Saturday, March 21, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/22/1965 to 3/28/1965

West Rome wrapped up three weeks of spring practice with the Green and White intra-squad game, which was held at Barron Stadium on March 26th. Robert Green coached the Green Team, appropriately enough, while Nick Hyder was in charge of the White team, with Coach Kennedy watching the whole thing from the press box. For a while, it appeared that the game might be rained out, but the Chieftains slogged across the muddy track and onto the wet field to play the game, with the Greens winning  7-3.

Barbara Helie was chosen as West Rome's 1965 senior class poet; her class poem would be part of the 1965 Class Night program.

Ann Peery, Jane McCollum, Lynn Moore, and Stan Dawson were chosen to represent West Rome on the Floyd County All Star Basketball Team.

I didn't remember that classes had a class flower or a class song, but they did—and in 1965, the senior class chose the red rose as their class flower and "I'll Be Seeing You" as their class song.

The Student Council announced that the 1964 Western Pioneer Day was so popular that it was becoming an annual event, with the second Western Pioneer Day set for Friday, April 23rd. Students and teachers were encouraged to begin assembling their cowboy or Indian costumes now, since anyone out of costume could potentially be arrested and "jailed" and would have to pay a 10¢ fine to get out. A special seemly program was also in the works, featuring parodies of such popular Western TV shows as Bonanza and Gunsmoke.

And speaking of assembly programs, Charles Gregory entertained West Rome Students on March 24th with a program called "Strange Music." during the assembly, Gregory performed music using such unusual instruments as a vacuum cleaner, a rubber glove, a theremin, a bicycle pump, a balloon, a saw, a mallet, and bagpipes. Did it have great educational value? Not particularly. But did it add a memorable and entertaining break to the school week? You bet!

Back in 1965, everyone had to pay ad valorum taxes and buy car tags before April 1st--and that meant that the big rush was on in the last full week before the deadline. While almost 19,000 tags had been paid for by the beginning of the week, Tag Agent Lee Looney estimated that another 7,000 to 8,000 tags would be paid for in the final days as the deadline approached.

All the numbers were finally tallied, and the Federal Reserve reported that Rome's department stores saw a 6% gain during January 1965 over the same month in 1964, while purchasers were also carrying a lower charge account balance and were paying off those balances more quickly than in the past. Furniture stores saw an 8% gain, while grocery stores saw a 5% gain. All these numbers pointed to a continuation of the strong economic growth that had emerged since the 1963 tax cuts went into effect.

West Point and Pepperell voted to merge their two textile firms this week in 1965, creating the new West Point Pepperell company. Spokesmen assured concerned employees that this merger would not result in any job cuts in the Rome facility--and in fact, it might very well lead to new jobs.

Color television prices were dropping in 1965, with Sears offering a 21" color tabletop TV for $366.00 (that's a little over $2750,00 in today's dollars, adjusting for inflation), while a 23" black and white console dropped in price to $146.00 (the equivalent of $1097 in 2015 dollars). We apparently loved our television, considering how much we paid for it! By comparison, a 5-piece maple living room suite could be had for $177 and a four-piece maple bedroom suite could be had for only $144. (Yes, you could furnish a room for less than the cost of a television!)

Piggly Wiggly had whole fryers for a quarter a pound, Nabisco saltines for 19¢ a box, and fresh strawberries for 33¢ a pint. Kroger had pork roast for 23¢ a pound, Sealtest ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon, and a 16-ounce bottle of Heinz ketchup for 19¢. Big Apple had beef liver for 17¢ a pound, Starkist tuna for 30¢ a can, and and five pounds of Pillsbury flour for 53¢. A&P had Long Island ducks for 43¢ a pound (I had no idea that Rome grocery stores offered duck in the meat section in 1965!), Oscar Mayer bacon for 55¢ a pound, and fresh broccoli for 29¢ a bunch. Couch's had sirloin steak for 79¢ a pound, Chase & Sanborn coffee for 69¢ a pound, and a 32-ounce can of Poss's Brunswick stew for 49¢.

The cinematic week began with Strange Bedfellows (with Rock Hudson & Gina Lollobrigida) at the DeSoto and Baby the Rain Must Fall (with Steve McQueen & Lee Remick) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought Bus Riley's Back in Town (with Ann-Margret & Michael Parks) to the DeSoto and None But the Brave (with Frank Sinatra, Clint Walker, & Tommy Sands) to the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In hosted a three-film weekend Horror-rama that included Black Sunday, The Pit & the Pendulum, and House of Usher--and you could see all three for only a quarter per person!

The Supremes had the number one song this week in 1965 with "Stop! In the Name of Love." Other top ten hits included "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat' by Herman's Hermits (#2); "I'm Telling You Now" by Freddie & the Dreamers (#3); "Shotgun" by Jr. Walker & the All-Stars (#4); "The Birds and the Bees" by Jewel Aikens (#5); "King of the Road" by Roger Miller (#6); "Eight Days a Week" by the Beatles (#7); "Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey (#8); "Nowhere to Run" by Martha & the Vandellas (#9); and "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" by Vic Dana (#10).

This was a particularly memorable week for album releases in 1965. LPs premiering this week included Bringing It All Back Home by Bob Dylan; The Early Beatles by the Beatles (the first Capitol release of the music previously available on Veejay); The Temptations Sing Smokey, a cover album by the Temptations; Begin Here by the Zombies; The Great Otis Redding Sings Soul Ballads by the all-too-short-lived Otis Redding; The Pretty Things by... oh, you can figure it out; and Soul Dressing by Booker T & the MG's.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/15/1965 to 3/21/1965

The Chieftains wrapped up the final weeks of spring practice fifty years ago this week, preparing for the W Day varsity and junior varsity that culminated the three-week spring practice. A total of 86 students were scheduled to take part in the two games. Coach Paul Kennedy said he was really putting the new players through their paces. "We're young and inexperienced and have the same schedule as last year. We have to expose these boys to such strong competition this quickly, but we have no other choices."

The West Rome Senior Tri-Hi-Y took first place in the Rome-Floyd County YMCA Club of the Month competition, while the Junior Tri-Hi-Y came in second. The West Rome Senior Tri-Hi-Y sponsored twenty different projects during February, which included such activities as taking gifts to the children at Battey Hospital, stocking the sick room at West Rome, helping on Civic Youth Days, sponsoring a teacher appreciation breakfast, and working on school site cleanup.

