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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Roscoe Celebrates July 4th This Saturday

Restless Heart
Final preparations are underway for Saturday’s big July 4th Celebration, and the event’s organizers are planning a day to remember.

The day will begin at 8am with the Roscoe Lions Club Pancake Breakfast in the open building just west of the Smackers building on Broadway. Then at ten o’clock, the parade will come down Broadway, followed by the Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field beginning at twelve.

The Roscoe Community Center is sponsoring a city-wide garage with vendors at the Community Center between 8am and 3pm and at various homes around town. Maps to participating homes will be available at the Community Center.

During the afternoon, street vendors will be open and selling food and other wares along Broadway, Cypress, and Old Town Park, and the Roscoe Historical Museum will be open for visitors.

The Roscoe Express will be available to shuttle people free of charge between downtown and the Plowboy Mudbog during the afternoon.  There will also be free swimming from 1-5pm at the City Swimming Pool.

Music will begin “on the bricks” of Cypress with Grant Gilbert at around six-thirty. Then, Restless Heart will take the stage at eight and play until 9:30, followed by the ever-popular fireworks show beginning at about 9:45.

Here are more details about the various events of the day:


The Lions Club Pancake Breakfast will start at 8am and end at 10am before the start of the parade. Pancakes, bacon, coffee, and juice will be served for $5/plate in the empty building next to the former Smacker’s Café on Broadway. All proceeds from the ticket sales and breakfast will be used to support the Roscoe Lions Club charitable activities for the year.


Once again, parade organizers invite your participation. They are looking for creativity and variety. Float awards will be presented to best overall, best western, and most patriotic. Prizes will also be awarded to the best antique vehicle, best motorcycle, best bicycle, and best semi. Anything is welcome!

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

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


The Roscoe Community Center at 100 Bois d’Arc Street is sponsoring a city-wide garage with vendors at the Community Center between 8am and 3pm and at various homes around town. Maps to participating homes will be available at the Community Center. The concession stand at the Community Center will also be open for drinks and snacks.


This year’s Plowboy Mudbog at George Parks Field will feature mudboggers from as far away as Dallas, Amarillo, and New Mexico. Registration for entrants begins at 9:30am Saturday morning at the northwest corner of the baseball field at Second and Sycamore Streets.  The driver entry fee is $30.

Entries will be in five classes:

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

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

The public gate will open at 11:00am with mudbog action beginning at noon. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for students 11 to 16. Kids 10 and under are free.  Proceeds will benefit the Roscoe Baseball Little League. The Little League will also run the concession booth.

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

Spectators are encouraged to bring sun block, mosquito repellent, canopy, and lawn chairs. For more information, see the Plowboy Mudbog Facebook page, or contact Felix Pantoja at 325-514-8384.


 Swimming at the Roscoe City Pool will be free of charge from 1:00-5:00pm.  The City Pool is located at 4th and Cedar Streets next to the City Park.

For more information, contact Pool Manager Tammy San Agustin at 325-574-3101.


The music stage will be set up on Cypress Street downtown between the Roscoe State Bank and Old Town Park. Grant Gilbert will open the show at around 6:30, followed by this year’s feature act, Restless Heart, who will begin around eight o’clock and play until 9:30 or so.

Grant Gilbert is an up-and-coming young singer/songwriter, originally from Santo, a small community near Thurber. He is now part of the music scene at Lubbock, where he attends Texas Tech. His debut EP, “Lost in Transition” is available on all music platforms. Singles include “Like I’m Your Whiskey” and “Goodbye Eyes.”

Restless Heart is a country music band from Nashville that’s been producing hits since 1984. At one point in the 1980s and ‘90s they had six consecutive No. 1 country hits and over the years have produced four gold-certified albums. Singles now considered country classics include “The Bluest Eyes in Texas,” “Wheels,” “That Rock Won’t Roll,” “I’ll Still Be Loving You,” and “Why Does It Have to be Wrong or Right?”


The fireworks show should once again be a memorable event that fittingly tops off the day. 

The show begins at about 9:45pm and will last about twenty minutes.


