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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Highland Girls Advance to State Basketball Finals Again

Highland's Sierra Allen takes a shot in an earlier game against Roscoe this year.
After convincing victories over Roby and Garden City in the Region II 1A-II playoffs at ACU in Abilene last week, Highland’s Lady Hornets are once again headed to the Frank Erwin Center in Austin for the State Finals, hoping this year to do what they were unable to do last year—win State.

The Lady Hornets easily won their Regional Semifinal game against Roby Friday, jumping out to a 12-0 lead over a young Lady Lions’ team and then cruising to an easy 60-29 victory.  The halftime score was 42-11.  Sierra Allen led the Lady Hornets with 15 points, followed by Schyler Kimbrell with 10.

Then in the Regional Finals Saturday afternoon, Highland once again faced Garden City, the same team that knocked the Plowgirls out of the playoffs this year and the same school that Highland beat in the Regional Finals last year.  The game was closer and harder fought than the Highland-Roby game, but the Lady Hornets still managed to prevail, downing the Lady ‘Kats 51-37.   Highland jumped out to a 10-2 lead in the first quarter, but Garden City fought back and at halftime Highland led by six 23-17.  At the end of three it was 38-29.  Madison Moseley led the Lady Hornets with 17 points while Schyler Kimbrell had 12.

Highland (28-3) now moves on to the State Semifinals and will play Calvert (24-1) at 1:30pm on Friday.  The game is scheduled to be simulcast on the website.

If they win that game, they will move on to the State Finals to play the winner of the Lipan (36-1) - Nazareth (34-2) game at 7:00pm on Saturday in a game televised on Fox Sports Southwest.  

And, if they win that one, they’ll be State Champs.



Jesus Leanos at the State Meet in Austin last spring.
Track season has begun for the Plowboys and Plowgirls, and several of them scored points at last Friday’s Long Sleeve Relays in Hamlin, a meet pitting schools from all classes with one another, e.g., Big Spring (girls), Snyder, Sweetwater, Jim Ned, Wylie, Merkel, Clyde, and Post, as well as Baird, Rotan, Roscoe, Hamlin, Hawley, Anson, and others. 

Top performers for the Plowboys included the 4 x 400 meter relay team made up of Max Nemir, Kevin Lavalais, Dillon Freeman, and Shelton Toliver.  They placed second to Anson’s 3:41 with a time of 3:44, and were better than Post’s and Snyder’s teams, which came in third and fourth respectively.

Kevin Lavalais was fourth in the 400 meter dash with a time of 55.38 seconds, Javier Leanos was fifth in both the 1600 (5:27) and the 3200 (12:01) meter runs, Max Nemir was sixth in the 300 meter hurdles (45.4), and Braiden Moore was sixth in the 800 meter run (2:19.6).

For the Plowgirls, Lyndi Wilkinson was sixth in the 400 meter dash at 1:08.5, and Alejandra Solis was fifth in the girls’ 3200 meter run (14:02.6).

In JV action, the Plowboys’ JV 4 x 400 meter relay team—Isaiah Gonzales, Gage White, Brayden Beal, and Jacob Lomas—came in sixth with a time of 4:06.6

The Plowboys’ next meet will be the Roby Invitational in Roby this Friday.



Plowtech, Roscoe Collegiate's Robotics Team
Roscoe Collegiate’s BEST Robotics team, Plowtech, will leave at noon today for San Antonio, where they will be competing at the FIRST / Robotics Alamo Regional Meet at the Convention Center through this Saturday, March 1. 

The team, which consists of some seventeen students, will be accompanied by their coaches, Dan Boren and John Cox.



A 32-year-old Abilene man was arrested and charged with possession, manufacture, and delivery of a controlled substance after being pulled over by a DPS Trooper for a traffic violation in the eastbound lane of US 84 west of Roscoe last Wednesday.

The trooper pulled over the man’s 2013 Nissan Altima at around 3:15pm, became suspicious, and called for a canine unit.  A car search turned up sixteen packages of methamphetamine valued at $36,000 along with two packages of cocaine.

The driver was arrested and booked into Nolan County Jail.  He is currently free after posting $75,000 bond.  His name has not been released because of his connection with an ongoing investigation in Lubbock.



