Saturday, February 08, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/10/1964 to 2/16/1964

The Rome Board of Education continued to talk with the Floyd County School System about merging the two systems. However, in an almost unheard-of move, the board decided to get input from teachers to see what they thought before going any further. The School Board also talked about ending its individual teacher retirement program (which was administered as part of the city's retirement system) and instead havng the teachers join the state retirement system.

Fifteen members of the West Rome High School band attended the Seventh District Band Clinic in Cartersville on Saturday, February 15th. The attendees included Derell Brookshire, Travis Payne, Lucia Oldham, John Butler, Virginia Freeman, Jean Jackson, David Godfrey, Betty Bright, Nelson Payne, Kay Doss, Henry Kennedy, Dick Thompson, Franklin Stover, Patti Tolbert, and Len Willingham.

At least the holdup man was well-dressed: A Thriftway service station at Avenue C and North Fifth Avenue was robbed at gunpoint by a well-groomed man dressed in a dark suit and tie. The robber then forced the service station attendant to drive him just past West Rome High School on the Alabama Road, where he met up with an acomplice and escaped. The robber got away with $2300.00... (Apparently service stations did better than I thought back then!)

After tallying all the numbers, the Floyd County Medical Society announced that almost 47,000 Rome and Floyd County residents received the first in a series of three polio oral vaccines administered at area schools (including West Rome High School). Today, we think of polio as an illness from a bygone era, but in 1964 it was still a significant concern. And of course, the use of area schools as "clinic sites" for administering the vaccines just underscores the important community role played by schools at this time.

Murphy's brought back their fried chicken breast dinner on Friday and Saturday nights; the 69¢ dinner included mashed potatoes, peas or green beans, a minted pear half on lettuce, and hot rolls with butter.  (Pear halves... another regular addition to our menu back in the 1960s, both at home and in the school cafeteria.  Wonder why they fell out of popularity?) Meanwhile, the Holiday End brought back their Sunday smorgasbord, where residents could "eat all you want as long as you want!" for $1.94 per person (half-price for children under 12), choosing from over a hundred varieties of food.

Marshall Jackson Motors announced their big winter sale,which included a 1964 Dodge 330 two-door for only $2135.00; for this price, the buyer got a car with a heater and a defroster, two seat belts, and anti-freeze in the radiator (I had no idea that these weren't always included!). In addition Marshall Jackson included a one-year $100 deductible comprehensive insurance plan!

Piggly Wiggly had pork chops for 39¢ a pound, Coca-Cola for 89¢ per 24-bottle case (plus deposit, of course!), and Ritz crackers for 33¢ a box. Kroger had Starkist tuna for a quarter a can, cabbage for a dime a head, and Campbell's tomato soup  (one of my favorites back in 1964, and still one of my favorites today!) for a dime a can. A&P had shank portion hams for 29¢ a pound, ten pounds of potatoes for 39¢, and Marvel ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon (Why do we never see ice milk nowadays? Is the old ice milk the same think as today's reduced fat ice cream?). Big Apple had Dixie Crystals sugar for 59¢ for a five-pound bag, grapefruit for 9¢ each, and fresh fryer breast for 39¢ a pound. Couch's had Southern Maid all-meat wieners for 39¢ a pound, Green Giant creamed corn for 15¢ a can, and Uncle Tom's Brunswick Stew for 49¢ a can.

The cinema week began with The Incredible Journey (the Disney dogs-and-cat film) at the DeSoto and A New Kind of Love (with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward) at the First Avenue. The weekend brought Strait-Jacket (with Joan Crawford) to the First Avenue, Man's Favorite Sport (with Rock Hudson and Paula Prentiss) to the DeSoto, and a double feature of Black Gold and The Three Stooges Go Around the World in a Daze to the West Rome Drive-In.

The Ed Sullivan Show was once again on everyone's  Sunday night must-view list as the Beatles made their second live appearance on February 16th. The Beatles performed six songs: "She Loves You," "This Boy," "All My Loving," "I Saw Her Standing There," "From Me to You," and "I Want to Hold Your Hand." While the February 9th performance took place in the Studio 50 Theatre in New York, the second performance was broadcast from the Deauville Hotel in Miami. The show, which one again drew 70 million viewers, was so popular that it was rerun on Thursday night, February 20th.

The Beatles took the top two positions in the musical Top Ten this week in 1964 with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" in first place and "She Loves You" in second. Other top ten hits included "Dawn (Go Away)" by the Four Seasons (#3); "You Don't Own Me" by Lesley Gore (#4); "Java" by Al Hirt (#5); "Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um" by Major Lance (#6); "Hey Little Cobra" by the Rip Chords (#7); "California Sun" by the Rivieras (#8); "What Kind of Fool Do You Think I Am" by the Tams (#9); and "Navy Blue" by Diane Renay (#10).

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