Friday, May 03, 2013

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome: 4/22/63 to 4/29/63

West Rome's baseball team scored four runs in the first extra inning on Monday, April 22nd, giving them an 8-5 victory over the Model Blue Devils; much of the credit went to Todd Zeiger's pitching and Gerry Law's hitting. The Chieftains racked up a second win for the week when they defeated Berry in overtime 2-1. Dickie Sapp hit the triple that led to the winning run.

West Rome's track team also racked up a victory on April 22nd, winning a four-way track meet against Calhoun, Pepperell, and Armuchee. Lane Warner set a school record for the two mile at 11:00.8, while Dickie Sapp was the big scorer, racking up 15 1/4 of West Rome's total 92 1/2 points (the second place team, Calhoun, managed to score only 37 points!). The track team then went on to defeat East Rome and Dalton in a three-way track meet on Wednesday, April 24th, edging out the Gladiators by 5 1/2 points.

Mack's Department Store, a West Rome mainstay in the 1960s with a location on Shorter Avenue in Alto Shopping Center, added a Central Plaza location this week in 1963. They kicked the week off with "Moonlight Modeling" featuring girls from area schools, including West Rome.

The Rome Lanes Bowling Center suffered a break-in on Friday morning, April 26th--but quick work by the police led to an arrest by lunchtime that same day.

All across town, merchants were marking down lots of merchandise to celebrate Rome Customer Appreciation Days on Friday, April 26th and Satuday, April 27th, which was touted as the biggest non-Christmas season sales event of the year in Rome and Floyd County.

Couch's Grocery had Bacon for 39¢ a pound, eggs, for 39¢ a pound, and the ever-popular ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon. A&P had ground beef for 33¢ a pound, lettuce for 19¢ a head, and sherbet for 49¢ a pound. Big Apple had Dixie Girl ice milk for 33¢ a half-gallon, cheddar cheese for 49¢ per half-pound package, and Around the Clock coffee for 39¢ a pound. Kroger had bananas for 9¢ a pound, vienna sausage for 19¢ a can, and fresh whole fryers for a quarter a pound.

The price of a gallon of gas in April 1963 was 29.9¢ a gallon (on average) for regular and 30.9¢ a gallon for premium. Of course, this was back when service stations actually offered full service--filling the tank, checking the air in your tires, cleaning the windows, checking the oil, etc. Prices would remain relatively stable in this range throughout the 1960s, with occasional gas wars driving prices down to 22.9¢-23.9¢ from time to time.

Moviegoers' choices for the first half of the week included To Kill a Mockingbird (with Gregory Peck) at the DeSoto; Madame (with Sophia Loren) at the First Avenue; and The Pigeon That Took Rome (with Charlton Heston) at the West Rome Drive-In. To Kill a Mockingbird proved so popular that it moved to the First Avenue Theater for the weekend, while the DeSoto offered Love Is a Ball (with Glenn Ford) and the West Rome Drive-In offered Poor White Trash (with no one you ever heard of).

Fifty years ago this week, we were listening to "Walk Right in" by the Rooftop Singers, which was #1. Other top ten hits included "Hey Paula" by Paul and Paula (#2), "Go AWay Little Girl" by Steve Lawrence (#3); "Tell Him" by the Exciters (#4); "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" by Bobby Vee (#5); "My Dad" by Paul Petersen (#6); "Two Lovers" by Mary Wells (#7); "Telstar" by The Tornadoes (#8); "It's Up to You" by Rick Nelson (#9); and "Limbo Rock" by Chubby Checker (#10).

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