Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/19/1964 to 10/25/1964

Former President Herbert Hoover passed away on October 20th. Nowadays, we think of the Hoover era as a  part of distant American history, but he had been out of office for only 32 years in 1964--less time that has passed since the end of the Jimmy Carter presidency. Somehow, the gap between the Depression era US and the 1960s seems enormous, however, while the gap between the late 1970s to today seems much less (at least for those of us who lived it, I guess).

Dickie Sapp was once again chosen as the Rome News-Tribune's back of the week in recognition of his outstanding performance in the prior Friday's game against Cedartown, in which Sapp not only scored the second and deciding touchdown, but also gained 91 net yards (more than half of West Rome's rushing total) and intercepted a pass that stopped Cedartown from tying the game.

Coach Kennedy told the Rome News-Tribune that West Rome was scheduled to face its toughest foe of the year on October 23rd when the Rossville Bulldogs made the trip down to Barron Stadium to face the Chiefs on a Saturday night in a game that also marked West Rome's homecoming. "They probably have the best passing attack of any team we play," Coach Kennedy said. "We've got to eliminate a few more of our mistakes, and we certainly have to improve on our pass defense if we hope to stop them." Alas, Coach Kennedy's evaluation of the team turned out be correct, as West Rome fell to Rossville 32-14.

Esther Ransom was crowned as Homecoming Queen; other members of the homecoming court included Sondra Adams, Sara Coffey, Jane Hairston, Carole Sewell, and Judy Wessinger.

A disagreement over zoning of Shorter Avenue between Hughes and Sycamore Streets led to the Rome City Commission spending almost four hours listening to arguments from both sides. The proposed zoning change would have designated the segment of Shorter Avenue as R-2 (which would allow for the construction of motels, hotels, offices, and nursing homes), while a counter-proposal would have rezoned it as C-1, which would allow for commercial development for stores and other businesses; prior to the change, it was zoned for evidential use only. The board finally decided to go for the C-1 classification, opening more of the Shorter Avenue corridor for business, shopping, and restaurant development.

Coosa Valley Tech was proving so successful that the school began a study of expansion options this week in 1964. Plans called for the addition of a 15,000 square foot building to house additional classrooms for drafting, radio/tv repair, welding, data processing, and textile production.

Freezing temperatures came early to West Rome, with the thermometer dropping to 28 degrees on Wednesday morning, October 20th, marking the first freezing temperature of the autumn.

The Milwaukee Braves began a legal fight to clear the way for their move to Atlanta this week in 1964, hoping to overturn a restraining order designed to block them from asking for League permission to make the move. Henry Aaron spoke out against the move, saying "I just won't step out on the field" in Atlanta; apparently he changed his mind as time passed.

Piggly Wiggly had Lady Alice ice milk for 29¢ a half-gallon, Sunset Gold potato chips for 49¢ for a twin-pack (2 8 ounce bags), and pig liver for 19¢ a pound (and that's one meat I've never tried, thank you very much--we ate a lot of beef liver and chicken livers, but no pig liver). Kroger had fresh whole fryers for 29¢ a pound, lettuce for 15¢ a head, and 11 ounces of perch, haddock, or flounder for 49¢. Big Apple had center cut ham slices for 79¢ a pound, a 12 ounce bag of tater tots for a quarter, and 25 pounds of White Lily flour for $1.99 (did anyone really use 25 pound bags of flour?). A&P had whole young ducklings for 39¢ a pound (another meat we never ate), Virginia apples for a dime a pound, and a box of Post Toasties cereal for 21¢. Couch's had chuck roast for 37¢ a pound, tomatoes for 19¢ a pound, and Del Monte catsup for 19¢ for a 24-ounce bottle.

The cinematic week began with The World of Henry Orient (with Peter Sellers) arriving for a short two-day run at the DeSoto and Quo Vadis continuing at the First Avenue. The weekend brought Where Has Love Gone? (with Susan Hayward & Bette Davis) to the DeSoto; Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (with Sophia Loren & Marcello Mastroianni) to the First Avenue, and a weekend double feature of That Kind of Woman (with Sophia Loren & Tab Hunter) and Thunder in the Sun (with Susan Hayward & Jeff Chandler) to the open-on-weekends-only-for-the-fall West Rome Drive-In.

The Supremes took the top chart position tis week in 1964 with "Baby Love." Other top ten hits included "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann (#2); "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers (#3); "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" by Gale Garnett (#4); "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & the Vandellas (#5); "Let It Be Me" by Betty Everett & Jerry Butler (#6); "Have I the Right?" by the Honeycombs (#7); "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison (#8); "Little Honda" by the Hondells (#9); and "Chug-a-Lug" by Roger Miler (#10).

And on Sunday, October 25th, the next wave of the British Invasion began when the Rolling Stones made their first appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show, performing two songs from their 12 X 5 album: "Around and Around" in the first half of the show and "Time Is On My Side" as the closing act. The day after the performance, Sullivan said that he'll never invite them to return... but he obviously changed his mind, since they returned in the spring of 1965 and many times thereafter.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/12/1964 to 10/18/1964

The West Rome Chieftain Club sponsored Back to School Night beginning at 7:30 Monday evening, October 12th, to acquaint parents with the faculty, curriculum, and school activities. Students could breathe easy, though--individual grades and behavior were not on the schedule for discussion this night!

