Saturday, March 22, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/23/1964 to 3/29/1964

Rome received over 6" of rain on Wednesday evening, March 25, and Thursday morning, March 26th; as a result creek, rivers and streams all over the area flooded, and electrical service was disrupted to some homes. The floodwaters crested at 30.6 feet, just  1.4 feet below the level where massive evacuations would have been necessitated. An East Rome High student died when the car in which she was riding was trapped in floodwaters on a low-lying road connecting Berry Academy and the Berry College campus.

West Rome's 1964 football team made its debut at the spring Green and White intra-squad game, held at Barron Stadium on March 26th. The junior varsity game began at 6:30, with the varsity team playing at 8:00; the junior and senior bands performed at halftimes and between the games. More than 1600 people showed up to watch the games, in spite of the prior night's heavy rains, followed by near-freezing temperatures on Thursday evening. The White team defeated the Green 7-0 on a 51-yard run by Dickie Sapp. Coach Kennedy was less than impressed with the overall performance, saying "I guess we made every mistake in the book, but then again that's what spring games are for—to find your mistakes and correct them."

The West Rome Honor Society was selected The Most Outstanding Chapter in Georgia at the State Honor Society, marking the third time in four years that the Chieftains took home the top Honor Society ranking. Jackie Lupo, a junior, was elected state recording secretary for the 1964-65 term; Mrs. Elliott, West Rome Honor Society advisor, was chosen state sponsor; and West Rome principal Dick McPhee was chosen as Georgia Chairman of the state chapter of the National Honor Society.

The Chieftains Chorus girls ensemble performed "Child Jesus in His Garden" as part of the First Presbyterian Church's Holy Week service.

The sub-freshman Tri-Hi-Y sponsored the second annual Teen Talk at West Rome on Thursday morning, March 26th; Garden Lakes Baptist Church pastor Robert Rutledge spoke on the subject of alcoholism. The Senior Tri-Hi-Y kicked off their Better Citizenship campaign.

Remember those chapel programs that we always looked forward to (because they got us out of class!)? Well, one such program was held at West Rome on Wednesday, March 25th, featuring a performance by the Brass Choir of Jacksonville State College. 

West Rome's Pizza King added kosher sandwiches to its menu this week in 1964, offering  a choice of corned beef or pastrami for 75¢ each, grilled Swiss cheese for 35¢, or the Court Jester (with four meats and three cheeses) for 85¢. And if that wasn't cheap enough, they also added a Monday Family Night discount of 20% off on all orders. (I couldn't figure out how it was that I never knew about Pizza King, since it wasn't that far from my house--but I had not yet discovered the joys of pizza back in March of 1964, and by the time I had, Pizza King was no longer around.)

Southern Airways announced plans to provide  Rome with four flights daily, taking over the routes that Eastern Airlines had announced that it was abandoning. The plan would include two multi-stop flights each day from Atlanta to Rome to Huntsville to Memphis, and two flights back from Memphis to Huntsville to Rome to Atlanta.

Kennedy half-dollars went into circulation on March 24th; 26 million of the coins were minted initially, replacing the Benjamin Franklin half-dollar that had been the norm from April 1948 until the end of 1963.

An Easter tradition in the 1960s that has long since been abandoned Murphy's was offering free live baby chicks for Easter; the only requirement was that you purchase a 15¢ bag of feed at the same time.

Piggly Wiggly had Swift's Butterball turkeys for 43¢ a pound, a dozen eggs for 39¢, and fresh-baked apple or cherry pies for 59¢ each. A&P had sugar-cured hams for 39¢ a pound, red potatoes for a dime a pound, and Nabisco saltines for 29¢ a box. Kroger had young hen turkeys for 35¢ a pound, strawberries for 33¢ a pint, and a one-pound bag of those ever-popular Brach's jelly beans for 29¢. Big Apple had fresh fryers for a quarter a pound, sweet potatoes for 18¢ a pound, and t-bone or sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound. Couch's had pork roast for 39¢ a pound, Green Giant green beans for 19¢ a can, and Blue Plate mayonnaise for 49¢ a quart.

Rome's week at the cinema began with Elvis Presley's Kissin' Cousins at the DeSoto and Elizabeth Taylor's Cleopatra at the First Avenue. Cleopatra's reign continued through the weekend as well, but Elvis said farewell to Rome in mid-week to make room for the Walt Disney film The Misadventures of Merlin Jones. The West Rome Drive-In continued its weekends-only screenings with a shoring of Take Her, She's Mine with James Stewart & Sandra Dee.

The Beatles held on to the top four positions for year another week, with "She Loves You," "I Want to Hold Your Hand," "Twist and Shout," and "Please Please Me" in first, second, third, and fourth. Other top ten hits for the week included ""Dawn Go Away" by the Four Seasons (#5); "Fun Fun Fun" by the Beach Boys (#6); "Hello Dolly" by Louis Armstrong (#7); "My Heart Belongs to You" by Bobby Vinton (#8); "Java" by Al Hirt (#9); and "Hi Heel Sneakers" by Tommy Tucker (#10). The Beatles also held the top two album positions for yet another week with Meet the Beatles and Introducing the Beatles.

No comments: