Monday, March 18, 2013

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/11/63 to 3/17/63

Georgia raised the minimum age for a death sentence judgment to 17 this week in 1963; until that time, anyone over the age of 10 could be sentenced to death!

Winter's cold gave way to the pre-spring mix of warmer weather, thunderstorms, and tornado watches on March 12th. 3.17" of rain fell on Tuesday afternoon, causing flooding problems in low-lying areas around Charlton Road, Conn Street, and Paris Drive.

Rome unemployment fell to 4.9% as the employment office in Rome placed 180 people in full-time jobs in the month of February. Oh, what we'd give for unemployment rates like that today!...

The Seventh District Science Fair was held at Berry College on Friday, March 15th, and Saturday, March 16th, 1963. 200 projects were entered in the fair, including several from West Rome High School

West Rome's football team got another chance to play East Rome on March 16th as the two teams scrimmages as part of the Annual Rome Football Clinic, organized by West Rome  Coach Paul Kennedy and East Rome coach Wallace Wilkinson. All Rome City and Floyd County Schools participated in the event. Coach Kennedy announced that the upcoming team was his best yet, although he described (in typical Coach Kennedy plain-talk fashion) the Wednesday pre-scrimmage practice as "the worst I can remember at West Rome." He was never one to mince words, was he?..

The Rome Three Rivers Swim Team, which included three students from West Rome High School (no names given--anyone know which Chieftains were a part of this team?), competed in the State High School Swim Meet at Emory University; from there, the group went on to Athens for the University of Georgia AAU Open Inivtational Age Group Swimming and Diving Championships.

The Chieftains Club met on Monday, March 11th; the meeting kicked off with a preview for Chieftain Acts (which was scheduled for March 29th and 30th) that included performance by the Four Fellows, a musical group comprised of West Rome students. as well as a dance routine by Cindy Blaylock & Jerry Smith. The business portion of the meeting focused on plans for a  health clinic at West Rome High, to be staffed by volunteer workers; and a request to the school board for additional funds to improve the school grounds--particularly the football practice field.

The Rome Bowling Lanes on Hicks Drive held their grand opening this week in 1963, complete with free hot dogs and cokes, free shoe rentals, and an appearance by "Mr. Bowler" Ralph Tucker. The bowling lanes were open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for your bowling pleasure, and offered 24 AMF bowling lanes.

If your family had a lot of money to spend on home entertainment, then Rome Radio Company had just what you needed: a 21" console color television for only $549.95. Remember, the inflation factor between 1963 and now is 7.52, so that's the equivalent of more than $4100 today!

Looking for a new car? Julian Harrison Ford had a 1963 Ford Fairlane for $1944, a 1963 Ford Falcon station wagon for $2121, and a 1963 Ford half-ton pickup for $1777.

Kroger was running a special on pork shoulder roasts at 23¢ a pound, cottage cheece at 10¢ per 8 ounce carton, and Star-Kist tuna for 25¢ a can. Piggly Wiggly countered with chicken breasts for 49¢ a pound, potatoes for 39¢ per ten-pound bag, and peanut butter for 39¢ per 10 ounce jar. Couch's had pork loins for 49¢ a pound, bacon for 39¢ a pound, and JFG coffee for 59¢ a pound. A&P had bananas for a dime a pound, rib roast for 69¢ a pound, and Bailey's Supreme coffee for 59¢ a pound. Big Apple offered cans of salmon for 33¢. mackerel filets for 49¢ a pound, and apples for 17¢ a pound.

Rome's theaters offered a mix of family films and more "sophisticated" fare this week fifty years ago. The DeSoto was showing Who's Got the Action? with Dean Martin & Lana Turner; the First Avenue continued with Phaedra starring Melina Mercouri (in her days as an actress, before she became a Greek politician) and Anthony Perkins; and the West Rome Drive-In kicked the week off with Boys Night Out starring Kim Novak, James Garner, and Tony Randall. The weekend movie lineup included Wild in the Country with Elvis Presley at the DeSoto, Follow the Boys with Connie Francis at the First Avenue, and a double feature of Geronimo! and Damn the Defiant! (two exclamation-point films--yes, the puncuation is actually a part of the title) at the West Rome Drive-In.

Once again, "Walk Like a Man" by the Four Seasons took first place in the top ten. Other songs in the top ten included "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics (#2); "You're the Reason I'm Living" by Bobby Darin (#3); "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis (#4); "Rhythm of the Rain" by the Cascades (#5); "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis (#6); "Ruby Baby" by Dion (#7); "Blame It on the Bossa Nova (#8); "What Will My Mary Say?" by Johnny Mathis (#9); and "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons (#10).

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