West Rome began experiments with a "cycle" program that offered seventh graders a chance to take nine week courses in art (taught by Mrs. Melvin Hill), music (taught by Miss Kitty Alford), drama (taught by Mrs. Sandra Allan), or guidance (taught by Mrs. Betty Deadwyler). The purpose of the mini-course program was to orient students toward high school while assisting them in discovering their interests and abilities.

For the first time in West Rome history, the Chiefs defeated the Cedartown Bulldogs 14-7, ending a lengthy losing streak for West Rome. The tide turned late in the third quarter when quarterback Ronnie Kennedy's pass to end Gerry Law led to the first touchdown. Soon after that, Dickie Sapp ran the ball into the end zone for a second touchdown, locking in the win.

Savage TV and Electronics rolled out the new line of Zenith color televisions this week in 1964. The line included a 21" color console TV for $529.95, a Zenith 23" black-and-white console TV for $339.95, and a Zenith 23" table model television for $229.95. For the music aficionado, they had the new Zenith hi-fi console stereo system, a 12-watt-per-channel system with turntable and AM/FM radio, for only $368.00.

To combat McDonald's, Hardee's introduced  their new big burger, the Hardee Huskee. For 35¢, you got a "giant charco-broiled hamburger" with cheese (and by "giant," they meant 3 ounces of meat), a sesame seed bun, shredded lettuce, and a special Hardee-Huskee sauce (probably the usual blend of catsup, mayonnaise, and thousand island dressing...).

Kroger had chuck roast for 49¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and salmon for 49¢ a tall can. Big Apple had whole fryers for a quarter a pound, five pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢, and Campbell's tomato soup for a dime a can. A&P had boneless stew meat for 59¢ a pound, tomatoes for 19¢ a pound, and a one-pound box of Zesta saltines for 29¢. Couch's had smoked hams for 33¢ a pound, 8 ounces of White House applesauce for a dime, and Jay-Bird vienna sausages for a dime a can. Piggly Wiggly had Delmonico steaks for 99¢ a pound, collards for 19¢ a buch, and Coca Cola or Tab for 19¢ plus deposit per six-bottle carton.

And for the reader who asked what "plus deposit" means, here's the explanation: since bottlers preferred to sterilize and re-use the glass bottles rather than making new ones, they charged a deposit of 2¢ or 3¢ per bottle; the deposit was returned when you brought the empty bottles back to the store. If you didn't want to pay deposit, you could just bring in six empty bottles with you when you picked up your carton of drinks. Many of us who were kids at the time would make extra cash by looking for empty bottles in trash cans, along roadsides, etc., and gathering them up for the deposit. I recall making almost a dollar in two days doing this, in fact--it was good for the environment and good for my budget!

If you wanted to catch a movie during the first half of the week, your choices were pretty limited: Of Human Bondage (with Kim Novak & Laurence Harvey) at the DeSoto or Honeymoon Hotel (with Robert Goulet, Nancy Kwan, Robert Morse, & Jill St. John) at the First Avenue. The midweek change up included The Bridge On the River Kwai (with William Holden & Alec Guinness) at the DeSoto and Quo Vadis (with Robert Taylor, Deborah Kerr, & Peter Ustinov) at the First Avenue. The weekend brought a double feature of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (with James Stewart & John Wayne) and Savage Innocents (with Anthony Quinn) to the West Rome Drive-In.

The number one song this week in 1964, for the second week in a row, was "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann. Other top ten hits included "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & the Vandellas (#2); "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers (#3); "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" by Gale Garnett (#4); "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison (#5); "Baby Love" by the Supremes (#6); "A Summer Song" by Chad & Jeremy (#7); "Let It Be Me" by Betty Everett & Jerry Butler (#8); "When I Grow Up to Be a Man" by the Beach Boys (#9); and "Have I the Right?" by the Honeycombs (#10).

Saturday, October 04, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/5/1964 to 10/11/1964

Hurricane Hilda dumped more than four inches of rain on Rome on Sunday night and Monday morning, leading to a number of accidents resulting in almost two dozen injuries. The situation was made worse by strong winds that topped out at forty miles per hour. Even though the creek behind Conn Street was dredged earlier in the summer, it was unable to handle the heavy rain in such a short period of time, and once again homes along Conn Street, Paris Drive, and Williamson Street had to deal with flooded yards and closed roads.

Judge J.D. Maddox, president of the Rome/Floyd County Chamber of Commerce, said that he had met with the Georgia Board of Regents and was confident that, if Rome approved a bond issue for road improvements, a Floyd County junior college would be approved in 1965. As we know, his confidence was justified—Rome did pass that bond issue, and Floyd Junior College was approved.

The Chieftains travelled to Kingsport, Tennessee, to take on one of the toughest teams in all of Tennessee—a team that racked up an 89-0 win in its previous week's game!  While West Rome performed much better in their game, they still lost to Kingsport 20-6.

