raise it before the end of August.  

You can drop off your donation at the Roscoe State Bank, or you can mail it to the George Parks Memorial Fund, Roscoe State Bank, P. O. Box 609, Roscoe, Texas 79545.  Make checks payable to the George Parks Memorial Fund. 



Staff Sergeant McBride stands in front of his truck in Baghdad's "Green Zone."
Roscoe City Councilman Robert McBride is the subject of an interview now available on the “Voices of Veterans” website, a program of the Texas Veterans Land Board that records the stories of Texas veterans. 

The audio interview lasts for sixty-six minutes and covers McBride’s military odyssey from boot camp to jump school, deployment overseas, and action in Desert Storm, the first Iraq war.  It then continues with his return to the States, his subsequent experiences as a drill sergeant, and his re-deployment to Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom, or the second Iraq war, where he was awarded the Silver Star for heroism.  Finally, he recounts his return home, retirement from the Army after over twenty years service, and his eventual employment in his current position as Nolan County’s Veteran Service Officer. 

The interview is illuminating, interesting, and straightforward.  McBride answers the interviewer’s questions concisely and to the point without getting bogged down in details or digressions.  I recommend it to everyone but especially to young people who are contemplating military service as a career.

The interview is available at

The Voices of Veterans’ motto is “every veteran has a story to tell,” and they want to hear from other veterans interested in telling their stories.  They can be reached at 1-800-252-VETS (8387) or by e-mail at  Oral history interviews can be conducted in person in Austin or by telephone from anywhere in Texas.  Interviews usually last from one to two hours.



Barrett Beal pitching for the Cubs.
Although the Freshman Division Roscoe Padres were eliminated from contention in the district playoffs at Hawley two weeks ago, two Roscoe players are still involved in the Midget Division and have a chance of becoming members of a state champion team. 

They are Zeke Murphy, son of Billy and Melissa Murphy, and Barrett Beal, son of Christi Pepper Beal.  Both were picked up by the Colorado City Cubs for the playoffs.

The Cubs won the District Tournament in Winters by defeating Winters 5-4, the Ballinger Rangers 18-4, and the Winters Brewers twice, 8-4 the first game and then 15-3 in the Championship game.

They then advanced to the State Tournament in Eastland, where they are currently playing.  On Monday night they lost to DeLeon 11-1 but bounced back last night with a win over Hawley 20-14. 

Today at 6:00pm they play the same Winters Brewers they beat in the district championship game.  We wish them the best of luck.



Two Odessans were killed and three more injured in a one-vehicle rollover early Friday afternoon on I-20 between Roscoe and Sweetwater.  All five were from the same family.  

According to the Texas Department of Public Safety, at 12:45pm the driver, Kimberly Guynn, 57, traveling east, started to take the Highway 170 exit (that goes to Avenger Field) but then went back to the highway.  In the process, she overcorrected, and the vehicle rolled toward the outside lane.

Ronnie Troutz, 65, was pronounced dead at the scene, while Kaysie Guynn, 28, died at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital an hour later.

Kimberly Guynn was taken to Rolling Plains with neck injuries, while Ethan Guynn, 6, and Meta Troutz, 86, went to Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene with head and neck injuries respectively. 

Everyone in the vehicle was wearing a seat belt.

Eastbound traffic on I-20 and on US 84 was backed up as far as Roscoe for over three hours.



Johnny Rodriguez at the Lumberyard.
Parking places were hard to find downtown on Saturday night as a crowd of over a thousand people was on hand to see country music great Johnny Rodriguez sing on the outdoor stage of the Lumberyard.

To view a video clip of his performance, click here.

The Lumberyard is preparing for an even larger crowd when Mel Tillis comes to town on August 17.



Felix Abrigo, 47, a bus driver and custodian for the Roscoe Independent School District for the past fifteen years, pled guilty to second degree sexual assault last Tuesday in 32nd Judicial District Court.  The assault was on an adult woman last June and was unrelated to Abrigo’s job at school.