Judo and karate were very much in vogue in the mid-1960s, which explains why the YMCA was offering  an eight-week judo course on Tuesday nights beginning in mid-March. The course was taught by Hugh Hardison, Georgia State Patrol self-defense and judo instructor.

Rome was joined by the Adairsville and Kingston in asking that the proposed route for I-75 be redrawn to move the interstate west of Cartersville rather than to the east. We know now that the plan failed--but oh, what a difference it might have made if the interstate had gone right through Kingston, with a direct interchange on 411 approximately 15 miles outside of Rome!

Trend Mills ramped up production at its new Redmond Road location this week in 1965, adding more than 150 new jobs to the Rome area. Plans called for Trend to eventually create more than 300 new jobs by the time the facility was opening at full capacity.

Auto inspections were new in 1965, and apparently a lot of people weren't paying attention to the law--which is why the law was modified in March to give motorists an extra few months to get their car inspected. The new deadline of October 31st gave motorists an extra four months--which seemed like a good idea, since fewer than 5% of all residents with registered cars had taken their vehicles in for inspection by mid-March!

West Rome got another restaurant choice with the opening of Country House Barbecue at 516 Shorter Avenue, offering barbecue pork, beef, and chicken, along with Brunswick stew and a smoked country burger. For their grand opening, they offered a country burger and a Coke for only a quarter, or a choice of barbecue beef, pork, or chicken, along with a cup of stew and a Coke, for only 65¢.

Meanwhile, far, far away from Rome in New York City, TGI Fridays opened its first restaurant on March 15th.

Interest rates to die for: Home Federal was paying 4.6% interest on a six-month certificate, while both Rome Bank & Trust and National City Bank were advertising 4.5% interest paid for a six-month deposit at their banks. With rates like that, savings actually paid off!

Piggly Wiggly ("your modern supermarket!" according to their advertising slogan) had ground beef for 49¢ a pound, Mueller's spaghetti for 15¢ a box, and a half-gallon of Sealtest ice milk for 39¢. (In case you're too young to remember ice milk, it's the 1960s version of what we now call low-fat ice cream). Kroger had pork chops for 49¢ a pound, Del Monte English peas for 15¢ a can, and large eggs for 39¢ a dozen. Big Apple had Coca Cola or Tab for 27¢ a six-pack (plus deposit), carrots for a dime a bunch, and tom turkeys for 35¢ a pound. A&P had beef liver for 29¢ a pound, strawberries for 33¢ a pint, and Eight O'Clock Coffee for 67¢ a pound. Couch's had chuck roast for 29¢ a pound, five pounds of Dixie Crystal sugar for 39¢, and Swift's premium bologna for 33¢ a pound.

The cinematic week began with Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (with Bette Davis, Olivia deHaviland, & Joseph Cotten) at the DeSoto and Love has Many Faces (with Lana Turner & Cliff Robertson) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought Strange Bedfellows (with Rock Hudson & Gina Lollobrigida) to the DeSoto and Why Bother to Knock? (with Elke Sommer) to both the First Avenue and the West Rome Drive-In.

The number one song this week in 1965 was "Stop! In the Name of Love" by the Supremes. Other top ten hits included "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat?" by Herman's Hermits (#2); "The Birds and the Bees" by Jewel Aikens (#3); "Eight Days a Week" by the Beatles (#4); "King of the Road" by Roger Miller (#5); "Ferry 'Cross the Mersey" by Gerry & the Pacemakers (#6); "Shotgun" by Jr. Walker & the All-Stars (#7); "Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey (#8); "My Girl" by the Temptations #9); and "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#10).

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/8/1965 to 3/14/1965

West Rome faced off against South Hall of Gainesville on March 10th in the opening round of the Georgia Class AA basketball tournament—and when it was all over, the West Rome team posted a 62-46 runaway victory in their matchup at Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum. As a result, the team advanced to the second round, facing the Cairo Syrupmakers (yes, that was their name!) on Thursday, March 11th. Alas, that game didn't go as well, with the Chiefs losing 51-31, eliminating them from further tournament play. (The Chiefs earned their way into the tournament with a 12-7 record under the guidance of Coach Ralph Beeler.)

Chieftainacts 1965 was presented on Friday, March 12th, and Saturday, March 13th, at the West Rome High School Auditorium.

Rome finally unveiled its desegregation plans for the city school system: grades 1-3 were set for desegregation beginning with the 1965-1966 school year, In addition, students in grades 4-12 could request transfer to another school if it was geographically closer, regardless of the students' race. It may be something we take for granted now, but in 1965, desegregated schools were still largely a dream, not a reality!

Great news for those of us addicted to books: construction pre-planning for the new Carnegie Library and Tri-County Regional Library was running ahead of schedule,l which meant that construction was likely to begin in June--some four months ahead of original plans. The new construction was to be added on to the back of the Carnegie Library location, extending and expanding the facility.

In the pre-computer days, it took a while to tally all the numbers, but the Georgia State Chamber of Commerce finally had all the total for 1964 sales in Rome and Floyd County, and it was great news: Rome's total sales soared to more $122 million in 1964, which was an increase of more than $19 million over the 1963 totals of $108 million. What we wouldn't give for a 14% year-over-year increase in sales nowadays! Rome and Floyd County's economic growth was about 1 and 1/2 times the statewide rate.

Piggly Wiggly advertised "Prices as Hot as a Pistol!" this week in 1965 (complete with an image of a gun... and no one was outraged!), with eggs for 33¢ a dozen, Fleeetwood coffee for 59¢ a pound, and T-bone steak for 79¢ a pound. Kroger has fresh fryers for 27¢ a pound, Starkist tuna for 22¢ a can, and Campbell's tomato soup for a dime a can. Big Apple had baking hens for 29¢ a pound, five pounds of Domino sugar for 35¢, and a dozen Honey-Dip donuts for 19¢. A&P had cubed steak for 89¢ a pound, strawberries for 33¢ a pint, and Golden Sweet creamed corn for 12¢ a can. Couch's had a tall can of Double Q salmon for 49¢, pork roast for 39¢ a pound, and the never... err, ever-popular Libby's potted meat for a dime a can.

