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In the Heart of the Blackland Divide

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Glen Templeton Plays at Lumberyard Benefit

Glen Templeton at the Lumberyard Benefit.
Friends of the Lumberyard took a first step toward its revival Friday evening with a benefit concert in downtown Roscoe. Country music star Glen Templeton played on an outdoor stage to a large crowd just across Cypress Street from the old structure, which was destroyed by fire just a week earlier.

Before the music began, guests showed their support not only by attending, but also by buying T-shirts, and eating Wagyu beef hamburgers and potato chips with proceeds benefiting the Lumberyard, along with beer and cokes, which were also available. Volunteers cooked the burgers and served the drinks, and some private donations were made to add to others made on a GoFundMe page online.

The weather was perfect for enjoying the entertainment on a warm night with a moderate south wind, clear skies, and a full moon. Glen Templeton and his band put on a fine show, people danced or sat and enjoyed the music, and a good time was had by all.

Here’s hoping the evening marked a new beginning for the return of the Lumberyard!

Supporters who wish to make a donation may do so at the Lumberyard’s GoFundMe page by clicking here.



This KTXS-TV video ran on Thursday, July 15, too late to get into last week's posting. It is 2:15.   



Homecoming for RHS and RCHS is the weekend of September 24, and a planning meeting is set for today at the Community Center starting at 6:30pm. Volunteers are needed at the meeting to help with the planning and contacting alumni.

It’s time to get the ball rolling for the first time in three years for what we hope will be best Plowboy homecoming yet!

Connie Baize



There will be no Hard Times next Wednesday, August 4, as I will be in Houston for a doctor’s appointment. It will be my first skipped issue for this year. I plan to resume posting the following Wednesday, August 11, and will attempt to catch you up on the Roscoe news then.

Edwin Duncan
Roscoe Hard Times



Editor’s note: A few years ago, I ran across an unusual bit of information purely by chance. I was doing some research in the online archives of the New York Times and, just for fun, did a word search for Roscoe, Texas, to see if there were any articles about the town or its people that had made it into that national newspaper. What I got was a handful of hits, mostly small one or two-line items buried on a back page somewhere—except for the ones mentioned below that are the subjects of the following article.

On July 28, 1942, exactly 79 years ago today, the New York Times ran a photo of a merchant seaman captured and held by Germans in a submarine that had torpedoed the ship he was on and sunk it. He was identified as Archie Gibbs, 36, of Roscoe, Texas.

There were also two related articles, one entitled “U-Boats Now Prey on Fishing Boats” and the other “Captive on U-Boat Tells of Bombing,” which had appeared the day before. The first reported on U-boat attacks on two small non-military craft off the American coast. This was in the early stages of the war, and there was considerable concern about German submarine attacks in American waters.

The other article was the story of Archie Gibbs, whose ship was torpedoed and sunk with Gibbs going overboard and being picked up by the Germans, who found him swimming in the sea. He subsequently spent four days in the sub with the crew, and the rest of the article told of his time there before his release to a nearby trading vessel.

Never having heard of this incident nor of Archie Gibbs, I was immediately interested in learning about him. My dad, who grew up in Roscoe and graduated from RHS in 1921, would have been 39 in 1942, that is, three years older than Gibbs, but I couldn’t recall him mentioning that name, nor had my mother, who moved to Roscoe in 1930—nor had George Parks, whom I worked with for years and from whom I heard many stories about old Roscoe. I asked a few of the remaining old-timers around town, but none of them knew anything about Gibbs, either.

An online search for Archie Gibbs, however, turned up more intriguing information. Amazon listed used copies of a book entitled U-Boat Prisoner: The Life Story of a Texas Sailor by Archie Gibbs, and the IMDb (Internet Movie Database) had information and ratings for a Columbia Pictures movie, U-Boat Prisoner (1944), whose writer was Archie Gibbs and whose lead actor was Bruce Bennett—as Archie Gibbs. They gave it a rating of 5.6 stars out of 10 and provided this brief summary:

An American sailor poses as a Nazi spy in this implausible WWII action drama that reportedly is based on the actual experience of Archie Gibbs, a seaman detained aboard a German submarine. Gibbs assumes the identity of a Nazi whose ship has been sunk.

None of the video-streaming services I checked had U-Boat Prisoner, nor did YouTube, which has dozens of old B-rated movies uploaded by users.

However, I did find an old Roscoe Times article from December 1944 mentioning that the movie was showing at the Joy Theater and that Roscoe’s Archie Gibbs was its main character.

To find out more, I ordered a used copy of the book from a bookstore that sells on Amazon. In its introduction by Eugene Leuchtman, I learned that after Gibbs’ adventure with the U-boat, he became an instant hero in that early stage of America’s involvement in the war:

He had his picture taken with Mrs. Roosevelt. He spoke on the radio. Life magazine gave him a page for his four days in the U-boat. Joe Curran, president of the National Maritime Union, pinned a medal on him. He talked at production rallies in war plants. And when his money ran out, he went back to sea.

Gibbs then tells the story of his life in the book, which is an interesting read. He was born in 1906 in Ohio, but his dad was a drifter, and his family, which consisted of his parents, an older sister named Lillie, and a little brother, frequently lived out of a wagon, as they moved around. His mother was not mentally stable and completely lost it when her 2-year-old daughter fell against a wood stove and was burned so bad that it killed her. The mother was committed to an insane asylum in Wichita Falls, and the dad had trouble raising the kids. One day he gave up and gave the little brother up for adoption and the next day just disappeared. The authorities put Lillie in a Salvation Army girls’ orphan home and sent Archie to the State Juvenile Reform School in Gatesville.

He was 12 at the time and spent four hard years there before being released to Lillie, who by then was married and living in Dallas. Archie stayed with her and her husband, George Ruthford, before hitting the road after losing his job. He then hoboed and scraped by as best he could until finding work as a merchant sailor. He loved his new life at sea and remained a seaman from then on.

In 1938, George and Lillie moved to Roscoe. Archie never says why, but he does mention that George was in poor health when they lived in Dallas. Anyway, George died in January 1939 at the age of 54 and was buried in the Roscoe Cemetery. Lillie telegrammed the news to Archie, who had just left a ship in Corpus Christi, so he went to Roscoe to be with her for a while. She had nine children, and when he went back to Corpus, one of her teenage sons ran away from home to be with Archie and become a seaman. But he was too young, and Archie bought him a train ticket back to

Archie remained a sailor until the war broke out and he was involved in the incident with the U-boat. During that time, he considered Roscoe home, not only because that’s what he told the newspapers and others, but also because in his book he mentions returning “home” between ships a couple of times for brief stays before shipping out again. Home for Archie was Lillie and her family.  When he was captured by the Germans, the only photos he had were of her and her children.

Lillie lived on until 1952 when she died at the age of 50 and was buried beside her husband in the Roscoe Cemetery. Since she lived in Roscoe for over twelve years and had nine kids, someone must remember her or her children—and I would be interested in talking to anyone who does.

So, if you remember Lillie Ruthford or any of her children—or know someone who does or did, I’d be very interested in finding out more about this little-known bit of Roscoe history.


“Captive on U-Boat Tells of Bombing,” New York Times, July 27, 1942.

Archie Gibbs, U-Boat Prisoner: The Life Story of a Texas Sailor. Edited by Eugene Leuchtman. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1943.

William Du Bois, “A Texas Sailor Goes Underwater,” New York Times, August 29, 1943. Book review of U-Boat Prisoner, The Life Story of a Texas Sailor.



Yesterday's sky.
We got our first real taste of hot July weather this past week with a stretch of one 98°F day followed by four triple-digit days in a row: Friday 98°, Saturday 101°, Sunday 101°, Monday 100°, and yesterday 103°. Yesterday was not only the hottest, but in the afternoon, there wasn’t enough breeze to move the flags, which hung limp.

We got a pleasant surprise this morning with an unexpected shower from the north. I don’t know what others got, but there was exactly a half-inch in my rain gauge. I’m sure the plants appreciated it.

The forecast is for slightly cooler weather, but not by much. Today’s high will be 95°, which is an eight-degree improvement over yesterday.  The rest of the week will be more of the same with partly cloudy skies and little chance for rain until Monday, when we’ll have a 34% chance.

After Sunday, temperatures are expected to cool down to 91° or so in the beginning of next week. 


Wednesday, July 21, 2021

The Lumberyard Destroyed by Fire

Fire at the Lumberyard. (Photo by Sheree Herd)

A fire that broke out shortly after one o’clock early Friday morning set the Lumberyard ablaze, and firemen were unable to save the structure as it burned to the ground, taking the restaurant with it. The dry wood of the century-old lumber sheds caught quickly, destroying almost everything on the premises. Only the small stage with its big Texas flag still intact remained after firemen had extinguished the blaze.

Unfortunately, the building and lumber sheds were so old that insurance companies either refused outright to insure the place or would insure it only at prohibitive prices, so it was never insured for fire, which makes the loss doubly painful. As of yesterday, the Texas State Fire Marshals continued to investigate the blaze and still had not announced its origin or cause. There has been speculation that the cause was electrical, but nothing has been confirmed.