Abrigo received ten years’ probation and will have to register as a sex offender, pay a $5000 fine plus $743 in court costs, and serve 240 hours of community service.  He will also lose his job with the school since employing felons is against district policy.



The area experienced another week of typical July weather with highs in the upper nineties or low one hundreds and lows in the low to mid-seventies.  On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday the hot weather  produced afternoon clouds that led to a few scattered showers here and there but nothing of any consequence. 

The forecast is for more of the same with a 20% chance of afternoon showers.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Country Music Star Johnny Rodriguez to Play Here on Saturday

Johnny Rodriguez
Country music great Johnny Rodriguez is the latest big name to bring his act to Roscoe.  He and his band will be performing on the outdoor stage of the Lumberyard this Saturday night, starting at about 9:20pm.  

His former number one hits on the country chart include “You Always Come Back to Hurting Me,” “Ridin’ My Thumb to Mexico,” “I Just Can’t Get Her Out of My Mind,” “Just Get Up and Close the Door,” and “Love Put a Song in My Heart.”

He was inducted into the Texas Country Music Hall of Fame in 2007 and this year has released a new album, “Johnny Rodriguez: Live from Texas.”

The cover charge will be $10.   A large crowd is expected. 



Padres batter hits the ball in game against the Hawley Orioles.
After winning their league championship, the Roscoe Padres went to the playoffs with high hopes but were eliminated with back-to-back losses last week.  On a very hot day they played their first game against the Hawley Orioles and went into the final inning with a one-run lead but were unable to hold it and wound up losing by a score of 12-11.

They then had to play the second game against the Colorado City A’s immediately following the Hawley game, and one Padre starter was unable to start because he was overcome by the heat.  Before the game was over, another player had to come out, also due to the heat.  The A’s went on to win the game, and the Padres' season was over.

Nevertheless, they had a great run while it lasted.  Congratulations to the Padres for a fine season!



A one-vehicle crash near Wastella on US 84 and FM 1982 last Wednesday claimed the life of one man and injured another.  Frederick Barry Littlefield, 56, a mover from Dothan, Alabama, died on Sunday night at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene after hanging on for four days.  David Lee Jackson, 49, a truck driver, was injured and taken to Rolling Plains Hospital in Sweetwater, where he was treated and released.

Jackson was traveling northwest on US 84 and was attempting to change lanes in a curve when he lost control and skidded sideways into the center median, causing his 2005 International truck to overturn. 

Neither Jackson nor Littlefield was wearing a seat belt. 


According to City Manager Cody Thompson, the current schedule for the new reverse-osmosis water treatment plant to be built on West Broadway has been moved back slightly. 

The word now is that the plans and specifications should be delivered by September.  Then, thirty to sixty days will be allotted for City and State review.  Bids should go out by mid-November and be awarded by mid-December.  Construction should then begin in January and go on for approximately eight months, meaning that the Water Treatment Plant should be online by September or October of next year.

Water line improvements will also be made and take from three to five months to complete.  Part of the improvements will be a new SCADA (Supervisory Control and Data Analysis) system, which monitors the water system and eliminates fluctuations in water pressure.

The new water treatment plant and water line improvements are possible because of a $1, 725,000 award from the Texas Water Development Board.

Bids for a new lift station for sewage for the north side of Roscoe will also go out in September.  The north side is currently served by an older lift station too small for expansion.  The new one will allow for further development of the area.


The area experienced typical July weather for another week.  Highs were generally in the mid to upper nineties with lows in the low seventies.  Monday was cloudy most of the day and considerably cooler, and at times the sky looked promising, but once again there was no moisture. 

The outlook for the next few days is for more of the same—sunny skies, highs in the mid nineties and lows in the seventies.  There is no rain in the forecast.   

