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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year!


As we move into the new year, this is a good time to take a look back at 2014 and review the year’s major happenings in and around the City of Roscoe.   

Texas Tech's Masked Rider at the July 4th Parade.
The first events that immediately spring to mind are the three City-sponsored festivals, which over the past few years have become a community tradition: the Spring Fling in April, the Independence Day Celebration on or around July 4, and the West Texas Wind Festival in October.  Another festival, the Cinco de Mayo Celebration in May, under different sponsorship, also contributed to the life of the community.  All of them were once again successful in bringing activity to downtown Roscoe and providing a venue for family fun and entertainment.

At the free concerts, noted country artists sang the songs that made them popular while people danced in the street or took in the show while relaxing in their lawn chairs and taking drinks from their own coolers.  Where else could you dance and see such stars without paying $50 or so for tickets?  One of the nicest features of the Roscoe festivals is that people don’t have to spend a lot of money to have a good time.

On the downtown streets, some vendors sold clothing, jewelry, and other merchandise, while others provided barbecue, baked potatoes, tacos, burritos and other snack foods.  Kids enjoyed the bounce houses, and children and adults alike had a good time at the Independence Day parade, which seemed bigger and better than ever this year.  Even Texas Tech’s Masked Rider was on hand to join in the fun.  At the baseball field, the Plowboy Mudbog entertained the crowd as contestants from as far away as New Mexico and Kansas tried to drive their mud vehicles through Roscoe’s squishy blackland mud.

The celebrations were also a good place for cooks to demonstrate their expertise.  At the Spring Fling, the Screw Terlingua Chili Cookoff raised money for the Open Door Day Care Center, and during the West Texas Wind Festival, cooks vied for the $1500 grand prize donated to the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department’s “BBQ in the Wind” Cookoff by Fuller Foods, along with other cash prizes.  All three festivals concluded with a Robert McBride’s firework show, each capping off another day of community participation and enjoyment.

In fact, when you combine the events and entertainers at the festivals with the number of noted country music performers that have appeared at the Lumberyard in the past couple of years—singers such as Mel Tillis, Ray Price, the Bellamy Brothers, Asleep at the Wheel, Gene Watson, Johnny Bush, Suzy Bogguss, Johnny Rodriguez, and many others—it’s not surprising that the website Buzzfeed included Roscoe in its list of “Tiny Texas Towns that are Totally Worth the Trip.”

Cotton modules await ginning at the Co-op Gin west of town.
Not all the news was good, though.  A case in point was this year's cotton crop, which was a disappointment in terms of both yield and price.  Much of the dryland cotton was so poor that more fields collected crop insurance than were stripped and ginned.  As of yesterday, the Rolling Plains Co-op Gin had ginned 26,344 bales, and there are fewer than 10,000 left to go.  This is well below last year’s 72,000 bales and the last seven years' average of 61,000 bales.

A big part of the problem was the weather.  Not only did the rains not fall when they were needed, the year’s rainfall as a whole was over four inches below the 79-year average of 21.79 inches (i.e., since official records began being kept in 1936) with a total of only 17.33 inches.  Other facts from the official records of Roscoe weatherman, Kenny Landfried, are these:  The first 100° day in 2014 was on May 6.  The hottest temperature recorded on was August 8 at 103°, and the coldest was on January 7 at 7°.  There were only 14 triple-digit days this year compared to 16 last year, 34 in 2012, and the record 81 days in 2011.  The last freeze in the spring this year was 30° on April 16, and the first freeze this fall was 29° on November 11.

The new R-O Water Treatment Plant.
One of the most exciting developments this year was the opening of the new reverse-osmosis water treatment plant, which provides the City with some of the best drinking water in the state of Texas.  The $1,765,000 project also came with a new computerized SCADA system that makes maintaining constant water pressure much easier and more efficient, as well as improvement in the City’s water and sewer lines, many of which are over a hundred years old and in dire need of improvement.

The City also expanded in size this year as it annexed property east of Roscoe that extends the city limits to two tracts of land on either side of I-20 just west of County Road 152.  It also annexed the I-20 right of way from the old eastern boundary all the way to County Road 152, west of Sweetwater Steel.

Significant progress has been made at Young Farm Estates, the housing development on the north side that will be a game changer for the City when complete.  Sewer, water, gas, and electric lines have all been laid, and it won’t be long before streets are put in and lots for new houses are being sold.  The new five-acre Stone Tower RV Park is also nearing completion and will be ready for occupancy within the next month or so.  A new laundromat has just opened there, and Roscoe folks who need it won’t have to go to Sweetwater to do their laundry any more.

In September the City bought the Guelker Building, and progress is being made in turning it into the new Roscoe Police Station.  Located next to Old Town Park across from City Hall, it is receiving an extensive makeover, and its Grand Opening should happen within the next month. 

Ribbon cutting at the Turquoise Toad.
Two new businesses opened in October, The Turquoise Toad and the Roscoe Thrift Store, and two others that opened last year had their ribbon cuttings in April: Smartt Move LLC at 1000 North US Hwy. 84, and Robinson Truck & Tractor Service on 409 E. Broadway.  Two others, Vickie’s Gifts and the Plowboy Center Lodge, are getting larger.  Vickie’s Gifts will open an antique store next to its store on 3rd and Main, and the Plowboy Center Lodge on Broadway is adding two new site-built units.  Other businesses that opened last year, such as McVey’s Nursery, Peppy’s Mexican Imports, the Rockin’ S Cantina, Burritos Zacatecas, the Purple Passion Salon, and the Southern Belle Salon are all still in business and contributing to the life of the community.