Someone stole almost 1500 pounds of dynamite from a storage building off Horseleg Creek Road on Monday, October 5th. Within 48 hours, Bill Hart and other Rome detectives had tracked 250 pounds of the dynamite to a Cartersville location. Police continued to look for the remainder of the explosives.

Two West Rome boys (their names withheld because they were minors) were arrested after engaging in a high-speed race down Shorter Avenue to Division Street on Sunday evening, October 11th. The vehicles were clocked at more than 115 miles per hour; one was caught fairly quickly, but the other vehicle with two youths in it attempted to flee the scene. The boys were caught after police shot out the tires on the car.

This was the week when Standard Oil stations in Rome and across the country began the transition to Chevron gasoline... a name change that would eventually see the stations also renamed from Standard Oil to Chevron. To celebrate the name change, Rome's Standard Oil stations offered gasoline for 29.9¢ per gallon.

As Rome and Floyd County continued to grow, Floyd Hospital took initial steps for yet another addition—this one adding sixty beds to the 250-bed hospital.

The push was on for color television, but Rome's electronics dealers weren't willing to give up on black-and-white quite yet. B&L Appliance & TV Center ran a World Series special: a 23" Westinghouse contemporary console black-and-white TV for $259.95 or an 23" Westinghouse Early American black-and-white console for $339.95—and the price on both televisions would be reduced by a dollar for every run scored in the third game of the World Series. Sears countered with their own Silvertone 23" console black-and-white TV for $198 during World Series week, or a 21" color console for $398.

Americans had a chance to watch the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Oympics on October 10th, thanks to the newly launched Syncom 3 geosynchronous broadcast satellite. This was the first time in history that Olympic ceremonies were broadcast live around the world.

Piggly Wiggly had center cut pork chops for 59¢ a pound, Swift's premium wieners for 39¢ a pound, and Blue Plate mayonnaise for 39¢ for a one-quart jar. Kroger had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, Rath bacon for 63¢ a pound, and red grapes for 13¢ a pound. Big Apple had red delicious apples for 12¢ a pound, T-bone steaks for 79¢ a pound, and chicken livers for a quarter a pound. A&P had beef liver for 29¢ a pound, large eggs for 43¢ a dozen, and canned biscuits for 9¢ a can. Couch's had pork roast for 39¢ a pound,  Duncan Hines cake mix for 33¢ a box, and yellow onions for a nickel a pound.

The cinematic week began with I'd Rather Be Right (with Sandra Dee, Robert Goulet, and Andy Williams) at the DeSoto and A Shot in the Dark (with Peter Sellers and Elke Summer) at the First Avenue.  The mid-week movie change-up brought The Secret Invasion (with Stewart Granger & Mickey Rooney) to the First Avenue, Of Human Bondage (with Kim Novak & Laurence Harvey) to the DeSoto, and Too Late Blues (with Bobby Darin & Stella Stevens) at the West Rome Drive-In (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only, since the drive-in was closed from Sunday through Wednesday nights).

The number one song this week in 1964 was "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann. Other top ten hits included "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & the Vandellas; "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison (#3); "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" by Gale Garnett (#4); "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers (#5); "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)" by the Shangri-Las (#6); "A Summer Song" by Chad & Jeremy (#7); "It Hurts to Be In Love" by Gene Pitney (#8); "When I Grow Up to Be a Man" by the Beach Boys (#9); and "Let It Be Me" by Betty Everett & Jerry Butler (#10).

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 9/28/1964 to 10/4/1964

All Rome City Schools, including West Rome, held meetings to explain the new city-wide grading system that was going into effect beginning with the 1964-65 school year. The old number grade system, with 93-100 equalling an A, etc., was replaced with an A-B-C-D-U-I system (U for unsatisfactory and I for incomplete due to unavoidable reasons). "No numbers will be used," a Rome City Schools spokesperson said. "A student will fail or pass not on a numerical average of 69 or 70, but in terms of the overall quality of his work." (I presume this refers to report card grades only, since I never remember a time when we didn't get numerical grades on tests and other in-class work. I'm also not sure how long this system stayed in place; does anyone remember a period of time when we got letter grades only?)

West Rome faced off against Calhoun on October 2nd in a crucial sub-region contest. Alas, Calhoun came from behind in the second half, scoring two touchdowns to defeat the Chieftains 14-3.

The West Rome Honor Society held its induction ceremony on September 30th, welcoming twelve new members to their ranks. The roster of inductees included Jan Ross, Dan Schweitzer, Esther Ransom, Carolle Sewell, Barbara Belswinger, Phyllis McGhee, Anna Payne, Nancy Childers, Jack Column, Pat Barns, Stan Dawson, and Muriel McAbee.

Junior class officer elections were held, with Pat Barns being elected as class president; Ronnie Parker, vice-president; Stan Dawson, secretary; and Ann Peery, treasurer.

The West Rome Library Club elected Sara Whitworth as club president; Cathy Atkins, vice-president; Marilyn Moon, secretary; Sanda Addington, treasurer, and Marilyn Allen, reporter.

Romans were very excited to learn the art of hooking this week in 1964. Rug hooking, that is... (What did you think they were teaching at the YMCA?) The class actually filled up so quickly that the YMCA was evaluating whether they should offer a second session.

The new TV season also brought a renewed push to get color televisions into more homes. RCA Victor had a 21" color console for only $599.95 with trade-in, while RCA offered a 21" tabletop color set for only $399.95 with trade. (When you factor in the inflation multiplier of 7.51, however, that would be be the equivalent of paying just over $4500 for a 21" console set or just under $3000 for a 21" tabletop TV--almost the same price we'd pay for a large-screen 4K UHD set today!)

Sears was a major player in the auto repair business in the 1960s, offering everything from tires and tuneups to complete engine replacements. With automobile dealers on the verge of unveiling new models in late 1964, Sears was urging customers to put some money into a remanufactured engine instead. A V-6 engine could be had for as little as $159, while a V-8 started at $179--and you could get the installation done by Sears the same day you bought the engine.

And speaking of cars, Rome Automobile Company began showing off the new 1965 Volkswagen Beetle this week in 1964, complete with 15% more window area, larger and more comfortable front seats, a back seat that folded almost flat (and the manufacturer touted that the large flat open area could be used as "a large luggage space or a playpen for children." Apparently we worried much less about car seats and buckled-in children fifty years ago!)

Piggly Wiggly had center-cut pork chops for 59¢ a pound, turn it greens for a dime a pound, and a 24-bottle case of Coca Cola or Tab for 99¢ plus deposit. Kroger has bananas for a dime a pound, whole fryers for 25¢ a pound, and graham cracked for 33¢ a box. A&P had smoked hams for 39¢ a pound, five pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢, and Bartlett pears for 12¢ a pound. Big Apple had winesap apples for a dime a pound, jiffy steak for 99¢ a pound, and a half-gallon of Sealtest ice milk for 39¢, Couch's had T-bone steak for 69¢ a pound, lab shoulder roast for 19¢ a pound, and lettuce for 15¢ a head.

The movie week began with Kisses for My President (with Fred MacMurray & Polly Bergen) at the DeSoto and Night Must Fall (with Albert Finney) at the First Avenue. The mid-week switch out switch-out brought I'd Rather Be Rich (with Sandra Dee & Robert Goulet) to the DeSoto, A Shot in the Dark (the second Pink Panther film, with Peter Sellers & Elke Summer) to the First Avenue, and an Alfred Hitchcock double feature of Vertigo and To Catch a Thief to the West Rome Drive-In (which was on its weekends-only schedule).

There's no need to fear!... Underdog was here as of October 3rd, when the cartoon made its NBC debut as a part of the Saturday morning lineup. Those of us who grew up in the 1960s may remember that he got his abilities after taking his Super Energy Pill; younger viewers who saw the series in syndication may have never heard of the Super Energy Pill, however, since all references to it were edited out of the cartoon beginning in the mid-1970s, presumably out of fear that it would be seen as some sort of a pro-drug statement.

The number one song this week in 1964 was "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison. Other top ten hits included "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann (#2); "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & the Vandellas (#3); "Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats (#4); "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)" by the Shangri-Las (#5); "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" by Gale Garnett (#6); "It Hurts to Be In Love" by Gene Pitney (#7); "GTO" by Ronny & the Daytonas (#8); "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers (#9); and "A Summer Song" by Chad & Jeremy (#10).

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 9/21/1964 to 9/27/1964

The Coosa Valley Fair opened on September 21st, with Kunz Century-21 shows supplying the world's largest motorized midway, which included an expanded ("faster and wilder!") Tilt-a-Whirl. Carole Sewell represented West Rome in the Miss Floyd County contest.

West Rome went into their game against LaFayette with high hopes, but those hopes were dashed when LaFayette won the game 13-7; Dickie Sapp scored the only touchdown, but was stopped short on a second touchdown run.

BF Goodrich celebrated Coosa Valley Fair Week with a special on retreads for $9 each (do they even offer retreads nowadays? I haven't heard mention of them in years...), while Sears offered new tires for $9.88 to $15.88 each and Goodyear offered tires from $9.99 to $17.99 each. I'm still not sure how tires came to be associated with Fair Week...

Walter R. Thomas Jewelers closed its Broad Street location in September 1964—or more specifically, they sold their stock to Kay Jewelers, who took their place. Even so, they advertised a big store closing sale as they liquidated what inventory they could prior to the sale--so if you got any sort of jewelry as a Christmas gift in 1964, this might be the source!

Rome City Schools superintendent M.S. McDonald met with the Georgia Board of Education on Wednesday, September 23rd, to request $130,000 in building construction funds. Some of those funds were to be used construct an industrial arts workshop at West Rome High School. His pitch must have been most persuasive, because he came back with a $127,637 check, and planning of West Rome's industrial arts workshop was officially on the drawing board.

