By Trent Rosser
I have talked a little about Rogers, TX before. It is the small town that I spent some of my summer months. I also moved there when I was about 16 and stayed for about a year. Rogers is about 15 miles just south of Temple, TX. It is a very small town. It had its own bank at one time along with a restaurant. I remember the restaurant was called “Steak and Egg”, but throughout the years the management and owners have constantly changed. It did have a small grocery store, but usually the shelves were bare or they too were changing owners or closed down. Luckily, it had 2 different convenience stores. One was called, “The Armadillo Store” and the other was just a regular “Circle K”. I spent lots of money at both of them getting alcoholic beverages! The “Circle K” was a little different than most of them though. At the back of the store was a shelf full of VHS. It doubled as a movie rental store, but not much of a selection of movies. Rogers did have a small fire department, but it only consisted of volunteers. It also had two paid police officers even though it only had 1 stop light. Like clockwork, it would start blinking yellow at 10PM The biggest building in the entire town was the school. The elementary was on one side, the high school on the other side and the middle school.... right in the middle, of course. My grandfather worked there as a janitor after he retired. Every day at noon, the tornado siren would go off. It was to let everyone know that it was noon and lunch time.
The highlight for the town was the local high school football games. When the game was there, so was everyone in town! In a town this small, everyone knows everyone. You could not do anything wrong before someone found out about it. Even with it being this small, it is something that I will never forget. Small towns have big values!
One thing that I do miss the most about that town is the weather. This last week, it became pretty cold.....Again! The wind chill here is fatal and will chill you straight to the bone. Now, don’t get me wrong, Rogers, TX has it’s cold weather. But it is nothing compared to this area. When I moved down there, winter had just started. Everyone was bundled up and I was still walking around in short sleeve shirts. I was used to the cold, but when summer came around, I was out of my element! They have wind there, but it is not as bad as here in Amarillo, where we are the windiest city in the United States! So with the wind chill there in Rogers and the rest of the hill country, it was still not as bad as this area. As for the snow, it does snow sometimes in the hill country, but it is usually melted by the next day. Just an example, back in 2003 I was living in Austin and it snowed an inch. The entire town shut down, which I thought was comical because it was all melted by noon. So they are not use to the snow or cold like we are. The main reason I bring this up this week, is because the cold weather reminded me of a friend that we knew from Rogers.
A few years after my brother got out of high school, a friend of ours moved from Rogers to Amarillo with my brother. His name was Justin and he grew up in the hill country of central Texas. For reasons, unknown to me, he moved in with my brother. Both their names were Justin so it was always, Justin and Justin’s house. My brother was working on a ranch between Amarillo and Claude. Of course Justin went to work there also. He arrived in town at the beginning of fall so the temperature was still warm and hot. At least hot to us. When it first snowed he was in awe. For the first few days he loved it. Waking up and still snow on the ground. Coming home and driving through the snow and seeing all the snow plows and snow drifts over 6 feet high. Of course, as time went on, his enthusiasm for the snow started to diminish. Slowly at first, but come the end of February, he was sick of it! I will admit, he did good, he survived the harsh west Texas wind chill and cold snow all winter long. I was actually proud of the guy! Then the fateful day came when enough was enough. It was a rough winter, but it was finally over with. The last week of the month, the temps were back in the high 70’s and sometime low 80’s. He was letting everyone know that he survived the winter working long days on a ranch with nothing to stop the wind except for a broken piece of barb wire. On April 1, (April Fool’s day), he walked out to go to work, stepped outside to 18 inches of fresh packed snow from the night before. He turned around, packed all his clothes, threw them in his truck and took back off to central Texas. He was headed back to Rogers.
It takes a special breed a person to live in this area during the winter time. Anyone can do it. Time is what it takes to get used to the winter here. Time, guts and determination. Same thing happens when someone from here try to get use to the humidity and heat down in Rogers. It takes a special breed to live and work during the summer months in central Texas as well.
There are times, when I really would loved to live back in the small town of Rogers. Small town values, No bright lights, or heavy traffic. Better yet, I could live up here in the summer and move down south for the winter. I will know when to come back home. As soon as I step out of my house in Rogers at 8 AM, with a temp of 85 and humidity at 90 percent, I will walk back in, pack my clothes, throw them in my truck and head north! I will probably say the same thing that Justin said on his way out the door. “You damn people are crazy to live through this kind of weather!”
Yes, Justin, We all are crazy in one way or another!