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Independence Day Celebration an All-Day Crowd Pleaser

A rainbow graces the downtown sky at Saturday's celebration.
A large crowd of local folks and visitors filled the streets of Roscoe all day long on Saturday as the city celebrated Independence Day with a parade, street vendors, inflatables for the kids, a Plowboy Mudbog, and a street dance with live music followed by the traditional fireworks show.  Events filled the hot summer day from morning to night.

(Video 1 - The parade and kids playing on the inflatables.)

The day kicked off with a big parade down Broadway at ten o’clock with a wide variety of floats, vehicles, and participants.  This year’s Parade Marshals were Johnny and Billie Martin, Betty Sasin, Frank Young, and Doyle Sanders.  Parade Judges were Mayor Pete Porter and Vershal Smith. 

The parade’s prize winners for the listed categories were as follows:

     Antique Car - Red Sportster
     Western Float - Kristie Martin (Loraine)
     Bicycle - Nate Bennett
     Patriotic Float - American Legion Ladies Auxiliary
     Mud Bog Truck - No Mojo
     Overall Float - the Barrel Train
     ATV's & Motorcycles - Gator with Flags
     Farm Implement - Chris Hagerman’s John Deere Tractor

Donating to the prize winners’ gift bags were the following businesses and organizations: Vickie’s Gifts, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Hagerman’s Auto, Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department, Compass Hospice of Big Spring, and the Plowboy Mudbog Association.

Parade organizer Valerie Pruitt extends special thanks to marshal drivers Shorie Henderson, Patty McBride, and Doyle Sanders and to Zela and Staci Armstrong for their help with the parade.  

The Sweetwater Reporter ran an article and full-page pictorial on the Roscoe parade in its Monday edition.

The Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department held a raffle for a very nice homemade barbecue pit, and the winner was someone from San Angelo. 

A variety of food, arts and crafts, and other vendors were on hand selling their wares, and the inflatables in Memorial Park were enjoyed by kids of various age groups.

(Video 2 - The Plowboy Mudbog with clips of selected entries.)

Participation and attendance at the Plowboy Mudbog exceeded all expectations.  A crowd of about a thousand braved the summer heat to see some of the best mud vehicles and drivers in this region attempt to successfully navigate the Roscoe blackland mud, and a record 57 contestants in five different classes extended the time of the event from noon to late in the afternoon. 

The open class was a special treat as a few of its drivers made it all the way through the course without bogging down, and monster machines like No Mojo, Bug Nasty, and Head Hunter were real crowd pleasers.

Here are the Plowboy Mudbog first-place prize winners:

     CLASS                  VEHICLE                 (OWNER/DRIVER)
     Street Class         Blue Jeep                  (Harley Rich)
     Super Street        Black/Blue Chevy   (Marcelo Martinez)
     Modified               Black Blazer             (Glenn Owens)
     Super Modified    Jeep                          (Arden Alvarez)
     Open                     Head Hunter            (Charley Rich)

Abilene Reporter-News reporters and photographers were on hand to record the event, and on Sunday the paper published an article about it, which you can access by clicking here.

The Big Country website also features a video on Roscoe's celebration, which is accessible here.

(Video 3 - Greg Maldo & Band, Curtis Potter & Band, Fireworks)

Starting at six o’clock, live music filled the air from a stage set up between the Roscoe State Bank and Old Town Park as couples danced in the street.  Greg Maldo & Band from Lubbock opened for Big Country music star Curtis Potter, who brought along special guest Justin Trevino. 

A crowd estimated at somewhere between 2500 and 3000 was on hand that evening for the live music and the fireworks show that followed. 

As usual, the event organizers did an excellent job and deserve the thanks of everyone who attended the activities and enjoyed the day.



On Sunday night it rained.  It was welcomed everywhere as it came at an opportune time, but almost everyone I talked to would greatly appreciate more. 

Amounts varied according to location.  Here in town, most folks got about a half-inch.  I had .65” in my rain guage, the City Shop on Pecan Street had .75”, Kenny Landfried on the east side got .42”, and Lyndall Underwood on the west side got about the same.

