Saturday, June 28, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 6/29/1964 to 7/5/1964

With school out, kids had plenty of time on their hands—which is why the Carnegie and Tri-County Regional Libraries launched their Summer Safari reading program for first through eighth graders, urging them to read at least ten books during the summer.  The library offered various award incentives for young readers who completed ten, fifteen, and twenty-five books.  (Since I was a voracious reader, hitting the 25-book mark was no problem.)

Did you remember that Shorter Avenue was still a two-lane road at the underpass in 1964? It's true—but that was about to change as the Rome City Commission unveiled its grand plan to widen Shorter to four lanes at the underpass. Some may not even remember the old railway underpass at the east end of Shorter, near the former Marine Corps Armory, but it was one of those landmarks that Romans used in giving directions back in 1964—and it was a major bottleneck for traffic during rush hour, often backing up westbound traffic well past the hospital every afternoon. The underpass was such a landmark, in fact, that some longtime Romans still give directions using the phrase "go past where the underpass used to be."

Floyd Outlaw's Rome Appliance Center was promoting their new high-capacity 14 cubic foot refrigerator-freezers this week in 1964; for only $295, you could have this state-of-the-art frost-free model delivered to your home. (Today, 14 cubic feet is on the lower end of refrigerator sizes, but in 1964, it was the Cadillac of fridges!)

This week in 1964, Piggly Wiggly had oleomargarine for a dime a pound, Van Camp's pork & beans for 9¢ a can, and a July 4th special of Coca-Cola, Tab, or Sprite for only 75¢ for a 24-bottle case (plus deposit, of course). Kroger had ground beef for 37¢ a pound, strawberries for 29¢ a pint, and Polar Pak ice milk for 19¢ a half-gallon. Big Apple had a 12-ounce jar of Jif peanut butter for 39¢, Swift's bacon for 49¢ a pound, and whole watermelons for 79¢ each. A&P had a pint of blueberries for 35¢, Super-Right hot dogs for 49¢ a pound, and a bag of marshmallows for a quarter—just perfect for toasting over the grill after the big July 4th cookout! Couch's had JFG mayonnaise for 39¢ a quart, Kraft tasty-loaf American cheese for 25¢ a pound, and pork steak for 39¢ a pound.

Rome's cinematic week began with Flipper's New Adventure  at the DeSoto, How the West Was Won at the First Avenue, and a double feature of Four For Texas and Strait-Jacket at the West Rome Drive-In. The mid-week switch up (because new movie day was Wednesday back then, not Friday) brought The Unsinkable Molly Brown (with Debbie Reynolds) to the DeSoto and a double feature of The Victors and The Dream Maker to the West Rome Drive-In, while How the West Was Won continued for a third week at the First Avenue.

The number one song this week in 1964 was "I Get Around" by the Beach Boys. Other top ten hits included "Memphis" by Johnny Rivers (#2); "Rag Doll" by the Four Seasons (#3); "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying" by Gerry & the Pacemakers (#4); "Can't You See That She's Mine" by the Dave Clark Five (#5); "My Boy Lollipop" by Millie Small (#6); "People" by Barbra Streisand (#7); "A World Without Love" by Peter & Gordon (#8); "The Girl from Ipanema" by Getz/Gilberto (#9); and "No Particular Place to Go" by Chuck Berry (#10).

And this week in 1964, two of my favorite things—comic books and the Beatles—merged when Dell released their 64-page biographical comic book spotlighting The Beatles. This was the first of many Beatles biographies I have read over the years--but to this day, whenever I hear about the Beatles' early years, I always picture artist Joe Sinnott's depiction of the Fab Four. Sinnott, who would be best known as an inker on Jack Kirby's Fantastic Four, was quite a skilled penciller, and he turned in an outstanding art job on this comic. Of course, it was a must-have for me as soon as I saw a copy at Enloe's Rexall Drugs on Shorter Avenue...

A Life In Four Colors Sidebar--1964: Teevee & Me

 Anyone who knows me is aware that I'm an enthusiastic television viewer. I still consider the sitcom to be television's finest contribution to entertainment; I enjoy watching syndicated reruns (commercials and all) of programs that I already own on DVD or blu-ray; and I frequently work with a television providing background noise and interludes of entertainment, just as my parents did when I was young.

For the past few years, I've done a weekly column about everyday life in the community of West Rome fifty years ago. In prepping the columns each week, I would sometimes look at the television listing in each day's newspapers, remembering some shows and drawing blanks on others because my family never watched them. But that got me thinking about television and me fifty years ago, when the medium was much newer and less regimented, when local programming was more diverse, and when we had far fewer viewing choices.

One of the things that I remember most fondly about my childhood summers was television. I am old enough to remember when there was no television in our home, and I also recall the excitement we all felt when Dad brought him that first black and white TV in 1959. By 1964, we had a large (by 1964 standards, at least--it was a 21" screen) black and white set that we watched as a family every evening. I also remember getting up early on weekends to watch television, and I remember watching television on summer mornings when school was out. But what was I watching in 1964?

As it turns out, not very much! The syndicated programming and children's shows that I remember most fondly from my childhood actually date from a few years later; The Dick Van Dyke Show, for instance, had just wrapped its third-season run and was not yet syndicated. Likewise My Favorite Martian, The Andy Griffith Show, Petticoat Junction, The Beverly Hillbillies, My Three Sons, The Twilight Zone... none of these shows were airing in syndication at that time. It would be several more years before most of those shows became a part of weekday morning television.

Furthermore, our television viewing options were limited. There was no cable system in Rome in 1964, so we were reliant on an external pole-mounted antenna to bring in signals from Atlanta (3 channels ) or Chattanooga (3 more channels, one of which had briefly been a Rome television station). That's six channels showing programming from 3 networks: WSB Channel 2 (Atlanta) and WRCB Channel 3 (Chattanooga), both of which were NBC affiliates; WAGA Channel 5 (Atlanta) and WDEF Channel 12 (Chattanooga), both CBS affiliates; and WTVC Channel 9 (Chattanooga) and WAII Channel 11 (Atlanta), both ABC affiliates. And that was it--no specialty channels, no UHF channels, nothing else. (Our TV Guide listed programming for a Macon channel, but we never had an antenna powerful enough to pick it up.)

And as you might realize if you know geography, Rome is more or less equidistant between Chattanooga (which was 60 to 70 miles north of us) and Atlanta (which was 60 or 70 miles south of us). This meant that anyone who wanted to watch programming from both cities had to either turn their antenna 90 degrees, yelling to someone indoors "How does it look now?" or they had to invest in a motorized antenna rotor. In 1964, I was our antenna rotor; I learned very early more or less where the arrow of the antenna had to point for Chattanooga or Atlanta, and was quite skilled at changing antenna directions quickly. Nevertheless, I was quite happy when we finally bought a motorized antenna rotor in 1965.

We had no means of timeshifting our television choices back then--no VCRs, no DVRs, no video on demand. If you wanted to watch a show, you had to be there at the TV set when it came on. If you didn't want to miss a minute, you needed to plan your snack breaks and restroom runs accordingly. In 1964, television brought my family together; some of my fondest memories involve me lying in the floor of the living room, watch comedies that elicited loud laughter from my father and a lighter, lilting laugh from my mother--and my sister and I would laugh, too, even if we didn't get all the jokes, because it had to be funny since my parents were laughing.

But what was I watching in 1964 when I had control of the television dial (no remote back then)? On Saturday mornings, the choices were largely syndicated cartoons or adventure shows, with a few network cartoons thrown in for good measure. Jungle Jim, Ramar, The Lone Ranger, B'wana Don, Fury, Sky King, Rin Tin Tin, Roy Rogers--I would watch any and all of them because even a child could follow the premise right away, and the stories made sense within minutes even if you switched over half-way through the episode. And I did that a lot--if one series wasn't holding my interest, I was perfectly willing to switch over to something else in mid-episode. (That carries over today, in fact--I have no problem tuning into a movie midway through, or starting a television episode well into its storyline, just as I did when I was a child.)

