Saturday, January 11, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/13/1964 to 1/19/1964

Rome began this week in 1964 with a hard freeze as temperatures hit degrees on January 13th, with snow falling across parts of Rome and Floyd County; the weather was not enough to close schools in Rome, but several counties around us did close school or send students home early. After rising on Tuesday and Wednesday, temperatures fell into the teens and twenties again on Thursday night, but once again snow and sleet missed Rome (other than a few flurries). Of course, that meant that students (and teachers) hoping for a snow day were disappointed not once but twice in the same week!

One of Rome's oldest funeral homes, Stevens-Davenport  at 7 East 6th Avenue, was damaged by a fire in the early morning hours of January 13th. Stevens-Davenport, while not located in West Rome, served many West Rome families in their hours of need. Thankfully, most of the damage was confined to the upper floor; Leon Stevens said that the business would continue to operate while cleanup and repairs took place.

Chieftains with plans to attend Berry College had to dig a little deeper into their pockets: the school announced a tuition increase, with full charges (which included room, board, laundry, medical, activity, and tuition costs) increased to $475 per quarter, while day student charges (which included tuition and activity fees only) increased to $212 per quarter. (Yes, it sounds pretty cheap--but don't forget that inflation multiplier of approximately 7.5 to figure out what that equates today in 2014 dollars!)

The Chieftains defeated Lafayette's basketball team 55-40 on January 17th, extending their winning season. Maybe that's why it wasn't too much of a surprise that the Atlanta Journal tapped West Rome as number four in Georgia's Top 10 AA basketball teams--one of two Rome/Floyd County teams on the list from any region, and the only AA team from Rome/Floyd County.

West Rome's wrestlers ventured to Marietta to take on Sprayberry on Tuesday, January 14th, winning seven matches to five. (That was a long drive back in the 1960s, before I-75 was opened; the Chieftains bus had to travel all the way down US 41 to the intersection of 41 and Allgood Road--where the Walker School in Marietta is located today--because that's where Sprayberry was located in 1964.)

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steaks for 89¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and Swift's bacon for 29¢ a pound. A&P had chuck roast for 35¢ a pound, apples for 49¢ per ten-pound bag, and fruit cocktail for 23¢ a can. Kroger had pork steaks for 49¢ a pound, Kroger brand pork and beans for a dime a can, and carrots for 15¢ a bunch. Big Apple had smoked picnic ham for 29¢ a pound, Bailey's Supreme Coffee for 49¢ per one-pound bag, and fresh beef liver for 19¢ a pound (and that probably explains why liver and onions was a regular menu item at my house!). Couch's had first cut pork chops for 39¢ a pound, peach halves for 29¢ a can, and Blue Plate Peanut Butter for 29¢ per 12-ounce jar.

If you wanted to catch a movie during the first half of the week, your choices were Wall of Noise (with Suzanne Pleshette & Ty Hardin) at the First Avenue and Move Over Darling (with Doris Day & James Garner) at the DeSoto. The last half of the week brought Kings of the Sun (with Yul Brynner & George Chakiris) to the First Avenue, while Move Over Darling continued at the Desoto (new movie day in Rome was Wednesday back in the 1960s, not Friday). The West Rome Drive-In's weekend-only offerings included The Far County with James Stewart & Ruth Roman (a ten-year old movie that originally screened in 1954… obviously the drive-in's management realized that no one was going to drive-in to watch a movie!) and The Great Imposter with Tony Curtis & Edmond O'Brien (a three-year-old film that premiered in 1961).

The number one song this week in 1964 was "There! I've Said It Again" by Bobby Vinton. Other top ten hits included "Louie Louie" by the Kingsmen (#2); "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles, who made their premiere top ten appearance in the US this week in 1964 all the way at #3; "Surfin' Bird" by the Trashmen (#4); "Popsicles & Icicles" by the Murmaids (#5); "Out of Limits" by the Marketts (#6); "Hey Little Cobra" by the Rip Chords (#7); "Forget Him" by Bobby Rydell (#8); "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" by Major Lance (#9); and "As Usual" by Brenda Lee (#10).

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