The cinematic week began with The Rounders (with Glenn Ford & Henry Fonda) at the DeSoto and Kitten (with Ann-Margret & John Forsythe) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte (with Bette Davis, Olivia DeHavilland, and Joseph Cotten) to the DeSoto, Love Has Many Faces (with Lana Turner & Cliff Robertson) to the First Avenue, and a double feature of Dear Brigitte and Curse of the Timberland at the West Rome Drive-In.  Monster movie fans like myself were sure to be on hand for the First Avenue's special Saturday-afternoon-only presentation of the live Dr. Jekyl (sic) and His Weird Show, which combined a live horror-host, some schlocky but still fun monsters and zombies, and clips from horror films. For those of us who grew up with Channel 5's Bestoink Dooley and his Big Movie Shocker, this was a must-see since it was happening right in front of the audience, not on a small television screen.

The Beatles still held on to number one this week in 1965 with "Eight Days a Week." Other Top Ten hits included "Stop! In the Name of Love" by the Supremes (#2); "The Birds and the Bees" by Jewel Aikens (#3); "King of the Road" by Roger Miller (#4); "Can't You Hear My Hearbeat" by Herman's Hermits (#5); "Ferry Cross the Mersey" by Gerry & the Pacemakers" (#6); "My Girl" by the Temptations (#7); "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#8); "Goldfinger" by Shirley Bassey (#9); and "Shotgun" by Jr. Walker & the All Stars (#10).

Johnny Carson came down with the "fifteen minute flu" in 1965 to protest the fact that a number of NBC affiliates were not showing the first fifteen minutes of The Tonight Show beginning at 11:15pm, meaning that a lot of viewers weren't seeing Carson's monologue. Instead, the stations were airing a half-hour of news from 11:00 to 11:30pm (most stations were only showing a 15 minute news program at 11pm). The sick-out finally ended when the network agreed to let Carson launch the show with a guest from 11:15 to 11:30, then begin his monologue at 11:30. You've got to pity the poor guest who got stuck with the opening slot, knowing he was the least important person on the program that night!

The Avengers got a new line-up this week in 1965--and it marked the first time that former villains Hawkeye, Quicksilver, and Scarlet Witch appeared as a part of the superhero team. As of Stan Lee & Jack Kirby's Avengers #16, Captain America was the only A-list superhero still holding a slot in the Avengers. Meanwhile, Lee & Kirby also revealed the origin of the Red Skull in Tales of Suspense #68, also on sale this week in 1965.

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/1/1965 to 3/7/1965

West Rome Science Fair first place winners included Ben Nelms and Tim Moran, tied for first place in botany; Marsha Hall,  first place in bacteriology; Pat Finley, first place in zoology; Barbara Beiswenger, first place in natural resources; Suzanne White, first place in geology; Barbara Heilie, first place in experimental psychology; Linda Brown, first place in chemistry; Charle Stein, Don Moose. and Nicky Taylor, first place in physics; and Joey McGhee, first place in engineering.

Principal Dick McPhee said that parking at West Rome was becoming an increasing problem, and that the lot had been full for several years, and increasing enrollment was making it seem likely that, by 1966, there would be more students hoping to park at the school than there were available spaces. As a result, West Rome was considering a plan to charge students for a campus parking permit, as was East Rome.

Remember the big water tower and tank on Watson Street in West Rome, just up the road from the Pattersons' house? Well, even though it seemed like that water tank had been there forever, that wasn't the case: site development began in 1964, and construction began in earnest in 1965. By March 1965, the tower's support legs were in place, but the million-gallon tank had not been mounted atop the base. The city said that, if the weather remained good, the tank would be completed and ready for use by summer. The water tank construction was necessitated by strong residential and commercial growth in West Rome, which was resulting in low water pressure in some parts of our community. (I remember the tank and the construction zone well, because Phil Patterson and I would spend hours playing on the piles of gravel and sand in the construction zone at the base of the tower.)

March may seem like an early time to begin talking football, but not if you're Coach Paul Kennedy, who told the Rome News-Tribune that he was focusing on rebuilding after looking 28 lettermen from the 1964 team.  "Right now we're trying to find hitters," Coach Kennedy said. "We divided the boys into three categories: heavy hitters, soft hitters, and no-hitters. Right now, we have 15-17 heavy hitters on the team," but he said he needed anymore. "We're trying to find boys who really want to play football, and then we'll put them into positions." He lamented that he had no one with varsity experience for end or center positions, and only one returning tackle with varsity experience.

Seventh District Congressman John W. Davis told Romans that the "outlook is bright" for funding to construct a new federal building for Rome to replace the old East Fourth Avenue federal building that housed the post office, federal courts, and federal offices. Cost was estimated at $3 million, although Davis said that might increase if the plans were modified to split the post office and the other federal offices into two separate buildings.

And the price creep begins: the Rome City Commission voted to raise the cost of riding the city bus from 15¢ per trip to 20¢ per trip, with transfers costing an additional nickel. School bus rates would increase from 10 tokens for $1 to eight tokens for $1. High maintenance costs and new vehicle costs (the city estimated that new buses would cost about $13,000 each) were cited as the reason or the price increases.

And the price creep begins, part 2: the "All American Meal" at McDonalds (which included a hamburger, french fries, and a milkshake) increased in price from 47¢ to 52¢ this week in 1965. A nickel price increase may not seem like much--but that's more than a 10% increase, which is pretty hefty by any standards! Heck, if you rode the bus to McDonald's in East Rome to get your All American Meal and then rode the bus back home, your costs were now 15¢ higher than they were in February 1965!

If you were really hungry, then Murphy's was a great place to go: they had an all-you-can-eat fried fillet of haddock dinner (with french fries, tartar sauce, cole slaw, rolls, and tea or coffee) for only 99¢. As much as I loved fried fish as a kid, I don't know how I missed out on this; I remember eating hamburgers at Murphy's many times, but nothing else.

Piggly Wiggly head chuck roast for 35¢ a pound, Swift's premium bacon for 39¢ a pound, and bell peppers for a dime each. Kroger had frozen breaded shrimp for 49¢ a pound, navel oranges for 59¢ a doze, and large eggs for 33¢ a dozen. Big Apple had ground beef for 33¢ a pound, Bailey's Supreme coffee for 59¢ a pound, and five pounds of White Lily flour for 49¢. A&P had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, Campbell's tomato soup for 12¢ a can, and fresh strawberries for 33¢ a pint. Couch's had lettuce for a dime a head, shank portion hams for 29¢ a pound, and Merita bread for a dime a loaf.

The cinematic week began with Sex and the Single Girl (with Tony Curtis, Natalie wood, Henry Fonda, & Lauren Bacall) at the DeSoto and Sylvia (with Carroll Baker & George Maharis) at the First Avenue. The Wednesday switch out brought The Rounders (with Glenn Ford & Henry Fonda) to the DeSoto and Kiss Me, Stupid (with Dean Martin, Kim Novak, & Ray Walston) to the First Avenue. ("This is an adult movie," the ad warned. "No children's tickets will be sold! Admission 90¢ to all!" Apparently, "adult movie" meant something very different in 1965...) The West Rome Drive-In's weekend screenings included a double feature of Your Cheating Heart (with George Hamilton) and Where the Boys Are (also with Geroge Hamilton).

The Beatles returned to the number one slot this week in 1965 with "Eight Days a Week." Other top ten hits included "My Girl" by the Temptations (#2); "Stop! In the Name of Love" by the Supremes (#3); "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#4); "The Birds and the Bees" by Jewel Aikens (#5); "King of the Road" by Roger Miller (#6); "Ferry Cross the Mersey" by Gerry & the Pacemakers (#7); "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat?" by Herman's Hermits (#8); "The Jolly Green Giant" by the Kingsmen (#9); and "Hurt So Bad" by Little Anthony & the Imperials (#10).

New album releases for the week included Girl Happy by Elvis Presley and Kinda Kinks by the Kinks.

The Riddler made his first Silver Age appearance in Batman #171, on sale this week in 1965. While he was considered a relatively minor villain at the time, he would go on to become a pivotal member of Batman's Rogues Gallery after Frank Gorshin portrayed him in the kickoff two-part episode of ABC's Batman TV series... but that series wouldn't premiere until early 1966.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/22/1965 to 2/28/1965

The week began pleasantly enough, weather-wise, but by Wednesday night, a blast of arctic air brought freezing rain and snow to Rome. A half-inch of snow fell on top of a tenth of an inch of ice, and highs never made it out of the 20s on Thursday, creating slippery driving conditions. Temperatures fell to ten degrees Thursday night, with more snow falling on top of the Wednesday night accumulation; the bad weather forced the closing of schools (but I'm sure that all of us managed to deal with our sorrow at a snow day!).

While consumer credit sales in Georgia department stores declined slightly in early 1965 over the same period in 1964, Rome bucked the trend with an 8% growth in credit sales year over year. Rome's furniture stores posted  7% growth, and Rome grocery stores posted 6% growth, showing that Rome's economy was continuing to grow. Rome's unemployment rate was at 4.6% (and this was back when unemployment more accurately reflected the number of people actually out of work), and bank deposits were up 2.8%. What a great start to a new year!

John Christopher Lawler was named West Rome's STAR Student this week in 1964; he selected Miss Susie Underwood as his STAR Teacher.

Ah, how I miss the days when the public utilities were also in the appliance business: Georgia Power offered an electric water heater with a five year warranty (with service provided by Georgia Power technicians on the day you called in a service request!) for only $1.80 a month--and that was at a zero percent interest rate, all added on to your monthly utility bill! Alas, those days are no more...

Hardee's was pushing their fried chicken with a  special 79¢ chicken dinner offer that included three pieces of chicken, french fries, a toasted roll, and honey--obviously they were shooting to compete with Kentucky Fried Chicken, which had begun advertising its $1 lunch (with almost the same selection) at their new Turner McCall location.

Pizza King obviously found an eager market for pizza in Rome: they announced that their 1922 Shorter Avenue location was getting a big brother! The new location at 4 East 2nd Avenue opened this week in 1965--and to celebrate the occasion, Pizza King was offering all 28 varieties of pizza and all pasta dinners at half price at both locations.

Sears was advertising its all-new 16.3 cubic foot frostless refrigerator for only $399.98--and that included an automatic ice maker, which seemed like a real luxury back then. (Bear in mind, though, that when you factor in the 7.52 inflation multiplier between 1965 and now, you have the equivalent of $3000 in today's dollars... and that's for a refrigerator that would be considered tiny by today's standards.)

Chrysler was touting its new 1965 Dodge Polara, a full sized two-door hardtop or convertible with a 383 cu. in. V8 engine. "If you haven't seen the Polara 500.. it's probably because there was  crowd around it!" the ad exclaimed. Interested shoppers could find a selection of new Polaras at Marshall Jackson Motor Company, with prices starting at $2650.

Piggly Wiggly had pork chops for 49¢ a pound, a 16-ounce can of Anchors Aweigh salmon for 49¢, and Swift's bacon for 39¢ a pound. Kroger had round steak for 79¢ a pound, beef liver for 19¢ a pound, and ten pounds of potatoes for 59¢. Big Apple had smoked picnic ham for 27¢ a pound, Happy Valley ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon, and 16 ounces of Heinz ketchup for 19¢. A&P had corned beef for 69¢ a pound, pork sausage for 33¢ a pound, and a large box of Surf detergent for 28¢. Couch's had spareribs for 39¢  a pound, , a 24-ounce can of Swift's beef stew for 39¢, and a case of Coca-Cola or Tab for 99¢ plus deposit.

The cinematic week got off to a pretty slow start with Get Yourself a College Girl ("The Swingin-est Blast Ever Filmed!") at the DeSoto and The Night Walker (with a Fuselli's Nightmare-esque movie poster) at the First Avenue. The movie selection got slightly more frisky for the weekend, with Sex & the Single Girl (with Tony Curtis, Natalie Wood, Henry Fonda, & Lauren Bacall) at the DeSoto and Sylvia (with Carroll Baker & George Maharis) at the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In offered a double feature of Elvis Presley's Roustabout and East of Eden.