The cartoons were a mix of classic Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies along with new stuff like Hector Heathcoat, Tennesee Tuxedo, Mr. Magoo, Alvin, and Mighty Mouse (apparently children's programmers were quite fond of alliteration), all of which I loved as a child. The toughest part was that networks would sometimes counter-program, putting their most popular cartoon on at the same time as another network's most popular cartoon, which forced me to pick and choose.  So as it turns out, television helped me to develop critical thinking skills necessary to determine which show was most likely to appeal to me!

Saturday afternoons were filled with programs that did nothing for me. Country and gospel thrived in the South in the 1960s, with such shows as Flatt & Scruggs, Porter Wagoner, The Mull's Singing Convention, and The Wilburn Brothers filling the air, along with sports programming. I didn't enjoy either, so I rarely watched any television on Saturday afternoons; the only exception would be the occasional syndicated film, usually a Western, a war story, or occasionally a horror movie.

Sunday morning programming was primarily religious in nature, and for the most part it bored me. The highlight of the morning programming for me was the animated Hercules, which ran at 10am on Channel 2. "Hercules, hero of song and story"--I can still sing (badly) the lyrics to that theme song, a half-century later.

Weekday mornings offered a few more syndicated choices, along with some original children's programming. Captain Kangaroo was a weekday regular, and even thought I thought of myself as too old for the show in 1964, I wasn't averse to watching it with my sister Kim, who was just the right age for the good Captain and Mister Green Jeans and the gang. There were plenty of syndicated half-hour cartoon segments, as well as some Three Stooges and Little Rascals shorts. The Lone Ranger, Dennis the Menace, Deputy Dawg, Make Room for Daddy, I Love Lucy, The Real McCoys, Pete & Gladys—I watched any and all of them eagerly if I was in front of the television when they were on, but I never arranged my morning plans around any of those shows. Good thing—many of them were on up against such game shows as Concentration or The Price Is Right or the relatively new Jeopardy, and my Mom was quite the game show devotee.

Weekday afternoons were dominated by soap operas and games shows. Mom never watched soap operas, so I grew up with such shows as Password, You Don't Say, and The Match Game. Dad sometimes got home by 3:30 or 4 on weekday afternoons (working for an afternoon newspaper, he went in very early and was often able to come home once the paper had gone to press), so we would often watch some game shows as a family, competing with the players on screen and with one another in our living room.

But for me, the real television fun began at 4:30, when Channel 2 ran The Officer Don Show. Don Kennedy hosted the show as Officer Don, bringing kids into the studio to serve as a live audience--and as participants in a  variety of contests, including the always-popular Oooey Gooey (blindfolded children picked from three bags on a rotating base, two of which contained goodies and one of which contained the mix of eggs, chocolate syrup, and other substances that elicited the appropriate "Oooey Gooey" response when the unwitting child contestant stuck his hand into the morass. And of course, there were the cartoons--lots of Popeye cartoons, which led to the Officer Don show being renamed The Popeye Club after a while.

And at 5, Channel 9 gave us Bob Brandy, the cowboy host who shared screen time with his horse Rebel and his lovely wife Ingrid, bringing children in his studio and introducing cartoons between in-studio bits that often involved a prize of an RC Cola and a Moon Pie. The Bob Brandy Show was more refined and less manic than the Officer Don Show, but it was nevertheless quite entertaining.

From 6pm on, I relinquished any marginal control of the television to my parents. The news ran from 6 to 7 on almost every channel (30 minutes local news followed by 30 minutes national news), followed by 30 minutes of local or syndicated programming after which network programming began (networks started their shows at 7:30). I watched whatever my parents chose to watch then, although with enough wheedling I could sometimes convince them to let us tune into ABC's The Outer Limits instead of CBS's game-show double header of To Tell The Truth and I've Got a Secret.

