Saturday, May 11, 2013

So Long, TV Shows

Lots of cancellations were announced today, and three shows I truly enjoyed were on the list.

The drama that I'm going to miss the most is Southland, an emsemble-cast police series that manages to blend human interest and police action in the same fascinating way that ER blended human interest and medical drama. The series ended on a powerful and disturbing low point for one of the characters, and I hate it that his redemption will go untold.

There are two comedies that I hate to lose. First is the freshman series Go On, which stars Matthew Perry as a radio sports-talk host who joins a support group after the sudden death of his wife. The series struggled to find its footing in the first few episodes (Is his wife going to continue having a ghostly presence? Will flashbacks be a regular part of each episode?), but once it hit its stride, I really enjoyed the interaction between Matthew Perry's character and the rest of the quirky support group. Of course, I should confess that I think Perry is one of the best comedic actors on television in the past ten years, and it's a shame that he just can't find a series that makes full use of his skills (remember Mr. Sunshine? Yeah, no one else does, either...).

Most of all, though, I'm going to miss Whitney, the sitcom starring Whitney Cummings. It lasted two seasons, and I thought it was really moving along quite well this year, but apparently it was too little too late to attract a sufficient audience. I'm not sure why it became so trendy to trash the show--I thought the characters were likeable, Whitney was charming in an irresistible damaged-goods way, Chris D'Elia's Alex was an adept blend of confidence and insecurity, and Rhea Seehorn's Roxanne was always fascinating and could have supported the series much more had she been played up from the beginning. (Seehom, by the way, always reminds me so much of Rick Hoffman, who plays Louis Litt on Suits, that I had to check her bio to see if perchance she was his sister... she's not.)

Ah well, such is the way of television. If all the good shows stayed on forever, I guess there'd be no room for the shows that are destined to become favorites in the future, would there?

Friday, May 03, 2013

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome: 4/29/63 to 5/5/63

The economy continued to grow in the spring of 1963, with sales tax collection exceeding expectations by more than $5 million--and that pushed the total sales tax collection to $43 million and change, which meant that the windfall was more than 10% above expectations. Oh, what state and local governments would do today with revenues that exceeded expectations by more than 10%!...

Sir Winston Churchill announced his departure from politics on May 1st after sixty years. Having been a part of the British government since well before WWII, Churchill WAS England to a lot of us back in 1963.

Heavy rains in Rome--almost 7 inches in a five-day period ending on May 1st-- led to widespread flooding in Floyd County, leaving lots of farmers with swamps instead of planted fields. Since many crops had already been planted, Rome's farmers were looking at a difficult and costly spring of re-planting once the fields dried out. Many roads also experienced washout conditions, and the underpass on Division Street remained closed for almost a full day until water levels dropped sufficiently to make it safely passable.

This was the week in 1963 that Rome and Floyd County began working with the State Highway Department (the precursor to today's Department of Transportation) to develop plans for an east-west expressway to parallel Shorter Avenue and offer an alternative route through downtown Rome. Ultimately, the idea proved too costly and was abandoned, replaced instead by the East Rome bypass and the widening of Redmond Road to offer another alternative route from East Rome to West Rome.

Remember those Romans who staged a sit-in back in March of 1963? (We told you about their case in an earlier "Fifty Years Ago" column, in case you need to refresh your memory.) Well, four of those arrested appealed their convictions at the end of April, claiming that they were arrested solely on the basis of race and color.

The Chieftains baseball team defeated Calhoun 11-0 on May 2nd, led by pitcher Jimmy Brewer, who hurled a perfect game. The Chief followed that up with a May 3rd 4-1 win over the Darlington Tigers, led by the pitching of Eddie Hailton.

On May 3rd, East and West Rome faced off in a track meet at Barron Stadium; alas, the Gladiators defeated West Rome 66-61 in a "down to the wire" confrontation that saw West Rome take eight first places in the event.