Here are the local TV news reports of the fire. Both were shown on KTAB-TV and on the Big Country Homepage.



Glen Templeton
The show must go on! By this time almost everyone knows that the Lumberyard burned down last Friday, but many may not realize that Glen Templeton will play in Roscoe Friday night.

Here’s the Lumberyard’s announcement of the event:

Our venue has stood as an example of hometown family fun for the past 11 years and now in destruction, an example of statewide love, encouragement, and comfort!

As a token of our appreciation and eagerness to move forward with more great memories, we are hosting Glen Templeton on Friday, July 23, at 9 PM!

Tickets are available for $15 in advance by calling General Manager Sheree Herd at 1-316-435-2659 or $20 at the time of the event.

Due to clean up regulations and scheduling, a temporary stage will be set up for the performance, as well as a few picnic tables. However, we encourage you to bring a lawn chair. No outside alcohol is allowed in accordance with the TABC laws. Beer and wine will be available for sale at the show.

The Lumberyard would be honored to see everyone come out and support not only a great artist, but witness the unity of this small town community as it helps to rebuild!

Thank you!

The show will take place directly west of the Lumberyard in the open area across Cypress Street.

Everyone in the area is encouraged to attend to show their hopes of seeing the Lumberyard rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of the old to be reborn as a new bird with new feathers.

Glen Templeton is a singer/songwriter from Alabama who is said to sound just like Conway Twitty. In fact, his singing career took off when Conway Twitty’s daughters chose him to portray their father in a touring musical tribute to Twitty. He appeared in that role on the Grand Ole Opry, CMT, and other popular country music venues, and in doing so has shared the stage with Loretta Lynn, George Jones, and others. He now has a dedicated following in Nashville and elsewhere and can be heard on Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube. He is also touring non-stop.

Popular singles by Templeton include “Let Her Go,” “I Could Be the One,” “Goodbye Time,” “Big City,” “Ball Cap,” and “That’s My Job.”

High Noon Wagyu is also holding a Burger Benefit from 7:00-9:00pm, serving prime Wagyu burgers and chips for a $10 suggested donation to raise money for the Lumberyard fund.



A Gofundme page has been set up online by Richard Kemp for those who wish to donate to the Lumberyard fund. Here is the link: If you want to donate, you can do it there. An anonymous donor has agreed to match all donations by others up to $50,000, so whatever you donate will be automatically doubled. Do it now.



Roscoe in 1909. Lumber yard bottom left. View is to the south down Cypress.
The lumber yard was built around 1909 and was originally the Higginbotham-Harris Lumber Company. Its original office on Front Street faced the railroad track but was moved to a new building facing Cypress Street in 1911. By 1921, Harris had sold his interest in the operation to Charles Bartlett, the lumber yard’s manager, and the business became known thereafter as the Higginbotham-Bartlett Company.

The lumber shed on the west side next to Cypress was taken down before 1921 and the lumber shed on the north side next to Front Street was built between 1921 and 1927. Everything then remained essentially the same for the rest of the century. When I was growing up in Roscoe in the 1950s and ‘60s, Gene Rayburn was its manager. It had a rival, the Burton-Lingo Lumber Co., which was on Broadway, where the Plowboy Center Lodge is now.

Higginbotham-Bartlett in 1948.

The business was the Higginbotham-Bartlett lumber yard until 1998, when it finally closed down and the brick building became the office for AAA Investments from 1999 to 2004. Then, it became Hagerman’s Grocery, owned and operated by Deborah Hagerman, until 2008.

Cody Thompson bought it from the Hagermans in November 2009 after the election that legalized the sale of alcohol in Nolan County. His plan was to turn the place into a restaurant where customers could buy beer. By the time he opened it in October 2010, he had also decided to bring in country music bands with the help of an old friend in the music business in Fort Worth. The restaurant opened its doors in time for the West Texas Wind Festival and had its official Grand Opening shortly thereafter. And on October 28, the first in a long line of country singers, Tommy Alverson, put on a performance on the stage outside, and the Lumberyard was up and running.

Cody, the City Manager of Roscoe since 2008, convinced his lifelong friend, Nolan Martin, to move to Roscoe to help him run the operation, and both worked and lived on the premises. Cody oversaw the operation and arranged the entertainment while Nolan was the manager and head cook of the restaurant. Unfortunately, Nolan died unexpectedly of a stroke in 2012.

