Saturday, November 09, 2013

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

The West Rome Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y helped the Marine Corps with their Toys for Tots drive beginning this week in 1963, under the direction of Sid Skelton and Mrs. C.H. Matthews. The groups set up a box for students to drop off toy donations, leading up to a special "Toys for Tots" day on November 21st that would be highlighted by a holiday assembly (for which the admission price was one toy donation).

West Rome set a cold-weather record on Thursday, November 14th, with a low of 19 degrees; the cold didn't last for long, though, with temperatures climbing back to a more seasonal 64 degrees by Saturday, November 16th.

Football season was officially over for the Chieftains, but there was still one unofficial game to be played: the Rome Boys club and the Cheerful Givers began promoting the annual East and West Mite All-Star Santa Bowl game, which was scheduled to be played on November 23rd.

Goodyear kicked off their holiday season with the release of their annual Great Songs of Christmas album, available for $1 at your local Goodyear store.  This was actually a common practice in the early 60s, with Sears, Western Auto, Goodyear, and many others offering their own collections  of Christmas classics for a bargain price.

Sears had pear trees (5 to 6 foot trees) for $1.98 for the holiday; no word on the price of the partridges to accompany them...

And as holiday shopping got underway, stores such as Miller Bros. and Kessler's and Belk-Rhodes announced their extended holiday hours, staying open until 8:30pm on Friday nights.

Romans got a new dining choice as the Chicken Shack opened on Broad Street, offering one breast, one wing, one leg, and one thigh (along with salad, french fries, and rolls) for $1.25 or all the chicken you can eat for $1.50.

A&P had fresh fryers for 25¢ a pound, Allgood bacon for 39¢ a pound, and bell peppers for a nickel each. Kroger offered chicken breasts for 45¢ a pound, canned biscuits for a nickel each, and Campbell's tomato soup for 9¢ a can. Big Apple offered ground beef for 33¢ a pound, whole coconuts for 15¢ each (I remember that Mom bought one of those at one time to appease my incessant requests for a fresh coconut, and I discovered just how much trouble a whole coconut could be!), and ten pounds of flour for 85¢. Couch's had whole smoked hams for 49¢ each, Maxwell House coffee for 59¢ a pound, and a dozen eggs for 49¢. (Y'know, when you adjust for inflation, eggs are one of the few foods that were more expensive in the 1960s than they are now--that price would equal about $3.50 a dozen today!)

The first half of the week offered moviegoers a choice of The VIPs (with Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton) at the DeSoto or Sword of Lancelot (with Cornel Wilde) at the First Avenue. The last half of the week brought All the Way  Home (with Jean Simmons & Robert Preston) to the Desoto and a double feature of Mill of the Stone Women and Then There Were Three (no, I've never heard of either of them) to the First Avenue, while the West Rome Drive-In was showing The Wild Party for those who considered it entertaining to brave a cold weekend evening in their cars.

The number one song this week in 1963 was "I'm Leaving It Up to You" by Dale & Grace. Other top ten hits included "Washington Square" by the Village Stompers (#2); "Deep Purple" by Nino Temple & April Stevens (#3); "Sugar Shack" by Jimmy Gilmer & the Fireballs (#4); "It's All Right" by the Impressions (#5); "She's a Fool" by Lesley Gore (#6); "Everybody" by Tommy Roe (#7); "Bossa Nova Baby" by Elvis Presley (#8); "Dominique" by the Singing Nun (#9); and "Maria Elena" by Los Indios Tabajares (#10).

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