Thursday, March 28, 2013

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/18/63 to 3/24/63

The issue of prayer in school made the headlines when the West Rome Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y clubs joined other Y clubs in Rome and Floyd County in support of a resolution stressing the value of prayer in public schools. Since I recall prayer in schools for several more years after this, I think it's safe to assume that this didn't become a major issue in West Rome right away.

Also in the news: spanking or paddling of unruly students. After a lawsuit was filed over a paddling in a neighboring county, the Rome News-Tribune checked into the policies in Rome City Schools and confirmed that spanking or paddling as a "last resort" was acceptable, and that it was up to individual school administrators to decide when it was appropriate.

Ted B. Peacock resigned as Rome Police Department Chief on March 18th, 1963, due to health issues; Nelson Camp, who had already assumed the duties as temporary chief while Peacock was on sick leave, was appointed as his replacement.

Large numbers of teenage girls and women were showing up for the Rome/Floyd County YMCA's classes in self-defense judo for women. The classes were so popular, in facat, that the Y was having to add extra sessions, and was looking at adding an advanced course in the late spring. Teenager Kay Wyatt was perhaps a little too excited about her judo prowess; she told the Rome News-Tribune that "I can't wait for somebody to really attack me!"

Alex H. Mills, executive director of the Rome Boys' Club, and William R. Dixon, director of the Boys' Club choir, were presented with Rome's annual "Civic Pride" Awards on March 18th for their work to benefit the community. I still remember walking to the Boys' Club in West Rome--and in particular, I remember that wonderful trampoline that they had. I'm sure I'm not the only Chieftain who appreciated what they brought to our community!

The Dairy Queen on Shorter Avenue held their famous 1¢ sale on Wednesday and Thursdays in the spring of 1963: buy one malt, sundae, shake, or cone and get another for free. As much as I loved ice cream as a kid, how did I miss out on this? Of course, with Candler Drug and their legendary nickel and dime ice cream cones just a couple of hundred feet away, I don't think I suffered from ice cream shortage...

Coach Paul Kennedy actually seemed pleased with his up-and-coming football team on March 18th, saying that "the young boys are finally looking good. And the fact that the Rome News Tribune was devoting its major sports section headline space to a story about football spring training tells you just how much of a football town Rome was in the 1960s!

All of this was a lead-up to the annual "W-Night" intra-mural football game at Barron Stadium on Thursday, March 21st. Coach Nick Hyder was in charge of the Green Team, which featured Chris Warren ("one of Georgia's finest passers"), Van Gray, Jim Lamb, Billy Mellon, & Gordon Walden. Coach Ralph Beeler took charge of the White Team, which included up-and-coming star Dickie Sapp, along with Gerry Law, Wayne White, and Jerry Coalson. The game ended with a 7-0 White Team Victory as Dickie Sapp scored the game's only touchdown.

Kroger offered pork and beans for a dime a can, toilet tissue for 29¢ per four-roll pack, and 8-inch fruit or cream pies for only 39¢ each. Piggly Wiggly had corn for a nnickel an ear, a twin-pack of Tom's Potato Chips for 49¢, and ground beef for 49¢ a pound. The Big Apple had cabbage for a nickel a head, fat back for 19¢ a pound, and peaches for 25¢ a pound. Couch's offered shortening for 69¢ for a three-pound can, eggs for 33¢ a dozen, and the ever-popular TV Dinners for 39¢ each.

If you wanted to catch a movie in Rome, you could see Days of Wine and Roses at the DeSoto, Follow the Boys at the First Avenue, or a double feature of Mighty Ursus and The War Lover at the West Rome Drive-In during the first half of the week. The weekend brought Thirty Years of Fun and Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea to the DeSoto, The Scarface Mob to the First Avenue, and The View from Pompey's Head and The Tall Men to the West Rome Drive-In. (Did the West Rome Drive-In ever offer any first-class movies?…)

Fifty years ago this week, we were listening to "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics (#1); "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis (#2); "You're the Reason I'm LIving" by Bobby Darin (#3); "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons (#4); "Walk Like a Man" by the Four Seasons (#5); "Rhythm of the Rain" by the Cascades (#6); "South Street" by the Orlons (#7); "Blame It on the Bossa Nova" by Eydie Gorme (#8); "What Will my Mary Say" by Johnny Mathis (#9); and "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison (#10).

Meanwhile, the Beatles' first album Please Please Me was released in England this week in 1963. Alas, those of us in West Rome would know nothing about that unless we happened to be traveling to England, since no Beatles album was released in the US until early 1964.

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