Piggly Wiggly had boneless Hotel Special steaks for 89¢ a pound, Mann's Golden Harvest wieners for 49¢ a pound, and turnip greens for a dime a pound. Kroger had pork chops for 59¢ a pound, grapes for 12¢ a pound, and five pounds of Colonial sugar for 39¢. Big Apple had Hormel sliced bacon for 57¢ a pound, Cornish game hens for 69¢ each, and red delicious apples for 12¢ a pound. A&P had bone-in rib steak for 89¢ a pound, Banquet 8-ounce frozen pot pies for 12¢ each, and frozen flounder fillets for 49¢ a pound. Couch's had sirloin steaks for 89¢ a pound, Pet-Ritz frozen cream pies for 29¢ each, and a one-pound box of Nabisco Saltines for 31¢.

The fall season television show rollout continued, with several great series debuting this week in 1964, including The Man from UNCLE (September 22nd), Daniel Boone (September 24th), The Munsters (September 24th), Gomer Pyle USMC (September 25th), and Gilligan's Island (September 26th). And yes, that means that Gilligan's Island debuted on a Saturday night! Back in 1964, entertainment choices were fewer, and networks offered a full line of original programming, including Flipper, Gilligan's Island, Gunsmoke, The Outer Limits, Mr. Magoo, Jackie Gleason, Lawrence Welk, and Saturday Night at the Movies, which featured television film premieres of major motion pictures.

The movie week began with The Chalk Garden at the DeSoto; Act One (with George Hamilton & Jason Robards) at the First Avenue; and nothing at the West Rome Drive-In (since it had begun closing except for weekends). The mid-week switch up brought Hamlet (starring Richard Burton, and shown "thru the miracle of ElectronoVision," according to the ad), to the DeSoto, Love With the Proper Stranger at the First Avenue, and a double feature of Heller in Pink Tights (with Sophia Loren & Anthony Quinn) and Ring of Treason (with no one worth remembering) at the West Rome Drive-In.

Roy Orbison took the number one spot this week in 1964 with "Pretty Woman." Other top ten hits included "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann (#2); "Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats (#3); "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & the Vandellas (#4); "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)" by the Shangri-Las (#5); "GTO" by Ronny & the Daytonas (#6); "It Hurts to Be in Love" by Gene Pitney (#7); "The House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals (#8); "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" by Gale Garnett (#9); and "Save It For Me" by the Four Seasons (#10).

In a surprising show of schedule coordination, Gold Key Comics published the first issue of their Voyage to The Bottom of the Sea comic this week in 1964, meaning that the comic debuted at almost exactly the same time as the TV series that starred Richard Basehart and David Hedison. Of course, the comic book publisher had plenty of time to prepare, since both the show and the comic were actually based on the 1961 Irwin Allen film of the same name.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 9/14/1964 to 9/20/1964

The on-again, off-again US 27-US 411 interchange was off again this week in 1964 once someone noticed that eight abandoned houses and an empty store were still standing where the road was supposed to be. The state said that Ledbetter-Johnson Construction were supposed to remove them, but the construction company said that was the state's responsibility. While both sides argued, work ground to a halt.

West Rome's JV team defeated Trion 33-7 on Thursday, while the varsity defeated McCallie 26-7. Ronnie Kennedy threw two touchdown passes in the first five minutes of the game, while Dickie Sapp scored a TD on a 62-yard return and Richard Camp ran seven yards to score West Rome's fourth touchdown.

Technologist David Kuhns presented "The Wonders of Liquid Air" at a West Rome High School assembly on September 17th; his presentation involved (among other things) liquid oxygen, solid mercury, and pressured oxygen. Mr. Kuhns was assisted by students Jimmy Cowart, Jack Collum, and Nelson Payne.

The chorus selected its officers for the 1964-65 school year. Barbara Heile was elected president; Janet Scherer, vice president; Billy Avery, secretary-treasurer; and Jacky Lupo & Judy Lloyd, librarians.

The Future Homemakers of America elected their 1964-65 club officers, with Jane Casey being tapped as president; Carole Sewell, vice president; Elmira Hardin, secretary; and Sally Sanford, treasurer.

West Rome's senior class began its magazine sale this week in 1964; the class set a goal of $3500 worth of subscriptions, with all profits slated to go towards the seniors' end-of-the-year gift to the school.

The new television season began this week in 1964--and what a memorable season it was! Several now-classic programs debuted in 1964, including Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea (debuted on September 14th), Peyton Place (September 15th), Shindig! (September 16th), Bewitched (September 17th), The Addams Family (September 18th), Jonny Quest (September 19th--and it was the first prime-time animated adventure series), and Flipper (September 19th). And that's not it for the season--there are some more memorable debuts coming up in next week's list... including a few of my all-time television favorites.

The Imperial Service Station at 2205 Shorter Avenue (one of Rome's first 24 hour service stations) celebrated its grand opening this week in 1964 with 94 octane regular for 29.9¢ per gallon and 100+ octane ethyl for 31.9¢--and if that wasn't cheap enough, they offered a penny back for every gallon purchased (not a discount--they just gave you pennies).

