Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/4/63 to 3/10/63

Rome Kraft announced $2.5 million in improvements this week in 1963, expanding employment opportunities for West Rome with the addition of 200 new jobs. Of course, all of us in West Rome were greeted with fragrant reminders of Kraft's presence pretty much every day!...

The cold weather was gone, but the bad weather was still very much present as a tornado did almost $100,000 in damage in Cave Spring on March 6th; thankfully, West Rome suffered no major damage other than some downed trees on Horseleg Creek Road and Burnett Ferry Road, as the storm had weakened significantly by the time it reached our area.

Rome's push for expansion and growth led to a bid for daily air service at Russell Field by Southern Airways; this move was undertaken to fill a gap left by the surprise announcement that Eastern Airlines wanted to drop its Rome routes. It's still surprising to realize that Rome had multiple daily commercial flights by major airlines to both Atlanta and Chattanooga.

On March 4th, sculptor Walter Kirtland Hancock surprised everyone by announcing that his sculpture of Confederate generals that he was carving into the side of Atlanta's Stone Mountain was a mistake, and that he would not complete the project. He also abandoned his plans to carve a 65-foot sword-bearing figure athte mountain's base. The fully planned sculpture was never completed to match the grand designs that Hancock had outlined, and the sculpture remains in virtually the same incomplete condition he left it in today. So for all of us Chieftains who have ventured to Stone Mountain over the decades... well, now you know why it seems unfinished!

Country music fans mourned the death of Patsy Cline, who was the victim of a plane crash on March 5, 1963.  And whether you knew her music in 1963 or not, Cline's "Crazy" has become gone on to become one of popular music's all time greats.

Fifty years ago this week, Johnnie Jacobs announced his plans to move the Partridge Cafe to the old Gordon Theater space at 330 Broad Street; this is the location that almost all of us think of as the one and only location of the Partridge, but it turns out that he had been at 507 Broad Street for years before closing the deal for the 330 Broad location. National City Bank purchased the Partridge's formoer location for a major expansion of their bank facilities.

Rome's Boys Club Choir was named the best in the nation at the National Talent Search sponsored byt he Boys Club. As winners of the competition, the Boys Club Choir would be featured in their own record album (which, alas, did NOT make our top ten list--but it would be great to know if the record was ever released!).

The West Rome Dance Band, directed by Clyde Roberson, performed an all jazz concert at the City Auditorium on Friday, March 8th, to raise funds for their upcoming trip to Washington for the Cherry Blossom Festival. Performers included John Payne, Butch Mowry, Bill Babb, and Ashley Wiggins, who comprised the trumpet quartet; Derell Brookshire, drummer; Sid Garwood, string bassist; and Danny Beard, Anne Coalson, Sid Skelton, & John Butler, trombones. The all-girl jazz group included Jane Lewis, LaRay Gresson, Jane Rogers, and Ann Lee on clarinets; Celia Brookshire on piano; Lucia Oldham on string bass; and Patty Tolbert on drums. This was second of three fund-raising concerts on the schedule; the third, an all-march music show, was scheduled for March 16th and would feature the entire marching band.

Big Apple ran a special on Pepsi for only 23¢ per six-bottle carton; lamb loin was 99¢ a pound; and StarKist tuna was 29¢ a can. A&P offered chuck roast for 45¢ a pound; bacon for 39¢ a pound; and StarKist tuna for only a quarter a can. Couch's had spareribs for 39¢ a pound, eggs for 39¢ a dozen, and sirloin steak for 69¢ a pound. Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, mayonnaise for 39¢ a quart, and leg o' lamb for 69¢ a pound.

A week at the movies began with The Lion with William Holden and Trevor Howard at the DeSoto; Playgirl After Dark with Jayne mansfield at the First Avenue (I never realized that the First Avenue was the more risque of Rome's two theaters until I began writing this feature!), and Lolita at the West Rome Drive-In (which was advertised with the simple slogan,"How did they ever make a movie of Lolita?"). The weekend brought Bachelor Flat with Tuesday Weld and Sing Boy Sing with Tommy Sands at the DeSoto; Phaedra with Melina Mercouri at the First Avenue; and the eminently forgettable Ring-a-Ding Rhythm and Two Tickets to Paris at the West Rome Drive-In, which underscores the theory held by many that no one really went to the drive-in to see the movie…

"Walk Like a Man" by Four Seasons held on to first place in the top ten this week in 1963. Other songs in the top ten included "Ruby Baby" by Dion (#2), "Rhythm of the Rain" by the Cascades (#3); "Hey Paula" by Paul and Paula (#4); "You're the Reason I'm Living" by Bobby Darrin (#5); "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics (#6); "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis (#7), "Wild Weekend" by the Rebels (#8); "What Will My Mary Say" by Johnny Mathis (#9); and "Walk Right In" by the Rooftop Singers (#10).

No comments: