Saturday, January 03, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/4/1965 to 1/10/1965

Here's a local story that sounds like the plot to a TV movie: six prisoners in a Floyd County Public Works Camp detail had a chance to escape when their 61-year-old guard suffered a heart attack. Rather than leave him and make a run for it, however, the six prisoners carried him back to their transport bus, then went to a nearby farmhouse to call for an ambulance—and then one of the prisoners accompanied him to the hospital to let the doctors know what had happened and to make sure that the guard was okay. Warden CM Caldwell said that "not a man gave a thought, apparently to escaping.... I am planning to write a letter to the Pardons and Paroles Board asking consideration for, and commending, the prisoners who did this kind and good deed without a thought of escaping."

The Chiefs took on the Berry Falcons in a home game on Friday, January 7th--but it didn't turn out the way West Rome had hoped it would. Instead, Berry posted a 48-41 win, with Gerry Law scoring 27 of West Rome's 41 points.

School was barely back in session after the Christmas break, but the West Rome seniors were already holding their first meeting to discuss graduation plans. The senior class meeting took place in the West Rome auditorium on Thursday, January 6th--the first of several meetings planned for the first few months of '65.

T.S. Eliot, the author whose poem "The Wasteland" almost all of us read (or were supposed to read) in English literature, died on January 4th, 1965.

Piggly Wiggly began the new year with chuck roast for 35¢ a pound, potatoes for 6¢ a pound, and jello for a dime a box. Kroger had fresh whole fryers for 23¢ a pound, bacon for 39¢ a pound, and eggs for 35¢ a dozen. A&P had peaches for a quarter a pound, ice milk for 49¢ a half-gallon, and leg o' lamb for 59¢ a pound. Big Apple had pink salmon for 49¢ a can, a ten-pound bag of flour for 99¢, and ocean perch fillet for 29¢ a pound. couch's had smoked cured picnic ham for 29¢ a pound, Northern bathroom tissue for 9¢ a roll, and Showboat pork & beans for 9¢ a can.

The cinematic week began with The Disorderly Orderly (with Jerry Lewis) at the DeSoto and Goldfinger (with Sean Connery) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought Walt Disney's So Dear to My Heart to the DeSoto, while Goldfinger was held over for another week (apparently James Bond mania was in full swing!). The West Rome Drive-In's weekend schedule included a forgettable double feature of Moonshine Mountain and God's Little Acre.

The Beatles held on to the number one position this week in 1965 with "I Feel Fine" (and their album Beatles '65 had a lock on first place in the album charts as well). Other top ten hits included "Come See About Me" by the Supremes (#2); "Love Potion Number Nine" by the Searchers (#3); "Downtown" by Petula Clark (#4); "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" by the Righteous Brothers (#5); "Mr. Lonely" by Bobby Vinton (#6); "The Jerk" by the Larks (#7); "Goin' Out of My Head" by Little Anthony & the Imperials (#8); "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" by Marvin Gaye (#9); and "Keep Searchin'" by Del Shannon (#10).

For those of us who loved comics, one of the best books of all time was published this week in 1965: The Great Comic Book Heroes, a retrospective and appreciation by Pulitzer-winner Jules Feiffer. The articles were fascinating, of course, but the real allure of this book was the heaping helping of long-unseen Golden Age comic book stories featuring Batman, Superman, Captain America, the Spirit, Hawkman, and many, many more. This hefty hardcover was beyond my early-1965 budget... but the book went on my Christmas list right away, and before the year was out, I'd have my very own copy!

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