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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Winter Storm Hits Area

The view from my front yard this morning.
Sunday was Groundhog Day, and both Punxsutawney Phil up in Pennsylvania and Bee Cave Bob, the prognosticating armadillo down in Austin, have both proclaimed that we are in for an early spring this year. 

And maybe we are, but you wouldn’t know it from what we’ve been experiencing yesterday and so far today. It's 25°F out there with wind chills ranging from 15° to 18°. There's snow everywhere, and a winter storm warning is in effect until six o'clock this afternoon with more snow expected and a low tonight of 19°. Roscoe and Highland schools and the Open Door Day Care Center are all having a snow day, and it's hard to tell, but it looks like we've already got between 2½" and 3" of snow. So far, this looks a lot like the winter we haven't been having this year.
Up until yesterday, the weather was just fine, a bit cool toward the end of last week with a high of 41°F on Thursday and 53° on Friday with lows of 31° and 29° respectively, but the weekend was nice and warm with highs of 69° Saturday, 75° Sunday, and 73° Monday. All that changed yesterday as the southwest breezes of the weekend shifted to the north and the cold weather arrived. 

It rained intermittently starting at about 5:20 yesterday afternoon up until about midnight. It's hard to tell from looking at my rain gauge, which is covered with snow, but it appears that we got at least .6" of rain last night before it turned first to sleet and then to snow.

The forecast today is for a high of 29° and continued snow into the afternoon with a nippy north breeze of 15mph or so. However, the winds will die down this evening and by tomorrow morning they will have shifted to the west-southwest, which along with clear, sunny skies will bring on a warming trend and a high of 44°, which will increase to 58° on Friday. Saturday will also be sunny with a high of 54°, and then Sunday afternoon will be sunny with southerly breezes and a high of 68°, which is T-shirt weather.

There is also a chance for more precipitation the first part of next week, 30% on Monday and 40% on Tuesday and Wednesday.



Frances Richburg was featured in an Abilene Reporter-News article on Sunday about the then upcoming Super Bowl. As most people in Roscoe already know, her grandson Weston Richburg is the starting center for the San Francisco 49ers, one of this year’s Super Bowl teams. Unfortunately, however, he was not able to play in Sunday’s big game because of an injury he suffered earlier that he still hasn’t recovered from, but of course that didn’t keep him—or his grandma—from cheering for their team.

The article was written by Reporter-News sports reporter Stephen Garcia. It appeared in the Sunday paper on page B2 and is available online here.



By Dan Boren
Roscoe Firemen with their shield. Veronica Cuellar and Dan Boren are at right.
On February 3rd, representatives from EduMake-it formally presented a Maltese cross shield to the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department.  The department had placed an order for the sign after seeing some of the other signs EMI had on display at the Roscoe Wind Festival in October. 

After receiving the order, the students working with EduMake-it suggested that the student-led business donate the shield to the department to demonstrate a small token of appreciation for the service and sacrifice of the department.  Presenting the shield were Veronica Cuellar, Esperanza Sanchez (not pictured), and Dan Boren.

EduMake-it currently can be found on Facebook, Instagram, Etsy, Twitter and on the Roscoe Collegiate website under EduBusiness.



Plowgirls and Albany as seen on the EduDrone broadcast yesterday.
The Plowgirls broke their losing streak Friday evening with a big 35-32 home win over Hawley. They jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter and maintained it for the rest of the game. 

The Greenwood sisters led the team in scoring with 11 points each while Shauna McCambridge pulled down 11 rebounds.

Scores by quarters:
Plowgirls          13        19        25        35
Hawley               7         11        19        32

Individual Plowgirl scoring: Carson Greenwood 11, Cameron Greenwood 11, Shauna McCambridge 8, Kaylea Perez 3, Mia Lavalais 2.

Then they fell to Albany in an overtime heartbreaker in Albany last night 45-43 in a game that was televised by RCHS students on the EduDrone Facebook page. Unless I’ve missed something, that was a first—at least it was for me. In a close game with several lead changes, the Plowgirls fought back in the last quarter to tie the game only to be outscored by two in overtime.

Scores by quarters:
Albany              5          13        29        37        45
Plowgirls          7          15        23        37        43

Individual Plowgirl scoring: Cr. Greenwood 12, Cm. Greenwood, Perez 9, McCambridge 6, Riley Sheridan 3, Lavalais 3.