The weather was springlike all week up until yesterday when a cold front blew in.  Skies were clear, and highs on Thursday and Friday were 66°F and 69° respectively, and on Saturday 79°.  Lows were around 40°, skies were clear, and winds were moderate to strong.  On Sunday, winds were from the north, and the high was only 62° with a low that night of 41°, and Monday was similar with a high of 61° and a low of 37°.

Yesterday, however, was a reminder that it is still February after all.  Skies were overcast, and north winds blew with gusts up to 26mph, and the high was only 52°.  Last night, the north winds howled with gusts up to 33mph, the mercury fell, wind chills dropped to as low as 10°, and this morning the temperature was down to 25° with a strong north wind.

Today’s forecast is a high in the upper thirties with a low tonight in the upper twenties with a 30% chance of precipitation (although that seems overly optimistic to me).  Tomorrow will be warmer, climbing into the upper fifties and falling only into the forties tomorrow night.  Friday will have a high in the mid seventies with clear skies and southwest winds, and we should get another warm Saturday with sunny skies and a high of about 80°.  Weekend lows should be in the low to upper forties.  


Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Plowgirls Advance to Regional Quarterfinals Before Losing to Garden City

Shelby Brown takes a shot in an earlier game this year.
The Plowgirls ended their season with a successful playoff run, making it all the way to the Regional Quarterfinals before falling to Garden City (ranked 8th in state by TGCA) in Ballinger last night 46-20. 

Last week, after finishing second to Highland in district, the Plowgirls won two playoff games, the first against Paint Rock 33-31, and the second over Zephyr 27-22 in overtime.

In a game that was postponed a day because of the icy road conditions, the Plowgirls won their first playoff game against Paint Rock at Robert Lee on Wednesday. It was a nail-biter all the way, and the Plowgirls trailed for a big part of the game.  Paint Rock jumped out to a 9-7 first quarter lead and led at halftime 17-13.  In the third quarter the Plowgirls closed the gap to one, 25-24, and then outscored the Indians 9-6 in the fourth to win by two, 33-31.

Sam Ortega was the Plowgirls’ high scorer with 9, followed by Eva Aguayo with 8, Sunshine Saddler and Shelby Brown both with 7, and Selena Perez with 2. 

In the game with Zephyr played in Clyde Friday night, the Plowgirls led 5-4 at the end of the first quarter, but then Zephyr took the lead 10-9 in the second and never relinquished it for the rest of regulation.  The score at halftime was 11-9 Zephyr, and at the end of three it was 17-15 Zephyr.  The Plowgirls then tied it in the fourth, and at the end of regulation, the score was tied 22-22.  Then in overtime, the Plowgirls scored 5 while holding Zephyr scoreless to win the game 27-22.

Eva Aguayo led the scoring for the Plowgirls with 17, followed by Sunshine Saddler with 5.  Shelby Brown had 3, Whitney Williams 2, and Sam Ortega 1.

Garden City jumped out to a 12-8 first quarter lead, which by halftime had increased to 22-8.  At the end of three it was 34-10, and by game's end 46-20.

Leading scorer for the Plowgirls was Shelby Brown with 8, followed by Aguayo with 5, Ortega, Williams, and Perez, all with 2, and Saddler with 1.

The Plowgirls finish the season 16-14 overall with a district record of 7-3 and a playoff record of 2-1.



Jesus Leanos scores in an earlier game this year.
After finishing their district schedule tied for second with Highland, the Plowboys advanced to the playoffs only to fall to Garden City last night in Ballinger, 51-39.  

The Bearkats (18-7), ranked 21st in the state, jumped out to an early lead, and, although the Plowboys played even with them for the last three quarters, they were never able to close the gap.  At the end of the first quarter Garden City led by 12, 20-8.  At halftime, the score was 31-23, at the end of three it was 44-32, and at the game's finish, it was 51-39, still that same twelve-point lead.

Javier Leanos led the Plowboy scoring with 14 points.  Jesus Leanos had 10, Cutter Davila 6, Kevin Lavalais 5, and Anthony Ortegon 4.



On Monday evening Roscoe Police arrested Roscoe resident Felipe Ramirez, 26, in the 300 block of Elm Street and seized a controlled substance valued at somewhere between $8000 and $10,000, along with over $4000 in cash.  Also charged as a felon in possession of firearms, Ramirez was taken to the Nolan County Jail.  He is currently free on $65,000 bond. 

The Nolan County Sheriff’s Department and the Sweetwater Police assisted in the arrest.



