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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Roscoe Adjusts to Coronavirus Orders

Picnic tables in Memorial Park for student work or eating takeout.
The city of Roscoe has been on shutdown since Thursday when Governor Greg Abbott issued an executive order for the entire state of Texas to close all schools, bars, and clubs and allow restaurants only takeout orders. And on Monday, Nolan County Judge Whitley May issued an Emergency Declaration prohibiting normal visits to rest homes or gatherings of groups of more than ten.

Since then, it’s been pretty quiet around town. On I-20, the service stations and their convenience stores are still open, as is Heady’s auto parts store. Downtown, the Roscoe State Bank and City Hall are open along with the Co-op Gin office, VP Tire, and the wind company offices and CPS on east Broadway.

In Sweetwater, Walmart and Brookshire’s supermarket remain open, but at both it can sometimes be difficult to maintain the suggested “social distance” between customers. Also, certain items are unavailable or in short supply and have been for well over a week as customers stocked up for the long haul: toilet paper, paper towels, dried beans, peas, rice, and pasta, eggs, much fresh chicken, beef, and pork, and other items. When I went to Walmart on Friday, I took the last two loaves of whole-wheat bread, my favorite kind, but at checkout the checker took one away from me, saying that no one was allowed more than one loaf of bread.

At Roscoe Collegiate, all schoolwork shifted to online instruction on Monday and will continue that way most likely for the rest of the school year. This mode of instruction is new to both faculty and students, so it will take some learning and adjustment, which is never easy but is now necessary. Students without internet access at home have homework assignments that can be completed on paper. The school is trying to get a wi-fi solution for at least some of them, but the companies that offer it are currently backlogged, so it may take a while. The cafeteria, open 9am to noon, is serving takeout breakfasts and lunches and is the dropoff and pickup location for paper assignments and homework. Details are available by going to the school website here and looking for the latest COVID-19 updates.

Everyone is urged to take proper precautions against catching or passing the coronavirus. Just because there are no “confirmed” cases in Roscoe doesn’t mean that it’s not here. In fact, there is a possibility that it is here and has been for a couple of weeks. At least three local folks have all the symptoms of Covid-19 but don’t know if they have it because of the severe shortage of testing kits. One whose doctor told to get tested tried to do so but was turned down because his fever was low when he went there, and they were testing only people with higher fever because of the test-kit shortage. Likewise, neither of the other two have been tested. They are all okay without need of hospitalization and are trying to stay away from other people. However, they mixed with others before suspecting they might have Covid-19, so there is a chance that they and others may also have been infected.

Of course, if you are a younger person and catch the virus, chances are good you will suffer no worse than you would with a case of the flu, maybe even less. Even so, you are encouraged to follow all the social distancing guidelines, especially around old people, many of whom have compromising health conditions and are in serious danger if they contract the disease. So, even if you’re not that worried about yourself, please consider that you could pass it to someone it could hospitalize and potentially kill.

If you think you may have coronavirus, please click here for online screening to see if you need a test, or phone Hendrick Health System in Abilene for a screening test by calling 325-216-4824 and texting covidhelp.

Hopefully, we can all get through the crisis without any serious problems.



A north wind blows the smoke south. (Photo by Robert  McBride)
Spring has sprung, and long-time readers of the Roscoe Hard Times know that when the season officially arrives, it’s time for “Injun Robert” to light his ceremonial sunrise fire, observe its smoke, and make a pronouncement on the prospects for the coming year’s area crops. This time around, he’s predicting neither a bumper crop nor a disaster—but something between the two. The smoke was moving south at dawn Saturday morning, and according to tradition the north wind foretells an average crop.

For newer readers who don’t know what we’re talking about, a little background is necessary. The ritual “Injun Robert” performs was an annual custom of the Plains Indians long before the white man came. Said to predict the success of the coming year’s crop, the Comanches called it Taba’na Yuan’e, or the “Sunrise Wind” ceremony. They always performed it on the first dawn after the first day of spring. Just before sunrise, they would build a fire, and then, as the sun appeared, they observed which way the wind blew the smoke, believing its direction foretold the kind of crop they could expect for the coming year.

If the wind that carried the smoke upward was from the east or northeast, crops would be plentiful. A north or northwest wind foretold average yields, a west wind was bad, a southwest wind worse, and a south wind the worst of all.

And this is the ritual “Injun Robert” performed Saturday morning, which was the first dawn after this year’s first day of spring on Friday. The almost forgotten ceremony was revived in Roscoe in the early 1970s by George Parks after learning about it from “Injun John,” who performed it in Muleshoe every year—just as his father had since the 1880s. “Injun George” executed the ritual faithfully in Roscoe for years before going to the happy hunting grounds in 1983. Then in 2012 it was once again revived, this time by “Injun Robert,” i.e., Robert McBride, who has performed it annually since then.

His record is good, but not perfect. Here’s his record so far with the annual number of bales ginned at the Central Rolling Plains Co-op used as his measure of success.

                  Year         Wind            Prediction      Bales Ginned
                  2012     Northwest        Average           66,985
                  2013     Southwest        Poor                 71,849
                  2014     Southwest        Poor                 32,274
                  2015     Northwest        Average           75,636
                  2016     Southwest        Poor                 87,827
                  2017     Southwest        Poor                111,598
                  2018     Southwest        Poor                 23,372
                  2019      Calm                None                62,284

Last year was unusual in that there was no wind at all when dawn arrived on the appointed day. So, following tradition wasn’t possible since that possibility hadn’t been covered or handed down. However, last year’s final number of 62,284 bales is about as close to average as you could get, since the yearly average for all the years the gin has been in operation (since 2007) is 62,998 bales. So, if there’s any validity to the ceremony at all, a calm wind predicts an average crop.

With that said, we note that the predictions have been accurate for four of the other seven years, i.e., 2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018, while three years, all with southwest winds, have been underestimated, i.e., 2013, 2016, and 2017.

This year’s wind from the north is the first from that direction since the ritual was resumed in 2012. We’ll have to wait until fall to see how well the traditional prediction turns out.



A big puddle on Broadway Thursday morning after Wednesday's rain.
Just so everyone will understand that winter was officially over on Friday, Mother Nature has decided to bestow some serious heat on us for the next three days. And I do mean serious—90°F this afternoon, 92° tomorrow afternoon, followed by 88° on Friday. Everybody is fixing to find out if their air conditioners made it through the fall and winter okay, and I feel sorry for anyone whose air conditioner didn’t, because you’re going to need it.

The good news is that a norther blows in on Saturday and will cool things down to a more reasonable high of 70° or so with a morning low of 44°. However, it may be too windy to be pleasant. So we’ve now reached that time of year when you need the AC one day and the heater the next, and sometimes even both on the same day.

Compared to what’s coming up, this past week has been relatively mild and unremarkable. After the rains of the earlier part of last week, the skies cleared and the puddles began to soak in and dry up. Temperatures were temperate, actually a little too cool with highs on Friday and Saturday of 58° and 45° with a sharp, north wind along with clouds and a heavy mist. Sunday was nice with sunny skies and a high of 64° and Monday and Tuesday even better with highs of 80° and 79° respectively.

Starting on Sunday we will once again have nice weather for a few days with partly cloudy skies, lighter south winds, and highs of about 72° with morning lows of 50°.

Monday and Tuesday have a 20% chance of rain.



The National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center seems to think so, at least warmer than usual. On Thursday, it made its forecast for the continental US for the next three months: April, May, and June. They are presented in the two maps below, the first one for temperature and the second for precipitation.

The meteorologists admit in accompanying text that these predictions are highly uncertain because of conflicting signals and trends, so as with all predictions, they should be taken with a grain of salt. But I’m sure you already knew that. Anyway, for what they’re worth, here they are.
The darker the brown, the hotter the weather forecast. A means above, EC means equal chance of warmer and cooler.
Brown is below normal precipitation, Green is above. The darker the color the more above or below normal. West Texas is slightly below.



Funeral services for Beatrice Bee Renfro, 95, of Roscoe were at 10am Friday, March 20, at First Baptist Church of Roscoe with Rev. David Draper officiating. Interment followed at Roscoe Cemetery under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater. She passed away Tuesday, March 17, at Nolan Nursing & Rehab in Sweetwater.

Bee was born August 3, 1924, in Oklahoma to the late Eldie and Nancy (Leigh) Allen. She married Billy Weldon Renfro on February 18, 1946, in Cross Plains. They lived in Sweetwater for 18 years before moving to Roscoe in 1970. Bee was a homemaker and member of First Baptist Church in Roscoe.

She is survived by her grandchildren, Nancy Wallace Martinez and husband James of Aubrey, Texas; Michael Wallace of Roscoe, and Crystal Renfro Graham of Chillicothe; great-grandchildren, Jace and Emily Martinez of Aubrey; and her son-in-law, James McFaul of Roscoe.

She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, February 5, 1995; son, Billy Wayne Renfro, December 15, 2019; daughter, Sandra McFaul, January 13, 2020; one sister, three brothers, and a grandson.

Pallbearers were James McFaul, James Martinez, Michael Wallace, Edward Acevedo, Lonnie Heffernan, and Kenny Landfried.



Funeral services for Ms. Dimple Jean Williams, 65, of Sweetwater, will be held on Friday, March 27, 2:00pm at McCoy Chapel of Memories in Sweetwater. Her homecoming celebration will be officiated by Pastor Sharron Brown, Holy Temple of Christ Sanctuary, Sweetwater. Interment will follow at Roscoe Cemetery. Flowers and cards may be delivered at the McCoy Funeral Home. Due to a city ordinance following COVID-19, attendance will be limited. She passed away of natural causes on Sunday, March 22, at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene.

Ms. Dimple Jean Williams, “Heavy D and the Girls,” a wife, sister, and spectacular aunt, was a woman of integrity, loyalty, and patience, and a good listener with a strong belief in family unity. She was born March 25, 1954, in Sweetwater to Mr. Hill Nora Williams and Ms. Minnie Ola Jackson-Williams. Ms. Dimple Jean worked for Beverly Enterprise at the Sweetwater Nursing Home as a Dietician. She worked at her place of employment until she was no longer able. She received her GED and afterwards attended Cisco Junior College in Abilene. She was a strong supporter of family and friends. She was respected, loved, and admired due to her kind nurturing heart. Sunday dinners were most valued moments with family and friends. She enjoyed bingo, fishing, playing cards, and shopping at garage sales. Ms. Dimple Jean’s personality was always full of laughter and smiles.

Ms. Dimple leaves to mourn Mr. Willie Williams, husband; Ms. Minnie Ola Williams, mother; brothers, Robert Jr. and Laverne Williams of Roscoe, Sherman Williams of Sweetwater, Thurman Williams and Charles Williams of Abilene, Billy and Peggy Williams of Sweetwater,  and Hillie Ray and Essa Williams of Amarillo; sisters, Linda Williams-Johnson and Pearl Mae Williams of Sweetwater, Donna Kay and Travis Wallace of Roby, and Lounda Bussey of Sweetwater; oldest nieces, Denise Williams, Evelyn Nicole Morrison, Georgia Williams, Nay Nay Williams, Shayla Williams, and India Williams; oldest nephews, Robert Williams, Jr., Jonathan Lamar Williams, Jeremey Robert Thompson, Travis (KeKe) Wallace, Jr., Hillie Ray Williams, Jr., Tommy Lamont Williams, Randy Williams, and Jerome Williams. Ms. Dimple also had a host of great nephews and nieces.

Ms. Dimple Jean is preceded in death by Mr. Hill Nora Williams, father; Lillie Jean Williams, sister; and Nicholas James Williams, nephew; and Allen Johnson, Jr. She loved God and when feeling well, she often attended service at Holy Temple of Christ Sanctuary with her husband Willie and sometimes attended service with Robert Jr. Williams, her brother, at Greater Zion Baptist Church.


Memorial services for Joe Don Spencer, 68, of Amarillo will be held at a later date at Hillside Christian Church chapel. He passed away Tuesday, March 17.

Joe was born June 25, 1951, in Breckenridge to Paul and Lorna Spencer.  He was in the 1969 graduating class of Roscoe High School. He then attended Ranger Junior College.

He married Karla Sells on October 13, 1973, in Pampa.

In his early years, Joe worked at Holiday Rambler.  Later he worked for Mapco for more than twenty-three years in Fritch, TX, and more than twenty years for Pioneer Natural Resources from which he retired.  He was a reliable employee.

During retirement Joe enjoyed playing golf and loved to meet at Henry D’s with his fellow Pioneer Natural Resources retirees.  He loved his family, NASCAR, and mowing the lawn.

Joe attended Hillside Christian Church.

He was preceded in death by his father, Paul Spencer; and a niece Tammy Jo Petty.

Survivors include his wife, Karla Spencer, of Amarillo; a son, Ricky Spencer and wife Ashely, of Columbus, GA; a daughter, Tracie Spencer, of Amarillo; his mother, Lorna Mae “Nanny” Spencer, of Lubbock; a sister, Linda Petty and husband Charles, of Lubbock; five grandchildren, Brennan Spencer, Teagan Spencer, Ethan Colley, Emma Colley, and Duncan Spencer; two nieces, Paula Mercer and husband Bill, of Lubbock, and Teresa Vaughn and husband Chris; four grand-nephews; and one great-niece.

Obituary at Boxwell Brothers Funeral Directors of Amarillo by clicking here.


Wednesday, March 18, 2020

School Still in Session at Roscoe Collegiate

Although many schools in other places have closed their doors to slow the spread of coronavirus, classes are still being held at Roscoe Collegiate, albeit with some necessary modifications.

For starters, extracurricular activities have been suspended. The UIL (University Interscholastic League), which governs all public school sports and academic competitions in Texas, has canceled all meets, contests, rehearsals, practices and workouts through March 29. Thus, the Blackland Divide Relays at Plowboy Field scheduled for this week will not be taking place, nor will anything else related to the UIL be going on at Roscoe at least through next week.

All activities at school with faculty and students now cease at 4:00pm. The only people in the building after that are the custodians, whose daily work hours are now 10:00am-7:00pm. These hours allow them to disinfect rooms and wipe everything down after each school day so no viruses will be in the building each morning when students start another day.

RCISD is receiving updates from the TEA (Texas Education Agency) every day at 3:00pm, and the TEA is working closely with the CDC (Center for Disease Control) in setting guidelines for school districts to follow. As of yesterday, there were only 17 counties in Texas with confirmed cases of COVID-19, all in urban areas, and the current guidelines from the TEA suggest that schools should go on in counties with no known cases of the disease.

Other Nolan County schools are following a somewhat similar pattern. Students had the day off at Highland yesterday because the school had a teacher-training day for dealing with the coronavirus, and Blackwell is taking the rest of the week off but will resume on Monday. Sweetwater schools are taking their spring break this week and are scheduled to return next week. All these schools, including Roscoe, are having students complete a questionnaire asking about symptoms that might suggest the student has contracted the coronavirus so that proper precautions can be taken if necessary.

