Saturday, December 13, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 12/14/1964 to 12/20/1964

This was the final week of school before the Christmas Holidays for all of us Chieftains--and the vacation was slated to continue until students returned to school on January 4th, 1965! In the 1960s and early 1970s, students didn't always get two full weeks off, so when we did, it was a cause for extra celebration!

West Rome's wrestlers defeated Rockmart 35-17, winning a total of nine matches--and four of them were won with pins, thanks to the athletic prowess of Mike Murphy, Anthony Salfta, and Greg Ray.

West Rome's basketball team fell to Berry Academy 56-48 in the 11th annual Northwest Georgia Invitational Basketball Tournament.

Chieftain halfback Dickie Sapp was named to the 22-player Class AA all-state team picked by the Associated Press, the only Chieftain named to the team and one of two Romans.

The West Rome Junior Tri-Hi-Y, under the leadership of Regina Swinford, was chosen November club of the month, earning a whopping 190 total points--almost twice times the number of points earned by the second-place East Rome club.

Len Willingham of the West Rome Hi-Y presented principal Dick McPhree with a handsome Bible that was to be designated as the official Bible of West Rome High School. (No one protested, no one sued... yes, the 1960s were a very different time indeed!)

The West Rome National Junior Honor Society inducted seven members to the club. The new members included Matt Oldham, Mike Witte, Patricia Dawson, Myra Beth Boggus, Pat Finley, Teresa Deleski, and Linda West. Debbie Cook was chosen as the first honorary member of the group; she met all the requirements for membership, but because she was unable to attend school, she was taught at home, making her ineligible for full membership.

A cold front moved into Rome on Friday, dropping temperatures to the low teens, with daytime highs in the mid thirties. I'm sure I wasn't the only kid in West Rome hoping for a little bit of snow to go with all that cold weather!...

The holiday season continued strong in Rome Department stores, with a 20% sales increase over year-to-date 1963 and a 16% decline in charge account balances--proof positive that Romans were buying more and paying for it sooner. For the Rome economy, Christmas 1964 was proving to be a boom period indeed!

Doc Elliott's Discount House broke out appliances and electronics for Christmas 1964, offering a ten-cup percolator (remember when that was the standard way of making coffee at home?) for $9.95, a 40-cup percolator for $14.95, a battery-powered tape recorder for $12.95, an eight inch portable TV for $60.00 (although why anyone in Rome would want one, I don't know, since we were too far from Atlanta or Chattanooga for any portable TV to pick up a signal without a very large outdoor antenna), and a transistor radio for $9.99. As was all too common in 1960s ads, no brand names were mentioned.

Piggly Wiggly had Fleetwood coffee for 59¢ a pound, tom turkeys for 35¢ a pound, and chocolate covered cherries (a luxurious Christmas favorite in my house, to be rationed and savored into early January if at all possible) for 89¢ a pound. Kroger had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, fruit cocktail for 18¢ a 16-ounce can, and tangerines for 35¢ a dozen. Big Apple had baking hens for 39¢ a pound, a five-pound bag of Ballard flour for 49¢, and king size cooked fruit pies for 59¢ a pound. A&P had sirloin steak for 89¢ a puns, Sealtest ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon, and red delicious apples for a nickel each. Couch's had smoked cured picnic hams for 27¢ a pound, a five-pound bag of Dixie Crystals sugar for 29¢, and Saltines for 19¢ a box (I don't think that's what they mean when they talk about the British tradition of Christmas crackers...).

The first half of the week offered moviegoers the choice of The Fall of the Roman Empire (with Sophia Loren, Alec Guinness, and James Mason) at the DeSoto Theater and a very forgettable double feature of Guns at Batasi and Apache Rifles at the First Avenue (with only two indoor theaters in Rome and oodles of major studio films being released, they still dredged up these throwaway B-movies from time to time). The midweek switch out brought two "rerun movies" to the DeSoto—McLintock (with John Wayne) and A Hard Day's Night (with the Beatles). The First Avenue was showing The Lively Set (with James Darren), while the West Rome Drive-In was screening a forgettable double feature of Street of Mystery and 13 West Street on the weekend. Of course, as cold as it was that weekend, most people going to the drive-in saw nothing more than a fogged-up windshield...

The Beatles returned to the top of the charts with "I Feel Fine" this week in 1964. Other top ten hits included "Come See About Me" by the Supremes (#2); "Mr. Lonely" by Bobby Vinton (#3); "She's a Woman" by the Beatles (#4); "She's Not There" by the Zombies (#5); "Goin' Out of My Head" by Little Anthony & the Imperials (#6); "Ringo" by Lorne Greene (#7); "Dance, Dance, Dance" by the Beach Boys (#8); "The Jerk" by the Larks (#9); and ""Time Is On My Side" by the Rolling Stones (#10).

No comments: