Saturday, March 15, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/16/1964 to 3/22/1964

Rome began this week in 1964 with floods following heavy rains on Saturday and Sunday; the Division Street underpass was totally flooded, as were the Paris Drive bridge and Williamson Street bridge over the creek that paralleled Conn Street. Furthermore, many Conn Street houses had to deal with flooded back yards, while the Oostanaula rose to three feet above flood stage. Thankfully, waters receded rapidly and everything was passable by late Monday evening.

West Rome continued to play an important role in community health as the Floyd Health Department conducted tuberculin tests at West Rome High School. Almost 900 students and teachers were tested for tuberculosis; the tests were offered at the requests of West Rome faculty and parents.

Dr. Charles Whitworth, Academic Dean of Shorter College, spoke to the West Rome Tri-Hi-Y clubs on Tuesday morning, March 17th, on the subject of personal integrity.

Thirty West Rome juniors took the National Merit qualifying test, while eighty-seven freshmen and sophomores took the National Educational Development Test.

Apparently Rome was a virtual hotbed of crime in the early 1960s: thieves broke into the Floyd County Tax Commissioner's office in the Floyd County Courthouse on the night of October 17th, tearing open the vault and stealing almost $10,000 in cash from tax payments. The robbers spent several hours breaking open the vault and punching the safe open, according to investigator Bill Hart. "This was no amateur job; they knew what they were doing," Hart said.

Meanwhile, police engaged in a  high-speed chase down Elm Street and Shorter Avenue  in the early morning hours of March 18th, ultimately stopping three men who had been pursuing a Rome housewife who was en route to pick up her husband at an industrial plant. All three men were arrested; no motive for their actions was given. "It's a good thing this didn't happen a few hours later, when children were on their way to Elm Street Elementary," one officer said.

Paul Harvey paid a visit to Rome on March 17th, broadcasting both his morning and mid-day radio programs from Rome's WIYN studios. The entirety of both programs focused on a salute to Rome and Floyd County.

Talk about supporting your local businesses: Sterchi's Furniture was running a special on a five-piece colonial oak living room suite (a settee, a mating wing chair, a cocktail table, and two end tables) for $219.00--and the furniture was made in Rome at Fox Manufacturing's Furniture Division! 

Piggly Wiggly had first cut pork chops for 39¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and a carton of 6 or 10-ounce Coca Cola for 19¢ plus deposit. Kroger has canned biscuits for a nickel each, whole fryers for 23¢ a pound, and Spotlight coffee for 55¢ a pound. Big Apple had five pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 49¢, chuck roast for 37¢ a pound, and Morton salt for a dime a box. A&P had rib steaks for 89¢ a pound, oranges for 49¢ per five-pound bag, and Hydrox cookies (to me, these were Oreos imitators--but to Hydrox die-hards, Oreos were the imitators) for 33¢ a box. Couch's had Poss Brunswick stew for 49¢ per 24-ounce can, Blue Plate mayonnaise for 49¢ a quart, and barbecue-cut pork steak for 39¢ a pound.

Cleopatra continued for a second week at the First Avenue for a second week, while the DeSoto offered Sword in the Stone for the first half of the week and Kissin' Cousins (with Elvis Presley) for the last half of the week. The West Rome Drive-In's weekend offering was Move Over, Darling (with Doris Day, James Garner, and Polly Bergen).

The Beatles continued to control the Top Ten charts this week in 1964: they held the top four positions with "She Loves You" (#1), "I Want to Hold Your Hand" (#2), "Please Please Me" (#3), and "Twist and Shout" (#4). Other songs on the charts included "Fun Fun Fun" by the Beach Boys (#5); "Dawn (Go Away)" by the Four Seasons (#6); "Java" by Al Hirt (#7); "Hello, Dolly" by Louis Armstrong (#8); "My Heart Belongs to Only You" by Bobby Vinton (#9); and "Kissin' Cousins" by Elvis Presley (#10--and this was the title song to the film that opened in Rome the same week the song made it into the charts). The Beatles also held first and second place in the album charts with Meet the Beatles and Introducing the Beatles.


paul howley said...

I'm not trying to be annoying, but you might want to edit this phrase: "A&P had rib steaks for 889¢ a pound"...Paul Howley

Cliff Biggers said...

No annoyance at all, Paul--thanks for catching it!

paul howley said...

Cliff: If you ever get a chance to read MY blog...PLEASE give me a "heads up" on my spelling mistakes!...(I know you'll enjoy some of it. You and I are the same age, have many of the same interests, and I also own a comic book store!)