West Rome's student body elected four young men to serve on the 1963-64 Student Council; this was the first time that West Rome had a male class president. The winners were Tim Key, President; Zeke Dawson, Vice-President; Jerry Coalson, Secretary, and Len Williamson, Treasurer.

You could tell that summer was on the radar: Sealtest began advertising their Lemonade, "The Cooler Summer Drink," for 29¢ per half-gallon.

Rome had a Popcorn Store? How the heck did I miss out on this?! Not only was the Popcorn Store doing business at 333A Broad Street, but they had things popping on May 3rd-5th with a three-day "buy one, get a second one for a penny" sale that included their regular popcorn, caramel corn, cheese corn, garlic corn, and more. So which Chieftains knew about this store and kept it a secret from me?...

If you were really hungry, then the Shrimp Boat was the place for you: they were offering their Combination Fisherman's Special (with fish, shrimp, deviled crab, scallops, clams, hush puppies, and french fries) for $1.94. So how did they come up with that price? Well, remember that Georgia was a 3% sales tax state in 1963, and there was no such thing as a local option sales tax, so the total price with tax would be exactly $2!

Emmy nominees were announced on May 1st; The Defenders, with E.G. Marshall, led the field with nine nominations, inclduing best series, best actor, and best dramatic series. Lucille Ball and Irene Ryan (aka Granny on Beverly Hillbillies) were nominated for outstanding actress, along with Mary Tyler Moore (The Dick Van Dyke Show) Shirley Booth (Hazel), and Shiri Conway (The Nurses). Best Actor nominees included Ernest Borgnine (McHale's Navy), Paul Burke (Naked City), E.G. Marshall (The Defenders), Vic Morrow (Combat), and Dick Van Dyke (you can probably figure out which series...). Back in the 1960s, dramatic and comedic talents competed against one another, although dramatic and comedic programs were nominated in separate categories.  The Best Comedy Series nominees were The Beverly Hillbillies, The Danny Kaye Show with Lucille Ball, The Dick Van Dyke Show, and McHale's Navy. Best Drama nominees included  Alcoa Premiere Theater, The Defenders, The Dick Powell Theater, The Eleventh Hour, and Naked City. Don't know about you, but I remember very little about any of the Best Drama nominees; my guess is they aired past this then-nine-year-old's bedtime!...

Kroger had applesauce for a dime a can, chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, and watermelons for $1 each. Piggly Wiggly offered center-sliced ham for 69¢ a pound, russet baking potatoes for a nickel a pound, and sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound. Coch's offered sirloin steak for a bargain 79¢ a pound, pork and beans for 13¢ a can, and their own specially-seasoned country sausage for 39¢ a pound. Big Apple was offering Lenox Park peanut butter for 33¢ per 12-ounce jar, Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢ for a five-pound bag, and a frozen pizza for 9¢. A&P had corn for 4¢ per ear, creamed corn for 17¢ a can, and the ever-popular ice milk for 39¢. (Whatever happened to ice milk, anyway? Did it eventually become reduced-fat ice cream?)

The DeSoto was showing Love Is a Ball (with Glenn Ford and Hope Lange) for the first half of the week, while the First Avenue had To Kill a Mockingbird (held over for an almost-unprecedented second week!) and the West Rome Drive-In had Tarzan Goes to India. For the weekend, The DeSoto brought in a double-feature of It Started With a Kiss and The Gazebo (both starring Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds… apparently Glenn Ford was a bigger deal than I remember), while the First Avenue had a double-feature of The Pleasure of His Company (with Fred Astaire and Debbie Reynolds) and All in a Night's Work (with Dean Martin & Shirley MacLaine) and the West Rome Drive-In offered It's Only Money (starring Jerry Lewis). The DeSoto was already building up interest in the new Alfred Hitchcock film opening on May 6th--an unforgettable movie called The Birds

The number one song this week in 1963 was "I Will Follow Him" by Little Peggy March; other top ten songs included "Can't Get Used to Losing You" by Andy Williams (#2); "Puff the Magic Dragon" by Peter, Paul, & Mary (#3); Pipeline" by the Chantays (#4); "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons (#5); "If You Wanna Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul (#6); "Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)" by the Cookies (#7); "Surfin' USA" by the Beach Boys (#8); "On Broadway" by The Drifters (#9); and "Watermelon Man" by the Mongo Santamaria Band (#10).

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).

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome: 4/15/63 to 4/21/63

It was a busy sports week, beginning with baseball: West Rome defeated Dalton 7-6 on Tuesday, April 16th, followed by a 3-0 loss to Calhoun on Thursday, the 18thl and a 4-1 victory over the Berry Falcons on Saturday, April 20th. The track team defeated Cedartown to bring home the trophy in the Lafayette Invitational Meet on Friday, April 19th. The West Rome golf squad extended their winning record to 3 in a row with an 18-3 victory over Rockmart; the Chieftans' top golfer was David Cox, who shot a 73.

Coach Paul Kennedy was appointed camp representative for Tellico Mountain Camp in Tennessee, a Christian youth summer camp.

West Rome added 20 new listening stations in the foreign language lab, bringing the total to 30--enough for a full class to participate at one time. The then-state-of-the-art lab included individual headsets, microphones, and controls in each listening station; a master tape system that allowed playback to be fed to any or all of the listening stations; and a central monitoring station that made it possible for teachers or lab assistants to direct the signal and monitor the microphone in each station. At the time, this was a major addition for West Rome; few schools in the state had such a sophisticated lab, and hardly any had enough stations for an entire class of students at one time.

Four students from West Rome--Barbara Keith, Carolyn Cox, Jackie Lupo, and Judi Burns--attended the Future Teachers of America state convention in Atlanta, accompanied by the club's sponsor, Mrs.Elizabeth Shellnut.

West Rome's freshmen held a dance on Friday, April 19th; the theme was "Shangri-La."

The Freshman Tri-Hi-Y chose new officers for the 1963-1964 school year; they included Jeanne Maxwell, President; Becky Wood, vice-president; Jean Jackson, secretary; Linda Camp, treasurer; Elissa Payne, community projects chairman; and Regina Swinford, school projects chairman.

Rome got its very own Studebaker Dealer this week in 1963 as Rhinehart Motor Co. opened its dealership at 903 Avenue C in Rome. Alas, the Studebaker's days were already numbered, as were the dealership's--the South Bend, Indiana Studebaker plant was destined to cease production in December of 1963.

What we'd give for prices like this today: Georgia Power announced that they were cutting electricity prices 2.1% to 1.88¢ per kilowatt-hour for 1963. Back in 1963, our average kilowatt-hour use was only about 40% of today's average, so the bills were even lower. (Of course, we have a lot more electronic distractions consuming power nowadays, don't we?)

Color TVs were getting a strong push, with Chastain's promoting its first under-$500 17" RCA Victor color television. If more utilitarian appliances were on your shopping list, a 13.7 cubic foot refrigerator freezer could be had for only $269.00 at Rhodes Furniture.

Kroger was offering 2 6-bottle cartons of Coca Cola for 49¢, center-cut pork chops for 45¢ a pound, and 10 pounds of potatoes for 49¢. Piggly Wiggly had chicken breasts for 49¢ a pound, a 24-bottle carton of Coca-Cola for 89¢, and Morton's Cream pies for only 39¢ each. Couch's had gorund beef for 39¢ a pound, Banquet ice cream for 9¢ a half-gallon, and fresh tomatoes for 19¢ a pound. Big Apple advertised top round steak for 79¢ a pound, bread for 12¢ a loaf, and Pillsbury biscuits for 8¢ a can. Big Apple countered with bacon for 33¢ a pound, Bailey's Supreme coffee for 49¢ a pound, and cabbage for a nickel a pound.