The future STEM Research Center west of town.
Roscoe Collegiate Independent School District (RCISD) has had another banner year.  Work is underway on the new STEM Research Center on the I-20 westbound service road next to the Ag barn.  When complete, it will house programs that allow students to earn credentials and experiences that they can use both professionally and in university majors.

The Roscoe Schools also grew in number of enrollments again this year.  The totals for pre-K through grade 12 for the past four years show the rate of increase.  In 2011, there were 363 students; in 2012, 447; in 2013, 526; and in 2014, 573.  The consistent growth indicates the school’s local popularity as most of the increase is due to transfers coming in from area communities.

And why wouldn’t they come?  RCISD offers several advantages.  Besides its remodeled and new facilities, cutting-edge technology, and innovative teaching methods, it offers students opportunities that they can’t get elsewhere.  Seventeen of the twenty-one 2014 RCHS graduates also received Associate’s Degrees from Western Texas College, another received a certificate from TSTC, and two others were early graduates.

RCISD is also one of the twenty-three Texas school districts in the Texas High Performance Schools Consortium.  Most of these other school districts are much larger, and Roscoe is one of the few that are rural.  The Consortium schools are innovative and charged with developing high priority learning standards.  They also make recommendations to the governor, legislature, and commissioner of education.

On November 13 at the John R. Hoyle Memorial Administrative Leadership Institute at Texas A&M,  Roscoe Collegiate ISD won the first ever Texas School District Excellence Award.  The final decision was made by three A&M Education Department faculty members and a representative from the Texas Association of School Administrators. 

Everyone was smiling after the agreement was signed.  Left to right: RCISD Supt. Kim Alexander, Texas Tech Provost Lawrence Schovanec, and Texas Tech Dean of Education Scott Ridley. Tech President Duane Nellis signed the document later.
Then on November 21, Texas Tech officials were in Roscoe to sign a Memo of Understanding (MOU) with Roscoe Collegiate ISD.  The agreement can put Roscoe students on a fast track to an engineering degree at Tech through transferable classes offered via Western Texas College in Snyder.  Some of these classes will be taught via distance education by graduate engineering students from Tech.  Selected Roscoe students will also go to Lubbock for a three-day educational experience at Tech and benefit from other features of the MOU. 

Earlier in the year, Roscoe also reached agreements with WTC and Texas A&M and its AgriLife Extension to facilitate the transfer of coursework to the Biomedical Sciences Program in the A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.

It was a relatively good year in sports as well as academics at RCISD this year.  The Plowboys, under head coach Jake Freeman, were projected by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine to finish last in district.  However, they did much better than that, finishing as district runner-up to Winters and going to the playoffs.  Unfortunately, they lost to Wink 36-28 on a cold night in Big Spring.

Last spring, the Plowgirl and Plowboy relay teams also exceeded expectations.  The Plowgirls won silver medals in the 4 x 400 relay and bronze in the 4 x 200 relay, while the Plowboys won bronze in the 4 x 400 relay.   The Plowgirls also made it to the regional quarterfinals in basketball last spring before being eliminated by Garden City.

In short, Roscoe did just fine in 2014 in those things we could control.   And who can blame us for those we can’t?  Here’s hoping 2015 will bring ample and timely rainfall and as much progress in the city and schools as we achieved in 2014!



The Aggie football team was having a good time in Memphis this week—even before they beat West Virginia 45-37 in the Liberty Bowl on Monday.  Individual players from both teams entertained those present with a singing competition, and none was better than ex-Plowboy Caden Smith, now a tight end for the Aggies.  

The well known national football website Bleacher Report gave star billing to Trey Williams, another Aggie player.  However, an impartial judge (such as I) would have awarded the prize to Caden, whose rendition of Matchbox Twenty’s “3 AM" was clearly the high point of the show.

Caden’s performance was captured on this video clip, which he leads off:

Click arrow to play.



Acting on several anonymous tips received in recent weeks, the Roscoe Police Department began an investigation into a residence located on Hickory Street in Roscoe. Roscoe Police were advised that the residence was believed to be storing items stolen in burglaries in Nolan County. On Monday morning, Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja and Investigator Steven Spencer made contact with the owner of the property. The owner, a Roscoe man, was extremely cooperative with the officers and agreed to a search of the property.

During a search of a storage area on the property, officers located items that were stolen from the Sweetwater Police and Fire Departments almost three weeks ago. The items were taken from vehicles while parked at the Sweetwater Service Center for repairs.

Officers also located a working methamphetamine lab on the site. The lab, chemicals, evidence, and stolen property were all removed for processing.

Investigator Spencer is asking for the community’s help in locating a few remaining items. "We are still looking for two sets of handcuffs, two Glock 9mm magazines, a portable breathalyzer, and a fireman's axe." Anyone with information on the whereabouts of these items is encouraged to contact the Roscoe or Sweetwater Police departments.

The owner of the property was not charged due to his cooperation and information gathered during the investigation. Police were given the identity of possible suspects and are continuing their investigation.