John Ruben Herrera with his Hampshire.
Roscoe’s ag students did well at the recent stock shows in Fort Worth and San Antonio.  In Fort Worth, Max Nemir’s Hampshire won a second-place ribbon and John Ruben Herrera got sixth with his middleweight Hampshire.  In San Antonio Kristen Johns’ lamb was sixth, Derek Creed’s Duroc placed third, and Max Nemir’s Hampshire was second. 

Some students will also be exhibiting their animals in San Angelo this weekend and at Houston in March.



Bee Caves Bob
You may recall that a couple of weeks ago I mentioned Bee Caves Bob, the Austin armadillo that’s purported to be a failsafe prognosticator of Texas weather.  Just like Punxatawney Phil up in Pennsylvania, Bob comes out of his hole on February 2, and if he sees his shadow, we’re doomed to six more weeks of winter.  However, this year the clairvoyant armadillo saw no shadow—nothing but grey skies, and that means only two more weeks of winter.  There was also no shadow here in Roscoe, just fog, so if my calculations are correct, that suggests, as regards the weather, spring essentially began this past Sunday, February 16.

And it certainly has seemed that way with the clear skies and relatively warm weather we’ve experienced all this past week.  Actually, the springlike weather began on Thursday with an afternoon high of 65°F, followed by Friday’s 66°, Saturday’s 79°, Sunday’s 81°, Monday’s 67°, and yesterday’s 83°.  Lows were in the forties or low fifties.  On Monday, we had an unusual phenomenon that you won’t often see—a warm northeast wind that blew all day long.  The wind direction never shifted until about 10:30 that evening. 

The forecast is for more of the same today with a projected high of 82° and a low of 51°.  Tomorrow will be cooler with a high of 60° along with 15-25mph northwest winds.  Friday’s high should be 70°, and Saturday’s and Sunday’s in the mid sixties.  Lows on all these days should be around 40°.  There is no rain in the forecast.



Earl Woodrow Whittington, 95, died on Saturday, February 15 in Weatherford. Visitation will be from 6:00-8:00pm on Friday at McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater. Graveside service with military honors will be at 11:00am on Saturday at the Roscoe Cemetery.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Felony Arrests Made in Recent Burglaries

Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja reports to the City Council.
Felony arrests have been made and charges filed in a recent spate of burglaries in and around Roscoe.  Charged with burglary and organized criminal activity are the following, all from Roscoe:

              Luke Clark
              Ramiro Leyba
              Jeremy Solano
              One unnamed minor

The burglaries in question occurred in two residences in the 900 block of Bois d’Arc Street, one in the 300 block of Pecan, one on Ash, and one on FM 608 south of Roscoe.  The suspects are currently free on $25,000 bond and awaiting trial.

According to Steven Spencer, the Roscoe Police Officer in charge of the investigation, Roscoe Police recovered the majority of the stolen items after a consensual search of a local residence, while the Nolan County Sheriff’s Department located others from the burglary on FM 608. 

Four suspects have also been charged in three break-ins at RISD over the past three months, and information received during the investigation of the school break-ins led to identification of the individuals involved in the residential burglaries.



Supt. Kim Alexander addresses the City Council at last night's meeting.
Roscoe’s City Council was updated on the current situation regarding a number of public works, and several action items were addressed at last night’s City Council meeting, including a request from School Superintendent Kim Alexander to use City land at the new wastewater treatment facility for STEM research.  

Roscoe School Superintendent Kim Alexander presented a request from RISD STEM Research and Alexander Ag to use the 128 acres of City-owned land around the new wastewater facility south of town for RISD STEM research.  The Council liked the idea but after some discussion agreed to allow proposals from others for contracts for use of the land.  These proposals would have to conform to required specifications of the TCEQ (Texas Commission for Environmental Quality) and also meet STEM research needs.  More information on this will be forthcoming soon with specified requirements available at City Hall.

City Manager Cody Thompson informed the Council on the progress of a number of City projects now underway.  Work on the Young Farm Estates has recently been delayed but should begin again next week.  Randall Smith Construction has been hired to install the water and sewer line as well as the streets, curbs, and gutters.  They hope to have everything done by June.

Young Farm Estates owner Carl Childers has signed a purchase contract with a Dallas company for a three-acre tract adjacent to and just north of Smartt LLC next to US 84.  The company plans a building and development similar to the Smartt property.

