Saturday, October 04, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/5/1964 to 10/11/1964

Hurricane Hilda dumped more than four inches of rain on Rome on Sunday night and Monday morning, leading to a number of accidents resulting in almost two dozen injuries. The situation was made worse by strong winds that topped out at forty miles per hour. Even though the creek behind Conn Street was dredged earlier in the summer, it was unable to handle the heavy rain in such a short period of time, and once again homes along Conn Street, Paris Drive, and Williamson Street had to deal with flooded yards and closed roads.

Judge J.D. Maddox, president of the Rome/Floyd County Chamber of Commerce, said that he had met with the Georgia Board of Regents and was confident that, if Rome approved a bond issue for road improvements, a Floyd County junior college would be approved in 1965. As we know, his confidence was justified—Rome did pass that bond issue, and Floyd Junior College was approved.

The Chieftains travelled to Kingsport, Tennessee, to take on one of the toughest teams in all of Tennessee—a team that racked up an 89-0 win in its previous week's game!  While West Rome performed much better in their game, they still lost to Kingsport 20-6.

Someone stole almost 1500 pounds of dynamite from a storage building off Horseleg Creek Road on Monday, October 5th. Within 48 hours, Bill Hart and other Rome detectives had tracked 250 pounds of the dynamite to a Cartersville location. Police continued to look for the remainder of the explosives.

Two West Rome boys (their names withheld because they were minors) were arrested after engaging in a high-speed race down Shorter Avenue to Division Street on Sunday evening, October 11th. The vehicles were clocked at more than 115 miles per hour; one was caught fairly quickly, but the other vehicle with two youths in it attempted to flee the scene. The boys were caught after police shot out the tires on the car.

This was the week when Standard Oil stations in Rome and across the country began the transition to Chevron gasoline... a name change that would eventually see the stations also renamed from Standard Oil to Chevron. To celebrate the name change, Rome's Standard Oil stations offered gasoline for 29.9¢ per gallon.

As Rome and Floyd County continued to grow, Floyd Hospital took initial steps for yet another addition—this one adding sixty beds to the 250-bed hospital.

The push was on for color television, but Rome's electronics dealers weren't willing to give up on black-and-white quite yet. B&L Appliance & TV Center ran a World Series special: a 23" Westinghouse contemporary console black-and-white TV for $259.95 or an 23" Westinghouse Early American black-and-white console for $339.95—and the price on both televisions would be reduced by a dollar for every run scored in the third game of the World Series. Sears countered with their own Silvertone 23" console black-and-white TV for $198 during World Series week, or a 21" color console for $398.

Americans had a chance to watch the opening ceremonies of the Tokyo Oympics on October 10th, thanks to the newly launched Syncom 3 geosynchronous broadcast satellite. This was the first time in history that Olympic ceremonies were broadcast live around the world.

Piggly Wiggly had center cut pork chops for 59¢ a pound, Swift's premium wieners for 39¢ a pound, and Blue Plate mayonnaise for 39¢ for a one-quart jar. Kroger had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, Rath bacon for 63¢ a pound, and red grapes for 13¢ a pound. Big Apple had red delicious apples for 12¢ a pound, T-bone steaks for 79¢ a pound, and chicken livers for a quarter a pound. A&P had beef liver for 29¢ a pound, large eggs for 43¢ a dozen, and canned biscuits for 9¢ a can. Couch's had pork roast for 39¢ a pound,  Duncan Hines cake mix for 33¢ a box, and yellow onions for a nickel a pound.

The cinematic week began with I'd Rather Be Right (with Sandra Dee, Robert Goulet, and Andy Williams) at the DeSoto and A Shot in the Dark (with Peter Sellers and Elke Summer) at the First Avenue.  The mid-week movie change-up brought The Secret Invasion (with Stewart Granger & Mickey Rooney) to the First Avenue, Of Human Bondage (with Kim Novak & Laurence Harvey) to the DeSoto, and Too Late Blues (with Bobby Darin & Stella Stevens) at the West Rome Drive-In (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday only, since the drive-in was closed from Sunday through Wednesday nights).

The number one song this week in 1964 was "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" by Manfred Mann. Other top ten hits included "Dancing in the Street" by Martha & the Vandellas; "Pretty Woman" by Roy Orbison (#3); "We'll Sing in the Sunshine" by Gale Garnett (#4); "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers (#5); "Remember (Walkin' in the Sand)" by the Shangri-Las (#6); "A Summer Song" by Chad & Jeremy (#7); "It Hurts to Be In Love" by Gene Pitney (#8); "When I Grow Up to Be a Man" by the Beach Boys (#9); and "Let It Be Me" by Betty Everett & Jerry Butler (#10).

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