Roscoe's new laundromat.
Roscoe has got a new business.  Starting this Saturday, January 3, a laundromat, located next to the Young Farm Estates at 200 N. Cypress, Stone Tower RV Park, will open for business.  The owner is Alan Simpson of Merkel.

Wash loads cost $1.50 each; dryers are $1.  There is no bill changer on the premises, so customers will need to get quarters beforehand.  They also need to keep in mind that the laundry closes promptly at 9:00pm.  Since washing and drying clothes takes an hour and fifteen minutes, customers will need to plan accordingly.  

The laundry will be open to the public seven days a week from 7:00 am – 9:00 pm. 



It’s been a rough holiday season for the Plowgirls.  First they dropped a close one at Stamford, 35-31, on the 19th.  Then, this week they lost two more in the Eula Tournament, the first to Clyde, 52-26, and the second to Trent, 34-24.

Here is the scoring by quarters in the Stamford game:

Roscoe      11 16  24  31
Stamford    9  18  27 35

Scoring for the Plowgirls was as follows: Olivia Saddler 10, Mia Herrera 7, Samantha Ortega 6, Chavez 4, Danielle Dean 2, Selena Perez 2.

Scoring by quarters in the Clyde game:

Roscoe    2  13  21  26
Clyde    18  29  43  52

Plowgirl scoring: Ortega 13, Saddler 9, Herrera 4.

Scoring by quarters in the Trent game:

Roscoe  12  19  24  24
Trent      8  17  24  34

Plowgirl scoring: Trevino 6, Ortega 5, Casas 3, Saddler 3, Herrera 3, Chavez 2.

The Plowgirls’ next game will be their district opener against the Lady Blizzards in Winters this Friday, January 2, weather permitting.  The JV game starts at 4:00pm and the varsity game at 6:30.



It is 14°F in Roscoe this morning.
Christmas Day was sunny and warm with an afternoon high of 60°F, but it was also windy with sustained winds of 19mph and gusts up to 38°.  Friday was similar—warm (71°) and windy (16mph with gusts to 30).   On Saturday a norther blew through, dropping temperatures down to a high of 41° and a low of 29°.  Sunday was somewhat warmer at 52° for the high, and Monday was absolutely gorgeous with sunny skies and a high of 61°.  Unfortunately, that nice weather turned out to be too good to last.

Monday night a cold front moved in and by midnight the temperature was down to 33°, which happened also to be yesterday’s high since the temperature just kept dropping throughout the day.  The falling temperatures were accompanied by freezing drizzle, icing up roads, windshields, and anything else it touched.  By dark, roads were getting slick and treacherous and a light freezing drizzle kept on coming down.

The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) issued the weather warning below, which may be good to read since this cold, icy weather is expected to continue through New Year’s Day and Friday:

ABILENE – Winter weather is being reported across the Texas Department of Transportation’s Abilene District.  As temperatures fall and precipitation continues, drivers should be cautious of icy road conditions, including patches of black ice in some areas. TxDOT crews are treating roadways, intersections and overpasses and monitoring conditions throughout the district. Beginning today, crews will be working in 12 hour shifts to monitor and treat roadways as necessary until conditions improve.

The safety of the traveling public is TxDOT’s priority.  Motorists should avoid traveling in winter conditions, but if they must, they should observe these winter safety tips:

• Reduce speed. Speed limits are based on normal road and weather conditions, not winter road conditions

• Maintain at least three times the normal following distance on snow or ice

• Use extra caution on bridges, ramps, overpasses and shaded areas as they tend to freeze first

• If you start to slide, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction then straighten your vehicle.

For road conditions call the TxDOT road conditions hotline at 1-800-452-9292 or visit


On Saturday, the sun is forecast to come out and temperatures should rise up into the forties.  Sunday will be similar, and Monday should be even better with a high in the lower fifties and a low in the mid thirties.



Graveside services were held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, December 28, at Sweetwater Cemetery for Patricia Ann Massey, 72, who passed away on Thursday, December 25, at her residence in Sweetwater.

Ms. Massey was born on December 23, 1942, in Fort Worth. She was a long time resident of the Roscoe and Sweetwater area. She grew up in Roscoe until the eighth grade before moving to Sweetwater. She was a member of the West Side Baptist Church and worked as a Nurse’s Aide for 16 years at Holiday Retirement Center before retiring.

Survivors include a daughter, Rhonda Harris of Sweetwater; sister, Connie Taylor and husband, Ronnie, of San Angelo; three grandchildren: Stacy Balderas and husband, Lee, of Sweetwater; Marcia McCann and husband, Matthew, of Sweetwater; Dillon Harris and Jovan of Sweetwater; and ten great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Edd R. Simmons in 1974 and Ethel Mae (Holleman) Simmons in 1988; a sister, Bernice Dobson, in 1990; and two brothers, Billy Ray Simmons in 1975 and Eddie Simmons in 2007.



Funeral services will be held at 2:00pm today, December 31, 2014, at the Roscoe Church of Christ for Mrs. Rosalie Eckert Helm, 86, who died on Sunday, December 28, following a lengthy illness.  Interment will be at Roscoe Cemetery.

Rosalie Eckert was born in San Angelo to Allen and Minnie (Lauw) Eckert on September 8, 1928. They preceded her in death. She married Karlvin Helm in Roscoe on August 18, 1945.  Karlvin and Rosalie farmed near Inadale and Roscoe. He died in February of 2001. She was a member of the Roscoe Church of Christ.

