Monday, June 09, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 6/8/1964 to 6/14/1964

June got off to a scorching start, with temperatures in the mid-90s from June 8th through June 11th before a cool front brought the highs down to the more tolerable mid-80s, with no significant rain in the forecast. It's funny--I remember summers being cooler and more tolerable back then than they are now, but weather reports show us that there was no shortage of hot weather in the 1960s. Even though our only air conditioner was in the living room, I never remembered the summer nights as being too intolerable--although I did sleep with a box fan about a foot away from my head through most of the summer!

Coach Paul Kennedy led the Rome Track Club to a  third-place finish in the Summer Championship Track & Field Tournament held in Knoxville, Tennessee. Chieftain Dickie Sapp placed third in the broad jump at this event that involved schools from Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama.

While all of us students were out of school for the summer, teachers were busy furthering their education. Several West Rome teachers attended summer classes under a variety of advanced study grants and scholarships, including Ronald Midkiff (John Hay fellowship to Northwestern University), Susie Underwood (math seminar at Columbia University, Lucille Smiderski (Reynolds economic education workshop at the University of North Carolina), Eugene Mann (economic education workshop at the University of Georgia), Mr. J.N. Finley  (economic education workshop at the University of Georgia), Mrs. J.N. Finley (National Science Foundation seminar at the University of Georgia), Owen Blanton (scholarship grant to University of Georgia), and our principal Dick McPhee (scholarship grant to University of Georgia). I don't think we realized how much time our teachers spend studying over the summer to improve our educational opportunities!

Sears ran a tire special this week in 1964, offering two of the most common tire sizes for only $14.93 per tire--and that included mounting and balancing! "These tires will fit 65% of all non-compact cars on the road," Sears proclaimed in their ad.

Here's the sort of promotion that's a kid's dream and a parent's nightmare: Cooper's Shoes was holding a drawing to win a free pony (complete with bridle and saddle) on June 13th, no purchase necessary. I wonder how many parents deliberately avoided Cooper Shoes for the entire week to ensure that their kids weren't the "lucky" winners?

Rome actually had its very own Renault dealer in 1964 (Gold Seal Motors on North Second Avenue), and they unveiled the new Renault with a fully automatic electronic push-button transmission in June of 1964. Romans could buy a 40-mile-per-gallon Renault with the new transmission for only $1500, and that included a compete 12 month/12,000 mile warranty.

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 29¢ a pound, cantaloupes for 39¢ each, and blueberries for 39¢ a pint. Kroger had pork chops for 47¢ a pound, Tide detergent for 59¢ for a "giant box," and Kroger brand loaf bread for a nickel a loaf. Big Star had a 5-pound back of Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢, ground beef for 33¢ a pound, and corn for 8¢ an ear. A&P had Duke's mayonnaise for 39¢ a quart, sirloin steak for 79¢ a pound, and lettuce for a dime a head. Couch's had Pillsbury biscuits for a nickel a can, bananas for a dime a pound, and stew beef for 19¢ a pound.

James Bond's visit to Rome didn't last very long at all: From Russia With Love continued for the first half of the week at the DeSoto, but it was replaced in mid-week by Viva Las Vegas (with Elvis Presley & Ann Margret). The two-week run of Tom Jones (the film, not the singer) at the First Avenue ended mid-week, with Never Put It in Writing (with Pat Boone) taking its place for the last half of the week. The West Rome Drive-in was showing Walt Disney's The Horse With the Flying Tail (with Angela Lansbury) and The Castilian (with Cesar Romero & Frankie Avalon)—and their quarter-a-carload Tuesday promotion continued, for those who wanted to see mediocre movies at a bargain price.

The number one song this week in 1964 was "Chapel of Love" by the Dixie Cups. Other top ten hits included "A World Without Love" by Peter & Gordon (#2); "I Get Around" by the Beach Boys (#3); "Love Me With All Your Heart" by the Ray Charles Singers (#4); "My Boy Lollipop" by Millie Small (#5); "Walk on By" by Dionne Warwick (#6); "Love Me Do" by the Beatles (#7); "People" by Barbra Streisand (#8); "Do't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" by Gerry & the Pacemakers (#9); and "Diane" by the Bachelors.

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