Of course, all these directives and guidelines are subject to change, as schools are dealing with a novel situation, and as conditions change, so may the schools’ procedures for dealing with them.

Roscoe is hoping to keep students in school as long as it is safe without closing, but once a call to close is made, it will likely be a long-term closure, as CDC is recommending closures be a minimum of eight weeks.



Due to the threat of COVID-19, the April 13 STEM Advisory Meeting has been canceled and won’t convene again until the fall meeting on October 27.



The Farmers Co-op Gin in the late 1960s.
Editor’s note: I’m probably not the best person to write about the Boys Club’s Green Boll Program of the late 1950s, ‘60s, and ‘70s, primarily because I was involved with it only in its first couple of years before getting too old and going away to college, and that was before the program got really large and prosperous. But I’ll give it my best shot, and I’m sure others will correct me if I get something wrong or fill in the gaps if I omit something.

The Green Boll Program was a unique but successful way the Roscoe Boys Club used to make money for many years. During the time it was in operation, the boys used the proceeds to fund their summer trips to various vacation sites around the country, the July 4th fireworks show, which drew crowds in the thousands, and annual donations to the Roscoe Girl Scouts, the West Texas Rehabilitation Center, the United Way, and other deserving groups and charities.

It was a project that started small around 1958 and steadily grew in subsequent years into a large money-making operation involving Roscoe farmers, the local gins, the labor of the boys, and individual donations and loans of various sorts, including the use of pickups, trucks, and front-end loaders. The program was possible because the mechanical cotton strippers of the day sucked up the unopened green bolls off the cotton stalks along with the open ones, but since they couldn’t be ginned, they were discarded at the gin lots.

The program got its start when someone mentioned to George Parks, the Boys Club director, that there was a large pile of green bolls at the Farmers Co-op Gin and that many would open in the heat of the sunshine there if given the time. George thought that with the help of the boys, they could rake the piles out and spread them to dry on the concrete slab of the old tabernacle that had once stood next to the gin lot. He got permission from the gin to do so, it worked, and the project was underway. In that first year, we boys spent some afternoons spreading the bolls on the slab and gathering the open ones. Our labor was rewarded with a single bale that year, but it was enough to get George thinking about how we could improve our methods and turn it into a regular source of income.

I could be wrong, but I believe the old tabernacle slab was used for another year before a larger collecting place was found in an old abandoned strip of highway once part of the road to Snyder on the north side of Roscoe. Afterwards, that location was always used for the ripening of the bolls. In addition to the drying and the sun’s heat, another way to speed the opening of the bolls was running over them in cars and trucks, and after the boys had spread them out on the pavement, George and others would drive over them. Other Roscoe gins besides the Farmers Co-op joined the effort and before long all the gins in town were giving their green bolls to the Boys Club, and the number of bales produced each year grew.

As many farmers learned of the generosity of the Boys Club in helping the Girl Scouts, the Rehab Center, and other worthy groups, they joined in by giving the boys piles of green bolls in their fields, and part of the boys’ work was in going out and gathering them. The gins developed special rejection spouts, which the boys could put trailers under, and as the green bolls were rejected during ginning, they fell into the trailers that the boys hauled off when full. Car dealer Bill Pollard, who once sold Chevrolets in Roscoe before moving on to a dealership in Big Spring, donated a pickup for hauling the trailers of green bolls from the gins to the drying area in north Roscoe. Also, one cotton buyer consistently bought their bales at the price of better-quality cotton than the green bolls ever had.

A green cotton boll on the stalk.
By 1965 the program had grown enough to produce 55 bales and in 1966 110 bales. In 1969, the program made $4903, which may not sound like all that much until you remember that the buying power of a dollar back then was about ten times what it is today. In 1970, the boys made 96 bales, but the price of cotton that year was so high that the profit was a record $8,300. Then, in 1973 they made a total of $17,405 and of that gave away about $11,000, $1000 each to the Roscoe Girl Scouts and the West Texas Rehab, various amounts to several school organizations at Roscoe and Highland schools, and $6,000 to build tennis courts at the Roscoe school.

Most of the money they kept was used to finance the weeklong trips they took to faraway places in the summer. These included trips in chartered Greyhound buses to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone Park, Disneyland, Washington DC, New York, Niagara Falls, and other well-known tourist destinations.

To show their appreciation, every year the Boys Club put on what was called the biggest and best fireworks display in West Texas at the Roscoe baseball field, now George Parks Field. Along with the ever-increasing earnings of the cotton bolls, the fireworks show grew with each passing year, and attendance sometimes went over 7,000 spectators. On I-20, across the dry lake from the baseball field, cars lined the access roads as spectators watched the show along with the crowd at the field and local residents in their back yards. Boys shot off all the fireworks themselves, and despite the occasional spectacular mistake, such as dropping an exploding display rocket down the pipe backwards, no boy or spectator was ever injured.

As time went on, advances in cotton strippers caused the number of green bolls arriving at the gins to diminish, and in the latter couple of years of the program, there were complaints from the gins that the use of front-end loaders and other practices caused the quality of the bolls to be less than acceptable for ginning (because of rocks and asphalt mixed in with the bolls). But the coup de grace came in 1980 when the town’s remaining gins, the Acme, the Planters, and the Farmers Co-op, merged to become the Central Rolling Plains Co-op, which built the new gin northwest of town and decided not to accommodate the program.

Nevertheless, the Green Boll Program was well known as a distinctive feature of Roscoe in the many years that it flourished. Its donations to charities were recognized throughout the region, and all the trips it funded to faraway places were a lasting benefit to all the boys who were privileged to go on them. The boys also took pride in knowing the trips resulted from the hard work they had done the previous fall and winter.


“’Cotton Boll’ Program Nets Roscoe Boys Club $5,232.” Abilene Reporter-News, March 2, 1965.
“The Green Boll Program.” Abilene Reporter-News, March 2, 1973.
“Roscoe Boys Club.” Abilene Reporter-News, February 28, 1969.
“Roscoe Youths ‘Boll’ for Charity Causes.” Abilene Reporter-News, January 20, 1974.



Water was pouring from my roof during yesterday's rain.
Normally, Roscoe has an abundance of sunshine, so much so that a cloudy day now and then is welcomed. But this past week, most of the days were marked by clouds and a couple of days by fog and mist, so more sunshine is now welcome.

As a result of the clouds, temperatures were generally mild. The high for the week was Thursday’s and yesterday’s 76°, and the low was 45° on Sunday and Monday morning.  There was a light rain early Friday morning. Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried recorded an official .30”, and .16” more on Sunday, which was more an accumulation of mist than it was rainfall. Then yesterday and last night more rain fell, and I got 1.25" more in my rain gauge, although the official amount was only .92".

The forecast is for continued cloudiness for most of the coming week. The forecast high for today is 77° under mostly cloudy skies. Tomorrow will bring some sunshine along with high southwest winds and a high of 71°. Then, a cold front will blow in on Friday with winds from the north, a low of 33°, and a high of only 51°. Saturday will also be cool with a high of 48°. On Sunday, winds will shift to the southeast, and the high will warm up to 63°, and Monday will be similar with a high of 70°.

The chances of rain for the coming week never go above 20%, so maybe the puddles will have a chance to dry up and people with yards a chance to mow their lawns.

The official first day of Spring this year is Friday, March 20.



Holy Mass of Christian Burial for Margarito Teran Jimenez, Sr., 79, was at 10:00am on Monday, March 16, at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church with Father Nilo Nalugon officiating. Interment followed at Roscoe Cemetery under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home. A musician, welder, and friend to all, he passed away peacefully March 12 at his home in Roscoe surrounded by his loving wife and four devoted children.