Survivors include her daughter Kathryn Tate and husband, J.B., Jr., of Snyder; one son, Ronnie Helm and wife, Ramona, of Hermleigh; four grandchildren: Janna Peterson and husband, Clay, of Abilene; Kevin Tate and wife, Cheree, of Hermleigh; Joshelyn Lively and  husband, Britt, of Bryan; Linsey Currey and husband, Brady, of Abilene; nine great-grandchildren: Carlton Peterson and wife, Katelynn, of Lubbock; Caroline Peterson of College Station; Abby, Byron, and Collin Mac Tate; Breeley and Beau Lively; and Karlie and Lillie Kate Currey. She is also survived by three sisters: Wynona Bankhead and Peggy Lloyd of Roscoe; Norma Kranz and husband, Don, of Glen Rose; and one brother, John Eckert and wife Lydia of Irving, as well as many nieces and nephews. One twin sister, Dorothy Lee, died in infancy.

Pallbearers will be Clay Peterson, Britt Lively, Brady Currey, Wendell Bankhead, Randall Bankhead, Shane Summerlin, Grady Miles, Gordon Miles, David Kranz, Tony Kranz and Alan Eckert.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!  Here’s wishing you the best of holiday cheer!  

I've been spending the past few days with two daughters, Mary Grace and Laurie, and Laurie's fiancé.  They all came to help me celebrate my birthday on December 22--along with an early Christmas--and just left yesterday.  As a result, I haven't been out to learn the local news as I usually do and hope you won't mind if instead I re-run a Christmas memory of Roscoe that I wrote back in 2010. 

The approach of Christmas takes me back to an earlier time in my life and reminds me of the Christmas Trades Day Drawing that used to be the Grand Finale event of the year for the Roscoe Trades Day Association.

Anyone living in or around Roscoe in the 1950s will remember the weekly Trades Day drawings that were held in the open area where the Roscoe State Bank now stands.  Every time you bought something from a participating Roscoe merchant—and that was practically all of them—you got a yellow ticket for every dollar you spent. So, if you bought something for $5.25, the merchant was supposed to give you five yellow tickets, but they would always round up and give you six. Each ticket had a number on it with a detachable stub.

The table behind these boys in derbies was set up against the wall behind it and the squirrel cage placed on top for the drawings.
Then on Friday afternoons at four o’clock, William Haney and one of his “soda jerks” from the drug store would set up a table just outside the south wall of the Boys Club hall and put on top of it a big turning “squirrel cage” type barrel made of wood and chicken wire.  They also hooked up a mike and speakers for Mr. Haney to do the announcing.  While this was going on, a huge crowd of Roscoe and country folks would gather with tickets in hand, filling the lawn area where the bank and its parking lot now stands.  Someone then put all the ticket stubs accumulated from sales all over town that week into the barrel, which was turned over and over.

Then a kid randomly selected from the crowd opened the little door, reached in, and drew out a stub.   Mr. Haney would announce the amount of the prize and then call out the numbers on the stub, and all assembled would carefully check through their tickets.  The lucky winner would yell, “I’ve got it!” and go up to the table to collect the prize.  On normal weeks there were three—first $10, then $15, and then to top off the day, a $25 prize. Of course, this was in the ‘50s, so $10 was a substantial amount of money, enough to make anyone who won it feel like it was their lucky week. The prize money wasn’t cash but trades day script redeemable in any participating store, but since practically all the Roscoe businesses participated and since people did most of their shopping in Roscoe, the coupons were as good as cash.

When the weekly drawing was over, people didn’t throw their yellow tickets away because you could trade in fifty yellow tickets for one red ticket, and the red tickets were used for the Grand Finale drawing of the year that took place the week before Christmas. The Roscoe Times Office handled all the tickets, so when merchants ran out of yellow ones, they came around to the Times Office to get more. Also, as Christmas approached, people came to the Times Office and “cashed in” all their yellow tickets to get the red ones.

Pollard Chevrolet in the 1950s was on the northwest corner of Main and Broadway.
The biggest prize ever given away at one of the Trades Day drawings was a brand spanking new Chevrolet. This would have been around 1955 or 1956.  Back then, Bill Pollard had his Chevrolet dealership on the northwest corner of Main and Broadway, just east of the Coffee Bar and across the street from Kirby Smith’s filling station. He did a thriving business, not just in Roscoe, but for the whole area. In fact, he was so successful that his dealership outgrew Roscoe, and he moved to Big Spring and was successful out there for many years.

Anyway, I don’t remember who won the new car, but it was the Grand Prize at the red-ticket Christmas drawing that year, and I believe the winner was some farmer from south of town, maybe Champion. Whoever it was, I remember folks saying that it went to a deserving person, someone that everybody liked and who didn’t have a lot of money.

The drawings went on for several years after that, but there was never again any prize as big as that one. I think in later years, the grand prize at the Christmas drawing was something like $100, but again, that was a lot of money for those days. 

Once again, Merry Christmas!


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

John Conlee to Play Lumberyard Friday Night

John Conlee
The Lumberyard will have a special inside show Friday evening when Mr. "Rose Colored Glasses" himself, John Conlee, comes to town. Due to space limitations, only 100 tickets will be sold.

Over the years, Conlee, a member of the Grand Ole Opry since 1981, has had seven number-one hits on the country charts and fourteen in the top ten, including "Rose Colored Glasses," "Friday Night Blues," “Lady Lay Down,” “Backside of Thirty,” “Common Man,” “I’m Only in it for the Love,” “In My Eyes,” “Miss Emily's Picture,” and “Got My Heart Set on You.” 

The show begins about 9:15pm. Tickets are $60 each. For reservations and more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.


Ms. Bohall and one of her third-grade classes at the museum yesterday.
Jeanie Bohall’s three third-grade classes took separate field trips to the Roscoe Historical Museum yesterday to learn more about Roscoe’s history and view objects and photos from its past.

Students seemed to particularly enjoy the jail and such ancient objects as the manual typewriter.  They were also fascinated by many of the photographs, including the team photo of the 1922 football team and early pictures of downtown Roscoe.  But the most fun of all was at the end of each visit when refreshments of punch and cookies were served.



Roscoe Police Officer Steven Spencer stopped a vehicle on December 5 at about 8am and detected indicators of possible criminal activity. A consensual search of the vehicle turned up an undisclosed amount of the drug MDMA, also known as Ecstasy or Molly.  The man, who was from the Dallas area, was taken into custody for possession of a felony amount of a controlled substance.



Here are the complete results of the 2014 Roscoe Livestock Show held in the Nolan County Coliseum last Saturday, December 13:


Class 1 – Steers (Cross)
            1st – Kamren Fisher (Breed Champ)
Class 2 – Heifers (Red Angus)
            1st – Jaci Alexander (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Jaden Alexander (Reserve Breed Champ)

Grand Champion Cattle - Jaci Alexander
Reserve Champion Cattle - Kamren Fisher
Showmanship - Jaci Alexander


Class 1 – Boer Goat
            1st - Kamren Fisher (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Skylar Pulatti (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Emma Pulatti

Grand Champion Goat - Kamren Fisher
Reserve Champion Goat - Skylar Pulatti
Goat Showmanship - Skylar Pulatti


Class 1 – Hair Sheep
            1st – Skylar Pulatti (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Kamren Fisher (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Emma Pulatti

Class 2 – Southdown
            1st – Emma Pulatti (Breed Champ)

Class 3 – Fine Wool
            1st – Tait Fullwood (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Lynzie Atkinson (Reserve Breed Champ)

Class 4 – Fine Wool Cross
            1st – Tait Fullwood (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Lynzie Atkinson (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – J. Lee McAnally

Class 5 – Medium Wool
            1st – Lynzie Atkinson (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Tait Fullwood (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Kamren Fisher
            4th – J Lee McAnally

Grand Champion Lamb - Lynzie Atkinson with Medium Wool
Reserve Champion Lamb - Tait Fullwood with Fine Wool
Jr. Lamb Showmanship - Emma Pulatti
Sr. Lamb Showmanship - Lynzie Atkinson


Class 1 – Lightweight Black OPB (Other Pure Bred)
            1st – Derek Creed (Breed Champ)  
            2nd – John Herrera
            3rd – Zeke Murphy
            4th – Ethan Morris
            5th – Derek Creed

Class 2 – Heavyweight Black OPB
            1st – Zeke Murphy (Reserve Breed Champ)
            2nd – Gatlyn Hoskins
            3rd – Brena Robison
            4th – Kaylee Palacios

Class 3 – White OPB
            1st – Kaylee Palacios (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Brena Robison (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Justin Herrera

Class 4 – Lightweight Hampshires
            1st – Kamren Fisher
            2nd – Cade Garrett
            3rd – Lynzie Atkison
            4th – Zeke Murphy

Class 5 – Heavyweight Hampshires
            1st – Gatlyn Hoskins (Breed Champ)
            2nd – Kaylee Palacios (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Max Nemir
            4th – Alyssa Chavez

Class 6 – Durocs
            1st – Max Nemir (Breed Champ)
            2nd – John Herrera (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Kaylee Palacios
            4th – Alyssa Chavez
            5th – Derek Creed

Class 7 – Lightweight Dark Cross
            1st – Kaylee Palacios
            2nd – Max Nemir
            3rd – Cade Garrett
            4th – Lynzie Atkison

Class 8 – Heavyweight Dark Cross
            1st – Brena Robison (Breed Champ)
            2nd – John Herrera (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Max Nemir

Class 9 – Lightweight Light Cross
            1st – Kaylee Palacios
            2nd – Cade Garrett
            3rd – Max Nemir

Class 10 – Heavyweight Light Cross
            1st – Justin Herrera (Breed Champ)
            2nd – John Herrera (Reserve Breed Champ)
            3rd – Kamren Fisher

Grand Champion Swine - Justin Herrera with Heavyweight Light Cross
Reserve Champion Swine - Max Nemir with Duroc
Jr. Swine Showmanship - Justin Herrera
Sr. Swine Showmanship - Max Nemir
Pee Wee Showmanship - Brodie Willman, Ashton and JoAnna McAnally


Olivia Saddler shoots a jumper in last night's game with Haskell.
It was a rough night at the Special Events Center yesterday for the Plowgirls as they were overpowered by the Haskell Maidens.  Haskell jumped out to an early lead and never looked back in defeating them 57-34.  The scoring by quarters was as follows:

Roscoe         6    16    24    34
Haskell      19    32    50    57

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Olivia Saddler with 13, followed by Samantha Ortega with 12.  Selena Perez had 7 and Mia Herrera 2.