Television began to change in the 1964-1965 season as networks realized there was money to be made in series with more youth appeal. But in the summer of 1964, television was an enjoyable but nonessential diversion for a ten-year-old, which is probably why I spent so much time playing outside rather than sitting in front of the TV.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 6/22/1964 to 6/28/1964

Rome's summer heat wave continued as high temperatures continued in the upper 90s early in the week, with a 100-degree temperature on June 23rd setting a new record. There were very few thunderstorms to break the heat, so we did the only thing we could: we endured it, with most of us relying on fans and cold drinks to keep cool, since fewer than 10% of all homes had central air conditioning and only 25% of homes had any air conditioning at all.

The second All-Comers track meet took place at West Rome High School on Saturday, June 27th, directed by Coach Paul Kennedy. Among the participants who posted wins in the meet was West Rome's Dickie Sapp.

Rome was the center of excitement as 200 Georgia postal clerks convened in our city for a two-day seminar. No word as to whether they had to stand in long lines to register, only to have someone close the registration window when they got to the front of the line...

West Rome had a bit of a traffic situation when a truck carrying a crane discovered the hard way that the underpass at the east end of Shorter Avenue (near the old Marine Armory) wasn't quite as high as he thought. When he attempted to drive under the underpass, the crane was knocked off the trailer and fell to the pavement, blocking Shorter Avenue access to downtown and East Rome for several hours until it could be removed.

Rome's Carnegie Library added some pretty impressive tomes to its book selection, thanks to Roman Hugh West, who donated eight rare signed books, including The Good Earth by Pearl Buck, Mr. Wilson's War by John Dos Passos, Caravans by John Michener, The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, Flood by Robert Penn Warren, Dorothy and Red by Vincent Sheean, The Best Short Stories by Somerset Maugham, and—the rarest of all—A Movable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway signed a copy of the title sheet for Best a week before he died; however, the books weren't bound until after Hemingway's suicide, meaning that Rome's library had the only known legitimate signed copy of the book. (I wonder if the Rome library still has these books today, or were the sold off or stolen years ago?)

West Rome Baptist Church was celebrating its 20th anniversary at its current Shorter Avenue site in the summer of 1964, complete with open houses, homecoming events, and more. The church actually began on Division Street in 1893, later moving to 606 Shorter Avenue before finally relocating to its current site.

Piggly Wiggly had Swift's hot dogs for 39¢ a pound, watermelons for 79¢ each, and Coca-Cola, Sprite, or Tab for 25¢ plus deposit for a six-bottle carton. Kroger had chuck roast for 29¢ a pound, tomatoes for 8¢ a can, and bananas for a dime a pound. Big Apple had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, five pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢, and Lady Alice ice milk for 33¢ a half-gallon. A&P had cantaloupes for 29¢ each, rib roast for 65¢ a pound, and Ritz crackers for 33¢ for a one-pound box. Couch's had Shoppers brand bacon for 49¢ a pound, 24-ounce cans of Castleberry's Brunswick stew for 59¢, and 12-ounce cans of Red Rock drinks in assorted flavors for a dime each.

The cinematic week began with How the West Was Won (with Henry Fonda, Gregory Peck, James Stewart, and John Wayne, among others) at the First Avenue Theater, The Pink Panther (with Peter Sellers) at the DeSoto, and The Prize (with Paul Newman and Edward G. Robinson) at the West Rome Drive-In. Midweek movie change-ups brought Flipper's New Adventure (starring a dolphin, of course) to the DeSoto and a double feature of Panic Button and Fury of the Pagans (no one cares who was in either film, believe me) to the West Rome Drive-In, while How the West Was Won continued at the First Avenue for a second week.