Lyndall Underwood & the Dusty Creek Band
Those who are still not done celebrating can then go to the Lumberyard, where until 1 o’clock there will be dancing and live music provided by Lyndall Underwood and the Dusty Creek Band free of charge.

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



Workforce Board Chairman Samuel Garcia and Donna Cutler of WTC present the check to John Bolton of RCHS.
On June 20, Workforce Solutions of West Central Texas awarded Roscoe Collegiate High School a grant of $21,000 to fund internships in the agriculture/vet technician-training program. The award funds are from the Texas Talent Connection Program.

The grant is managed by the Texas Workforce Investment Council in the Governor’s Economic Development and Tourism Division, and the Texas Workforce Commission will administer the grants, track progress, completion rates, hire rates and wages earned.

Other schools receiving grant money for related projects were Abilene ISD, Sweetwater ISD, Snyder ISD, and Cisco College.

For more information, contact Steve Collins, Business Resource Consultant at 325-795-4304 or



The Tollison Fire (Photo by Felix Pantoja)
A fire that broke out around midnight Saturday night destroyed the old Tollison house on Fourth and Oak Streets. The house, owned by Jay and Jim Tollison, was unoccupied, but tools and personal items were lost.

Roscoe Police are investigating the fire’s origin as possibly suspicious.



Last week, Keegan Covington continued to improve from his gunshot wound, and on Friday the doctors released him and he was able to go home.

However, on Sunday night, his lung collapsed and he had to return to the hospital in Lubbock. Reports yesterday on the Prayers for Keegan Facebook page say he had a chest tube in his left side, and hopes were that he’d improve enough to go home again soon.



Yesterday's sunset.
It’s been another week of uncommonly hot and dry weather. On both Saturday and Sunday, storms passed over the area without dropping more than a brief sprinkle—just enough to mess up the windshield on cars left outside. It was frustrating to watch both storms approach full of thunder and lightning, which continued as they passed overhead, and then to get no more than a sprinkle either day.

The lightning sparked a big fire on Nine Mile Mountain south of Sweetwater that kept local fire departments busy for a couple of days. The Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department was in the thick of the action and had two of their trucks break down in the process.

The weekend was especially hot with highs of 103°F on Friday, 105° on Saturday, and 106° on Sunday. Monday and yesterday were somewhat cooler, but not by much. The high on Monday was 96° and yesterday was 98°.  Lows were in the seventies all week. The lowest low was Thursday’s 71° and the highest low was 77° on both Saturday and Sunday. The heat was accompanied by high winds from the south or south-southeast. The windiest day was on Sunday when the average was 17mph with maximum high winds of 32 and gusts up to 43.

The forecast for the next few days is for continued hot, dry, and windy weather. Today and tomorrow’s highs are forecast to reach 100°, Friday’s 99°, and Saturday’s back to 100°. The outlook for next week is for daily highs of 98° or 99° with continued strong south winds. Lows will be in the mid-seventies.

And, once again, there is no rain in the forecast.


Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Roscoe Police Department Hires New Officer

Beatrix Lopez receives her badge from Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja.
Roscoe Police Chief Felix Pantoja has hired a new Police Officer for the City of Roscoe. 

She is Beatrix Lopez, who recently retired from the Snyder Police Department after 11 years’ service. She was also a School Resource Officer for the Snyder ISD. She will be employed here part-time.

She says she’s excited to work for the City of Roscoe and ready to get started.



Keegan Covington
Keegan Covington, seriously injured in a shooting accident on June 9, has apparently turned the corner and is now doing much better at Covenant Children’s Hospital in Lubbock. 

According to a report posted on the Prayers for Keegan Covington Facebook page yesterday, the doctors have now taken all the tubes out, including the central line in his neck, and he is off oxygen and doing well.

We are all thankful that he is steadily improving and wish him a speedy recovery!



It’s midsummer’s eve tonight, the weather is hot, and so will the music be this weekend at the Lumberyard with two popular bands in town. 

On Friday night, it’s Micky and the Motorcars and on Saturday the Hot Texas Swing Band.

Micky & the Motorcars
Micky and the Motorcars are a hot alternative Texas country band originally from Idaho but now based in Austin. They have released five mainstream albums: Careless (2007), Naïve (2008), Live at Billy Bob’s Texas (2009), Raise My Glass (2011), and Hearts from Above (2014).  

Top singles include “Carolina Morning,” “July, You Are a Woman,” “Careless,”  “Hearts from Above.” and “Long Road to Nowhere.”

The Hot Texas Swing Band
The Hot Texas Swing Band makes its debut at the Lumberyard Saturday. Also from Austin, this band is one of the best Texas Swing bands in the country. Some of their songs may remind you of Asleep at the Wheel—or even Bob Wills—but others have their own distinctive sound, combining traditional western swing with rockabilly, Latin, and modern beats.

Over the past few years, they have created a name for themselves by winning such awards as the Academy of Western Artists’ 2013 Western Swing Song of the Year, “Way Too Soon.” Their CDs, Ain’t Dead Yet (2016) and Off the Beaten Trail (2017) were both finalists for Western Swing Album of the Year, and the City of Austin proclaimed October 17, 2013, “Hot Texas Swing Band Day.”

They have released four CDs: Off the Beaten Trail, Ain’t Dead Yet, ‘Bout Time, and Hot Texas Swing Band. Popular singles include “Ain’t Dead Yet,” “The Shrimp’s on the Plate,” “Way Too Soon,” and “Back in My Texas Home.”

For reservations or more information, contact the Lumberyard at 325-766-2457.


Editor’s Note: The news in Roscoe has been a little slow this week, so I thought I’d include this memory of Roscoe in years gone by. Its author, Hershel Whittington, a student in Roscoe High School at the time, tells of the coming of the WASPs to Avenger Field in 1943. The memoir seems appropriate with all the activity that’s gone on there this past week with the 42nd running of the Air Race Classic, a contest featuring all-woman teams, who are racing their planes this year from Avenger Field to Bangor, Maine.

“Invasion of the WASPs”
(adapted from an article, “The Day the WASPs Landed,” by Herschel Whittington, published in Dispatch magazine, July/August 1990)

The folks in West Texas have grown accustomed to wasps—they deal with them every day. But they hardly were prepared for the great WASP invasion of 1943.

We heard they were coming. We even knew which day, and almost the hour. Actually, a strong wind out of the southeast brought them over the horizon a full hour ahead of schedule.

They were, as anticipated, beautiful creatures, with tiny waists, and naturally graceful fliers.

They were a species to themselves—the WASPs, the Women Air Force Service Pilots (originally Women's Auxiliary Service Pilots). Actually, most were at that time only WASPs in training.

The U. S. Government's program to train women pilots to ferry military aircraft and perform other flying services began in 1942. Without getting into the history or politics of this program, let's note only that the first "class" of WASPs trained on an airfield south of Houston. But conditions there, in the view of program head, Jacqueline Cochran, were far from adequate. So when the British pilot training program ceased at Sweetwater's Avenger Field, Cochran seized the opportunity to move her WASP program to this new, nearly ideal West Texas facility.

Word that the WASPs were coming spread like a prairie fire across Central West Texas. Some thought it a grand development, especially the younger male population of the area. Some looked upon it as a curse. More than a few menfolks expected training planes to be falling out of the sky with great regularity, posing extreme risks to area residents. Certain womenfolks thought it disgraceful, and a threat to local morals.

Whatever my parents thought, I and two of my compadres (all of us high-school juniors) bailed out of school after lunch that sunny, breezy May afternoon in 1943 and pointed the Chevy toward Avenger Field, which was equidistant from Roscoe, where we lived, and the larger town of Sweetwater, itself only eight miles away. These WASPs were, after all, young females, and we were (God help us) 17-year-old boys. Enough said.

Our intent was to park the Chevy beside Highway 80, which ran along the south side of the airfield, and watch the arrival from that vantage point. But by the time we got there, two hours ahead of the announced ETA for the WASPs, the highway already was lined with parked cars on both sides for two miles in each direction. We shifted to Plan B.

My Dad was a civilian gate guard for the airfield. We drove up to the gate, and sure enough he was on duty. I'm no George Washington, but it seemed to me that honesty not only was the best policy but the only policy apt to work in such a circumstance. I explained to Dad that we had skipped school to watch the WASPs fly in, but that the best spots along the highway were taken.

Dad smiled. That may have been the first time it ever occurred to me that he'd once been a 17-year-old himself, although admittedly a long time ago. He gave us gate passes, and directed us to a spot alongside the flight line where we not only could park and watch the planes approach and land, but could see the pilots up close as they deplaned.

What a Dad!

It was about two o'clock when the first AT-6 Texan swooped in over Sweetwater, buzzed the field, circled over Roscoe, then bounced in on runway 15 in a swirl of dust. As it taxied toward the parking ramp, a second yellow Texan showed, and another, each buzzing downtown Sweetwater, before it turned down-leg, skirted the north side of the field, then lined up with 15. Most made beautiful landings in spite of the gusty wind.

The first plane parked and disgorged its crew: a not particularly attractive middle-age woman and a chubby drug-store cowboy dressed for an ice-cream social. Turns out he was the mayor of Sweetwater who had traveled to San Antonio to join the fly-in with the middle-age woman who was Jacqueline Cochran, head of the WASP program and perhaps the most famous woman pilot ever except Amelia Earhart. But we three disappointed young "stallions" weren't there to see politicians or famous pilots.

The second plane parked and disgorged two figures shrouded in flight helmets, goggles and baggy fatigue suits that could easily have covered two of the finest cows from the Double Heart Ranch.

Even after they removed the goggles and helmets, the fliers looked more like sweat-drowned prairie dogs than beauty queens.

This parade of dowdyism continued for about an hour, as plane after plane landed, was parked, and abandoned by a pair of woman pilots—in those days women, even those in baggy attire, were distinguishable by their long hair. We returned to school dis­appointed, sans any tall tales to tell, fully capable of des­cribing the new arrivals without use of our hands.

That night Dad said, "You fellows just gave up too soon. You should have been there," he said with an ear-to-ear grin, "after they got cleaned up and headed out for the Bluebonnet—Miss Cochran was giving them a welcoming party—they looked great to me."

I could tell by his expression he had more interest in pretty, young women than I'd ever heretofore imagined. Anyhow, the next Saturday my buddies and me staked out the Bluebonnet.

You know what?...Dad was right. Those women pilots cleaned up unbelievably pretty, with their little waists and gorgeous br...broad smiles.

Turns out the "Chicken Littles" who'd forecast a high frequency of WASP-flown trainers dropping out of the sky onto our heads and property were grossly pessimistic. And, as for the potential threat to local morals....Yeah!



Farmers and ranchers were hopeful that the rains forecast for the area would finally break the extended dry spell many of them have been experiencing this spring. And rain did fall in some places, but for too many it wasn’t enough, while others missed out completely. 

Here in town, all we got was a sprinkle on Sunday evening and a very brief shower on Monday at about one o’clock. My rain gauge measured only .12”, although some areas north of town around Claytonville got over an inch and others east of town about a half-inch.

After the heat wave of the previous two weeks, the temperatures of the past week have been comparatively mild. Highs were in the mid-nineties from Thursday through Sunday with the maximum for the week coming on both Thursday and Friday at 96°F. Monday and yesterday, however, were milder with a high on Monday of only 90° and yesterday of 91°. The low temperature for the week was Monday’s 70°.

Today will be somewhat warmer with somewhat cloudy skies and a high of 93°. That will increase to 95° tomorrow, 103° on Friday, and a sweltering 106° or thereabouts on Saturday. Sunday is forecast to be only slightly cooler with a maximum of 101°, dropping on Monday to 98°.  Lows will be in the mid-seventies through Sunday, falling to 71° or 72° on Monday and Tuesday.

And, although scattered showers are always possible this time of year, at this time there is little to no chance of rain in the forecast.



Funeral services for Teresa Clydene Neves Thomas, 74, will be on Friday, June 22, at 12:30pm at Cashner Funeral Home in Conroe.

A 1962 graduate of Roscoe High School, she passed away in Conroe last Friday, June 15.

Condolences may be expressed at the Dignity Memorial website.


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