The number one song this week in 1965 was "My Girl" by the Temptations. Other top ten hits included "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#2); "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers (#3); "The Jolly Green Giant" by the Kingsmen (#4); "Eight Days a Week" by the Beatles (#5); "Tell Her No" by the Zombies (#6); "King of the Road" by Roger Miller (#7); "The Birds and the Bees" by Jewel Aikens (#8); "Ferry Cross the Mersey" by Gerry & the Pacemakers (#9); and "Downtown" by Petula Clark.

And this week in 1965, CBS aired a videotaped special performance of Cinderella, based on the Rodgers & Hammerstein musical. A young Lesley Ann Warren starred in the special; other cast members included Ginger Rogers, Walter Pidgeon, and Celeste Holm.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/15/1965 to 2/21/1965

Rome was involved in an education controversy when it was revealed that school secretaries at some Rome elementary schools--including West End and Elm Street--were teaching about two hours each day, even though they didn't have teaching certificates and were not qualified to teach. Rome City Schools assistant superintendent JB Maddox said, "I don't know if they have certificates or not. One or two may have--I'm not sure of that." The state refused to accept that explanation, however, stressing that it's up the school districts to secure copies of teaching certificates before allowing anyone to teach in any public school classroom. Maddox said that the secretaries taught only to give administrators time off to supervise--an explanation the state also considered unacceptable.

The Rome City Board of Education announced plans for a proposed $720,000 bond issue for new classrooms, auditoriums, and other facilities improvements. West Rome was slated for four additional classrooms, as was West End Elementary, while West Rome High School would get an industrial arts shop if the bond issue passed.

West Rome defeated Lakeview 64-37 in the first game of the 3-AA tournament, thus advancing to the second round. Gerry Law, Rusty Oxford, Stan Dawson, Eddie Hamilton, and Donnie Hill secured the  Chieftain victory quite handily in a game that was never even close. In the next region game, they faced off against West Fannin--and once again, they racked up a victory as Gerry Law and Stan Dawson led the team to a 46-41 victory. Alas, the third time was not the charm, as West Rome lost to Murray County 59-46 in the Region 3-AA championship.

Four sophomores--Allen Brigham, Holly Bellinger, Janet Amspoker, and Bobby Becker-- were inducted into the West Rome Honor Society on February 17th in an assembly held in the West Rome High auditorium.

Mike Jenkins and Debbie Poarch were chosen as Mister and Miss West Rome Junior High School. This is one case where the election most definitely could be bought: each homeroom nominated a candidate to the competition, and then votes were solicited at a penny a vote. The candidates who raised the most pennies won the election. (Maybe we should try this for our Presidential elections in 2016!)

The West Rome Junior Tri-Hi-Y held on to their Club of the Month title, narrowly beating out the Model Senior Tri-Hi-Y.

"Them revenooers" were at it again: Federal Alcohol and Tobacco agents shut down more stills in Rome, including illegal moonshine operations near West Rome, off the Alabama Highway. More than a thousand gallons of mash were destroyed in the raids.

Murphy's on Broad Street was ahead of the trend: they began advertising their new "sidewalk surfboards" this week in 1965. These "surfboards with wheels" came in three sizes, ranging in price for $2.99 to $7.99. Today, we call them skateboards--and I remember my parents being so unconvinced that these things were worth $2.99 that I ended up dismantling a pair of skates and mounting the wheels to a piece of plywood to make my own skateboard... err, sidewalk surfboard.

Belk-Rhodes was touting its new, "more affordable than ever before" cartridge ink pens for only 99¢ each. These pens offered the quality nibs and liquid ink of a fountain pen, but in handy disposable cartridges. And as I can attest from first-hand experience, they could leak in your shirt pocket just as well as any fountain pen, too!

Piggly Wiggly had boneless chuck roast for 69¢ a pound, Heinz tomato soup for a dime a can, and Lady Alice ice milk for 33¢ a half-gallon. Kroger had roasting chickens for 39¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and medium eggs for 39¢ a dozen. Big Apple had smoked ham for 47¢ a pound, a quart of Mrs. Bell's mayonnaise for 49¢, and large bell peppers for 7¢ each. A&P had Super-Right pork sausage for 33¢ a pound, block cheddar cheese for 47¢ a pound, and winesap apples for a dime a pound. Couch's had sirloin stark for 89¢ a pound, Maxwell House coffee for 57¢ a pound, and 12 ounce jars of Bama jellies or jams for 20¢ each.

Whipped cream, move over: Cool Whip was introduced into select markets this week in 1965. If you prefer food with a bit more substance, then Franco-American might have been thinking of you when they rolled out the first cans of Spaghetti-Os this week in 1965. (No, I don't recommend that you eat them together...)

The cinematic week began with Dear Brigitte (with James Stewart) at the DeSoto and Quick! Before it Melts! (with George Maharis & Robert Morse) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought Get Yourself a College Girl (with Mary Ann Mobley, Chad Everett, and Nancy Sinatra) to the DeSoto and The Night Walker (with Robert Taylor & Barbara Stanwyck) to the First Avenue; The Night Walker was also booked at the West Rome Drive-In for its weekend screenings.

Jerry Lewis's son Gary, joined by his band the Playboys, took the number one spot this week in 1965 with "This Diamond Ring." Other top ten hits included "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers (#2); "My Girl" by the Temptations (#3); "Downtown" by Petula Clark (#4); "The Jolly Green Giant" by the Kingsmen (#5); "Tell Her No" by the Zombies (#6); "Shake" by Sam Cooke (#7); "The Boy From New York City" by the Ad Libs (#8); "I Go to Pieces" by Peter & Gordon (#9); and "King of the Road" by Roger Miller (#10).  And after a few weeks off the charts, the Beatles released a new single, "Eight Days a Week/I Don't Want to Spoil the Party," on February 15th.

NBC's popular espionage-adventure TV series The Man From UNCLE made the jump to the comic book racks; the first issue (featuring art by Marvel Comics regular Don Heck, best known as Iron Man's first illustrator) appeared in stores this week in 1965. I bought my copy at Conn's on Shorter Avenue, which for several years had two comic book spinner racks, both fully stocked, while my other favorite sources for comics (Candler's Drugs, Couch's Grocery, Hill's Grocery, and the EZ Shop on Shorter Avenue) had only one rack each.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Why Do I Do the Things I Do?

"Why do you spend all that time doing those 'Fifty Years Ago' articles?"

That question was posed to me a few weeks ago, and it got me to thinking. I didn't have an immediate answer, but I think I have one now.

First off, I have a deep and abiding admiration for Deb Joyner Denneman, the talented and dedicated woman who assembles the West Rome High School alumni newsletter and website. I had enjoyed her work for more than a year before I decided that maybe I should offer a modest addition to its contents. So in late October, 2012, I sent in my first "Fifty Years Ago..." piece, and haven't missed a week since then. I am nothing if not persistent!

But as I worked on the column week after week, I realized that I was doing it for another reason. Preparing this column puts me back in touch with a wonderful period in my life, a time when I was just becoming more aware of the world around me and more fascinated by the entertainment media that I had taken for granted.

In preparation for each installment of this column, I read through a week's worth of Rome News-Tribune archives.  As I do so, I am acutely aware that I'm reading much of this material for the second time. By the time I turned ten years old, I was a regular newspaper reader--not a surprise, since Dad was sports editor at the paper and I was proud of what he did. But it was more than family pride--I was fascinated by both The Rome News-Tribune and The Atlanta Journal (we were afternoon newspaper people--Mom and Dad never got a morning paper until the afternoon papers shifted to morning delivery). The newspapers opened my eyes to a more complete view of the world (it would be years before I would fully comprehend how that "complete view" could be manipulated by the media gatekeepers who decided what did and didn't make it into the newspaper, and how it would be reported).

Sure, I read the comics devotedly every day--I was a comics fan, both of comic strips and comic books, and I loved getting daily installments of my favorite strips--but I also read the local news, the national news, and even the ads. I felt like I was in touch with my community back then, and I saw reading the paper as one tiny step towards responsible adulthood.

Now I see those articles from a different perspective: what was news then is history now, and I know how many of these stories were resolved. Nevertheless, it's fascinating to me to see how my home town grew and developed.  And that's where the ads come to play--anyone who thinks that newspapers are just news stories and articles is missing a vital window into the spirit of the community. What businesses were thriving? What businesses were struggling? What businesses were just launching, filled with hope for the future? What products were hot? What was trending? There was no internet back then--but the newspaper filled that bill quite well in those pre-internet days.

And not only do I remember many of these stories, I also remember what was going on in my home at that time. We shopped at those stores; we went to see those movies; we bought those records, as well as the televisions and record players and radios and other forms of entertainment that made us think we lived in a technological wonderland. In 1965, I thought that those stores were pretty much eternal; now, fifty years later, hardly any of the stores I frequented (or the stores who advertised in the paper) still exist.  Preparing this column each week grounds me in my own past, filling in missing pieces of the jigsaw puzzle of my own youth.

It's only natural that, as kids, almost all of us had an incredibly egocentric view of the world. Everything existed for us, apparently, and we measured its importance by how it impacted us. Now I can look at the world from a different perspective, and see the importance of some of the things I failed to fully appreciate back then.

And of course, I get to see Dad's work every week. Not just his columns (although I read those religiously), but also the every day sports articles that kept him so busy. Rome had one paper with only three or four people working on sports, but it had almost two dozen high schools in the greater Northwest Georgia area, and Dad was expected to cover them all. Now I can appreciate what Dad did to earn a living, and can recognize where I got my love for the written word.

Writing this column also makes me appreciate the humble grandeur of what Rome was fifty years ago. Today, Rome seems to be a city struggling to redefine itself; it's no longer a place where many of the residents can spend their entire lives without having to leave the greater Rome area for any of their needs. Rome was a vibrant and flourishing community in the 1960s, and I hope that I communicate some of that through my weekly offerings.

Do I think that the movies or the comics or the Beatles were vitally important to Rome in the 1960s? Of course not--but they were vitally important to me, and this column is a look back at Rome a half-century ago as I lived it.

So I do this column not only to share a glimpse of what West Rome was a half-century ago, but also to remind myself what was going on in my world. I am reminded of those who influenced me, of the events that helped to shape me, and I am given the opportunity to revisit that time and place on a weekly basis. So even if no one else ever read these pieces, I'd keep doing them for me. I took far too much of this for granted in 1965--now I'm getting a second chance to appreciate it, and I'm enjoying every minute of it!

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/8/1965 to 2/14/1965

Rapid growth in the Rome and Floyd County area in particular led to the seventh district becoming the state's most populous congressional district, Congressman John W. Davis reported this week in 1965.

Rumors were flying that the Floyd County Board of Education was considering construction of a new county high school to serve students from Garden Lakes and Alto Park Elementary Schools; the rumors placed the new school less than a mile from West Rome High School. Had it come to pass, West Rome would have had a new competitor to rival East Rome and Coosa--but as we all know, the proposed high school never got off the ground, and those students continued to attend Coosa instead.

Rehearsals were underway for the 1965 ChieftainActs, which was scheduled for March 12th and 13th. Director Bob McEwan said that the show would feature at least eight skits, three chorus lines, comedy acts, a faculty skit, two dramatic monologues, and three "secret skits" that were being rehearsed privately to ensure the element of surprise.

It wasn't a good week for the Chieftains as they fell to the Chattooga County Indians 38-37, losing in the final 10 seconds of the game. The defeat lowered West Rome's overall record to 9-5 and its sub-region records to 6-4. The girls had a much better night, winning their game in a 56-24 romp--and that gave the girls a 14-4 overall record for the season.

Kentucky Fried Chicken moved to its 820 Turner McCall Boulevard location this week in 1965--and in honor of the move, they offered such specials as a bucket of chicken for $3, a two-piece dinner box (or a three-piece fish box or an eight-piece shrimp box) for $1 each, and soft drinks for a dime each. It sounds pretty cheap, but when you adjust for inflation (the current inflation multiplier for the 1965-to-2015 period is $7.52), you'd be paying $7.52 for a dinner and $22.50+ for a bucket!

If your budget was a bit tighter than that, then perhaps five Krystal hamburgers for a quarter was more affordable! That was the special through Valentine's Day in 1965 (although I imagine that if someone gave his beloved five Krystal hamburgers, it might make for a memorable Valentine's Day in a not-so-pleasant way).