Piggly Wiggly had lettuce for 19¢ a head, beef liver for 19¢ a pound, and red grapes for 15¢ a pound. Kroger had picnic hams for 29¢ a pound, Uncle Tom's Brunswick stew for 39¢ a can, and bananas for a dime a pound. A&P had fatback for a dime a pound, JFG coffee for 79¢ a pound, and 5 pounds of white potatoes for 19¢. Big Apple had center cut pork chops for 49¢ a pound, Showboat salmon for a quarter per flat can, and a two pound jar of Blue Plate apple jelly for 29¢ (that's a lot of jelly!). Couch's had Black Hawk sliced bacon for 59¢ a pound, eggs for 33¢ a dozen, and a large roll of Northern paper towels for 29¢.

Moviegoers looking to catch a film during the first half of the week could choose from Robin and the Seven Hoods at the DeSoto and Lady in a Cage at the First Avenue; the West Rome Drive-In resumed its off-season schedule, which meant they were closed only Wednesday through Sunday nights. The mid-week movie switch out brought The Chalk Garden (with Deborah Kerr and Hayley Mills) to the DeSoto, Seven Days in May (with Burt Lancaster & Kirk Douglas) to the First Avenue, and The Moonspinners to the West Rome Drive-In.

Roy Orbison took the number one slot this week in 1964 with "Pretty Woman." Other top ten hits included "Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats (#2); "The House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals (#3); "GTO" by Ronny & the Daytonas (#4); "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)" by the Shangri-Las (#5); "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann (#6); "Where Did Our Love Go?" by the Supremes (#7); "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & the Vandellas (#8); "It Hurts to Be in Love" by Gene Pitney (#9); and "Save It For Me" by the Four Seasons (#10).

Saturday, September 06, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 9/7/1964 to 9/13/1964

At long last, the city took action to minimize the flooding problems that had plagued houses along Conn Street in West Rome. City officials purchased a machine they referred to as the "Hopto," a dredging machine that could clear out the creek bed (I guess whatever the dredging job was, it could hop to it!...). The entire creek bed from Burnett Ferry Road to Williamson Road was cleared out in the first week; eventually, the city planned to clear the entire creek bed all the way to Horseleg Creek Road. Not only were the Evans, the Hatches, the Skeltons, and everyone else who lived along Conn Street and Paris Drive happy with the news, but those of us who were frequently cut off from most of West Rome due to flooded roads were pretty darned pleased, too! (Even better, it made it easier for us to wade the creek without getting stuck in the muck; now, if they only could have done something about the ever-present leeches in that creek...)

West Rome's third football game of the season took them up to Summerville to take on the Chattooga County Indians. The JV team did their part, defeating Chattooga 40-6 on Thursday, September 10th. The varsity team did even better, trouncing Chattooga 41-0 on the Indians' home turf. As a result of his outstanding performance in the game, Richard Camp was named the Rome area's back of the week after an outstanding performance that saw him score two touchdowns, one of them on a 67-yard punt return in the fourth quarter.

Krystal celebrated their 32nd anniversary with a half-price special over the weekend, offering five Krystal hamburgers for a quarter. (Yes, you could actually get a hamburger for a nickel!)

Economy Auto Stores announced a shipment of new 82-channel 19" televisions for only $148. Of course, the addition of a UHF dial didn't do much for us in Rome, since it would be a few years since anyone in our broadcast area began offering UHF channels; wonder how many people bought a new TV figuring they'd have more channels to choose from?

Piggly Wiggly had first cut pork chops for 49¢ a pound, New Plymouth ice cream for 39¢ a half-gallon, and fresh turnip greens for a dime a pound. Kroger had baking hens for 29¢ a pound, peaches for 15¢ a pound, and Maxwell House coffee for 58¢ a pound. Big Apple had five pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢, veal chops for 69¢ a pound, and beef liver for 19¢ a pound. A&P had rib steaks for 89¢ a pound, lettuce for 19¢ a head, and grapes for 17¢ a pound. Couch's had chuck steak for 59¢ a pound, Bama Jelly in a reusable glass for 33¢, and ocean perch for 29¢ a pound.

The cinematic week began with Marnie (with Tippi Hedren & Sean Connery) at the DeSoto, South Pacific at the First Avenue, and Lawrence of Arabia at the West Rome Drive-In. The mid-week switch brought Robin & the Seven Hoods (with the Rat Pack— Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis Jr.), Lady In a Cage (with OIlivia de Havilland) at the First Avenue, and a forgettable double feature of The Jayhawkers and Walk a Tightrope at the West Rome Drive-In.

The Animals landed their first number one song this week in 1964 with "House of the Rising Sun." Other top ten hits included "Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats (#2); "Where Did Our Love Go?" by the Supremes (#3); "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison (#4); "GTO" by Ronny & the Daytonas (#5); "Everybody Loves Somebody" by Dean Martin (#6); "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)" by the Shangri-Las (#7); "Because" by the Dave Clark Five (#8); "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann (#9); and "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & the Vandellas (#10).

Friday, August 29, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 8/31/1964 to 9/6/1964

At long last, a work order was issued for the East Rome US 411/US 27 interchange at the site then known as "Goat Hill." This was the first three-level traffic interchange in Georgia; it was planned so ambitiously because the state was confident that a direct connection from Rome to I-75 was forthcoming in the near future (little did they know that the Rollins family would devote a half-century to blocking that vital link).