The City’s monthly meeting with the contractors for the water-treatment plant was held on Tuesday, February 4.  The majority of the work will begin around mid-March, and the plant is still projected to be operational sometime in August. 

Proposed water improvements are being worked on now with boring under the railroads at Cypress and Front Streets.  The plan is to prevent possible catastrophic problems at the railroad crossing and to tie the new development into the existing city water system.

Ricky Bowman, CPA for the City of Roscoe, presented the 2013 audit, which the Council approved, and Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja delivered the Police Report for January.  

The Council approved an election for Saturday, May 10, to re-authorize the City’s sales tax and to elect two City Council members, as the terms of Helen Perry and Virgil Pruitt are expiring.  During the early voting period, two days, May 5 and 6, will be open for voters from 7am to 7pm.



The remains of the house at 200 Bois d'Arc St.
The brick house at 200 Bois d’Arc Street, just south of the Community Center parking lot, was a total loss after a fire broke out around two o’clock last Wednesday morning.  Fortunately, no one was injured except for some pets that didn’t make it out.  

The Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department received a call at 2:25am, but by the time the fireman got there, the house was already too far gone to save.  The Sweetwater Fire Department also assisted in fighting the blaze. 

The house was the former residence of the Russell Haney family and currently lived in on a rent-to-buy basis by a local family.  According to Fire Chief Gary Armstrong, the fire, caused most likely by faulty electrical wiring in the attic, burned for a while before the inhabitants became aware of it.



This past week, the Plowboys finished their district schedule with two victories, one over the Hermleigh Cardinals in Roscoe on Friday and the other over the Westbrook Wildcats in Westbrook on Monday.  The victories put them into the playoffs, but they still don't know whom they'll play or when. 

Last night, Highland was scheduled to play Ira, but the game was postponed until tomorrow night because of the weather.  If Highland wins that game, they will finish in sole possession of second place behind Ira, and the Plowboys will wind up in third.  However, if Ira wins, then both the Hornets and Plowboys will finish district play with identical 7-3 records and 1-1 head to head.  In that case, the teams' coaches will have to come up with a way of determining who gets the second-place seeding in the playoffs.  No decision has been made yet on how that would be done, but whatever happens, the Plowboys will be playing either Garden City or Bronte early next week.

The final score of the Hermleigh game on Friday was 51-42.  At the end of the first quarter Roscoe led by one, 15-14, and by halftime they were ahead 27-19.  The Cardinals pulled to within one at the end of three, 34-33, but the Plowboys finished strong to win by nine, 51-42.

Jesus Leanos led the Plowboys with 29 points.  Kevin Lavalais had 8, Luis Villa 6, Cutter Davila 5, and Javier Leanos 3. 

Then on Monday evening in Westbrook, the Plowboys won 67-43.  The score was tied 14-14 at the end of one, was 37-20 Roscoe at halftime, and 44-32 Roscoe at the end of three. 

Jesus Leanos once again led the Plowboys in scoring with 24 points, followed closely by his brother Javier with 23.  Lavalais made 5, Shelton Toliver 4, Dillon Freeman 4, Villa 2, and Chase Cathey 2.

Jesus Leanos was ranked fourth in the Big Country’s Top Ten Players of the Week for last week by the Abilene Reporter-News.  He was cited for his 29 points and 10 rebounds against Hermleigh and his 18 points and 5 rebounds against Loraine.



Freezing fog covered all the town's trees with ice.
What another week it’s been for the weather with a little bit of everything—temperatures bouncing back and forth, blustery winds followed by days of complete calm, clear skies and freezing fog—in short, a little bit of everything except rain or appreciable precipitation.

The high temperature on Thursday was only 16°F and the low was 11°, but with sustained high winds of 21mph and gusts up to 29, the wind chill stayed at down around zero and even dipped below it at times.  It truly was one of those days that you don’t go outside unless you have to.  On Friday, after a 15° sunrise, the sun came out and the afternoon was beautiful at 40°. 

Saturday was even better with sunshine and a high of 66°.  Cody Thompson caught a break at the Lumberyard, since the weather was very nice Saturday evening, and a large crowd showed up for an evening of Uncle Lucius and his band on the outdoor stage.  People were tired of being cooped up all week, and Uncle Lucius was a good cure for cabin fever.