The Plowgirl JV also lost to Haskell JV 27-25.

The Plowgirls’ next game is with Stamford at Stamford Friday night.  Tipoff is at 6:15pm with the JV game starting at 5:00.  They are then off for the Christmas break and won’t resume again until December 29 at the Eula Tournament.



The Plowboys lost to Guthrie and Highland but beat Rotan at the Blackland Divide Invitational here in Roscoe last weekend.

Their first game was with tournament finalist, Guthrie, who won by a score of 55-34.  Here is the scoring by quarters:

Plowboys       11        21        28       34
Guthrie           17       25        43        55    

High scorer for the Plowboys was Javier Leanos with 9 points; Roman Acuña had 8, Rafael Aguayo 6, Cutter Davila 3, Isaiah Gonzales 2, Kevin Lavalais 2, Anthony Ortegon 2, and Luis Villa 2.

The Plowboys also lost their second game, this one to Highland, 49-29.

Plowboys         14        19        25        29
Highland          17        26        38        49

Leanos had 12 points, Aguayo 10, Gonzales 5, and Acuña 2.

Then Roscoe won their final game in the tournament by downing Rotan 64-28.

Plowboys        13        33        50        64
Rotan                 4        13         20        28

Leanos had 22 points, Villa 16, Aguayo 7, Lavalais 7, Gonzales 4, Acuña 3, and Ortegon 3.

The Blackland Invitational Tournament was won by TLCA (San Angelo) with Guthrie the runner-up.

The Plowboys’ next action will be in the Eula Tournament on December 29.



The weather was on the warm side until yesterday.  Highs last weekend Thursday through Sunday were 62°F, 69°, 70°, and 70° respectively, while lows were 55°, 53°, 58°, and 51°.  Monday and yesterday were slightly cooler with highs of 60° and 53° and lows of 53° and 34°.  Saturday and Sunday were both windy with gusts to 34mph on Saturday and 39mph on Sunday.  There was no precipitation.

There is, however, a possibility of some rain within the next few days.  Today has a 20% chance, Tomorrow night and Friday it goes to 40%, and then Sunday has a 20% chance.  High temperatures should be in the fifties and sixties and lows in the forties or mid to upper thirties with no freezes in the forecast. 



Wednesday, December 10, 2014

2014 a Down Year for Cotton Crop

Cotton modules await ginning at the Co-op Gin west of town.
Of course, this will come as no news to area cotton farmers, but this year’s dryland crop has been a major disappointment in terms of both yield and price.  It hasn’t been a devastatingly dry year, as it was in 2011 when wildfires and dust storms were the order of the day—there were occasional rains scattered here and there.  
The problem, though, was that when we did get them, they came at the wrong time, and when we needed them most, such as in late July and August, they never came at all.  The result has been small plants with few bolls, and even those are not very big ones.  

Moreover, the price of cotton this year has been lower than usual.  Yesterday, for example, it was selling at only 54¢ per pound, down from previous years.  In fact, it’s safe to say that more cotton fields in this area have collected crop insurance than have been stripped and ginned.

The total number of bales ginned so far by Roscoe’s Central Rolling Plains Co-op Gin is just a little over 16,000, and most of that is from irrigated fields.  Since gin manager Larry Black says that the ginning is just about half done, he estimates this year’s crop will be around 32,000 bales.  The average annual total for the previous seven years (i.e., since the consolidation of the Roscoe and Inadale gins in 2007) is 61,000 bales.  So, this year’s crop is only about half the average for this area and well below last year’s 72,000 bales.

For what it’s worth, this outcome is in line with the forecast made by the direction of the wind on the day after the beginning of spring last year.  As you may recall, that was the traditional day for the Plains Indians’ “Sunrise Wind” ceremony that used to be performed every year by “Injun George” Parks.  The ritual was revived in 2012 by “Injun Robert” McBride and has been an accurate forecaster since then.  Just before dawn on March 22 last year, “Injun Robert” built a fire and checked the direction of the smoke as the sun came up.

According to Indian tradition, if the wind was from the northeast, it foretold plentiful crops.  An east or north wind was pretty good, a west wind bad, southwest worse, and a south wind worst of all.  Unfortunately, the wind this year was from the southwest, foretelling a bad crop, and, as we now know, that turned out to be a pretty accurate forecast.

But, as always, hope springs eternal in the human breast, and next year’s crop may be much better.  And, if you’re not superstitious, you may be happy to learn that there are some scientific indicators suggesting that the next four months could be wetter than usual.  The National Weather Service at NOAA says that El Niño conditions are such that the entire southwest can expect above normal precipitation through early Spring. 

Map on left forecasts above normal precipitation for entire southwest; map on right forecasts below normal temperatures for the south, including Texas.
Although the maps show expected conditions only through March, the weather service indicates they should be accurate for April as well.  And just as precipitation should be above normal, temperatures should be below normal.  In other words, the National Weather Service is telling us to expect a cold, wet winter and early spring.  Let’s hope they’re right!