State Revenue Agents destroyed another large still in the Texas Valley area, confiscating and then dumping more than 3000 gallons of moonshine. (No wonder that the Snuffy Smith comic strip, with it frequent jokes about "revenooers," was a popular part of the Rome News-Tribune's comic strip page!)

School registration numbers were tallied, and West Rome High School added almost fifty students, pushing enrollment up to 966 students for the 1964-1965 school year.  As a result, 11 teachers were added to the West Rome faculty, including Mrs. Robert Greene (English); Mrs. Elsie Washington (math); Mr. Jack Wiggins (drafting and math); Mr. Robert Greene (science); Ms. Carlee McCarter (typing); Mrs. Janice Vick (English); Mr. Novis Van Johnson (math and history); Mr. Bob Jones (chorus), Mr. Charles Anderson (math); Ms. Sandra Allen (reading) and Mrs. Betty Deadwyler, typing. (This includes 7th grade teachers, who were listed because the 7th grade was housed in the West Rome High School building at this time.)

Senior class officers were elected for the 1964-1965 school year; the new officers include Chris Lawler, president; Ken Payne, vice president; Carole Sewell, secretary; Gerry Law, treasurer, and Judy Wessenger, chaplain.

Mrs. Mann, sponsor of the West Rome yearbook The Watanyah, announced that Judi Burns had been chosen as senior editor and Muriel McAbee would serve as junior editor.

The West Rome Pep Club elected its officers for the school year: Janice Scherer, president; Ken Payne, vice president; Judy Wessenger, secretary; and Lynn Moore, treasurer.

Dalton surprised everyone by pulling off a 25-14 upset win over the Chieftains in West Rome's second football game of the season. Thankfully, this wasn't a region game, so it didn't hurt West Rome's hopes for a region championship.

Piggly Wiggly had chicken breasts for 45¢ a pound; Wellesley Farms ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon; and turnip greens for a dime a pound. Kroger had Toppy brand bacon for 39¢ a pound, cantaloupes for 26¢ each, and hen turkeys for 49¢ a pound. Big Apple had chuck roast for 37¢ a pound, large cans of pork and beans for a quarter, and a 32-ounce jar of peanut butter for 69¢. A&P had ground beef for 37¢ a pound, tomatoes for 15¢ a pound, and 20 ounces of Surf detergent for 28¢. Couch's had sliced bologna for 39¢ a pound, a 14-ounce bottle of Hunt's catsup for 15¢, and lemons for 4¢ each.

The cinematic week began with The Night of the Iguana at the DeSoto, The Killers at the First Avenue, and All the Way Home at the West Rome Drive-In. The mid-week change up brought Marnie to the DeSoto, Ride the Wild Surf to First Avenue, and Tom Jones (the movie, not the singer) to the West Rome Drive-In.

The Animals held on to the number one slot with "The House of The Rising Sun." Other top ten hits included "Where Did Our Love Go?" by the Supremes (#2); "Because" by the Dave Clark Five (#3); "Everybody Loves Somebody" by Dean Martin (#4); "Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats (#5); "C'Mon and Swim" by Bobby Freeman (#6); "GTO" by Ronny & The Daytonas (#7); "A Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles (#8); "Remember (Walking in the Sand)" by the Shangri-Las (#9); and "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison (#10). The number one album this week in 1964? Dean Martin's Everybody Loves Somebody, which was also the best-selling album of Martin's career.

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 8/24/1964 to 8/30/1964

Summer came to an end this week in 1964 as school registration took place on Wednesday, August 26th, with students returning to school on Thursday, August 27th.

Coach Kennedy told the Rome News-Tribune that he was "anxiously awaiting to see what this year's football team can do against the competition" after a week of intensive training at Berry College. The season began on Saturday night at Barron Stadium with the Chieftains facing off against the Coosa Eagles; West Rome won the game 14-0, with Dickie Sapp being selected as the Rome News-Tribune's lineman of the week for a 73-yard run that set up the first West Rome touchdown, followed later in the game by a 3-yard sweep to score the second touchdown.

Rome's McDonald's, less than a year old, experienced its first armed robbery on August 24th, 1964, when a gunman entered the store after closing, held up the staff at gunpoint, and made off with $875 in cash. By the end of the week, a Rome man and a Marietta man were arrested for the holdup.

The Rome/Floyd County economy continued to generate more good news: area banks reported that area economic activity increased by 7% over the same months in 1963, showing that both businesses and people were spending more money... and that they had more money to spend!

With Georgia law requiring that all cars pass a safety inspection before new tags could be issued beginning in 1965, Rome entrepreneurs were actively setting up inspection stations, with almost four dozen sites in Rome begin licensed to perform the inspections. All inspections had be performed between January 1st and March 31st, 1965; there was a maximum $5 fee per vehicle for the inspection.