Sunday was also nice, up until about mid-afternoon when another cold front blew in.  I went for a walk out to Stripes station, and everything was fine with warm breezes and sunshine, temperature in the mid-sixties.  But when I got to Stripes, Garland Haygood, Darrell Aljoe, and Willard McFaul were in there drinking coffee, so I sat down and talked with them for a while, maybe twenty or thirty minutes.  When I went back outside to walk home, the wind was howling out of the northeast, and it was cold—and in almost no time we were back into winter again.

Then, the wind died down that evening and we had a thick, freezing fog up until this morning.  Temperatures seemed to be stuck in the mid-twenties, and everything was covered with a thin sheet of ice.  Vehicles were running off the roads because of the black ice, and there were numerous wrecks.  The entire Big Country was under a winter weather advisory, and schools were closed or had delayed openings, and events of all kinds were postponed. 

However, things are now looking up once again.  This morning the sun is out, the fog is gone, and forecasters tell us it will get up into the mid-fifties this afternoon.  The warming trend will continue tomorrow with sunshine and a high in the seventies with an outlook for more of the same through the weekend.  Sunday’s forecast is for a high in the lower eighties with a low in the fifties.  Maybe spring is on the way after all.

Now if we could just get some rain…


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Roscoe in Years Gone By: "Blind Walt" Part 2

"Blind Walt" with a King Edward cigar.
In Part 1, which appeared in last week’s blog post, the setting is Roscoe in the 1920s, and two boys, the author and his friend Bood, are friends with a blind man, Walter Lewis, who makes his rounds downtown with a cane every day.  One day Walter complains of the difficulty of doing so, and Bood says it couldn’t be that hard and that he and the author could make the whole route blindfolded in fifteen minutes. “Blind Walt” disagrees. 

Check Farmer, a town barber who overhears the dispute, decides there’s only one way to find out, and blindfolds the boys, spins them around and sets them off.  Almost immediately, they fall off the curb, but Bood objects because "nobody ever spun Walter 'round and round."  Everyone agrees that the spinning wasn’t fair, and the boys get another chance to see if they can make the journey.  However, Walter gives them some advice before they set off.

In this concluding episode, the author deftly portrays downtown Roscoe as it was back then, describing not only the layout of the shops and stores, but also the sights, sounds, and smells encountered there.

by John Beryl Witherspoon

Walter raised his head toward the ceiling and rolled his King Edward cigar around in his mouth and said, “Now, if you even hope to be successful in traversing my route, you must listen closely to what I have to say.”

Russell’s Tailor Shop was getting pretty crowded by then, and everybody moved a little closer so that they would be sure to hear every word that Walter said.

“To begin with,” he said, “you must depend on your other senses since you won’t be able to see.  You must use your nose especially because every store smells different, and you must concentrate and remember the last store you just passed so that you can keep them all in sequence as you go down the street, and you will always know where you are.  But if you relax for a minute, you will be lost.”

Bood and I were eagerly listening to every word he said.

“Check didn’t realize the seriousness of your claim to make the route as I do.  He thought it was something like ‘Blind Man’s Bluff’ or something like that.  But now, he has said that he is sorry for what happened a few minutes ago, and he has agreed to follow you all the way and volunteer to help you across the streets as people in town here do for me.”

“When you go out that door there, you are walking on Highway 80, and it goes all the way from Savannah, Georgia, to San Diego and Los Angeles, California.  So keep your ears open for unusual noises.  If you hear a dog growl, stop and quietly move next to the building, and just stand there, and don’t move.  After Check has blindfolded you again, go out the front door, and turn to your right.  From then on, you will be on your own, and, remember, you will be on the south side of the street and you are going east.”

I have decided to do something that I have never done before.  I am going to let you take my cane, and I’ll sit right here until you come back, and I don’t think that will be very long because I don’t think you can do it.”

The south side of downtown Broadway in the late 1920s.  (Click photo for a larger view.)
“Now, remember, you are going east.  You walk right down the street until you come to a ‘step-up’ that is about six inches high, and there is nothing beyond that except Jack Ward’s hamburger joint, and you can smell his delicious hamburgers from there because you are directly in front of Elbert Martin’s Tailor Shop.  Now, turn to your left and you will be facing the street which is US Highway 80.  Use your cane and edge carefully to the curb, and Check will come up and volunteer to walk you across the street.”

“When you get across the street, you will smell coffee from a coffee-grinder and other spices, and you will know that you are in front of ‘Tote’ Jones’s grocery store.  Now turn left again and you will be headed west.  Start walking and you will smell chili and hamburgers again and you are in front of J. O. Casey’s hamburger joint.  Continue on down the street and you will hear pool hall noises, and you will know exactly where you are.  Go right on until you get to Graham’s Drug Store, and you will smell all those mixed flavors from the soda fountain."

"Next will be Altman’s Dry Goods, then the Hardware Store.  Use your cane because sometimes they put merchandise on the sidewalk, and if your cane hits a metal object, move closer to the curb, and as you continue, you will smell coffee and spices again and you are in front of Edd Dodds’ Grocery.  Remember, you are going west.  Go ahead to the curb and Check will again take you across the street, and you will be in front of the Roscoe State Bank.” 

Now you make another left turn.  Every turn you make is left except one, and that one is in front of the First National Bank.  Now you are going south.  Check will take you across the street to the G. H. Johnson building where Will and Loftie Adams have their furniture store.  Next will be Mrs. Copeland’s Millinery Shoppe, then the Worthy Brothers’ Dry Goods Store where Will and Ben Worthy sell dry goods.  Go right on down the street, and you will pass the Majestic Theater, where Cos and Rosie have their theater.  Next will be Bill Shields’ Grocery, and you can smell the coffee and spices again.  Then you will smell tanned leather.  That will be where Mr. McCarty and his son Joe have a harness shop, and right on down the street you will come to Abe Nemir’s Dry Good Store, then on to the Post Office.  You will know that by all the people that are there.  Turn left and walk to the curb.” 

“Check will then take you across the street.  There is no building there, but you must be very careful and turn left when you get to the sidewalk.  Now remember you are going north now.  The first building you come to will be the Masonic Hall.  It is a wooden building and easily recognized because of that.  The next one you come to is a brick building, which is the RS&P Office.  After passing there, you will come to an alley.  Cross the alley, and you will be at the rear of the First National Bank.  The first door you come to will be A. J. Parker’s office.  He is the Mayor.  The next will be W. A. Sloan’s office, who is a Realtor.  Now, continue right on down to the corner, and here is where you make your first right turn in front of the First National Bank.”

“Make your turn and you will smell food cooking.  Then you will smell hair tonic.  That means you are in front of the Barber Shop where Thurman Smith, Merritt Graham, and others are cutting hair.  Then the food smell becomes stronger and you are in front of Jim Pratt’s Café.  As you walk away, you can smell the sweet smells of a soda fountain, and you are in front of Barna Haney’s Drug Store.  Always know where you are.  Now, right on down the street to Medlock’s Drug Store, then to Cliffie Hodges’ Barber Shop and you can smell the hair tonic and you will know you are next to the City Tailor Shop.”

Well, Walter just about covered everything, I thought, and I guess everybody around us did, too.

Bood was getting anxious and he said, “Let’s go!” and everybody said, “Yes, come on.  Let’s all go.”

Check raised his hand and everybody got quiet, and he said, “Now, let’s not make a parade or some kind of circus out of this.  Nobody follows Walter down the street.  Everybody stay here until we get back, and you can see the final outcome as we walk down the street.”

With that, he proceeded to blindfold us again.  He took us out on the street, and we locked arms and followed Walter’s instructions precisely.  We went east until the “rise” in the sidewalk bumped Bood’s cane, and Check took us across the street and we made our left turn and all the way down to the Roscoe State Bank.  We made another left turn and went all the way to the Post Office.

Check took us across the street, and we turned left again and started north up the street.  After we had passed the Masonic Hall, the RS&P Office, and the alley, we knew that we were in the back of the First National Bank.  We still had our arms locked and we became jubilant.  We started laughing and giggling for we could smell success.  Bood was banging Walter’s cane upon the side of the building, and the happier we got, the faster we walked.  Bood said, “We’re almost to the corner and here it is.  Now turn right.”

Then, disaster struck!!!

We ran head on into Mrs. Cardwell.  Check said her hat went straight up in the air and she dropped her purse on the sidewalk and let out a blood-curdling scream, and people began coming out of the stores to see what the commotion was.