The Roscoe City Council meeting at City Hall last night was a short one with only two action items, both of which were approved, one to allow a Christmas Parade on Saturday, December 20, and the other to accept the final plat of Phase 1 of the Young Farm Estates.  Both passed unanimously and without debate.

City Manager Cody Thompson also gave his monthly report on city progress.  He reported that engineers, the contractor, and suppliers for the new reverse-osmosis water plant met on December 2 and are fine tuning daily operations of the plant and water wells.

Other water line improvements will begin within the next two to three weeks, and sewer line improvements will be bid in late January or early February.  A sewer plant pump for the irrigation system will be replaced as soon as the new pump arrives.

The required fence around the Stone Tower RV Park will be completed soon, and the RV Park will be ready for occupancy in late December or early January.

At the Young Farm Estates water and sewer lines have been installed, and problem areas are being repaired.  The natural gas lines and underground electric lines have also been installed, and street construction will begin after the first of the year with a target completion time of six to eight weeks.  Lots will go on sale in late February or early March.

Plowboy Center Lodge is adding two more site-built rooms, and the three state-financed homes are progressing as planned.

The New Wave Cable Company will end service in Roscoe on December 31.  TV service will now have to be HDTV antennas or satellite.

City Offices will be closed December 24-26 for Christmas, and trash pickup that week will be on Friday, December 26.  City Offices will also close at noon on Wednesday, December 31, and Thursday, January 1for New Year’s.



The Plowgirls had a busy time in basketball this past week, winning one game and losing two last weekend in the Highland Tournament and winning one last night at Leuders.

They won their first game in the Highland Tournament against Sands.  After jumping out to an early 14-3 lead in the first quarter, the Plowgirls were outscored in the second but still led at halftime, 21-14.  The Lady Mustangs narrowed the gap in the third quarter to 30-29, but the Plowboys had a strong fourth quarter to win by 13 points, 49-36.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Samantha Ortega with 16 points, followed by Olivia Saddler with 14.  Mia Herrera had 6, Selena Perez 5, Magali Casas 5, and Danielle Dean 3.

They then lost their next game to Cross Plains, 42-32.  The first half was close with Roscoe ahead by one, 10-9, after the first quarter and behind by one, 19-18, at the half.  The second half was all Cross Plains, though, as they led the Plowgirls 31-23 after three and 42-32 at game’s end.

High scorer for the Plowgirls was Saddler with 15, while Ortega had 8, Herrera 6, Casas 2, and Dean 1.

They then lost a close one to Highland, the tournament champs, 36-35.  Highland jumped out to a 13-6 lead and at halftime led 22-12.  At the end of three the Lady Hornets still had a comfortable lead, 28-19, but in the fourth the Plowgirls finished strong, outscoring Highland 16-8 but still losing by one, 36-35.

High scorer for Roscoe was Saddler with 17.  Ortega had 12, Herrera 3, and Perez 3.

Then last night the Plowgirls resumed their winning ways by defeating Leuders-Avoca in Leuders, 45-40.  The game was close until the fourth quarter as the lead between the teams went back and forth.  Roscoe led 17-15 at the end of one and 23-22 at the half.  At the end of three the Lady Raiders had pulled ahead 30-29, but the Plowgirls outscored them 16-10 in the fourth to win by five, 45-40.

Saddler led Roscoe’s scoring with 19 points, followed by Herrera with 11, Ortega 7, Perez 4, Dean 3, and Casas 2.

The Plowgirls’ next game will be next Tuesday, December 16, at home against Haskell.  The JV game begins at 5:00pm  and the varsity game at 6:15.



Sunday morning fog.  (Photo by Ken Brawley)
The past week has been uneventful regarding the weather with no precipitation or extremes in temperature or wind.  High temperatures ranged from 68°F on Friday to 54° on Sunday, and lows ranged from 48° on Friday to 43° on Saturday.  There was some sunshine, but also some overcast skies and partly cloudy weather.  There was even some fog on Sunday morning.

The high today will be only about 58°, and there is a 20% chance of rain.  But tomorrow should warm up to 65° and Friday to 72°.  Weekend highs will be in the sixties and lows in the forties.

There is a 30% chance of rain on Saturday night and a 40% chance on Sunday.



At his request, funeral services will not be held for John Wesley Strother, 73, who passed away at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene on Thursday, December 4, 2014.  He will be cremated.

He was born on December 14, 1940 in Roscoe, where he lived most of his life. While growing up, he was a member of the Roscoe Boys Club and was a pitcher on the baseball team.  In 1959, he graduated from Roscoe High School, where he played football and participated in other school activities.  He then served in the US Army and was stationed in La Rochelle, France.  Afterwards, he lived and worked in the Dallas area for a while before returning to Roscoe.  He married Susan Hale in 1971.  For several years he owned and operated a steel building construction company, custom building metal storage buildings, garages, carports, storm cellars, and furniture. 

He is survived by a son, Jason Strother, and a daughter, Shahala, both of Sweetwater; as well as two grandchildren, Aaron Phillips and Haleigh Strother, also of Sweetwater.



Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Roscoe Chosen as a "Tiny Texas Town Totally Worth the Trip"

Couples dance to Jason Boland at the 4th of July free concert and street dance.
If you spend time on Facebook or do much Internet surfing, then you’re probably familiar with Buzzfeed.  It’s the website that’s always doing those Top Ten lists, e.g., Ten Things You Can Do with Aluminum Foil, Ten Things You Don’t Know about Short People, Top Ten Vacation Destinations, and so on.

