Sunday, March 30, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/30/1964 to 4/5/1964

What game show began its television run on March 30th, 1964? That's right, Jeopardy premiered on NBC fifty years ago this week. In those pre-Alex Trebek days, Art Fleming was the host of the show, while the esteemed Don Pardo was the announcer. Jeopardy was created by Merv Griffin, who also composed all the  music for the show, including the famous "Think" clip the plays while contestants complete their answers--royalties from that song, which was originally a lullaby Grifffin wrote for his son, earned Griffin more than $70 million during his lifetime.

West Rome kicked off its baseball season under the direction of Coach Nick Hyder on April 3rd with a game against Montgomery Bell Academy; alas, the Chiefs lost the game 8-4.

Track season also got underway on April 3rd, with Paul Kennedy coaching the team; alas, that season also began with a West Rome loss--in this case, to Berry Academy, 66 to 63.

West Rome's Tri-Hi-Y began weekly visits to the Open Door Home to help children with their homework; this was one of several service projects the group undertook in 1963-64, including sportsmanship campaigns, lunchroom cleanliness programs, and fundraising to purchase equipment for both the math and science departments.

Meanwhile, on April 1st, the West Rome Hi-Y presented a play, "Youth Takes a Stand," which consisted of scenes that illustrated various points of the Hi-Y platform, including scholarship, clean speech, clean living, and sportsmanship.

Lee Lanes Bowling Center on East Fourth Avenue burned to the ground on April 2nd, 1964; firemen were unable to save the structure, although they did control the flames before they did major damage to the adjacent Ransom Florist Company and the Southern Bell Building.

Automobile ad valorum taxes and car tag fees weren't linked to birthdays back in 1964; instead, everyone had to pay their taxes and buy their tags by April 1st, so the Floyd County tax commissioner was warning procrastinating taxpayers to be prepared for long waits in line as the deadline approached.

The Girl Scouts began their cookie sales on April 2nd, 1964, continuing through April 11th; the cookies sold for 50¢ a box (which was up a dime from the 1963 price of 40¢), and the Girl Scout troops got to keep a nickel per box to fund their activities. Five varieties of cookies were offered in 1964: mint (they had not been renamed "Thin Mints" yet), chocolate and vanilla mixed sandwich cremes, butter flavored Shorties, peanut butter, and fudge creme.

Piggly Wiggly had bananas for a dime a pound, chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, and Lady Alice ice milk for 33¢ a half gallon. Kroger had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, Coke or Tab for 19¢ (plus deposit) per carton, and pork & beans for a dime a can. Big Apple had fresh dressed hens for a quarter a pound, iceberg lettuce for 19¢ a head, and three pound bags of Winesap apples for 39¢. A&P had pork sausage for 33¢ a pound, bread for 19¢ a loaf, and a ten pound bag of russet potatoes for 49¢. Couch's had Armour Star bacon for 49¢ a pound, two dozen large eggs for 89¢, and Martha White biscuit mix for a dime a package (mmm... breakfast!).

Cleopatra continued at the First Avenue Theater this week in '64, while Walt Disney's Merlin Jones wrapped up its run at the DeSoto in the first half of the week. The last half of the week saw the premiere of  Captain Newman, MD (with Gregory Peck, Tony Curtis, and Angie Dickinson) at the DeSoto, while the West Rome Drive-In brought in  Mary Mary (a 1963 film with Debbie Reynolds) and Wall of Noise (a 1963 film with Suzanne Pleshette & Ty Hardin) for their weekend showings--and as those dates prove, the West Rome Drive-In wasn't necessarily scheduling the latest, greatest films!

While the Beatles relinquished their hold on the top four spots in the Top Ten Songs list, they boosted their presence on the list as a fifth Beatles song, "Can't Buy Me Love," made it to number one this week in 1964. Other top ten hits included "Twist and Shout" by the Beatles (#2); "Suspicion" by Terry Stafford (#3); "She Loves You" by the Beatles (#4); "Hello, Dolly!" by Louis Armstrong (#5); "Shoop Shoop Song" by Betty Everett (#6); "I Want to Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles (#7); "Glad All Over" by the Dave Clark Five (#8); "Please Please Me" by the Beatles (#9); and "Don't Let the Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man)" by the Serendipity Singers (#10). The Beatles continued to hold the top two places on the album charts with Meet the Beatles and Introducing the Beatles.

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