We jerked our blindfolds off, and while Bood was retrieving her purse, I was going for her hat.  We handed them to her and began apologizing to her.  She was very frightened and suddenly her fright changed into anger.  Her face became flushed and she started breathing deeply.  She took a deep breath, held her lips tightly together and exhaled through her nose with some force, and she went streaking across the street to the Millinery Shoppe with her hat in one hand and her purse in the other.

Check could see our dilemma as we stood there dejected with our blindfolds dangling around our necks, and he said, “Come on, let’s go.”

Bood walked up and reluctantly handed Walter his cane, and after Check explained what had happened, it became deathly quiet in there.

“I am the one who is remiss,” said Walter.  “I thought I had covered everything when I gave them instructions, but I neglected to tell them about those right turns.  They are hazardous for a blind person.  When you get to a corner to make a right turn, you should always stop and stick your nose around the corner and sniff.  If you smell any kind of toiletries or perfume, you should stand still because a lady is coming down the street.”

“So, you see, I am the one who is to blame, and I wish to compliment these boys because they went farther than I ever thought they could do.”

That is why we loved Our Blind Man.  We didn’t know it at the time, but we really and truly did love Our Blind Man.

Bood and I learned a lot that day.  We learned of the complexities of being blind and the difficulties that face them every day of their lives.

That was Roscoe as we knew it so long ago.



Highland's Sierra Allen (22) makes two from the paint. She was the game's high scorer with 17.
No one was really surprised to see Highland overpower the Plowgirls in Roscoe Friday evening 54-19.  After all, the Lady Hornets are now 22-2 on the season, undefeated in district, and ranked sixth in the state in Class 1A-2 by the TGCA (Texas Girls Coaches Association).  They clinched the 13-1A title with the win.  The loss puts the Plowgirls at 12-13 for the year and 6-3 in district, which should be good enough to get them into the playoffs

Highland jumped out to a 9-4 first-quarter lead and were ahead at halftime 21-8.  At the end of three the score was 42-15.  Shelby Brown led the Plowgirls with 6 points followed by Sam Ortega with 5, Sunshine Saddler 4, Eva Aguayo 2, and Danielle Dean 2.  Sierra Allen led the Lady Hornets with 17 points; Moseley had 10, Richburg 7, Helbert 6, Kimbrell 6, H. Allen 5, and Martin 3.

Then last night in a non-district game, the Plowgirls beat the Abilene Hawks 44-22.  Sam Ortega led the Plowgirls with 13 points, and Selena Perez made 10.  Whitney Williams had 8, Shelby Brown 5, Danielle Dean 3, Eva Aguayo 2, Mia Herrera 2, and Ashton Payne 1.

The Plowgirls are playing Paint Rock at Robert Lee High School next Tuesday, February 11, at 7:30 pm for the bi-district championship game. 



Cutter Davila makes a long three against Highland.
The Plowboys, who were tied for second place with Highland in the district race, were defeated by the Hornets at home Friday night 36-33, and will now need help to make the playoffs.  Although the game went down to the final buzzer, the Hornets led most of the game, and it was a case of too little too late.

Roscoe led at the end of one 8-6, but the Hornets had a big second quarter and at halftime were ahead 21-16.  The Plowboys closed the gap to 28-24 at the end of three, but were unable to catch Highland in the fourth, and Leanos’ long shot for three in the final seconds fell short, putting Highland in control of the second spot, next to undefeated Ira.

Cutter Davila led the Plowboys with 11 points, followed by Javier Leanos with 9 and Jesus Leanos with 8.  Anthony Ortegon and Luis Villa both had 2 and Shelton Toliver 1.



Sunday morning's snowfall.

It’s been another week of crazy weather—warm, then freezing, then warm again, then freezing again, and so on.  And when it’s been cold, it’s often been very cold with low temperatures in the mid-teens or lower along with brisk breezes.  And more cold is on the way. 

The only good news in that regard is that Bee Caves Bob, the armadillo in Austin who looks for his shadow every February 2, didn’t see it this year, and if he’d been in Roscoe, he wouldn’t have seen it here, either.  That means—at least I sincerely hope it does—that we’ve got only two more weeks of winter to go.  Come on, spring!