Heavier rains fell west and southwest of town with 1.85” at Brownlee, 1.8” at Champion, two inches at Daylon Althof’s, and 1.65” at David Duncan’s three miles west of town.  Kenny Landfried reported 2.5” on his farm near Cottonwood Creek.  

North of town generally got less than an inch and in some cases much less. Area farms in Fisher County got little or nothing. 

Farmers are hoping for more as the chance of rain is still in the forecast today and tomorrow.



Services for Charles D. Richburg, 79, are being held at 10:00am this morning at the First United Methodist Church in Roscoe followed by interment in the Roscoe Cemetery.  He died on Saturday, July 7, at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.

Mr. Richburg was born in Loraine on May 11, 1933, and married Peggy Dunn on December 30, 1955, in Hart.  He was a member of the Lions Club and the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department as well as the First United Methodist Church, where he was an administrator for the Sunday School.  He served in the United States Army during the Korean war.

He is survived by his sons Lance Richburg and Doug Richburg, both of Sweetwater; daughter Billye Sue Richburg Hughes of Roscoe; sisters Cindy Wilson of Fredericksburg and Margaret Vaughn of Abilene; grandchildren Heather Schriber; Tommy, B. J., and Allie Hughes; Rachel, Dylan, Kaci, Emily, and Molly Richburg; and Kyndal and Corbin Knapp; nine great-grandchildren; and girlfriend Carol Greenway.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Peggy Richburg; and brothers Don Richburg and Jerry Richburg.

Pallbearers will be B. J. Hughes, Tommy Hughes, James Parrott, Allen Richburg, Charles Wilson, and Donnie Horne.


Holy Mass of Christian Burial will be held for Delman M. Pieper, 92, at 10:00am tomorrow, July 12, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church followed by interment in the Roscoe Cemetery.  Mr. Pieper passed away on Monday at the Sweetwater Healthcare Center.

He was born on February 19, 1920, in Oglesby, Texas, and graduated from Pyron High School in 1938.  He then attended Texas Tech for one year and, later, attended Anderson Aircraft School near Burbank, California, where he completed a certificate for aircraft construction.  He was employed in that field for two years by Lockheed Aircraft before returning home and then working for the Army Air Corps in Roswell, NM, as a civil servant.  In 1945 he married Edith Brom, and they moved to Wastella, where he then farmed until 1985. 

A member of Holy Family Catholic Church, he served on several local boards including the Roscoe School Board, Inadale Co-op Gin, Rolling Plains Compress, and Nolan County Farm Bureau.

He is survived by his wife, Edith Pieper of Sweetwater; daughter Janice Tiemann and husband Harold of Yorktown; son Gary Pieper and wife Frances of Roscoe; grandchildren Christopher Pieper and Amy Webb; Jacob, Melody, and Nathan Tiemann; and two great grandchildren; three brothers, Arnold Lee Pieper of Loraine, Carl Pieper of Clyde, and Travis Pieper of Odessa; and two sisters, Velma Nader of Fort Worth and Jewel Harris of Borger.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Samuel and Myrtle Pieper, sister Orene Cummings, and brothers Barnett Pieper, Arnold Pieper, and Robert Duane Pieper.



Services for Chelsea Ann Fullwood, 17, of Dayton, Texas, will be at 2:00pm Saturday, July 14, at the Roscoe Church of Christ followed by interment in the Roscoe Cemetery.  She died on Friday, July 6, in Liberty, Texas.

She was born November 19, 1994, in Abilene to Gary Lynn and Tracy Ann Fullwood, and had lived in the Colorado City and Dayton areas the past few years.

She is survived by her mother and stepfather, Tracy and Russell Antonucci of Dayton; her father and stepmother, Gary and Anita Fullwood of Big Spring; her brother, Jarrett Fullwood of Dayton; stepbrothers and sisters Matthew Eric Arellano, Adrian Lee Arellano, Felicia Monique Arellano, Adriana Jolene Martinez and Mia Preseas Silva; grandparents Ted and Peggy Kimbrell, Jesse and Patty Fullwood, and Russell and Joanne Antonucci, as well as numerous other relatives and close friends. 


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

City Prepares for Independence Day Celebration on Saturday

City workers hang a Welcome to Roscoe banner on Broadway in anticipation of Saturday's festivities.
Happy July the 4th!  Final preparations are underway for Saturday’s big Independence Day Celebration, and the event’s organizers are planning a day to remember. 

The day will begin with a parade down Broadway at ten o’clock, followed by the Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field, with the gates opening at eleven and the event beginning at twelve.  

After the parade, street vendors will open and be selling food and other wares along  Broadway and Cypress, and bounce houses will be available for the kids in Old Town Park across from the bank. 

Music will begin “on the bricks” of Cypress next to the bank at six o’clock with Greg Maldo, followed at eight by country music star Curtis Potter.  Shortly after dark, there will be the fireworks show followed by more music. 

See below for more details about the various events of the day.

Parade organizers invite your participation.  They 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.  

The parade will start at 10:00am.  Line-up will be on W. Broadway at 9:30am, and judging will be at 9:45am.  

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


As always, several food booths along with arts and crafts vendors will open on Broadway and Cypress after the parade and remain open for the rest of the day.  

Bounce houses and other inflatables will also be available for the kids.  This year’s selection has something for children of all age groups—a 45-foot obstacle castle, a deluxe combo bounce house with slide, a jousting arena, and a giant 18-foot slide. 


 This year’s Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field will feature two of the best known mudboggers in the region with the appearance of Bug Nasty and Head Hunter, both of Hobbs, New Mexico.  There will also be contestants from Amarillo, Odessa, Ballinger, Colorado City, Roscoe, and elsewhere, so the competition should be fierce. 

Entries will be divided into five classes.  See last week’s Hard Times for details. The public gate will open at 11:00am with the mudbog beginning at noon.  Admission is $5 for adults and $2 for kids from 8 to 14.  Children 7 and under are free.  Proceeds will benefit the Roscoe baseball little league, and the Roscoe FFA will run the concession booth. 

There will also be a Plowboy Mudbog “Dash for Cash,” an entertaining event featuring kids running through knee-deep mud.

For more information, see the Plowboy Mudbog Facebook page, or contact Felix Pantoja at 325-514-8384 or David Pantoja at 325-280-1917.


Curtis Potter
The music stage will be set up on Cypress Street between the Roscoe State Bank and Old Town Park.  Greg Maldo from Lubbock will open the show at around six o’clock.  (You can listen to his song “Anymore” by clicking here).

He will be followed at eight o’clock by this year’s feature performer, Curtis Potter. 

Curtis Potter has been performing all his life.  Born in Cross Plains, he was a regular on the old Slim Willet Show on KRBC-TV in the early days of west Texas television and went on to become a star in Nashville and in Texas.  His first major hit was “You Comb Her Hair Every Morning” (click to listen), and he went on to perform several others, such as “Walkin’, Talkin’, Breathin’ Case of Sorrow.” 

In 1984, he helped form Step One Records in Nashville, which went on to become the largest independent label in the world.  In 1995, he and Willie Nelson had a number one video in “Turn Me Loose and Let Me Swing,” taken from the album “Six Hours at the Pedernales” teaming Potter with Willie Nelson. 

Since 2005, he’s released three albums, “Them Old Honky Tonks,” “Chicago Dancing Girls,” and “Down in Texas Today,” all on the Heart of Texas label.


This year’s fireworks show, organized by City Councilman Robert McBride, will, as always, be a memorable event that fittingly tops off the day.

So, if you're in the area, make plans to attend, and help us celebrate the country’s independence on Saturday!



The entire past week has been typical summer west Texas weather—hot and dry.  Today should be no different—sunny with highs in the mid-nineties and south winds 15-20mph. 
The rest of the week will be similar with sunny skies, highs in the mid to upper nineties and lows in the seventies.  There is no rain in the forecast.

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