Every year, Cody made improvements of one kind or another. Bands played on the original stage until 2015, when he converted part of the north lumber shed to a music stage with a Green Room on one side, where performers could relax and have some privacy, and a sky box on the other. The first artist to perform on the new larger stage was Merle Haggard, and it was afterwards named the Merle Haggard stage, while the smaller original stage was named the Ray Price stage. Musicians who were likely to draw a large crowd that filled the yard thereafter played on the Merle Haggard stage while the Ray Price stage was used for artists or groups that drew smaller crowds.

The Lumberyard in 2012.

The Lumberyard was recognized as one of the best music venues in west Texas and received statewide recognition as numerous stars and legends of country music gave live performances there. These included Merle Haggard, Charley Pride, Mel Tillis, Tanya Tucker, Ray Price, Travis Tritt, Crystal Gayle, Charlie Daniels, Guy Clark, Johnny Rodriguez, Jo Dee Messina, Johnny Bush, the Bellamy Brothers, Terri Clark, Asleep at the Wheel, Neal McCoy, Gary P. Nunn, Marty Stuart, Robert Earl Keen, Jody Nix, Jake Hooker, Ray Wylie Hubbard, The Mavericks, John Anderson, Jamey Johnson, the Tejas Brothers, Charley Crockett, and others.

The regionally popular Red Dirt singers also loved the crowds they drew at the Lumberyard. These included Stoney LaRue, Josh Abbott, Randy Rogers, Cody Canada, Wade Bowen, Jason Boland, Brandon Jenkins, Pat Green, the Turnpike Troubadours, and others.

But besides the music performances, the Lumberyard was a gathering place for locals to visit and relax after a day’s work with iced tea or a beer or two with friends. It was the town watering hole in that regard and a popular place for birthday parties and similar gatherings. Additionally, there was always a lunch crowd as well as customers ordering food to go.

With 2020 came the pandemic, and the Lumberyard was essentially closed down for the year with no huge crowds or big-time stars appearing. As 2021 rolled around, things began picking up again with popular performances by Charley Crockett, Shiny Ribs, and Jamie Richards with others on the schedule when the fire broke out and the venerable old structure burned to the ground in a few short hours.

No matter how things play out in the future, to say the Lumberyard will be missed is an understatement.



The Roscoe Homecoming organizers will have a planning meeting next Wednesday, July 28, at 6:30pm. Anyone interested in participating is encouraged to attend.

So, make plans to be there.
We need all the help we can get!

Connie Baize


2021 RCHS Cross Country Tentative Schedule

August 21            Jim Ned
August 28           Western Texas College
September 1       Brownwood
September 7       Eula
September 13     Coleman
September 25     Lubbock Invitational
October 4            District (Coleman)
October 25          Regional Meet (Lubbock)
November 5-6    State Meet (Round Rock)



July sky.
The last seven days have been normal July weather with mostly sunny skies with summer clouds and afternoon temperatures reaching the mid-90s. It was the second weekend in a row with no rainfall, which has resulted in further drying out from the previous rains and a slight slowing of plant growth.

The high temperature for the week was Sunday’s 96°, although Thursday and Saturday both had highs of 95°. Lows were all within a couple degrees of 70°. Low for the week was Monday’s 67°. Monday also had the lowest high at 89°

The coming week will look a lot like this last one with mostly sunny skies and moderate south winds. Today’s high is expected to reach only 88°, but the rest of the days will be warmer. Tomorrow’s high should reach 92°, Friday’s 95°, and Saturday and Sunday both 97°. Morning lows will also be warmer. Tomorrow’s should be about 71°, but Friday will be a bit warmer at 73°, and Saturday, Sunday, and Monday should all be 74°.

Once again, there is no rain in the forecast.



Funeral services for Jerry Lynn Alford, 73, of Roscoe were held at 2:00pm Friday, July 16, at First United Methodist Church in Roscoe with Dr. Rick Willis and Rev. Juanelle Jordan officiating. Interment followed at Roscoe Cemetery under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home in Sweetwater.

Jerry began his earthly life on May 28, 1948, in Gorman, Texas. After a successful and fulfilling 73 years, he entered his heavenly home on June 13, 2021.

Jerry spent his early years in Olden, Texas, with his parents Cecil and Sara May Alford and brother Norman Alford. He was valedictorian of his graduating class in Olden. He continued his education at ACC (ACU) in Abilene, graduating with a Business Degree and minor in Bible. He worked for GE Railcar in Ranger before moving to Roscoe in 1983. He became the plant manager of the Roscoe shop until its closing. He owned and operated Central Fasteners in Sweetwater for 27 years.

Upon retirement in 2016, the business was turned over to his son, Jerad Alford. He was a talented man in many ways. He designed a house which he wanted to build himself but opted to remodel and add on to the family house.