And if you wanted a Valentine's Day meal somewhere in the middle, then Redford's was the place to go: they had a hamburger steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, and a roll for 50¢. Fried chicken, Krystal hamburgers, or hamburger steak... they weren't raising the culinary bar very high for Valentine's Day, were they?

Piggly Wiggly had shoulder roast for 59¢ a pound, lemons for 4¢ each, and bell peppers for a dime each. Kroger had fryers for 27¢ each, sweet potatoes for 12¢ a pound, and a five-pound bag of Colonial sugar for 49¢. Big Apple had Rath's bacon for 59¢ a pound, Merita bread for 19¢ a loaf, and Del Monte catsup for 19¢ a bottle. A&P had pork loin for 49¢ a pound, fresh eggs for 33¢ a dozen, and Campbell's tomato soup for a dime a can. Couch's had chicken breast for 39¢ a pound, Star Kist tuna for 41¢ a can, and Double Cola for 69¢ a 24-bottle case (plus deposit).

The cinematic began with Goodbye Charlie (with Tony Curtis & Debbie Reynolds) and Lili (with Leslie Caron) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought Dear Brigitte (with James Stewart, Fabian, Shirley Carroll, and Billy Mumy) to the DeSoto and Quick! Before It Melts! (with George Maharis & Robert Morse) to the First Avenue.The West Rome Drive-In's weekend double feature included This Crowded Sky (with Dana Andrews & Rhonda Fleming) and Hercules Unchained (with Steve Reeves).

Saturday, February 13th saw the premiere of ABC's 15-minute program ABC Weekend News, which aired from 11:00 to 11:15 PM Saturdays and Sundays. Channel 11 (Atlanta's ABC affiliate in the 1960s) aired the program on Saturday night but not Sunday night; Channel 9 in Chattanooga chose not to air the program at all (or at least, not in its initial weeks). Apparently stations weren't convinced that we needed almost-constant news coverage!

The number one song this week in 1965 was "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys. Other top ten hits included "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers (#2); "Downtown" by Petula Clark (#3); "My Girl" by the Temptations (#4); "The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis (#5); "The Jolly Green Giant" by the Kingsmen (#6); "All Day and All of the Night" by the Kinks (#7); "Shake" by Sam Cooke (#8); "I Go to Pieces" by Peter & Gordon (#9); and "The Boy From New York City" by the Ad Libs (#10).

Playboy Magazine ran an in-depth interview with the Beatles, conducted by Jean Shepherd. That gave a lot of us 1960s adolescents one more reason to attempt to secure a copy of Playboy...

(And speaking of the Beatles, Ringo Starr married Maureen Cox on February 11th, 1965--that left two Beatles married and two unmarried, for those who were keeping count.)

The Red Skull made his first Silver Age appearance as he confronted Captain America on the cover of Tales of Suspense #65, on sale this week in 1965. For those of us who were hooked on comics way before they became cool, this was a big deal indeed!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/1/1965 to 2/7/1965

Winter just wouldn't let go of Rome: once again, snow and ice hit the area on February 1st and 2nd. By Tuesday morning, the temperature had fallen to 10 degrees. Temperatures remained well below normal through the end of the week.

Rehearsals began for the 1965 ChieftainActs this week; the event was scheduled for March 12th and 13th. The theme of this year's show, which was produced by Hoyt Blaylock with assistance from Bob McEwan and Miss Kitty Alford, was "ChieftainActs Memoirs."

While both West Rome and East Rome were eliminated from the Region 3-AA title race by this time in 1965, that didn't stop them from playing their hearts out when the cross-town rivals faced each other on February 5th. West Rome's boys won 43-39 in the hard-fought game, while the girls won 27-14 to complete the Friday night sweep. The next night, the Chieftains added another victory to their record when they defeated Cass 67-54, while the girls team won 34-24.

A special assembly program was held on February 4th to recognize West Rome's wrestlers for their Northwest Georgia wrestling championship win. After the presentation, an anti-dropout film called "The Hurrying Kind" was shown to the assembled student body.

Nothing says love like a Krystal hamburger, apparently: Krystal offered a Valentine's Day Special beginning on February 5th, offering 5 Krystal hamburgers for a quarter. 

The much-discussed transfer of Rome's airline service from Eastern Airlines to Southern Airways was put on hold again, as Southern expressed some concerns about the profitability of the routes. The plans called for two flights a day from Rome to Atlanta and two flights a day from Atlanta back to Rome. There was even talk about implementing Rome flights to Memphis and New Orleans--plans that never came to pass, unfortunately. Could you image actually having a useful regional passenger airport in Rome?...

The Rome Breakfast Optimist Club presented West Rome principal Dick McPhee with a $100 check to help fund his "Youth Wants to Know" program in the Rome city Schools. The program was designed "to answer questions on courting, dating, marriage, alcoholism, smoking, integrity, and honesty." Seven ministers and four doctors had agreed to donate their time to the program.

Keeping 'em in stitches: The Chattanooga Sewing Center opened at 516 Shorter Avenue this week in 1965 (apparently geographical accuracy wasn't involved in the naming process). Specials involved a full-sized Singer slant-needle automatic sewing machine for $62 and portables for as low as $19.99.

Piggly Wiggly had Swift's bacon for 39¢ a pound, collards for 19¢ a bunch, and iceberg lettuce for 15¢ a pound. Kroger had smoked hams for 39¢ a  pound, red delicious apples for a nickel each, and a case of Coca Cola or Tab for 99¢ plus deposit. A&P had cubed steak for 79¢ a pound, Ann Page tomato soup for a dime a can, and oranges for 4¢ each. Big Apple had beef liver for 19¢ a pound, Irvindale ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon, and ten pounds of White Lily Flour for 99¢. Couch's had stew beef for 25¢ a pound, Maxwell House instant coffee for $1.49 a jar, and 5 pounds of grapefruit for 39¢.

The cinematic week began with The Pleasure Seekers at the DeSoto and The Outrage (with Paul Newman & Laurence Harvey) at the First Avenue--not exactly the sort of films that anyone was rushing to see.  The midweek switch out brought Goodbye Charlie (with Tony Curtis & Debbie Reynolds) to the DeSoto, while The Outrage was held over at the First Avenue. Goodbye Charlie also graced the West Rome Drive-In screen over the weekend (I had no idea that Tony Curtis was considered such a box office draw!).