Born on October 15, 1940, in Loraine to Eutimio and Luz Carreras, Margarito worked his early years as a farmer and over 40 years in the railcar repair industry. On May 14, 1966, he married Julia Santiago, the love of his life. Together they raised four children, Diana Jimenez Segovia, Linda Brooks, Margarito Jimenez, Jr., and Fabian Jimenez. He will be remembered for his musical talents, teasing jokes, his wildly entertaining stories, his unfailing work ethic, generous smile, and his willingness to help anyone in need. Margarito was loved by many and knew no strangers.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Julia of Roscoe; two daughters, Diana Jimenez Segovia and her husband Miguel Angel of Eagle Pass, Linda Brooks and her husband Greg of Bryan; two sons, Margarito Jimenez, Jr., and his wife Becky of Sweetwater and Fabian Jimenez and his wife JoAnn of Snyder; 11 grandchildren, Laura Gutierrez, Adriana Lopez, Samuel Vera, Jr., Temisha Marshall, Keenan Brooks, Kandis Brooks, Ashleigh Ann Jimenez, Margarito “Trey” Jimenez III, Brittany Jimenez, Joshua Jimenez and Justin Jimenez; 11 great-grandchildren; and his mother-in-law, Tomasa Santiago of Roscoe.

He was preceded in death by his father-in-law Manuel Santiago and brother-in-law Robert Santiago.

Pallbearers will be Samuel Vera, Jr., Keenan Brooks, Joshua Jimenez, Margarito “Trey” Jimenez III, Justin Jimenez, Andrew Lopez and Jesus Leaños. Honorary pallbearers will be Laura Gutierrez, Temisha Marshall, Adriana Lopez, Brittany Jimenez, Ashleigh Jimenez and Kandis Brooks.


Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Plowboys Win Division in Brownwood

Junior Martinez carries the baton. (Photo by Ryan Dillon)
The Plowboys finished first in their division at the Bluebonnet Relays in Brownwood on Saturday for their best showing of the season so far. The division comprised the men from 1A, 2A, and 3A schools at the meet along with junior varsity squads of the 4A and 5A schools.

They finished in this order: 1) Roscoe Collegiate 96.5, 2) Brownwood JV 88, 3) Wall 86, 4) Brady JV 58, 5) Graham JV 57.5, 6) Stephenville JV 49, 7) Cherokee 47, 8) Winters 30, 9) Ballinger JV 29, 10) Mineral Wells JV 26.5, 11) Comanche 22, 12) Sweetwater JV 13.5, 13) Bangs 10.

Standouts for the Plowboys included Jaythan Coale who won the 200 meter dash, and the 100 meter, 200 meter, and 400 meter relay teams, all of whom also finished first. Jaythan Coale had a season and personal best by clearing 15 feet in the pole vault, which got him second place in the event, and Brayan Medina broke 56 seconds in the 400 meter dash with a time of 55.95 and a third place finish.

Here are how the top ten finishers in their events fared:

Event                           Place         Athlete                    Time/Distance
200 meter dash              1          Jaythan Coale                     23.69
400 meter dash              3          Brayan Medina                  55.95
                                           5          Kolten Hope                       58.46
800 meter run               10         Caleb Reed                      2:34.39
1600 meter run              6          Caleb Reed                       5:36.33
3200 meter run              8          Caleb Reed                    12:42.72
110 meter hurdles          5          Tristan Baker                      17.33
4 x 100 meter relay        1          Plowboys                             46.07
     (Antonio Aguayo, Tyler Guelker, Jr. Martinez, Jaythan Coale)
4 x 200 meter relay       1          Plowboys                           1:37.37
     (T. Guelker, A. Aguayo, Gunner Helm, J. Coale)
4 x 400 meter relay       1          Plowboys                          3:49.08
     (A. Aguayo, T. Guelker, G. Helm, Brayan Medina)
High Jump                     7          Tristan Baker                        5’ 4”
Pole Vault                       2          Jaythan Coale                     15’
Long Jump                     3          Brayan Medina                   17’ 5”
                                          5          Antonio Aguayo                 16’ 7 ½”
Triple Jump                   8          Tyler Guelker                      35’
                                        10          Ryan Highsmith                 33’ 9”

The Plowboys won’t meet again until next Friday, March 20, when they host the Blackland Divide Relays at Plowboy Field.



City Accountant Ricky Bowman presents the 2019 audit to the Council.
At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the Roscoe City Council heard the results of the water and wastewater study done for the City by Raftelis Consultants, heard and accepted City Accountant Ricky Bowman’s 2019 City audit report, received an update on public works from City Manager Cody Thompson, set dates for the Spring Cleanup, and agreed to a cemetery maintenance contract for 2020 with Skeet Kimbrell.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported that Benny Cornutt is updating the Roscoe City website and announced that the City’s annual Easter Egg Hunt in Old Town Park is scheduled for Saturday, April 11. The booster pump at the Water Treatment Plant went out and had to be replaced, and the Main Lift Station pump has also been replaced with a rebuilt pump. City workers have spent time working on the leak at Ash and 11th Streets. The City has also applied for a permit to use water from a lagoon at the new sewer plant to sell treated water to the proposed I-20 construction project.

Justin Rasor of Raftelis Consultants presented his company’s water and wastewater rate study for the City of Roscoe. Citing its recent loan from the TWDB (Texas Water Development Board) of $2,130,000 for water line improvements, of which $1,800,000 will have to be repaid, he advised that the current consumer rates will not be sufficient revenue to cover the debt payments and that adjustments will be necessary. Also, since the TWDB also strongly prefers that cities’ water and sewer systems pay for themselves, the water and sewer rates need to be increased. The most equitable way to do that is to change from the current system of charging consumers by the number of bathrooms in the residence to a rate structure based on the number of gallons used with changes beginning in 2021. Rasor also presented the recommended revenue adjustments to recover the 2020-2024 cost of service. Such changes will require the City Council to pass an ordinance before the new rate system can be put into effect.

The City Council then heard and accepted the 2019 fiscal year audit report from City Accountant Ricky Bowman.

It also approved this year’s City Spring Cleanup dates of April 2, 3, and 4 (Thursday through Saturday) from 9:00am to 7:00pm.

It also approved an April 1 beginning to the 2020 cemetery maintenance contract with Skeet Kimbrell, who agreed to the same terms he had in last year’s contract.



The Plowgirl distance runners had a good day at the Tiger Relays in Anson on Friday. Itzel Ortega-Solis won the 1600 yard run and was second in the 800 yard run, while Candy Ortega was the runner-up in both the 1600 yard and 3200 yard runs.

As a team, the Plowgirls finished fifth with a total of 40 points. Other teams in the meet were Clyde, Stamford, Anson, Hamlin, and Hawley.

Here are the athletes who finished in the top ten of their event:

Event                           Place         Athlete                    Time/Distance
100 yard dash               6          Mia Lavalais                         14.37
                                         9          Anahi Ortega-Solis             14.65
                                       10          Kaylea Perez                        14.78
200 yard dash             10          Anahi Ortega-Solis             31.25
400 yard dash               6          Mia Lavalais                     1:10.96
                                         7          Anahi Ortega-Solis           1:11.50
800 yard run                 2          Itzel Ortega-Solis            2:39.86
1600 yard run                1          Itzel Ortega-Solis            6:02.00
                                         2          Candy Ortega                   6:08.03
3200 yard run               2          Candy Ortega                  13:43.05
                                          5         Jaiden Amador                15:23.31
Long Jump                   10         Cameron Greenwood          13’ 1”
Triple Jump                   8         Cameron Greenwood       27’ 8¾"
Shot Put                          5         Shauna McCambridge          28’

The JV Plowboys finished fourth in the JV Boys’ group with a total of 70 points. Jake Madden finished second in the 3200 yard run, and the 100 and 400 yard relay teams also finished second.

The JV Boys finished in this order: Clyde, Anson, Hawley, Roscoe, Stamford, Hamlin. 

Event                           Place         Athlete                    Time/Distance
800 yard run                 5          Richard Villa                     2:27.87
1600 yard run               5          Reese Kiser                        6:02.52
                                         6          Jose Leaños                      6:02.84
3200 yard run              2          Jake Madden                   14:28.99
                                         4         Camillo Salcedo              17:08.05
4 x 100 yard relay        2          JV Plowboys                         45.85
     (Jacob Blain, Aidan Hermosillio, Jacob Gonzalez, Sam Meier)
4 x 200 yard relay       4          JV Plowboys                       1:36.86
     (Jathan Sheridan, Keller Vinson, Ricardo Solis, Jacob Gonzalez)
4 x 400 yard relay       2          JV Plowboys                      4:04.43
Pole Vault                     5          Jose Leaños                            8’
Long Jump                 10          Aidan Hermosillio               16’ 1½”
Triple Jump                 3          Sam Meier                             33’ 9”
Discus Throw               7          Jose Martinez                       81’ 9½”



Roscoe students enrolled in the distributed bachelor's degree programs offered by Roscoe Collegiate ISD participated in a presentation and panel discussion on February 27-28 at the Texas Association of School Boards (TASB) Governance Camp in Galveston, Texas.

RCISD staff members Morgan Martin, Marina Wilcox, and Andy Wilson outlined the school district's programs, and students responded to questions from Mrs. Martin as well as the school board members and superintendents who attended the presentation.

In addition, the students displayed different demonstration items at a booth on Friday, which caught the attention of many attendees. They discussed the fine details of their educational programs including college course work and internships.

Students who attended were the following:
Amanda Sanchez, BGS-Focus is Psychology, Internship: Nolan County Feeders
Veronica Cuellar, BGS-Education, Internship: EduMake It
Kadee Martinez, BGS-Vet, Internship: EduVet
Iris Gonzales, Tech Teach, BS, Student Teaching
Austin Lara, BGS-Marketing/Film, Internship: EduDrone
Blake Dean, BGS-Sociology, Internship: RCISD Technology Department
Jose Ortega, BGS-Internship: Jason Freeman Trucking
(BGS = Bachelor of General Studies)



Part 1 - Early Years and Trips

George and a group of boys on a trip to New Mexico in the 1940s.
Editor’s note: Up to now, I have occasionally included a memory of the Roscoe Boys Club but haven’t really given the group the attention it deserves because such memories resonate with only a specific segment of Hard Times readers, i.e., the older males who grew up with it here. Still, it is an indelible part of the town’s history and part of what made Roscoe distinctive and unique for a large portion of the last century. So, beginning with the following segment, I plan to sometimes include more information about the Boys Club and its impact on the community and the boys it served when we had it here.

The Roscoe Boys Club, as I have come to learn, was unique, and no other town I ever heard of had anything quite like it. It existed because of one man, George Parks, the editor and publisher of the Roscoe Times, the local weekly newspaper. George (he wouldn't let anyone call him Mr. Parks) was a lifelong bachelor, and besides the newspaper his life's work was in running the Boys Club and providing activities for the boys of the town and surrounding countryside. And this he did constantly from the 1930s to the 1980s. It was his whole life.

He was born in Scranton, near Cisco in Eastland County, in 1905 and moved with his family to Roscoe in 1920 when his father, Rev. George Parks, Sr., became the preacher of the Baptist Church. He graduated from Roscoe High in 1924 and went to Simmons College (now Hardin-Simmons University) and majored in journalism. After graduation, he worked as a reporter before taking over as editor and publisher of the Roscoe Times in 1932, a position he held until shortly before his death in 1983.

He replaced Russell Haney as head scoutmaster in 1932 and for several years ran a thriving Boy Scout troop. For that reason, many of the later Boys Club activities were originally scouting activities that were simply carried over when Scout Troop 37 became the Roscoe Boys Club in the late 1940s. These included weekly meetings, overnight hikes, hunting and fishing trips in the Roscoe area, archery, swimming, and other scouting activities. The Roscoe troop, unlike troops in other communities, also went on overnight trips to area places of interest, such as trips to the mountains in Ruidoso, Carlsbad Caverns, the white sands of Alamogordo, the Capitol in Austin, and the State Fair in Dallas.

The number and scope of these activities grew as new ones became traditions and other new ones were tried and expanded. This was especially true of the extended overnight trips, which first began not long after George Parks became assistant scoutmaster in 1932.

An interviewer asked George in 1972 about the first trip he ever took any boys on, and George said it was a trip in a borrowed truck to an Indian reservation in Oklahoma. An Indian friend of his was explaining customs his tribe still practiced, and George said he wished the Roscoe boys could see them. So, his friend invited George to bring them to the reservation. A group of the local scouts made the trip and were welcomed by the tribe. That night they first watched traditional dances around the fire, and then the Indian dancers each took boys and taught them the steps—and when the night was done, the Roscoe boys could do the coyote and rabbit dances.

The trip was a great success, and before the year was out George and two other men had planned and taken a group of 39 boys on a 3-day trip to Carlsbad Caverns in two borrowed trucks. Each boy was required to bring 75ȼ for food, and all the meals on the trip were cooked by the boys. In Carlsbad, the boys slept in the high school gymnasium on bedrolls they brought with them, and this practice became a standard feature of subsequent trips taken over the years because it was the easiest and most economical way to take care of lodging for large numbers of boys.

An annual trip to what was known as summer scout camp also began during the depression and went on in various locales in years afterwards for the next forty years. In a Sweetwater Reporter article about the one taken in 1937, it was a ten-day trip to Camp Louis Farr on Spring Creek about 30 miles west of San Angelo. The article explained that earlier camps had lasted up to two weeks and as far away as Oklahoma, with several at Camp Fawcett on the Nueces River near Barksdale.

The camps featured training in swimming and lifesaving, as well as sanitation practices and other scouting skills. Meals of “wholesome food cooked by Tots Faulkenberry,” were served regularly, and in previous camps some boys had reportedly gained as much as ten pounds. (Of course, during the depression, this was seen as a good outcome.) On Sunday mornings, Sunday school and services were held, and that evening a softball game matched the Roscoe boys against a team from a town near camp.

Trips such as these also became a regular feature of the Boys Club once the group was no longer the Boy Scouts. The change in affiliation came in the late 1940s when George got into an irresolvable dispute with the Area Council. Rather than accept its ruling, George bolted and turned the troop into the Roscoe Boys Club, an official member of the Boys Clubs of America. Boys Clubs, then as now, were confined mainly to kids in poor urban areas. In Texas, Roscoe was the only club in such a small town with boys of all economic backgrounds, but its members thrived in a way that the kids in the big city clubs never did.

For one thing, George continued the scouting activities and added the new ones typical of the Boys Clubs, particularly the state tournaments in various games and sports. And the trips to summer camp and places like Carlsbad Caverns were a regular feature of the Boys Club just as they had been for the scouts.

By the time I was old enough to go on them in the mid-1950s, there were occasional trips of one kind or another to all the cities in Texas—Fort Worth, Dallas, El Paso, San Antonio, Austin, Houston, and others.