Jerry is survived by his wife of 37 years, Susie McFaul Alford, daughter Misti Alford De Loera and husband Armando of Roscoe, son Jerad Alford and wife Candace Foster Alford of Roscoe, son Chris Adams of Kansas, his beautiful grandchildren Amri, Amrin, and Amrik De Loera, and Mason and Kennedy Alford all of Roscoe, brother Norman Alford and wife Vickie of Round Rock.

Preceding him in death were his parents and in-laws, Willard and Emily McFaul.

Pallbearers were Eddie McGlothlin, Marcial Saenz, Kenneth Reed, Scott Etheredge, Jay Suggs, Wayne McFaul, Darrell Aljoe, Ken Foster, Tom Griffith, Larry Pullin, and Billy Joe Jay. Honorary pallbearers were his grandchildren.

Memorials may be made to Hendrick Hospice Care, 1651 Pine Street, Abilene, Texas 79601 or the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 546, Roscoe, Texas 79454.


Wednesday, July 14, 2021

City Council Approves New Board Members

City Manager Cody Thompson addresses the City Council.

At its monthly meeting in City Hall yesterday evening, the Roscoe City Council heard updates from the City Manager and Chief of Police and approved several new members to the City’s Community Development and Industrial Development Boards.

City Manager Cody Thompson reported on the July 4th Celebration, saying the day went well considering the problems created by the weather, which forced the cancellation of the Plowboy Mudbog and the move of the concert from its usual location on the stage in Cypress Street to the Lumberyard. Despite the problems, those who attended enjoyed the day, the parade, the fireworks, the street vendors, and other features.

TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) has met with EHT (Enprotec/Hibbs & Todd, Inc.), the Abilene engineering firm, concerning the work on I-20, and is proposing the re-location of the city water line located on the north and south sides of the I-20 service roads as well as the sewer force main line to the sewer plant. The projected engineering and construction cost is $1,100,000, which will be paid by TxDOT with federal funds.

The state’s approval of the proposed improvement to the city water lines in south Roscoe is still anticipated and may receive some of the proposed federal infrastructure funding.

Developer Carl Childers is proposing increasing the size of the unsold lots in the Young Farm Estates housing development.

There have been recent inquiries about lots and commercial property in north Roscoe along US Highway 84.

Police Chief Felix Pantoja gave the Police Report for June, saying the Department handled 88 calls and dealt with nine ongoing burglary investigations. The Department has also hired a part-time code enforcement officer, Zac Rankin, who will be paid out of the Department’s part-time budget.

Pantoja requested that the Council look into creating a new City ordinance concerning sex offenders, citing a new sex offender who has moved to Roscoe without the imposition of any limitations by the State.

He also cited recent citizen complaints about golf carts and suggested that the Council establish requirements concerning them. These might include light requirements, limit numbers of riders, and set age requirements for driving them, while allowing exceptions for organized events such as parades.

The Council then approved the addition of Aaron Brown to the City’s B Board, or Roscoe Community Development Board. It also approved the addition of David Ralph, Georgia Dipple, and Thomas Parks to the City’s A Board, or Roscoe Industrial Development Board.

It also approved the Engineering Services Agreement for the TxDOT relocation project with EHT, as well as the City’s Quarterly Financial Report. It tabled consideration of the Budget Amendments until next month.



Believe it or not, football season is just around the corner, and the Plowboys’ fall schedule has been set. Here it is:

Date                 Opponent               Location              Time
Aug. 13            Menard/Iraan*** Roscoe                5:00pm
Aug. 19            Forsan***               Forsan                6:00pm
Aug. 27            Hawley                   Roscoe                7:30pm 
Sept.  1             Stamford                Stamford           7:30pm
Sept. 10            Miles                      Miles                   7:30pm
Sept. 17            Christoval              Roscoe               7:00pm
Sept. 24            New Home**       Roscoe               7:00pm
Oct.  1               Sudan                     Sudan                7:00pm
Oct.  8                                              OPEN              
Oct. 15             Ralls*                     Ralls                   7:00pm
Oct. 22             Crosbyton*          Roscoe                7:00pm
Oct. 29             Lockney*              Lockney             7:00pm
Nov. 5              Hamlin*                Roscoe               7:00pm

*** = Scrimmage    ** = Homecoming     * = District Game

Once again, the Plowboys will play a tough schedule. After a scrimmage with Menard and Iraan on August 13 and one with Forsan on August 19, they will begin their regular season with possibly the best 2A team in this area, Hawley. The Bearcats are one level above the Plowboys in 2A, Division I, and are ranked by Dave Campbell’s Texas Football magazine at No. 9 in Texas in their class.