Redfords had a meal of baked ham, creamed potatoes, fresh lima beans, fresh corn, and rolls for only 50¢ per plate this week in 1963, while White Columns Steak House was promoting their 99¢ Friday night fish fry.
The Robe, which was came to the First Avenue Theater in commemoration of Easter, was held over through the first part of the post-Easter week. Other films shown during the week were It Happeneda t the World's Fair at the DeSoto and Who's Got the Action? (starring Dean Martin) at the West Rome Drive-In. The weekend brought The Iron Petticoat (starring Bob Hope and Katharine Hepburn) to the DeSoto; Divorce Italian style to the First Avenue; and a double feature of Trapeze and The Vikings to the West Rome Drive-In.

This week in 1963, we were listening to "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons (#1); "Can't Get Used to Losing You" by Andy Williams (#2); "I Will Follow Him" by Little Peggy March (#3); "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" by Peter, Paul & Mary (#4); "Baby Workout" by Jackie Wilson (#5); "Young Lovers" by Paul & Paula (#6); "South Street" by The Orlons (#7); "Don't Say Nothin' Bad (About My Baby)" by The Cookies (#8); "Pipeline" by the Chantays (#9); and "Do the Bird" by Dee De Sharp (#10).

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome: 4/8/63 to 4/14/63

One state west from here in Birmingham, Alabama, Martin Luther King Jr., Ralph Abernathy, and others were arrested in a Birmingham civil rights protest on April 12th..This is the arrest that inspired MLK's "Letter from Birmingham Jail," published a week later.

Burglary continued to be a major problem in Rome, with nine businesses--six of them on Broad Street, including Owens-King, the Diana Shop, Warner's Ready to Wear, Betty's Beauty Salon, JC Penney, and the Singer Sewing Center--suffering break-ins

Rome's employment picture continued to get better and better, coming in at 4.7% this week in 1963. There were 389 new applicants for unemployment in March of 1963, but they were able to refer 275 of these applicants to employers with job openings.

West End Elementary was beginning to look like a school, with the majority of the external construction completed this week in 1963. The school didn't have a name yet, though, being referred to by the Rome City Board of Education as the "Alabama Road Elementary School" (glad that name didn't stick!).

West Rome's baseball team suffered a loss off against Pepperell on Tuesday, April 9th, in spite of two home runs and a single from Gerry Law. This was followed by an 8-2 victory over Darlington on Wednesday, April 10th Jimmy Brewer was the star player with five hits in the game.

West Rome's Golf Team defeated Rockmart on Monday, April 8th; the Chief's teamtotal was 325, while Rockmart was well behind them at 354; West Rome's players won 17 of the 18 holes in the match. The team also participated in a four-way match against Darlington, Cedartown, and Baylor at the Coosa Country Club on Friday, April 12th.

An interesting blend of movies were waiting at Rome's theaters this week in 1963. The first half of the week offered a choice of Son of Flubber at the DeSoto, Term of Trial at the First Avenue, and Elvis Presley's Girls! Girls! Girls! at the West Rome Drive-In. Son of Flubber was so popular that it hung around for the weekend at the DeSoto, while the First Avenue brought in the appropriately-religious-themed The Robe for Easter weekend, and West Rome ran a double feature of Incident In an Alley and Beauty and the Beast.

Spring means lawn mowing, which would account for all the lawn mower ads this week in 1963. Economy Auto had a 19" Lawn Boy mower for $79.50, a self-propelled Lawn Boy for $99.95, and a 21" Lawn Boy for $94.50. Sears Had a Craftsman 19" lawn mower for $69.95 and a 21" for $89.50.

The Shrimp Boat added a fish and shrimp combination dinner with hush puppies, french fries, and tartar sauce for only 97¢, while Redford's brought back their fried chicken dinner with meat and two vegetables for 50¢; if you weren't a chicken fan, they offered country-style steak for the same price. The Aloha Restaurant offered ham as part of their Hawaiian Easter Luau on Sunday, April 14th, while the Holiday Inn offered an Easter Smorgasbord for $2.25 per plate.