Recently, they contacted some Roscoe folks, including me, saying they had Roscoe in their sights as one of the “Tiny Texas Towns that are Totally Worth the Trip” and were asking for photos.  The new lists came out this week, and it turns out that apparently they forgot how big Texas is and how many great small towns it has, so instead of one list, they have two.  One is 14 Tiny Texas Towns that are Totally Worth the Trip, and the other is 14 More Tiny Texas Towns that are Totally Worth the Trip.  Roscoe is number 9 in the latter.

Four photos are featured: 1) the water tower and Texas flag at George Parks Field, 2) wind turbines and farm land, 3) the Plowboy Mudbog, and 4) dancing at the Lumberyard.  The text below the photos says this:

Roscoe is one authentic small Texas town. Located roughly halfway between Fort Worth and Midland, the city hosts a big 4th of July to-do with a mudding competition, parade, street dances, music, food, and more. You can visit the LumberYard year-round for good food, cold drinks, and plenty of country western to get your boots scootin’.

So, scoot over Luckenbach, Marfa, Terlingua, Waxahachie, and Possum Kingdom—and make room for Roscoe, also an exclusive member of the Totally Worth the Trip club!



The Plowgirls and Plowboys both won their basketball games last night in Trent.  The Plowboys won big, but the Plowgirls had their hands full in squeaking past the Lady Gorillas in a hotly contested game, 43-41.

The game didn’t begin well for the Plowgirls as Trent started hot and jumped out to an early lead.  At the end of one, the Lady Gorillas were ahead 14-6.

However, the Plowgirls fought back in the second quarter and cut away at Trent’s lead.  They were down by seven when a Plowgirl hit a three at the buzzer, and at halftime, they were down by only four, 26-22.

They continued to play well after the half and finally took the lead in the third quarter.  They were ahead by three when a Trent girl hit a three at the buzzer at the end of the third quarter, tying the score, 33-33.

In the fourth quarter, the Plowgirls took the lead again and held off Trent to win the game, 43-41.

Top scorer for the Plowgirls was Samantha Ortega with 13 points, followed by Olivia Saddler with 11, Mia Herrera with 10, Danielle Dean with 7, and Selena Perez with 2.

Unfortunately, I was unable to get the stats for the Plowboys game in time to post their results.  All I know is that the Plowboys won big, fifty-something to twenty-something.

The Plowboys’ and Plowgirls’ next games are in the Highland Hilltop Classic Tournament at Highland on Thursday.  The Plowboys play Ira at 3:30, and the Plowgirls play Sands at 6:30.



Kevin Lavalais catches a touchdown pass from Cutter Davila in the Roby game.  Both players made first-team all-district.
Roscoe Plowboys named to this year’s District 6-2A II All-District Football Team are as follows:

1st Team Offense:
QB – Cutter Davila, Sr.
RB – Vincent Pantoja, Jr.
Receiver – Kevin Lavalais, Jr.
OL – Dominic Pantoja, Sr.

1st Team Defense:
Outside Linebacker – Vincent Pantoja, Jr.
Cornerback – Kevin Lavalais, Jr.
Utility Player – Max Nemir, Jr.

Defensive Newcomer of the Year – Ryland Madrid, So.

2nd Team Offense:
Receiver – Javier Leanos, Jr.
                    Isaiah Gonzales, Jr.
OL – Isaias Aguilar, So.
            Ray Bohall, Jr.

2nd Team Defense:
DL – Adrian Ortega, Jr.
DE – Juan Sanchez, Sr.
Outside Linebacker – Rafael Aguayo, Jr.
CB – Javier Leanos, Jr.
Safety – Max Nemir, Jr.
Punter – Javier Leanos, Jr.

Honorable Mention:
OL – Chase Cathey, Sr., Clayton Chadwick, Jr.
WR – Rafael Aguayo, Jr.
DL – Anthony Ortegon, Jr.
Safety – Isaiah Gonzales, Jr.



The weather for the week was typical for this time of year with some warm days, some cold ones, and some in between, along with breezes, clear skies, and a lot of sunshine.  Thanksgiving was a bit nippy with a morning low of 32°F and a high of 59°, but the weekend was beautiful.  Afternoon temperatures were in the seventies, and short-sleeve shirts were all that was needed.  On Saturday and Sunday, I opened the doors and windows at my house for most of the afternoon.  On Sunday night, though, a norther blew in about 1:00am, and temperatures dropped quickly.  By Monday morning, it was only 24°, and with the wind chill it felt colder.  The high that afternoon was only 39°.  Yesterday was cold in the morning at 29°, but it warmed up to 54° in the afternoon.

Today, tomorrow, and Friday should be nice with sunshine, light breezes, and highs in the sixties.  Lows will also be warmer, ranging from the mid forties to the lower fifties.  There is a 20% chance of rain tomorrow.  The weekend should be a bit cooler with highs in the fifties, and on Saturday there is a 40% chance of rain, decreasing to 20% on Sunday.



Rockey Allen Brewer, 64, of Roscoe, died Saturday, Nov. 29, at his home.

Mr. Brewer was cremated and no services are planned at this time.  Online condolences may be expressed at


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