Piggly Wiggly had Maxwell House Instant Coffee for $1.19 a jar (the 1960s and the 1970s were a boom period for instant coffee sales), shank portion ham for 35¢ a pound, and Coca-Cola or Tab for 99¢ plus deposit for a 24-bottle case. Kroger had pork chops for 69¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and Kroger's ice milk for 29¢ a half-gallon. A&P had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, Campbell's tomato soup for a dime a can, and ten pounds of potatoes for 49¢. Big Apple had snapper filets for 59¢ a pound, Big Apple bread for 19¢ a loaf, and Banquet frozen cream pies for 27¢ each. Couch's had baking hens for 29¢ each, five pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢, and yellow corn for 6¢ an ear.

In the first half of the week, moviegoers could choose from What a Way to Go at the DeSoto, 633 Squadron at the First Avenue, and Who's Minding the Store? at the West Rome Drive-In. The last half of the week brought The Night of the Iguana to the DeSoto, The Killers to the First Avenue (perhaps the best film adaptation of any Ernest Hemingway novel!), and Who's Been Sleeping In My Bed? (with the unusual pairing of Dean Martin and Elizabeth Montgomery) to the West Rome Drive-In.

The Animals took number one this week in 1964 with "House of the Rising Sun." Other top ten hits included "Where Did Our Love Go?" by the Supremes (#2); "Everybody Loves Somebody" by Dean Martin (#3); "Because" by the Dave Clark Five (#4); "C'Mon and Swim" by Bobby Freeman (#5); "Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats (#6); "Under the Boardwalk" by the Drifters (#7); "A Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles (#8); "How Do You Do It?" by Gerry & the Pacemakers (#9--and a song that the Beatles previously recorded but chose not to release); and "GTO" by Ronny & the Daytonas (#10).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 8/17/1964 to 8/23/1964

Rome was particularly quiet in mid-August 1964.  School was just a week away, and students were already being bombarded with the usual pre-school advice: start going to bed earlier so you'll be ready for the first day, bring pencils and pens and paper and notebooks to school on the first day to take notes, make sure you know the bus schedule if you're riding the bus, etc.

Rome was still looking for teachers to fill last-minute vacancies; West Rome High School had only one remaining faculty vacancy as of August 19th, and the superintendent was confident that the system would find a qualified teacher by the time classes started.

Rome's economic engine continued to rev up: the Rome-Floyd County Chamber of Commerce reported that almost two dozen businesses were engaged in new construction or major expansion in Rome, including General Electric, the Fairbanks Co., Kay Townes Antenna, Integrated Products, Anderson Manufacturing, Fox Manufacturing, Parrish Bakeries, Rome Frozen Foods, and Rome Casket Company.

And if that won't enough good news, Rome and Floyd County also posted an unemployment rate of only 3.7%, with an annual payroll of $49.6 million, a 12" increase over the year before.

Most of us take the US 411/US 27 interchange for granted—after all, it's been there almost as long as most of us can remember—but in 1964, it wasn't there in its current state, and Rome business leaders and politicians were getting pretty darn frustrated. On August 20th, they voted to request the State Highway Department issue a conditional work order to let Ledbetter Brothers begin site prep while the final details were being negotiated.

Floyd County got its first automatic voting machines this week in 1964, just in time for the upcoming November Presidential elections. The machines were on display at the courthouse so that interested parties could come by and check them out to learn how the newfangled devices actually tabulated your votes.

Piggly Wiggly had Delmonico steaks for 99¢ a pound, white corn for a nickel an ear, and a 24-bottle case of Coke or Tab for 99¢ (and so the price creep began... that's a dime per case higher than they were charging in 1962 and early 1963, the first years I covered in this weekly nostalgic interlude). A&P had Libby's potted meat for a dime a can, half or whole hams for 49¢ a pound, and bananas for a dime a pound. Kroger had cubed steak for 79¢ a pound, Swift's bologna for 29¢ a pound, and a two-pound jar of Blue Plate apple jelly for 29¢. Big Apple had five pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢, lamb shoulder roast for 19¢ a pound, and Swift's premium bacon for 49¢ a pound. Couch's had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, pink salmon for 29¢ a can, and a three-pound can of Snowdrift shortening for 59¢.

If you wanted to catch a movie the first half of the week, your choices were McHale's Navy (with Ernest Borgnine, Tim Conway, and the rest of the TV series cast) at the DeSoto, Paris When It Sizzles (with William Holden and Audrey Hepburn) at the First Avenue, and The Running Man (not the Stephen King film, the movie with Laurence Harvey and Lee Remick) at the West Rome Drive-In. The mid-week change up brought Robinson Crusoe on Mars (with Paul Mantee) to the First Avenue, What a Way to Go! to the DeSoto, and Walt Disney's Merlin Jones to the West Rome Drive-In.

The number one song this week in 1964 was "Where Did Our Love Go?" by the Supremes. Other top ten hits included "The House of the Rising Sun" by the Animals (#2); "Everybody Loves Somebody" by Dean Martin (#3); "A Hard Day's Night" by the Beatles (#4); "C'Mon and Swim" by Bobby Freeman (#5); "Under the Boardwalk" by the Drifters (#6); "Because" by the Dave Clark Five (#7); "Walk—Don't Run '64" by the Ventures (#8); "Bread and Butter" by the Newbeats (#9); and "How Do You Do It?" by Gerry & the Pacemakers (#10).