Piggly Wiggly had pork chops for 39¢ a pound, turnip greens for a dime a pound, and Maxwell House Coffee for 99¢ for a two-pound can. Kroger had smoked hams on sale for 39¢ a pound for Easter, along with lamb roasts at 59¢ a pound and turkeys at 39¢ a pound. A&P had ham for only 29¢ a pound, bacon for 47¢ a pound, and eggs for 33¢ a dozen. Big Apple offerd whole hens for 35¢ a pound, fruit cocktail for 33¢ per can, nd th eever-popular pickled peaches for 29¢ a can. Couch's had chicken breasts for 49¢ a pound, ham for 39¢ a poud, and assorted Stokely canned vegetables for 29¢ each.

Enloe's was advertising 1 pound bags of Brach's Easter candy (jelly beans or bunny eggs) for 19¢ a pound, plush Easter bunnies for 77¢ each, and woven Easter baskets (empty, alas!) for 19¢ each.

The Academy Awards were presented on April 8, 1963; the big winner was Lawrence of Arabia, which won Best Picture and five other awards, while director David Lean won Best Director. Other awards went to Gregory Peck as Best Actor (for To Kill a Mockingbird--may favorite film from this year, and the film I think should have gotten the Oscar), Anne Bancroft as Best Actress (for The Miracle Worker), Ed Begley as Best Supporting Actor (for Sweet Bird of Youth), Patty Duke as Best Supporting Actress (for The Miracle Worker), Divorce, Italian Style for Best Original Screenplay, and To Kill a Mockingbird for Best Adapted Screenplay.

"He's So Fine" by the Chiffons held on to the number one position on the record charts this week in 1963. Other top ten hits included "Can't Get Used to Losing You" by Andy Williams (#2); "South Street" by the Orlons (#3); "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis (#4): "Baby Workout" by Jackie Wilson #5); "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics (#6); "I Will Follow Him" by Little Peggy March (#7); "Puff (The Magic Dragon)" by Peter, Paul, & Mary (#8); "Young Lovers" by Paul and Paula (#9); and "Do the Bird" by Dee Dee Sharp (#10).

And over in the UK, many miles from West Rome, the Beatles' single "From Me To You" was released. Americans wouldn't hear much of it until early 1964, though, when Beatlemania hit the US and the American label Vee Jay (who had the rights to the Beatles material all through 1963 but did nothing with it) finally released the single here.

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome: 4/1/63 to 4/8/63

We take automobile seat belts for granted today, but they were options in 1963--and weren't always available for every car! That's why the Rome Jaycees and H. Dean Morgan Oil Company joined forced in early April 1963 to launch a month-long Safety Belt Campaign. For $5.95 per seat, they would install safety belts in any car. Of course, these were lap belts only; it would be a few more years before safety engineers would make us all aware of the extra benefits of shoulder and seat belt combinations.

Another thing we take for granted in today's era of iPhones and unlimited long distance: almost free calling across the country. Back in 1963, this wasn't the case; rates dropped on April 4th to a mere $1 for three-minute person-to-person telephone calls placed between 9pm and 4:30am to numbers out of state. Add in your inflation multiplier and that's about $2.50 a minute!

Burglars who robbed Ledbetter Construction Company didn't have to put too much effort into gaining entrance to the building--they just crawled in through the large dog door that was left for a watch dog who, it appeared, did little more than watch as the burglars took about $7 in change from various vending machines on the property. This was the beginning of an Easter-week crime spree that led to nine break-ins over the weekend; in every case, vending machines and petty cash drawers were ransacked, but nothing else was taken.

On April 5th, Rome and Floyd County officially unveiled their coordinated bid to win a junior college for Floyd County. Their bid, which had the support of Governor Carl Sanders, led to the creation of Floyd Junior College a few years later.

And speaking of cars, annual automobile safety inspections became the law in Georgia in April 1963 when Governor Carl Sanders signed the bill into law. The new law made inspections optional in 1963 and 1964; beginning in 1965, though, they became mandatory, and remained so for almost all cars for many years.