Over the years, these trips developed certain features that all the boys who went on them became familiar with. Excluding the summer camp trip, which was different, the trips to cities almost always began at the Roscoe Times office with leaving time set at five in the morning. George was an early riser and insisted on an early start, and woe to the boy who arrived ten minutes late because by then George would already be gone. This idiosyncrasy was well known to all the mothers in and around Roscoe, and usually by ten to five, everybody was there and ready to go.

Boys who went on these trips were responsible for buying their own food and souvenirs, but the troop or club handled the expenses for lodging, which on the larger trips were high school gymnasiums that George had obtained permission for the boys to stay in. Repeat stays were common because he always made sure the place was as clean or cleaner than it had been when they got there and everything was back in place just as it had been.

Before the trip started, boys either brought their money and gave it to George, who wrote the amount down in a small spiral notebook he carried in his shirt pocket, or they checked it out of their account in the Boy Scout (or Boys Club) bank that he kept at all times for boys who wanted to save their money, which he encouraged. He kept the accounts in a ledger at the Times Office, and boys could “check out” their money when they needed it. George always made sure they were checking it out for what he considered a valid reason, and buying candy, soft drinks, ice cream or the like were not valid reasons. On the other hand, buying .22 or shotgun shells for hunting trips, bait for fishing trips, or daily expenses on the extended trips were, and boys who had these accounts would tell George how much they wanted to take for the trip, and he would record it. Later, when it was time to go to a café or restaurant in a city, George would give each boy the amount needed and record it in his little notebook.

If the trip included Sunday, which most did, the boys attended church in the city where they happened to be. George would have notified the church’s minister beforehand so when 25 or 30 boys came marching in, there would already be a seating area set aside for them. The church’s denomination changed from trip to trip, but in all of them the group was recognized by the minister during the announcements.

On all these trips, the local people were always surprised and pleased at the boys’ behavior, wondering how George could keep such a large group of energetic kids from running wild. This he did by assigning spats to miscreants. On trips, these were administered by whipping boys across the rear with the thong of the coach’s whistle George wore around his neck. The knotted thong, made of colored plastic strands that someone had woven together in a crafts class, produced a sharp pain. George would tell the culprit to “bend it,” which meant to face away from George and bend over with the hands on the knees. Then he would dish out the number of assigned spats, usually five, but for serious offenses, sometimes ten. These punishments were assigned in public but administered later back in the gymnasium, and the other boys generally enjoyed the spectacle—although laughing and taunting were strictly off-limits. And, although it might seem harsh by today’s standards, this practice was very effective in keeping even large groups of exuberant boys in line.

When boys ate in cafes and restaurants, George encouraged them to read the menus and order proper meals as many boys had never been in situations where they made their own choices about what they ate. Burgers and fries were normally out as meals and so were ice cream or pie and cake. Once, when on the first morning the group went to eat, the waitress asked one boy what he wanted for breakfast, and he said he’d like a bowl of chili and a glass of milk. George asked him why he ordered that, and he replied that it was the only thing he knew how to order.

There were different kinds of trips. Some were shorter trips that could be covered in a weekend during the school year. Examples of these were the trips to Fort Worth, the State Fair in Dallas, or to Carlsbad Caverns. These trips were generally taken by smaller groups, i.e., between eight and ten boys, in George’s own vehicle. In the mid-fifties, it was a green 50’s Chevrolet van, known (behind his back) as the Moose Wagon. Moose had been a disparaging nickname for George for longer than any boy could remember, and he allowed no one to refer to him as that, but when he was out of earshot, everybody did. The van could seat five or six in the back, two in the middle, and two more in the front with George, but, when necessary, there was also a small wooden bench that could be placed in an open space in back that would seat two more. Boys’ bags were put behind the back seat, next to the double back doors. Later, George had other similar vehicles, one being an International Harvester called a carryall, which was slightly larger.

On these smaller trips, the group stayed in downtown hotels instead of gymnasiums. In Fort Worth, it was the Hilton Hotel, in Dallas the Adolphus, and in Houston the Rice. George would get two or three rooms, depending on the number of boys on the trips, and there would be several boys in each room. The smaller boys usually wanted to stay in the room with George, feeling safer that way, but the older boys wanted the opposite, as just staying in a room with no adults was more fun.

The larger trips were the ones taken in school buses, and they were the ones in which the boys stayed in school gyms. In later years, i.e., the 1960s and ‘70s, however, there were even grander trips in which the Boys Club would charter a Greyhound bus and fill it with somewhere around forty boys. These were extended trips to faraway places such as the Grand Canyon, Disneyland, Yellowstone Park, and Washington, DC. They were made possible by the Boys Club and Roscoe gins’ green boll program, which will take a separate article to describe.

Also, what boys did and saw on the various trips—the Easter trip, the State Fair, the Games Room tournaments, the State Boys Club baseball and basketball tournaments, Ruidoso, Galveston, and others will require a separate article, as this one has just about reached its limit.

In closing, let it be said that the boys who took advantage of these trips went to more places and did more things than would have ever been possible for most, if not all, of them had it not been for George Parks’ unceasing efforts to provide them over the years. By the time the boys were grown, they had been to more places, seen more, and had more experiences than almost any of the kids from other towns and cities.


“Roscoe Scouts Visit Caverns,” Sweetwater Reporter, July 10, 1932.

Unfortunately, three of the boys listed in the article as scouts who made this trip—Bobby Anthony, Weldon Norris, and Willie Pietzsch—would later give their lives for their country in World War II. All were killed in 1945. Anthony’s plane was shot down over Tokyo just days after the Hiroshima bomb, Norris was killed in the Battle of the Bulge, and Pietzsch was killed in the Battle of Luzon in the Philippines.

“34 Boys Scouts in Annual Summer Encampment,” Sweetwater Reporter, August 10, 1937.



Stormy skies and high winds on Sunday.
The rain that was falling last week as the Hard Times was posted continued through the day and wound up totaling about an inch and a half in the Roscoe area. Then, on Sunday there was a 40% chance of more rain, with stormy skies and high winds, but the precipitation never lived up to expectations as only about a tenth of an inch fell. Nevertheless, there has been a fair amount of moisture lately, and its effects can be seen by the thick growth of weeds in ditches and vacant lots around town.

Since we switched over to daylight saving time on Sunday, the weather has been very springlike. Monday had a 75°F high, and yesterday climbed to 79° and really felt like spring—and, if the temperature rises to 81° today as predicted, it will be the first time the thermometer has hit 80° since before Thanksgiving, the 82° reading of November 4 to be exact. Tomorrow should be similar with a high of 82° before a norther blows in on Friday, dropping the high down to 58° and bringing a 60% chance for another rain.

Saturday’s high will be back up to 73° with rain chances dropping to 30%, but the next seven days after that all have at least a 40% chance. If the weathermen are right, it appears that more precipitation is on the way, so if you haven’t mowed your lawn yet, you’d better make plans to do so the first chance you get.



A memorial service for Kim L. Gillespie, 68, of Roscoe was held at 2:00pm, Saturday, March 7, at Faith Lutheran Church in Sweetwater with Pastor Keith Hills officiating. Arrangements were under the direction of Cate-Spencer and Trent Funeral Home. He passed away on Tuesday, March 3, at Hendrick Hospice Care in Abilene.

Kim, the eldest of William and Beulah Gillespie, was born on July 16, 1951, in Oakley, KS. He shared his birth date with his father and his maternal grandfather, Joe Maddox.