The Plowboys’ second game is also with a 2A-I team, the always tough Stamford Bulldogs. Then after playing 2A-II Miles on the road, they will take on Christoval, ranked 12th in the state in 2A-II and the pre-season pick to win their district. Then at Homecoming on September 24, the Plowboys play New Home, picked to finish second in their district, followed by Sudan at Sudan. And that will complete their non-district schedule.

Then, after an open week, the district games will begin. Here is Texas Football’s predicted order of finish for District 5-2A, Division II:

     1. Ralls Jackrabbits
     2. Hamlin Pied Pipers
     3. Lockney Longhorns
     4. Roscoe Collegiate Plowboys
     5. Crosbyton Chiefs

Texas Football’s pre-season pick to win the championship is Ralls. The magazine ranks the Jackrabbits No. 16 in state for 2A, Division II, with Hamlin right behind them at No. 17. Although Hamlin was undefeated in district last year, Ralls, whose only district loss was to the Pipers, returns 7 starters on both offense and defense, while Hamlin lost most of its players to graduation and will be starting a younger, more inexperienced line-up this year.

Roscoe is ranked number four in district but should be much improved over last year with 10 returning starters on offense and 9 on defense, so look for them to finish higher.  By the time the district games begin, Head Coach Jake Freeman expects to have his troops competing with Hamlin and Ralls for the district crown. In any case, it will be good to see the Plowboys back in action.

Here are the 2021 schedules for the Junior Varsity and Junior High Plowboys.

Junior Varsity
Date                   Opponent              Location              Time
Aug. 13              Menard***            Roscoe                  5:00pm
Aug. 19              Forsan***              Forsan                  5:00pm
Aug. 26             Hawley                   Hawley                  5:00pm
Sept.  2              Stamford               Roscoe                  6:00pm               
Sept.  9               Miles                     Roscoe                  6:00pm
Sept. 16             Christoval             Christoval             6:00pm
Sept. 23             New Home           New Home           6:00pm
Sept. 30             Hamlin                  Roscoe                  6:00pm
Oct.  7                                             OPEN              
Oct. 14               Ralls*                    Roscoe                  6:00pm
Oct. 21              Crosbyton*           Crosbyton             6:00pm
Oct. 28              Lockney*              Roscoe                   6:00pm
Nov.  4              Hamlin*                Hamlin                 6:00pm

Junior High 7th/8th

Date               Opponent                Location             Time
Sept. 2           Stamford                 Roscoe                 4:00pm
Sept.  9          Miles                        Roscoe                 4:00pm
Sept. 16         Christoval               Christoval            4:00pm
Sept. 23        New Home              New Home          4:00pm
Sept. 30        Merkel                     Roscoe                 4:00pm
Oct.   7                                          OPEN              
Oct. 14          Ralls*                       Roscoe                  4:00pm
Oct. 21          Crosbyton*             Crosbyton            4:00pm
Oct. 28          Lockney*                Roscoe                  4:00pm
Nov.  4          Hamlin*                  Hamlin                 4:00pm



Jacob Armitage
Jacob Armitage is an up-and-coming singer/songwriter from Greenwood, a small town just east of Midland. He began his musical career in Lubbock, and his single, “Runner,” was on Texas Music Pickers charts for twelve straight weeks and has received air play in Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Louisiana.

He has played in venues around Texas including the Metroplex, New Braunfels, Lubbock, and elsewhere. Roscoe is the first stop on his “Highway 84 Weekend.” On Saturday, he’ll be playing at "Celebrate Littlefield" in Littlefield.

Songs include “Runner,” “Once Upon a Time,” “In Your Dreams,” “7&7,” and “Everywhere She Goes.”

Come on out and see him before he gets big. Cover charge is only $5. The show begins at 8:30pm.

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



Southern sky
This past week was a much-needed break from the frequent rains of previous weeks. Skies were sunnier, temperatures warmer, and drying out was general. The clouds never went completely away, and on Monday there was a thunderstorm south of town around Maryneal, but the rest of the area was free of precipitation.

Daily highs were consistently in the low 90s for the first time in a while, and lows were around 70°. However, temperatures were still slightly below what we normally expect for July, with its average daily maximum of 94°. The high temperatures since last Wednesday were the 92° readings on Thursday, Saturday, and yesterday.

Today’s high should be 91° with partly cloudy skies and winds from the south at about 17mph. Tomorrow will reach 94°, followed by Friday’s 91°, Saturday’s 92°, and Sunday’s 91°. Winds will be from the south and lows will be around 72°.

Rain is not expected until next Tuesday, when a norther arrives.  Chances then are expected to be around 37%.