Last Thursday was nice with a high of 67°F, and Friday was even warmer as it got up to 76°.  But another cold front moved through, and Saturday’s high was only 46° with a low of 29°.  Sunday morning it started snowing big flakes, and it appeared at first that we might get six or eight inches.  But it suddenly stopped, leaving about two or three inches on the ground.  It was the first moisture of the year, and while it was certainly welcome, it didn’t amount to much.  Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded .32” of moisture from the snow.  Sunday’s high was only 35° with gusts up to 31mph, and Monday followed suit with a high of 32° and a low of 18°.  Then yesterday, after a fog so thick that the area was under a fog advisory all morning, the sun finally came out and warmed everything up again.  Within a couple of hours, almost all the snow was melted, and my afternoon walk in 52° weather was a pleasure after being inside as much as possible the preceding days.

Unfortunately,  another norther moved in last night, and the 29° we had at midnight will go down as the high for the day since the high this afternoon will be more like 24° with a low tonight of about 16° with wind chills down to around 10° or so.  There’s also a 20% chance of snow tonight and tomorrow.  Tomorrow's high will be about 25° and tomorrow night’s low will be around 20°, but then Friday will bring south winds and another warming trend with temperatures climbing back into the mid-forties. And Saturday will be similar with a high in the low fifties.

After all these cold spells we’ve been having this winter, I’m hoping things will balance out with a warm, wet spring.



Robert Gordon Nemir, 77, of Sweetwater passed away on Sunday, February 2, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital. Funeral services will be this morning at 11:00am at First Presbyterian Church with Reverend Kary Fry and Jack Aycock officiating. Interment will be at the Roscoe Cemetery. 

Robert was born on July 10, 1936, in Roscoe to Ernest Roy and Lucile Ellen Nemir. He was a 1954 graduate of Roscoe High School and furthered his studies at Texas Tech and North Texas Universities. On June 22, 1974, he married Patricia (Boo) Fox. They had two children, Ernest Gordon and Hilary Clair. He spent fifty-seven years in automotive sales, beginning with the Joe White Lincoln-Mercury Dealership in Odessa, then moving back to Sweetwater to work for Carroll Buick and Cadillac while working in his ranching business. Later, he branched out into the auto sales business on his own for many years. He enjoyed ranching, hunting and fishing with his family. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Sweetwater, where he served as a Ruling Elder. 

He is survived by his wife Boo Nemir of Sweetwater; son Gordon Nemir of Sweetwater; daughter Hilary Brennan and husband Donnie of Sweetwater; four grandchildren: Samuel Gordon Nemir of San Angelo and Roscoe, Robert Nicholas Nemir of Canyon and Roscoe, Maxwell Harrison Nemir of Roscoe, and Caroline Clair Brennan of Sweetwater; daughter-in-law Marina Wilcox of Roscoe; brother Billy Don Nemir and wife Jacque of Haskell; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents Ernest in 1961, Lucile in 1984, and  brother Jack in 1947. 

Pallbearers will be Christopher Chorn, Will Worley, Ryan Worley, Sam Nemir, Nick Nemir and Max Nemir. Honorary pallbearer will be Caroline Brennan. 

Memorials may be made to the First Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 956, Sweetwater, Texas 79556. 



A graveside service will be held at 2:00pm on Sunday, February 9, at Congregation Sherath Israel Cemetery on Dolphin Road in Dallas for Sylvia Shelan (née Krawitz), 90, who passed away February 4 in Santa Rosa, CA from natural causes.  

She was born in Oakmulgee, OK on September 22, 1923, to Nathan and Nana Krawitz and raised in Tulsa, where she graduated from Central High School. She then moved to Houston to seek work and met her future husband of 69 years, Bernard Shelan(sky).

The couple moved to Roscoe, TX in 1948, where they assumed ownership of her father-in-law’s store, Shelansky’s Dry Goods.  In the ensuing 31 years, they worked, lived, and raised three boys, Ronald, Charles, and Evan. Sylvia worked with her husband in the store often seven days a week during the busy season. For 31 years, she bought merchandise, guessing correctly on next season’s styles, sold and hemmed clothing to fit two generations of customers who become friends in their small West Texas town.

She and her husband retired to Abilene in 1979, where they were longtime members of Temple Mizpah, and eventually settled in Longview in 1993, where they became active members of Temple Emanu-El.

Sylvia was dedicated to her husband of 69 years, supporting him in business and social life. As a child of the Depression, she was rarely satisfied with the status quo and always encouraged her family to do better through education and hard work.

She was preceded in death by her mother, Nana Wallach Krawitz Boxer; father, Nathan Krawitz; sisters, Ruth Yusen and Idelle Berman; and husband, Bernard.


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