Kim attended school in Grainfield, KS, and graduated in 1969 from Wheatland High School, the first class to graduate from the newly built consolidated school. He graduated from Electronics Institute in Kansas City, MO in 1971.

Kim married the former Gloria Herdt on September 5, 1971. They lived in the Kansas City area for 20 years. Two sons, Kevin and Corey, were born to this union.

Kim worked for Lone Star Industries for 35 years. He began working at the Bonner Springs, KS plant as an electrician. Through the years, as his interest in computers grew, he was promoted to Computer Control Manager and the company moved him and his family to Oklahoma, and then to Texas to automate the plants in Pryor and Maryneal. He retired in 2011.

He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Gloria Gillespie of Roscoe; sons, Kevin and Melissa Gillespie of Roscoe and Corey and Alicia Gillespie of Odessa; his three grandsons, Parker and Maxx Gillespie of Roscoe and Canaan Gillespie of Odessa; His mother, Beulah Gillespie of Quinter, KS; his brother Mark Gillespie of Maynardville, TN; and his sister-in-law, Anita Swenson of Oakley, KS.

Kim was preceded in death by his father, William Gillespie; his brothers, Kyle, Lyle, Gail, and Terry Gillespie; his sister, Diane Gillespie; his paternal grandparents, Marion Abner and Ocie Gillespie; his maternal grandparents, Joe and Myrtle Maddox; and his in-laws, Lester and June Herdt.


Wednesday, March 4, 2020

Roscoe Primary Election Results

Voting for Precinct 6 yesterday was at the First Baptist Church.
After yesterday's "Super Tuesday," it appears that the Democrats will have either Joe Biden or Bernie Sanders running against Donald Trump in the November election this year, and David Warren will still be the Nolan County Sheriff for another term.

Here's how the voters of Nolan County Precinct 6, Roscoe's precinct, cast their ballots yesterday:

Republicans                                  Democrats

US President
Donald Trump*      261                Joe Biden                  14
Other                           10                Bernie Sanders        13         
                                                          Pete Buttigieg            5

                                                          Elizabeth Warren     3
                                                          Tom Steyer                3
                                                          Amy Klobuchar         2
                                                          Michael Bloomberg  2

US Senator
John Cornyn*         187                  Mary J. Hegar           7
John Castro              23                  Annie Garcia              5
Mark Yancey             11                  Michael Cooper         4 

                                                           Cristina T. Ramirez  3
                                                           Amanda Edwards     3
                                                           Chris Bell                    3

                                                           Other                           5
US House District 19                    
Jodey Arrington*   224                  Tom Watson 33
Vance Boyd               40

Nolan County Sheriff
David Warren*         151
Ray Cornutt               131

* = Incumbent

State Senator District 28 Charles Perry and State Representative District 71 Stan Lambert ran unopposed, as did others.



Jaythan Coale finished first in the Pole Vault at 12' 6". (Photo  by Ryan Dillon)
The Plowboy track team opened their 2020 season last Thursday at the Howard County Invitational Meet at Blankenship Field in Big Spring. In a field of 15 teams, they finished seventh in total points, which is not bad when you consider they were competing against several teams from larger schools. In fact, they scored highest of the 2A schools, the others being Iraan, Wink, and Forsan.

Jaythan Coale finished first in the Pole Vault with a vault of 12’ 6”, and Brayan Medina was third in the 400 meters with a time of 56.83 seconds. The Plowboy relay teams also did well, finishing second in the 4 x 200 meters, fourth in the 4 x 100 meters, and fifth in the 4 x 400 meters.

The Plowboys finished below Wall, Coahoma, Stanton, Colorado City, and Ackerly Sands, in that order—and above Iraan, Grape Creek, Wink, Whiteface, Midland Greenwood, Forsan, Midland Texas Leadership, and Loop, in that order.

The Plowgirls chose to compete in the JV bracket and finished third there behind Wall and Coahoma, and ahead of Grape Creek, Compass Academy, Wink, Colorado City, Forsan, O’Donnell, and Stanton, in that order. Candy Ortega was their big winner, taking first in both the 1600 and 3200 meter races and second in the 800 meters. The 4 x 400 relay team also did well with a second-place finish.

Here are the Plowboys, JV Plowboys, and Plowgirls who finished in the Top Ten of their events:


Event                     Place             Athlete                       Time/Distance
200 meters               6            Jaythan Coale                       24.98
400 meters               3            Brayan Medina                     56.83
1600 meters             9            Caleb Reed                          5:31.92
3200 meters             7            Caleb Reed                       12:29.65
4 x 100 relay            4            Plowboys                                 45.85
     (Antonio Aguayo, Tyler Guelker, Jr. Martinez, Jaythan Coale)
4 x 200 relay            2            Plowboys                             1:36.86
     (T. Guelker, A. Aguayo. Gunner Helm, J. Coale)
4 x 400 relay            5            Plowboys                            3:48.90
     (T. Guelker, B. Medina, A. Aguayo, G. Helm)
High Jump               6            Tristan Baker                           5’ 4”
Pole Vault                 1             Jaythan Coale                       12’ 6”
Triple Jump             8            Ryan Highsmith              34’ 4½”

Junior Varsity Plowboys

100 meters JV          8         Aidan Hermosillio                12.97
                                    9          Sam Meier                              13.16
200 meters JV        10         Sam Meier                             27.01
800 meters JV         8          Richard Villa                      2:41.16
1600 meters JV      10         Jose Leaños                        6:11.06
3200 meters JV      10         Jake Madden                  14:28.99


200 meters JV           6          Anahi Ortega-Solis             31.92
400 meters JV           3          Mia Lavalais                      1:15.01
800 meters JV           2          Candy Ortega                   2:56.70
                                      9          Jaiden Amador                3:23.97
1600 meters JV          1          Candy Ortega                   6:22.63
                                      6          Jaiden Amador                7:38.03
3200 meters JV         1          Candy Ortega                  13:43.05
                                      3          Jaiden Amador               15:32.68
100 hurdles 33” JV   3          Carson Greenwood              23.31
4 x 400 relay  JV       2          Plowgirls                            5:03.62
    (Mia Lavalais, Itzel Ortega-Solis, Jacey Rodriguez, Kaylea Perez)
High Jump JV           2           Carson Greenwood                4’ 4”
Long Jump  JV          7           Kirsten Welch                       12’ 9”
                                     8           Cameron Greenwood           11’ 9”
                                     9           Malejia Munn                        10’ 5”

Complete meet results can be found by clicking here.

Next up for the Plowgirls and JV Plowboys are the Tiger Relays in Anson tomorrow. On Saturday the Plowboys are in Brownwood for the Bluebonnet Relays.





by Shelley Gunter
Addison Strickland colored this picture for the FFA Coloring Contest.
In recognition of National FFA Week last week, the Roscoe FFA chapter participated in a variety of activities provided by the chapter officer team. Dress up days included: FFA day, Camo day, Farmer day, Western day, and FFA spirit day.

The week kicked off on Monday, February 24, with the chapter officers conducting the opening ceremony for the high school announcements. Throughout the week students were able to get snapshots of FFA member cutouts to see themselves as an FFA member in official dress (the national blue and corn gold corduroy jacket). The high school students were encouraged to participate in a drawing contest. The winner of that contest was 6th grader Gabi Solis.

The early childhood and elementary students were invited to participate in a week-long coloring contest. The winners of the coloring contest for each grade is as follows:

Pre-K - Lillian Muñoz
Kindergarten - Emma Ornelas
1st Grade - Emma Bennett
2nd Grade - Ariana Villa
3rd Grade - Vanessa Solis
4th Grade - Jo-Christian DeLoera
5th Grade - Brynlee Serrano
Honorable Mention - 4th Grade - Addison Strickland

The winners of the coloring contest received coloring/activity books as prizes.