Jerry Lynn Alford, born May 28, 1948, in Gorman, Texas, to Cecil and Sarah May Alford, passed away July 13, 2021, at his residence in Roscoe. Services are pending with McCoy Funeral Home.



Graveside services for Sandra Lee (Gran) Pruitt, 80, of Roscoe were held at 10:00am Saturday, July 10, at Roscoe Cemetery with Mike Ensminger officiating. Interment followed under the direction of McCoy Funeral Home. She passed away Wednesday, July 7, at Sterling Hills Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Sweetwater.

Sandra was born to the late William H. and Lee Ellen (Hanks) Simmons on August 4, 1940, at Crowell, Texas. She married Billy G. Pruitt August 21, 1960, at Crowell, and came to Sweetwater in 1960. They moved to Roscoe in 1965. Sandra worked at the Roscoe ISD cafeteria for 36 years, then at the Highland ISD cafeteria for 5 years. She was known all those years by the kids as “Gran.”  Sandra was a member of Normandy Avenue Church of Christ, a very big supporter of the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department, and a member of the Ladies’ Auxiliary.

She is survived by her children, Frank Pruitt and wife Elaine of Mexia; Media Kimbrell and husband Skeet of Roscoe; Virgil Pruitt and wife Valerie of Roscoe; brothers, Dueaine Simmons and wife Brenda; Randy Simmons and wife Micki, all of Dublin, Texas; eight grandchildren, seventeen great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, husband, and her sister, Pamela K. Simmons.

Pallbearers were Keegan Pruitt, Donald Kimbrell, Jacob Galart, Tad Etheridge, Chris Ramirez, and Stephen Sewell.

Honorary pallbearers were Wyatt Kimbrell, Hudson Galart, Beau and London Shaw, Collin Glass, Chris Simmons, and Men of the Normandy Avenue Church of Christ.

Memorials may be made to the Roscoe Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 546, Roscoe, Texas 79545.

A very Special Thank You to her neighbors Pete and Earnie, Interim Hospice, Sterling Hills Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, and Encompass Home Health.


Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Roscoe Celebrates July 4th Despite Rain

Mike and the Moonpies moved to the Lumberyard after an afternoon  shower.

The rain put a damper on some of the events Saturday and forced changes in others, but people showed up anyway, and a good time was had by those who attended.  

Hopes for a dry July 4th celebration were nipped early when a rain that fell before dawn Saturday morning totaled over two inches, making George Parks baseball field unsuitable for the holding of the Mudbog later than day. The problem wasn’t so much for the mudbog itself, which is supposed to be wet, but to all the surrounding area, which was soggy, muddy, and with too much standing water to be usable for contestants or crowd. It was a disappointment because several contestants had already made the trip from as far away as New Mexico with their mud vehicles. But with conditions as they were, there was nothing that could be done.

The parade, however, went on as announced with only a light sprinkle. The crowd was down because too many potential spectators didn’t know if the parade would be held, but the number of entries seemed about the same as usual. And those who did attend enjoyed participating or watching the show.

After the parade, the weather looked promising, and everyone hoped the rest of the day would be suitable. A fair number of people were downtown, and at the museum there were about as many visitors as always.

But in mid-afternoon, a shower hit just about the time the musicians were beginning to set up on the street stage in front of the bank. It rained hard for about fifteen minutes, and although it stopped after dropping about a quarter inch, the time it fell was such that the bands feared damage to their equipment.

Some speakers and other equipment were damaged by a sudden shower back when T. G. Sheppard was here at the West Texas Wind Festival in 2017, and with that in mind, a decision was made to move the music to the Lumberyard for protection from the rain. So, Lyndall Underwood and Kody West did their sets on the small stage, and the headline band, Mike and the Moonpies, did theirs on the Lumberyard’s big stage.

And, of course, shortly after the move was made, the clouds broke, the sky cleared, and the sun came out. Many later arrivals to the celebration had brought their coolers and lawn chairs for places in the street, and rather than not use them, they set them up in the street directly outside the Lumberyard. So, when the bands put on their shows, there was a large crowd inside as well as a sizeable number of people outside on Cypress, who could hear the music but couldn’t see the band.

Nevertheless, everyone, inside or out, seemed to enjoy the music, and the chairs in the street were in the right spot for the fireworks show that followed the music. So, even though the wet weather upset the original plans for the day, everyone made the best of the situation and had a good time celebrating the 4th anyway.