The Righteous Brothers took the number one slot this week in 1965 with "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling." Other top ten hits included "Downtown by Petula Clark (#2); "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#3); "The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis (#4); "My Girl" by the Temptations (#5); "Hold What You've Got" by Joe Tex (#6); "All Day and All of the Night" by the Kinks (#7); "Shake" by Sam Cooke (#8); "The Jolly Green Giant" by the Kingsmen (#9); and "I Go to Pieces" by Peter & Gordon (#10).

And this was the week that Peter Jennings began his run as anchor of the ABC Nightly News.

Marvel released one of my all-time favorite single-issue comic book stories this week in 1965: Daredevil #7, featuring Daredevil versus the Sub-Mariner as presented by Stan Lee and Wally Wood. Wood's time at Marvel was far too brief, but it gave us one of the best "hopelessly outclassed hero won't give up" comic book stories ever told.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/25/1965 to 1/31/1965

What a waste of perfectly good snow; Rome had another snow and ice storm in January 1965--but this one arrived early on Saturday morning, which meant that there was no opportunity for a "get out of school free" snow day. At least we could go outside and enjoy the one to three inches of snow that fell on top of a tenth of an inch of freezing rain--and with temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees, the white stuff didn't melt quickly! US 27 north of Rome was the most dangerous road in the Rome area, although weather-related accidents were reported on Redmond Circle, Shorter Avenue, and Burnett Ferry Road.

While the availability of some federal funds was up in the air due to the Rome City School System's slow response to federal desegregation orders, other federal funds were definitely on their way to Rome. Assistant Superintendent JB Maddox confirmed that Rome was set to receive $229,320 in federal funds for pre-school programs and high-school work training programs.

Fifty years ago, the fight to bring I-75 closer to Rome was underway, with the Highways Committee of the Rome-Floyd County Chamber of Commerce pushing for a route to the West of Cartersville... a route that would have taken the interstate through a portion of land owned by the Rollins family. Alas, one family's wishes circumvented what would have been best for northwest Georgia...

Senior Superlatives were announced this week in 1965. Jackie Lupo & Chris Lawler were selected Best Scholars; Carol Chapman & Derell Brookshire, Most Talented; Jane Martin & Chuck Hart, Wittiest; Eddie Hamilton & Jane Hairston, Best Looking; Jane McCollum & Gerry Law, Most Athletic; Caron Harper & Ronnie Allen, Best Dressed; Lynn Moore & Jerry Penny, Most Typical American Girl & Boy; Jayne Smallwood & Jerry Coalson, Most Congenial; Teresa Wood & Jackie Smith, Best Personality; and Dickie Sapp & Judy Wessinger, Most Popular. The big winners were Dickie Sapp & Judy Whitaker, who were tapped as Mister and Miss West Rome High School.

At the senior class meeting on Thursday, January 28th, Gretchen Lininger & Gordon Walden were chosen to prepare the class prophecies for the 1965 Watanyah. Terry Shaw & Marsha Peugh were tapped to prepare the Last Will & Testament.

West Rome's wrestlers put an end to Rossville's domination of area wrestling: the Chiefs finished with 102 points in the Third Annual Northwest Georgia Wrestling Tournament, well ahead of second-place Rossville's 86 points. East Rome was even further back with 77 points, which must have been particularly painful since the tournament was held in East Rome's gym...

The Chieftains posted their seventh victory of the season on Friday, January 29th, as they defeated Calhoun 64-46. Gerry Law scored 19 points, Stan Dawson scored 17, Eddie Hamilton scored 12, and Rusty Oxford scored 10. It was a more disappointing evening for the girls basketball team, unfortunately, as they lost to Calhoun 32-26.

Rome shoppers were in for a treat this week in 1965: Rome Jubilee Days meant that almost every store in Rome was running specials. Kesslers had dresses for $3 and $5; Goodyear had whitewall tires for $11 each; Belks had top-quality bath towels for $1.10; Esserman's had men's sport coats for $19; Millers had men's and women's winter coats for $9.98 to $19.99; Rhodes had a French provincial dining room set for $99; Wheeler's had suits for 40% and 50% off; and Murphy's had a wide selection of fabrics for 25¢ to 37¢ a yard. And that's just a small sampling of the bargains that made the last weekend in January the big weekend for shopping in Rome.

Piggly Wiggly had Delmonico steaks for 99¢ a pound, Maxwell House Coffee for 69¢ a pound, and cabbage for a nickel a head. Kroger had smoked hams for 39¢ a pound, Sealtest ice cream for 49¢ a half gallon, and lettuce for a dime a head. Big Apple had  sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, five pounds of Dixie Crystal sugar for 39¢, and tomatoes for 12¢ a pound. A&P had chicken livers for 19¢ a pound (oh, how I loved chicken livers for dinner when I was a kid--one of my favorite foods!), five pounds of White Lily flour for 49¢. and pork & beans for a dime a can. Couch's had fresh whole fryers for a quarter a pound; banana for 7.5¢ a pound (yes, that's seven and a half cents!), and saltines for 19¢ a box.

Rome moviegoers could choose from Invitation to a Gunfighter (with Yul Brynner) at the First Avenue and Father Goose at the DeSoto. The midweek movie switch-out brought The Pleasure Seekers (with Ann Margret & Tony Franciosa) to the DeSoto and For Those Who Think Young (with James Darren, Pamela Tiffin, & Paul Lynde) to the First Avenue, while the West Rome Drive-In's weekends-only screening was a double feature of No Time For Sergeants (with Andy Griffith) and Gold of the Seven Saints (with Clint Walker & Roger Moore).

The number one song this week in 1965 was the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.'" Other top ten hits included "Downtown" by Petula Clark (#2); "The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis (#3); "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#4); "Hold What You've Got" by Joe Tex (#5); "Love Potion Number Nine" by the Searchers (#6); "All Day and All of the Night" by the Kinks (#7); "My Girl" by the Temptations (#8); "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" by Marvin Gaye (#9); and "Shake" by Sam Cooke (#10).

The Zombies made their American album debut this week in 1965, riding strong on the fall '64 success of "She's Not There." (Listening to that song and this album, you might find it hard to believe that these songs were all recorded in '64 and released in '65, since they all sound ahead of their time.)