The Plowgirls play Haskell in Roscoe this Friday and Cross Plains in Cross Plains next Tuesday.



The Plowboys-Albany game broadcast on EduDrone yesterday.
The Plowboys fell to Hawley 55-48 at the Special Events Center Friday evening. They are now 1-4 in district play.

Scores by quarters:
Hawley              18        35        38        55
Plowboys          10        26        36        48

Individual Plowboy scoring: Tristan Baker 14, Ryan Highsmith 12, Brayan Medina 9, Hunter Anglin 9, Junior Martinez 4.

Next up for the Plowboys is Haskell here Friday evening and Cross Plains there next Tuesday.

(At posting time I still had not received stats for last night's Albany game.)



These are the results of the RCISD entries in the recent Nolan County Livestock Show in the Nolan County Coliseum January 15-18. They were received too late to put in last week’s issue, so I’m posting them now. 

The place finished for each entry is given next to the presenter’s name. Photos are from RCHS Ag teacher Shelley Gunter.

Place    Name

Class 1
2 – Braxton Smith
3 – Krslyn Jackson
11 – Cheyenne Moorhead
15 – Vonnie Watts
18 – Kadence Lane
20 – James Hamlin
Class 2
8 – Braxton Smith
20 – Shauna McCambridge

3 – Jr. Showmanship - Alice Benner
4 – Kinzley Hutton
12 – Elizabeth Holmes
16 – Ryan Roberson

Class 1
2 – Shannon Sanders
Class 2
2 – Shannon Sanders
Class 1
2 – Reserve Breed Champion – Kelbi Parks
Class 2
2 – Kelbi Parks

Class 1
4 – Cheyenne Moorhead
Class 3
4 – Kaycee Gunter
Class 6
2 – Carson Greenwood
4 – Cameron Greenwood
Class 8
2 – Cameron Greenwood
3 – Kaycee Gunter

Black OPB
Class 1
4 - Kelbi Parks
Class 2
2 – Xander Moffett
3 – Zeke Murphy
7 – Jacob Kiser
Class 3
5 – Lincoln Tiemann

Class 1
8 – Aiden Richburg
Class 3
10 - Ethan Figueroa
Class 4
1 – Jacob Kiser
3 – Seth Wilcox
5 – Lincoln Tiemann
6 – Gaven Martinez
8 – Aiden Richburg
9 – Dakota Freeman

Class 1
8 – Aiden Richburg
10 – Gunner Helm
Class 2
4 – Dakota Freeman
5 – Colson Moffett
7 – Gunner Helm
9 – Xander Moffett
Class 3
1 – Montana McCoy
3 – Colson Moffett
4 – Analicia Granados
6 – Vonnie Watts
7 – Reese Kiser

Class 1
8 – Vonnie Watts
Class 2
4 – Aiden Richburg
5 – Kelbi Parks
Class 3
2 – Seth Wilcox
6 – Reese Kiser
7 – Sayge McCambridge

White OPB
Class 1
3 – Seth Wilcox
Class 2
1 – Alyssa Aguilar

Class 2
3 – Kelbi Parks

Livestock Judging Contest
2 – Intermediate – Vonnie Watts
1 – Junior – Colson Moffett



Editor’s note: On Monday, I was in the Roscoe State Bank and Shane Tomlin handed me an old loose-leaf binder containing several pages of notes and information typed up by R. E. Gracey about fifty years ago for the Roscoe Historical Museum. Part of it was excerpts from the memoirs of Wirt White, who along with the White family were early pioneers of the area. Originally from Louisiana, the Whites moved to Mulberry Canyon east of Sweetwater in 1881 and lived there until moving to Roscoe in 1900. The following is a selection of his memories of those early years.

The Great Drouth

The years of 1886 and 1887 were known as the great dry years. The coldest weather ever recorded in Texas was Feb. 12, 1887. As a result of the continued drouth, the ground being bare of vegetation caused the starvation of thousands of head of horses, cattle, and sheep. Even the rabbits, prairie dogs, skunks, and chaparrals died from starvation.