Parade Winners

Best Antique Vehicle – Welton Ellison – Blue car
Best Bicycle – Zaley Velasco
Best Fire Department – Maryneal
Best Western Theme – Clayton Parker
Best Overall – Gary Williams – Green antique car
Best Patriotic Theme – Kason Schauffer – 4 people
Best Four Wheeler – Oliver Galvan – 3 year old mini
Best Golf Cart – Dakota Freeman – 4 people

The City of Roscoe parade committee wishes to thank all those who joined us for a day of celebration. Thank you for joining our parade or just supporting us by being there. Thanks also to our Police Department, Volunteer Fire Department and Fire Department Women’s Auxiliary, and Nolan County Sheriff’s Office. Thanks also to City employees and everyone else who make this parade happen.

Varsity and Junior High Cheerleaders brought home trophies, awards, ribbons, and the spirit stick from the NCA Cheer Camp at Tarleton State University last week.



A failure to yield right of way at an intersection on Thursday evening was the cause of a collision that caused a serious injury to Ray Gonzales. The accident occurred at the intersection of FM 608 and the I-20 north service road. The other driver was a man from Lubbock.

Gonzales was injured and taken to a local hospital.



Mark Chesnutt
“Honky Tonk Legend” Mark Chesnutt, who was scheduled to make his first appearance ever in Roscoe and the Lumberyard this Friday, has had to cancel because of back injuries. His show will be re-scheduled for another date, possibly in October.

The Lumberyard will honor all pre-sales for the re-scheduled date or for another concert of the ticket holder’s choice. It is sorry for any inconvenience the cancellation may have caused.



The cool, cloudy, and rainy weather that have characterized west Texas for more than two months now continued once again this past week. We’re experiencing a sustained weather pattern rarely seen in these parts, which is something of a mixed blessing for area farmers. Those with good drainage in their fields have the makings of a possible bumper crop with all the ground moisture that’s accumulated, but those with the so-called playa lakes, or “dry lakes,” in their fields may have been unable to plant or seen their baby cotton drown with all the recent rains. And everybody, farmers or not, is dealing with the humidity, profusion of weeds, and abundance of mosquitoes that have resulted.

Our weather is part of a larger pattern being caused by an unusual movement of the jet stream over the western United States and Canada. West and northwest of us, conditions are hot and dry to the point of breaking records for drought and heat. There, the jet stream is locked in what is known as an Omega pattern, so-called because it resembles the Greek letter omega, Ω, with a high-pressure weather pattern inside the curve creating the hot and dry conditions.

Here in west Texas, we are outside and to the east of the omega pattern, so we have been caught in a corresponding low-pressure pattern resulting in cool, wet weather. In other words, rains and temperatures that would normally be in the northwest are being experienced here. I talked on the phone to a woman in Idaho on Friday. She asked me if it was hot in Texas, and I told her it was cool and wetter than we’d seen in years. She said it was 108° and dry there. How long this will go on is anybody’s guess.

In the meantime, we must be breaking some kind of record for the number of rains we’ve had for the past couple of months. It seems that every few days we got another couple of inches. I added up all the rain I’ve got in my rain gauge from the last week of April until now and came up with a total of 21.45 inches, which is about average for what we normally get for an entire year. I asked Roscoe weatherman Kenny Landfried what he’s recorded officially for the same time span, and his total is 19.27 inches.  I’m guessing that people living in the Champion area have got more than either of us since they usually get more rain there than we do in town.

Roscoe has been keeping official records since 1936, and the wettest year since then has been 1991 with a total of 37.05 inches, barely beating out 1986 with its 37.00 inches.

However, Roscoe’s wettest year was more likely before the records became official, namely 1932. A Sweetwater Reporter article from that year, which I am posting with this issue, states that according to Monroe McCauley’s unofficial record (McCauley was once Roscoe’s mayor), the 12-month period from September 1931 to September 1932 had a rainfall total of 62 inches. The cotton crop around Roscoe that year produced a record 22,000 bales, not broken until 1962 when technology had advanced considerably.

With all that said, my measurement for precipitation for the past week is 3.7”, 2.1” before the parade Saturday and .25” after, and then 1.35” more on Monday.  Temperatures were mild, and skies were either cloudy or partly cloudy. Afternoon highs were in the 80s, lows were around 70°, and humidity was high.

The forecast is for continued highs in the 80s under sunnier skies with continued high humidity but less chance of rain. The high today should reach 85°, tomorrow 90°, and Friday and Saturday 91° with morning lows of 69° or 70°. Sunday and Monday will be slightly cooler with highs of 88° and 87°. On Sunday, the chances for showers will increase to 30%, or at least that’s what they’re predicting at the moment.

If the forecasts are accurate, maybe we can get enough drying out in the next few days to mow the lawns and weed the gardens.


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