A group of 30 volunteer mothers set up health clinic at West Rome High on April 1st, 1963. All 30 volunteers too part in a Red Cross first aid course before volunteering at the clinic, which was located in an area of the school previously designated as the "sick room." The clinic was equipped with beds, first aid kits, chairs, a desk, and a stretcher. The Junior Tri-Hi-Y, working with the Inter-Club Council, raised money to help stock the clinic. Principal Dick McPhee praised the parents for the time they put into preparing the clnic and training for its operation.

The Chieftains were defeated by Darlington in a track meet on Monday, despite some rapid running by Jerry Coalson, who broke the school record with a 2 minute 9.4 second 880-yard run, breaking Randy Watkins' 1961 West Rome record by a tenth of a second.This was  followed by another victory in a Wednesday meet against Trion and Armuchee during which Dickie Sapp won the 100 and 220-yard dashes as well as the broad jump, while Steve Rush won both hurdle events.

West Rome golfers took first place in a four-way Calliers Club confrontation with Cedartown, East Rome, and LaFayette on Tuesday, led by Buddy Copeland's 75 and David Cox's 76, helping West Rome rack up a 330 team score, which was 11 stories better than 2nd place Cedartown, 16 strokes better than East Rome, and 54 strokes better than LaFayette.

West Rome's 100-member marching band hit the road at 5:45 PM Thursday, April 4th, heading to Washington DC to take part in the annual Cherry Blossom Festival. The band members took a bus to Atlanta, where they departed by train for Washington; while there, they toured the Bureau of Printing and Engraving to see how money is printed (alas, no free samples), the Museum of Natural History, the Smithsonian Institute, the Washington Cathedral, the Washington Zoo, Ford's Theatre, the Lincoln Museum, and a Franciscan monastery.

Grocery bargain hunters could find chicken breasts for 49¢ a pound at Piggly Wiggly, along with cabbage for a nickel a pound or a carton of 6 regular or king-size Cokes for 19¢. Kroger had smoked picnic hams for 29¢ a pound, potatoes for 39¢ for a ten-pound bag, and tomatoes for 19¢ a pound. Big Apple had turkeys for 37¢ a pound, sugar for 39¢ for a 5 pound bag, and sirloin stark for a bargain price of 23¢ for a 5 ounce steak. Couch's had spareribs for 39¢ a pound, the ever-popular Armour Treet for 39¢ a can (am I wrong, or is this imitation Spam?), and bacon for 33¢ a pound.

New Diet-Rite Cola was the subject of a heavy marketing push this week in 1963. "Only 1 calorie per serving! Full, rich cola flavor! No sugar at all! No extra cost! It's the stay-slim refreshment! Drink All you like--like all you drink!" Coke would follow suit later in the year with Tab, their cola soft drink. (Both Diet-Rite and Tab were sweetened with cyclamates way back in the 1960s; when that artificial sweetener was banned in 1969, saccharin took its place.)

Romans' cinematic options in the first half of the week included The Courtship of Eddie's Father at the DeSoto; Boccaccio '70 at the First Avenue; and a double feature of Hero's Island and The Best of Enemies at the West Rome Drive-In. The weekend movie options included Love in a Goldfish Bowl and Breakfast at Tiffany's at the DeSoto; Cairo at the First Avenue; and a quadruple feature of Red Hot Wheels, Deadly Duo, Checkpoint, and Excuse My Dust  (all racing movies) at the West Rome Drive-In.

Some great music made the Top Ten this week in 1963, including "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons (#1--and it was so good that George Harrison unwittingly "borrowed" from it 6 1/2 years later for "My Sweet Lord"), "Our Day Will Come" by Ruby and the Romantics (#2), "The End of the World" by Skeeter Davis (#3); "South Street" by the Orlons (#4); "Can't Get Used to Losing You" by Andy Williams (#5); "Baby Workout" by Jackie Wilson (#6); "In Dreams" by Roy Orbison (*#7); "You're the Reason I'm Living" by Bobby Darin (#8); "Rhythm of the Rain" by the Cascades (#9); and "Young Lovers" by Paul and Paula (#10).