The Acme Gin in 1962 with seed house on the right and truck loading seed.
Editor’s note: From the earliest days, cotton gins have been a part of Roscoe, and when I was a kid growing up in the 1950s, there were always several of them running when the cotton harvest rolled around—the Farmers Coop Gin at 3rd and Main, the Acme Gin on Front Street, the Guitar Gin on west Broadway, and the Planters Gin just across the railroad tracks in north Roscoe, not to mention others out of town like the Inadale Gin. I’m sure I’m not the only one who remembers the fun we had playing in and around them back then, so the following memory is especially for those who do. For others, it may provide some insight into the kinds of things boys did for fun before smartphone and computer games—even before Game Boys.

In the fall when the farmers harvested their cotton, the cotton gins of Roscoe came to life and ran twenty-four hours a day, not slowing down until after Christmas. During this time, the whole town smelled like burnt cotton burrs, and vehicles pulling full cotton trailers on their way to the gin (or empty cotton trailers on their way back to the fields) were a familiar sight.

At the gins, the ginning process separated the burrs (outer shells of the cotton boll), seeds, and cotton. The burrs were burned or hauled off in trucks, the seeds went from the gin to a big corrugated-metal building next to it called the seed house, and the cotton was processed and compacted into cotton bales.

The finished bales were tagged for ownership and then placed in long rows in a gin lot, a large open area beside the gin that held large numbers of bales in peak season. The cottonseed went directly from the gin to the seed house by way of a rooftop auger conveyer, a turning spiral inside a pipe. The end of this pipe was at the top of the seed-house rafters, and it poured out cottonseed in a never-ending stream into the building below. The seed would pile up there and fill the seed house, sometimes practically all the way to the top in the back (The roof was usually about 16’ tall), more like three to five feet in the front. It remained there until it was loaded into trucks and hauled away.

For boys, these seed houses were a great place to play. You could go to the higher areas of the seed pile and jump into the lower ones, landing all sorts of ways since the fluffy cottonseed was firm enough to stop the fall but soft enough to cushion it. It was almost like having a giant bed to run around on. One of the favorite games was keep-away, usually played with a rag tied in a knot that was thrown from one boy to another while whoever was “it” tried to take it away. The game generally involved a lot of running and jumping, leaping catches, falls into the cottonseed below from higher areas, tackling, and wrestling—all in an effort to keep the rag or get it.

An adventurous element to the game was that it was forbidden, not only by concerned parents but also by the gin manager—because there were dangers. There had been cases, not in Roscoe but elsewhere in west Texas, where boys had managed to knock a great pile of cottonseed on top of themselves and get smothered, and Roscoe mothers were aware of this danger. Also, there was always the possibility of a forgotten pitchfork covered up by falling seed and situated in such a way that you could skewer yourself with it, or at least hurt yourself. But these hazards were generally ignored and the games played with wild abandon. The gin manager was generally way too busy to worry about what was going on in the seed house, and the occasional workers who saw you were also busy and generally didn’t care one way or the other.

Another game that could be played at the gin was “bale tag.” This was played in the gin lot on tops of the cotton bales. The bales were generally set vertically in long rows, one against the other, across the lot. The placement wasn’t always perfect, though, so there were gaps—and there were always bales here and there that had fallen over and were lying over on the ground. Bale tag was played by running and jumping across the tops of the bales, trying to stay away from whoever was “it.” If he touched you, you were “it” and had to tag someone else. The rules were that you had to stay on the bales and couldn’t touch the ground. If you did, you were automatically “it.” The bales were almost five feet tall, and occasionally during the chases you would stumble, trip, or lose your balance and fall or have to jump to the ground. A hard fall from five feet could really jar you, and occasionally there was blood and/or tears. But this possibility was part of what made the game a thrill. Like playing in the cottonseed, it was strictly forbidden by all mothers, but it went on anyway.



Saturday's sunset on the only February 29 for another four years.
This past week was a little warmer than the ones before it, and this year’s March came in like a lamb with some pretty calm weather. The last three days of last week—and of February—were warm with highs of 65°, 70°, and 73°, and the beginning of March was similar with highs its first three days 73°, 68°, and 65°. Despite the warmer temperatures, though, the skies were generally cloudy with the sun peeking through only now and then.

Yesterday, a norther blew in that cooled things off and brought with it some rain. We got about a half-inch last night and early this morning, but we are getting more now and more is predicted for today with strong north winds gusting over 30mph and a high of only about 50°. Tonight the rains will cease, and tomorrow will be warmer with a high of 69°. Friday and Saturday will be similar with partly cloudy skies and highs of around 65°. On Sunday there’s a 40% chance of another rain, and Monday’s forecast is for a 73° high with partly cloudy skies.

There’s also another 40% chance of rain next Thursday.



Graveside services for Garland Young Haygood, 87, of Roscoe were held at Lone Wolf Cemetery at 2:00pm on Monday, March 2, with Pastor David Draper officiating and arranged by Cate-Spencer & Trent Funeral Home. He passed away on Thursday, February 27, at Rolling Plains Memorial Hospital in Sweetwater.

Garland was born December 18, 1932, in Roscoe to Arnold Guy and Florence Lorene (Rankin) Haygood. He married Lillian Maxine Peterson on June 10, 1953, in Loraine. He was a self-employed farmer and also worked for the Nolan County Courthouse as a maintenance engineer for many years. Garland was a faithful and active member of the First Baptist Church of Roscoe, serving as Sunday School Superintendent. He was also a lifelong resident of Nolan and Mitchell counties.

He is survived by his daughter Charlotte Cave and husband Reid, of Rotan; four grandchildren, Heather Hardman, Jaecob Hardman and wife Hannah, Savannah Cave, and Derek Jacks, and wife Racheal; five great grandchildren, Morgan Hardman, Rayleigh Hardman, Layton Hardman, Cooper Jacks and Haethen Creed Hardman; and sister, Mary Ann Smith of Sweetwater.

Garland was preceded in death by his wife, Maxine Haygood, daughter Melissa Jacks, and parents, Arnold and Lorene Haygood.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorials be made to First Baptist Church, P.O. Box 626, Roscoe, Texas 79545.



Funeral services for Jerry Don Powell, 76, of Roscoe will be held at 2:00pm Saturday, March 7, at Roscoe Church of Christ with Randall Smith officiating. Military honors by the U.S. Air Force will follow at Roscoe Cemetery under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater. He passed away Sunday, March 1, at Medical Center Hospital in Odessa.

 A family and friend’s visitation will be from 5:00-7:00pm Friday at McCoy Funeral Home.

Jerry was born April 17, 1943, in Amarillo to the late Eugene Thomas and Helen Nell (Miller) Powell. He married Viva Kay Parker December 8, 1967, in Lubbock. They moved from Big Spring back to Roscoe in 2013. Jerry was a Registered Nurse for 38 years, served as a Captain in the United States Air Force, was a member of Roscoe Church of Christ, member of the National Rifle Association, and loved hiking and collecting coins and model cars.

He is survived by his wife of 52 years; Viva Kay Powell of Roscoe; daughter, Tamara Castleberry and husband Joe of Fort Worth; son, Gerald Powell and wife Karrie of Andrews; grandchildren, Kevin Powell, Brandon Powell, Shaylea Castleberry and Colby Castleberry; eight great grandchildren, two step grandchildren, and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents and a brother.


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