Friday, April 18, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 4/20/1964 to 4/26/1964

After a cool, soggy beginning, spring warmed up in a hurry, with temperatures hitting the mid-80s by April 20th and continuing in that range for most of the week.  Following the snow, ice, and rain (with subsequent flooding) that marked the first three months of the year, not too many people were complaining, even though most of us didn't have central heat or air back then.

Kids Day 1964 was held at West Rome on April 22nd; for those who don't remember this offbeat event, West Rome Teen Beat correspondent Tony Ledwell described it as being "for the seniors; it's their last fling at being a 'little brat' before leaving school days and childhood behind. All-day suckers, child clothing, and illegal water guns are always present during this tradition-filled day that was started many years ago at Rome High." The highlight of the day was an assembly program consisting of musical numbers and skits, along with a costume contest for the most original child clothing (the winners were David Hendrix and Anita Boatwright).

West Rome's chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes was organized in April 1964; almost three dozen boys were on hand for the first meeting.

West Rome's Hi-Y elected its 1964-65 officers. Jack Collum was elected president; Len Willingham, vice-president; David Godfrey, secretary; Tom McMahan, treasurer; and Charles Smith, chaplain.

Chris Lawler was West Rome's representative at Georgia Tech's meeting of the Georgia Society of Professional Engineers on April 24th and 25th.

Four esteemed members of West Rome's faculty—Mrs. Underwood, Mrs. Smiderski, Mrs. Finley, and Mr. Finley— were awarded study grants for summer continuing education. Meanwhile,  Mr. Midkiff received a John Hay Fellowship to attend Northwestern University.

We tend to think that McDonald's has been around forever, but Rome's first McDonald's (at 1504 Turner McCall Boulevard, in the heart of Gladiator territory) opened this week in 1964. "You'll find dining at McDonald's one of the good things in life," the ad touted. "Everything is so inviting... so convenient... so spotlessly clean. The service is instant and friendly. The food is the best of the best--prepared to your taste right before your own eyes... Plenty of parking... no car hops... no tipping--just the tastiest food in town at prices that please!"

The baseball season continued to prove mixed for the Chiefs, with the team winning 9-8 against Model on April 20th, then losing 1-0 to Calhoun on April 21st. This put Calhoun in first lace for the sub-region--a position that would have gone to West Rome had they been able to pull out a win.

Alas, the golf team fared no better, losing to arch-rival East Rome on April 21st, in spite an outstanding performance by Louie Akins, who managed to post an even-par 70 at the Callier Springs match.

West Rome's track team posted a win at a three-way track meet, defeating Armuchee and Calhoun with 85 1/2 points, which was more than twice the number of points the second place Armuchee team racked up. Ste Holland set a school record in the 220-yard dash, while Jerry Coalson broke his own record in the 880-yard run and Wayne White broke his own mark in the shot. 

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, Sealtest ice cream for 69¢ a half gallon, and JFG coffee for 59¢ a pound. A& P had 2 pounds of Allgood bacon for 79¢, Ann Page tomato soup for a dime a can, and winesap apples for 13¢ a pound. Kroger had five pounds of sugar for 49¢, corn for 6¢ an ear, and smoked hams for 39¢ a pound. Big Apple had 25 pounds of Best Biscuit flour for $1.79, celery for a dime a bunch, and a pound of flounder filets for 49¢. Couch's had an 18-ounce jar of Blue Plate peanut butter for 29¢, Stokely's cream-style corn for 17¢ a can, and chicken breaset for 49¢ a pound.

The cinematic week began with Dr. Strangelove at the DeSoto and Flight from Ashiya at the First Avenue, both continuing from the end of the prior week. The mid-week movie change brought Sunday in New York (with Cliff Robertson & Jane Fonda) to the DeSoto Theater and Shock Treatment (with Carol Lynley, Roddy McDowall, & Lauren Bacall) to the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In continued its weekends-only policy with a showings of Captain Newman MD (with Gregory Peck & Tony Curtis) on Friday and Saturday nights.

The number one song this week was "Can't Buy Me Love" by the Beatles, who also had the #3 song ("Do You Want to Know a Secret?") and the #7 song ("Twist and Shout"). Other top ten its included "Hello Dolly!" by Louis Armstrong (#2); "Bits and Pieces" by the Dave Clark Five (#4); "My Guy" by Mary Wells (#5); "Don't Let the Rain Come Down (Crooked Little Man)" by the Serendipity Singers (#6); "Suspicion" by Terry Stafford (#8); "Dead Man's Curve" by Jan & Dean (#9); and "Ronnie" by the Four Seasons (#10).

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