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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

No Roscoe Hard Times This Week

Dear Readers,

There will be no Roscoe Hard Times this week due to a houseful of family in for the holidays and ongoing problems with AT&T and the internet. Dealing with those two issues (happily with the first, not so much with the second) has left me with insufficient time to gather this week’s news and write it up.

The blog will resume next week with a review of 2018 for Roscoe as well as any news of local events that occur between now and then.

Until then, here’s wishing you all a Happy New Year and the best of everything in 2019!

Edwin Duncan
Roscoe Hard Times


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas! This holiday greeting may seem a bit premature since Christmas Eve is not until next Monday and Christmas Day next Tuesday. But by the time next week’s Roscoe Hard Times is posted, Christmas will already be over, and we’ll be looking forward to the New Year.

This early greeting may serve as a warning to those of us who still have yet to get all our Christmas shopping done! The time is fast approaching, and it won’t be long before Santa’s reindeer are on the roof!

And while we’re on the topic of Christmas shopping, I can’t help but notice how the internet has changed the way we shop these days compared to the past. What I’m about to say may not apply to everybody, but I’m sure it does for many of us.

A decade or so ago, for me at any rate, the last few days before Christmas Eve involved two or three extended trips to malls and other retail outlets in a frantic search for presents for everyone on the list. You’d go to this place and that looking for suitable gifts, and you’d often find that whatever it was you had in mind would no longer be available, especially if the gifts were something popular that year, like beanie babies or cabbage patch kids. You might get lucky and find everything you wanted, but if not, you’d have to settle for something else and hope whoever you got it for wouldn’t be too disappointed.

The stores you went to would be full of other people doing the same thing you were, and the spirit of Christmas would be in the air with Christmas songs on the PA systems and the Salvation Army people outside ringing their bells, waiting for people to drop a donation into their buckets.

Now, all the major retailers have been running Christmas sales on the internet since Black Friday, and with each passing year more and more of us are doing most or all of our Christmas shopping on the computer, tablet, or smart phone. And why not? It’s much easier to find just what you’re looking for, the prices are usually better, and all the major retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and others have become more efficient at getting your orders processed, shipped, and on your front porch two or three days after you made your selections and hit the send button.

It’s enough to make you wonder what shopping will be like in coming years and what other changes will come to the Christmas experience as we’ve always known it.

The good news of course is that the spirit of Christmas is alive and well, and the annual exchange of gifts with family and loved ones will continue no matter where or how we obtain them. And the elves at the North Pole will still make the toys that Santa puts into his sleigh and delivers on Christmas Eve to all good little boys and girls.

And, on that note, let me wish you all a Merry Christmas along with the hope that this year will be your best Christmas yet!



7th-graders work on a research project, part of Roscoe's P-20 program.
Last Wednesday, the Abilene Reporter-News ran yet another article on Roscoe’s innovative school system, this time on the front page. Written by Timothy Chipp and entitled “Education chief views Roscoe school success,” the article reports on the school visit of Mike Morath, the Commissioner of the Texas Education Agency. 

Morath, who’s been the Commissioner for almost three years now, had often heard of Roscoe’s program but had never been to the school to visit its facilities, learn more about it, talk to its students, and see it in action.

When he did, he was impressed, declaring its practice “quite possibly the best” in the state. That’s quite a compliment, coming as it does from the Texas Education Commissioner. Besides the school’s innovative programs and facilities, he was also influenced by its 100% TEA score on college, career, and military readiness and its 100% graduation rate.

If you missed the article, it’s still available online (with a slightly different title) by clicking here.



Stock Show Winners: Front row: Aiden Richburg, Fernando Ramirez. Back row: Kelbi Parks, Zeke Murphy, Reese Kiser, Jacob Kiser. (Stock show photos by Shelley Gunter)
These are the results of the Roscoe FFA Livestock Show held at the School Ag Barn on Saturday.


Class 1
               1st – Cameron Greenwood
               2nd – Carson Greenwood

Grand Champion Goat
               Cameron Greenwood
Reserve Champion Goat
               Carson Greenwood
Goat Showmanship
               Carson Greenwood


Class 1
               1st –  Zeke Murphy (Spot)
               2nd – Aiden Richburg (Yorkshire)
               3rd – Fernando Ramirez (Spot)
Class 2
               1st – Aiden Richburg (Dark Cross)
               2nd – Fernando Ramirez (Yorkshire)
               3rd – Zeke Murphy (Spot)
Class 3
               1st – Kelbi Parks (Hampshire)
               2nd – Zeke Murphy (Berkshire)
               3rd – Jacob Kiser (Hampshire)
Class 4
               1st – Reese Kiser (Duroc)
               2nd – Aiden Richburg (Hampshire)
               3rd – Kelbi Parks (Dark Cross)

Grand Champion Swine
               Reese Kiser with Duroc
Reserve Champion Swine
               Aiden Richburg with Hampshire

Jr. Swine Showmanship
               Aiden Richburg

Sr. Swine Showmanship
               Reese Kiser

Pee Wee Swine Show Exhibitors
Kason Gunter
Kaycee Gunter



Jovana Peña drives for the basket. (Photo by Tamara Alexander)
Unlike the previous weeks with tournaments, the Plowgirls played only twice this past week, losing one to Forsan here on Thursday and winning the other over Coahoma yesterday evening. Here are the scores by quarters followed by the individual Plowgirl scoring.

Forsan 44 – Plowgirls 39
                                           1           2           3           4
               Forsan              14         22         36         44
               Plowgirls          11          21         29         39

Individual Plowgirl scoring: Bonnie Wilkinson 13, Sadie McCambridge 9, Victoria Martinez 9, Shauna McCambridge 6, Riley Sheridan 2.

Plowgirls 45 – Coahoma 37

               Plowgirls            9         25         38         45
               Coahoma          12         22         29         37

Individual Plowgirl scoring: Sh. McCambridge 11, Wilkinson 10, Martinez 9, Jovana Peña 9, Sa. McCambridge 4, Sheridan 2.

The Plowgirls have one more game on the schedule before the Christmas break. They play Borden County here Thursday at 4:30pm and won’t have another game until the Anson Tournament on Thursday, December 27.



Ryan Highsmith, left, and Tristan Baker jump for a rebound.
On Thursday, the Plowboys were defeated by Merkel 47-26 in Merkel.  Then, after last night's game with Gorman was canceled, they played Coahoma instead and lost 49-27. Here are the scores by quarters for both games followed by the individual Plowboy scoring.

Merkel 47 – Plowboys 26
                                           1          2          3          4
               Merkel              19        28        39        47
               Plowboys           6          9         23        26

Individual Plowboy scoring: Hunter Anglin 7, Ryan Highsmith 7, Caleb Gray 6, Jose Ortega 2, Jayden Gonzales 1, Junior Martinez 1.

Coahoma 49 - Plowboys 27  

               Coahoma         10        24         35         49
               Plowboys           2          6          17         27

Individual Plowboy scoring: Highsmith 7, Brayan Medina 6, Martinez 6, Gonzales 2, Tristan Baker 2, Gray 2, Anglin 2.

The Plowboys will play Borden County here Thursday evening at 6:00 and then take a Christmas break, not playing again until the Anson Tournament on Thursday, December 27.



Yesterday's sunset.
On Thursday afternoon, it was cool, cloudy and rainy as strong winds from the northwest blew from 15-25mph with gusts up to 40mph with an afternoon shower that lasted for a couple of hours. Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded an official total of .9” for Roscoe with slightly lesser amounts falling west of town. Friday was dry but also cloudy and breezy with sustained winds of 15-20mph and gusts up to 35mph. Temperatures for both days were cool with highs of 51°F and 52° and lows of 35° and 33°.

Saturday was much nicer with sunny skies, little to no wind, and a high 0f 62°. It was perfect weather for the Christmas parade and Santa in Old Town Park. Sunday and Monday were also nice, but partly cloudy and cooler with highs of 56° and 52°. Yesterday was similar with light south winds and a high of 56°. Lows for all three days were around 40°.

The outlook for the coming week is similar to this past week with highs in the fifties and sixties and lows in the thirties or forties. Today’s skies will be partly cloudy with a high of 58° and low of 39°, but tomorrow will be sunny with strong northwest winds and a high of 57° and a low of 34°. Friday and Saturday will be sunny or partly cloudy with highs of 64° and 62°, followed by slightly cooler days on Sunday and Monday.

Any rain or freezing weather in the coming week is unlikely.



From the Galveston Daily News, December 30, 1894.


Roscoe, Nolan Co., Tex., Dec. 29—W. L. Latham, who had his left leg broken on the 25th instant while firing anvils, died yesterday morning. Doctors amputated his leg, but the shock was too severe for him. He leaves a wife and several children.

Editor’s Note: According to Wikipedia, Anvil firing (also known in the USA as anvil launching or anvil shooting) is the practice of firing an anvil into the air with gunpowder. Anvil firing was once commonly performed in the Southern United States as a substitute for fireworks during celebrations. One such noteworthy celebration was held on the day the state of Texas voted to secede from the Union. On February 23, 1861, Texas Ranger and prominent Union supporter, Thomas Lopton Campbell Jr., was held captive and forced to "fire the anvils" in the streets of Austin.

To see a YouTube video of an anvil firing, click here

If someone asks you if you learned anything today, you can tell them about anvil firing and how it ruined W. L. Latham’s Roscoe Christmas in 1894.


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