The number one song this week in 1964 was "I Get Around" by the Beach Boys. Other top ten hits included "My Boy Lollipop" by Millie Small (#2); "Memphis" by Johnny Rivers (#3); "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" by Gerry and the Pacemakers (#4); "People" by Barbra Streisand (#5); "A World Without Love" by Peter & Gordon (#6); "Chapel of Love" by the Dixie Cups (#7); "Rag Doll" by the Four Seasons (#8); "Bad to Me" by Billy J. Kramer (#9); and "Can't You See That She's Mine" by the Dave Clark Five (#10).

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 6/15/1964 to 6/21/1964

Rome's heat wave continued into the last half of June 1964, with temperatures regularly hitting the 90s almost every day and very little precipitation to break the heat. I'm sure we'd all have felt more miserable if this wasn't a time when air conditioning in homes was relatively rare, so we were forced to seek the comfort of shade and open windows and fans and didn't realize how oppressive the weather actually was... Turns out we were luckier than we realized, though: temperatures were hitting 100 degrees regularly in Savannah and other parts of South Georgia!

Outdoor chefs interested in moving beyond charcoal could have Atlanta Gas Light Company install a natural gas grill and gas light (so that you could see what you were grilling, I guess) for only $2 down and $5.75 a month for 16 months—and that included the grill, the light, and the installation. Apparently there was an upside to a utility monopoly back then—low prices and no-interest financing!

If you were a summer reader, then Wyatt's was the place to shop: their bookstore not only was discounting young adult mystery/adventure series like Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, The Dana Girls, Tom Swift Jr., and The Bobbsey Twins from $3.75 to $2.50 a book, but they were also implementing a summer special "by two and get one free" offer on these series. I think this is when I first developed my interest in both Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew (although, truth be told, Nancy Drew always had the better mysteries).

Julian Harrison Ford was pushing its new Ford Mustang, which first made its way into the showroom this week in 1964. To be fair, the car had been released almost two months earlier, but demand had been strong and Julian Harrison was only getting enough to fill customer orders for the first couple of months. By mid-June, though, we could all drive to the dealership and check out this vehicle that had become the automotive success story of the year. (I don't know anyone who picked up a Mustang in its premiere year, but two friends of the family became Mustang owners a year later.)

Piggly Wiggly had chicken breast for 39¢ a pound, white corn for 6¢ an ear, and whole watermelons for 99¢ each. Kroger had fresh whole fryers for 23¢ a pound, large cantaloupes for 29¢ each, and Showboat pork & beans for 15¢ a can. Big Apple had Swift bacon for 49¢ a pound, Sealtest ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon, and lettuce for a dime a head. A&P had whole hams for 39¢ a pound ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon, and a five-pound bag of sugar for 39¢. Couch's had pork steak for 49¢ a pound, Blue Plate peanut butter for 29¢ a jar, and four rolls of Northern bathroom tissue for 29¢.

Elvis Presley & Ann-Margret continued to rock moviegoers as Viva Las Vegas continued at the DeSoto for the first half of the week, while William Holden & Alec Guinness reminded us that the Japanese were too big for their bridges as Bridge On the River Kwai continued at the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In entertained with the unlikely double feature of Soldier in the Rain and King Kong Vs. Godzilla. The last half of the week brought Peter Sellers' Inspector Clouseau to Rome as The Pink Panther opened at the DeSoto, while How the West Was Won (with "24 great stars and 3 top directors!") opened at the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In gave us a weekend double feature of Pillow Talk (with Doris Day & Rock Hudson) and Operation Petticoat (with Cary Grant & Tony Curtis).

The number one song this week in 1964 was the Lennon & McCartney-written "A World Without Love" by Peter & Gordon. Other top ten hits included "I Get Around" by the Beach Boys (#2); "Chapel of Love" by the Dixie Cups (#3); "My Boy Lollipop" by Millie Small (#4); "People" by Barbra Streisand (#5); "Memphis" by Johnny Rivers (#6); "Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying" by Gerry & the Pacemakers (#7); "Love Me With All Your Heart" by the Ray Charles Singers (#8); "Bad to Me" by Billy J. Kramer—another Lennon & McCartney-written song (#9); and "Walk on By" by Dionne Warwick (#10).

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Some Coye Words

I have always enjoyed the bold, stylistically distinctive art of Lee Brown Coye, but what I knew about him was distilled from brief segments of a number of books. Until recently, I wasn't even familiar with Arts Unknown: The Life and Art of Lee Brown Coye—but once I learned of it, I had to have a copy. Finally got a chance to read through it, and it was everything I had hoped for and more.

This isn't just a Coye art book. Oh, there's plenty of art, and the reproduction quality is superb, so art fans won't be disappointed. But it's also a great look at the career of this influential and largely underrated artist whose horror work brings a folk art sensibility to a field that's usually dominated by other, very different styles.

If you've ever enjoyed Coye's work, you'll be glad you checked this one out. If you haven't, this might the book that makes you a Coye fan.

Monday, June 09, 2014

What Makes Us So Special?

Someone asked me recently, "What makes West Rome in the 1960s so special? You do these posts every week, and it doesn't seem like really big things ever happen."

I wholeheartedly agree.

I do these columns every week because there's something wonderful about everyday life that we all too frequently overlook. We're so focused on the big events and the life-changing moments that we forget that life is composed of a million little events, and they matter. Those little events helped to shape us into what we became.

In Our Town, Thornton Wilder's Stage Manager commented, "This is the way we were: in our growing up and in our marrying and in our living and in our dying." These were the everyday events that shaped us into what we  became. We are the product of a thousand thousand mundane happenings; they comprise our small-city life in a time when people could be born and grow up and go to school and graduate and get a job and have a family and buy cars and houses and clothes and food and books and comics and Christmas presents and get older and retire and get sick and get better and eventually die—and never, ever have to leave Rome if we didn't want to. 

It's a time that simply doesn't exist now. Our nation and our world are no longer made up of self-sufficient communities that were capable of meeting all the needs and wants of its people. I don't think that a lot of people born in the 1980s and beyond fully realize just how different life was in the pre-internet, pre-computer, pre-credit-card era. (Can you believe that hardly any of us—or more specifically, our parents— actually had a general purpose credit card in 1964?) 

It's hard to imagine a time when most small town and cities were home to locally owned businesses that were supported by their communities; the chain store was rare in the early 1960s. We knew the names of many of the people with whom we did business. We appreciated them and respected them and built relationships with them.  When Conn's closed down, or when Mr. Candler sold his pharmacy to a major chain and closed Candler's Drugs, we were sad for our community's loss.

These columns are written to remind me—and anyone else who reads them—just what life was like in a time when most of us could watch six TV channels (three from Atlanta, three from Chattanooga), could choose from two indoor theaters and a drive-in, could shop at a half-dozen grocery stores, could do business with six department stores, could eat at a variety of locally-owned restaurants, could think of McDonald's as a New Thing in Rome, could get excited about the records we bought at Redford's and Murphy's and The Record Shop.

We bought brands that don't exist today. We listened to musical artists who, in some cases, are all but fogotten nowadays—and we listened to other musical artists who changed popular music forever. We eagerly watched television shows that had entertained us in countless reruns since then. We were enthralled by Officer Don and Mister Pix & Pixie and Bob Brandy and Bestoink Dooley. The world in which we lived no longer exists, and never will again... but it's worth remembering, I think.

So I write these columns each week. They bring back the many little things that we took for granted back then, and I hope they say a little bit about what it was like to live in the 1960s. No matter what popular culture tells us, it wasn't beatniks, or hippies, or counter-culture, or political radicalism, or protests, or drugs. All of those things existed, but they didn't define the era. All of us who lived in it... we defined the era.

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.