It was during this cold spell that twin boys from Merkel were caught out with a herd of sheep when the blizzard hit. They were found frozen to death clasped in each other’s arms. I am not real sure of their name, but I think it was either Cox or Wortham. Their parents lived in Merkel.

The Hot Winds

Hot winds in West Texas seemed to have been more common in the nineties than they do in these days. In April and May of 1896, we had good rains, which caused the grass, crops, and in fact all kinds of vegetables to grow rapidly. The face of the earth looked like a flower garden. All of our crops were planted early, and they promised a bountiful yield.

On the morning of May 30th, we stepped out to see the most peculiar day we had ever seen. The sky was clear of all clouds, but there was a smoky look in every direction, a closeness of atmosphere, and an occasional blast of very hot wind from the southwest. By noon, the hot wind was blowing steady but not as strong as in a regular sandstorm. It continued to blow through the afternoon but got so hot it was almost unbearable. By the middle of the night it was still hotter, and that was the first time in my life I had ever seen a hot wind blow all night. This continued unceasingly for three days and nights, the last day seemed to be the hottest of all. Our corn and sorghum crops were full of sap at the beginning but were now burned to a crisp, and most of it was lying on the ground. Cotton was so badly damaged that most of the leaves were parched like on an uprooted stalk, but cotton did go on to make a light yield, but the feed was ruined.

Roscoe Amusements

Young men and their dates on a picnic with watermelon.
Roscoe at this period of its history had no baseball team of any note, no picture show, no swimming pool, so some might wonder what we did for amusement and pastime. Everybody seemed to have a good time one way or another. As I have mentioned on previous pages, most of the young men had horses and buggies. They would drive with their dates to some creek or lake for a picnic. Some had riding horses and saddles. The girls rode side-saddles. I took my future wife (Miss Hattie Lewis) on some of these picnics. About twice a week, some family would have a 42 party or an ice-cream supper or a combination of the two. This brought about a lot of chatter in a very jovial manner.

Claude Haley put in a skating rink and quite a few got to be good skaters. Claude Lagow got to be quite a trick skater and won some prizes at Dallas.

[Editor’s note: The skating rink was also mentioned in the June 1, 1906 Roscoe Times: The Roscoe Skating Rink was opened last Monday night with a good size crowd in attendance. Large crowds have been attending nightly and taking part in this popular sport. The specials for tonight are a potato race and racing. Saturday night there will be a barrel race and lots more.]

One form of entertainment at Roscoe was meeting the T & P passenger train at the depot. The westbound, No. 3, came through after six o’clock P. M. after the stores were closed, and everybody and their dogs would be there to meet it. Back in those days before any negroes lived in Roscoe, the boys dealt them misery by rocking them. The negro porters would not get off the train to assist the passengers. Before the turn of the century some of the boys had kidnapped a porter and kept him out all night, and the word had gotten around.

Molly Bailey and other overland shows played Roscoe every fall a good crop was made.

Occasionally we would have a possum hunt and coon hunt on the Finn Creek on the Seales Ranch [now the Young Ranch southeast of Roscoe]. Fred Crum always kept a string of coon dogs (flop-eared dogs). He carried them in a cage built on the back of an old buggy. When they hit the trail of a coyote, Fred would call them off with his dog horn made from an old horn. No matter how hot the trail, running coyotes at night with that kind of dogs is a delayed game as they cannot run fast enough to catch them. One night the hounds treed two possums in a hackberry tree, and as they were shaken out, they wrapped the tails around a small limb and hung on. Some of the girls that had never seen a possum hunt nearly went into spasms.

Some of the girls organized what was known as the Girls Club. This was a social club that met once a week. They later affiliated with the Federated Clubs of Texas and organized a good library. My wife, Hattie Lewis, was their first president. They would often put on plays or minstrels shows using their own talent and sometimes some outsiders. They would always be a regular scream. You can see that time did not drag for anyone that wished to participate. We had three or four churches here, and their activities added to the things to do and at the same time do good.

Our schools were good, and their activities were helpful for those of school age. Various families would open their homes for school children parties. The Roscoe and Champion folks provided their own wholesome entertainment. Many friendships were made that have endured the times.



  1. Here's hoping for more rain this Spring so the cotton crop will have a good underground season. Everybody be careful driving in icy conditions.

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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