Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/25/1965 to 1/31/1965

What a waste of perfectly good snow; Rome had another snow and ice storm in January 1965--but this one arrived early on Saturday morning, which meant that there was no opportunity for a "get out of school free" snow day. At least we could go outside and enjoy the one to three inches of snow that fell on top of a tenth of an inch of freezing rain--and with temperatures between 15 and 20 degrees, the white stuff didn't melt quickly! US 27 north of Rome was the most dangerous road in the Rome area, although weather-related accidents were reported on Redmond Circle, Shorter Avenue, and Burnett Ferry Road.

While the availability of some federal funds was up in the air due to the Rome City School System's slow response to federal desegregation orders, other federal funds were definitely on their way to Rome. Assistant Superintendent JB Maddox confirmed that Rome was set to receive $229,320 in federal funds for pre-school programs and high-school work training programs.

Fifty years ago, the fight to bring I-75 closer to Rome was underway, with the Highways Committee of the Rome-Floyd County Chamber of Commerce pushing for a route to the West of Cartersville... a route that would have taken the interstate through a portion of land owned by the Rollins family. Alas, one family's wishes circumvented what would have been best for northwest Georgia...

Senior Superlatives were announced this week in 1965. Jackie Lupo & Chris Lawler were selected Best Scholars; Carol Chapman & Derell Brookshire, Most Talented; Jane Martin & Chuck Hart, Wittiest; Eddie Hamilton & Jane Hairston, Best Looking; Jane McCollum & Gerry Law, Most Athletic; Caron Harper & Ronnie Allen, Best Dressed; Lynn Moore & Jerry Penny, Most Typical American Girl & Boy; Jayne Smallwood & Jerry Coalson, Most Congenial; Teresa Wood & Jackie Smith, Best Personality; and Dickie Sapp & Judy Wessinger, Most Popular. The big winners were Dickie Sapp & Judy Whitaker, who were tapped as Mister and Miss West Rome High School.

At the senior class meeting on Thursday, January 28th, Gretchen Lininger & Gordon Walden were chosen to prepare the class prophecies for the 1965 Watanyah. Terry Shaw & Marsha Peugh were tapped to prepare the Last Will & Testament.

West Rome's wrestlers put an end to Rossville's domination of area wrestling: the Chiefs finished with 102 points in the Third Annual Northwest Georgia Wrestling Tournament, well ahead of second-place Rossville's 86 points. East Rome was even further back with 77 points, which must have been particularly painful since the tournament was held in East Rome's gym...

The Chieftains posted their seventh victory of the season on Friday, January 29th, as they defeated Calhoun 64-46. Gerry Law scored 19 points, Stan Dawson scored 17, Eddie Hamilton scored 12, and Rusty Oxford scored 10. It was a more disappointing evening for the girls basketball team, unfortunately, as they lost to Calhoun 32-26.

Rome shoppers were in for a treat this week in 1965: Rome Jubilee Days meant that almost every store in Rome was running specials. Kesslers had dresses for $3 and $5; Goodyear had whitewall tires for $11 each; Belks had top-quality bath towels for $1.10; Esserman's had men's sport coats for $19; Millers had men's and women's winter coats for $9.98 to $19.99; Rhodes had a French provincial dining room set for $99; Wheeler's had suits for 40% and 50% off; and Murphy's had a wide selection of fabrics for 25¢ to 37¢ a yard. And that's just a small sampling of the bargains that made the last weekend in January the big weekend for shopping in Rome.

Piggly Wiggly had Delmonico steaks for 99¢ a pound, Maxwell House Coffee for 69¢ a pound, and cabbage for a nickel a head. Kroger had smoked hams for 39¢ a pound, Sealtest ice cream for 49¢ a half gallon, and lettuce for a dime a head. Big Apple had  sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, five pounds of Dixie Crystal sugar for 39¢, and tomatoes for 12¢ a pound. A&P had chicken livers for 19¢ a pound (oh, how I loved chicken livers for dinner when I was a kid--one of my favorite foods!), five pounds of White Lily flour for 49¢. and pork & beans for a dime a can. Couch's had fresh whole fryers for a quarter a pound; banana for 7.5¢ a pound (yes, that's seven and a half cents!), and saltines for 19¢ a box.

Rome moviegoers could choose from Invitation to a Gunfighter (with Yul Brynner) at the First Avenue and Father Goose at the DeSoto. The midweek movie switch-out brought The Pleasure Seekers (with Ann Margret & Tony Franciosa) to the DeSoto and For Those Who Think Young (with James Darren, Pamela Tiffin, & Paul Lynde) to the First Avenue, while the West Rome Drive-In's weekends-only screening was a double feature of No Time For Sergeants (with Andy Griffith) and Gold of the Seven Saints (with Clint Walker & Roger Moore).

The number one song this week in 1965 was the Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.'" Other top ten hits included "Downtown" by Petula Clark (#2); "The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis (#3); "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#4); "Hold What You've Got" by Joe Tex (#5); "Love Potion Number Nine" by the Searchers (#6); "All Day and All of the Night" by the Kinks (#7); "My Girl" by the Temptations (#8); "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)" by Marvin Gaye (#9); and "Shake" by Sam Cooke (#10).

The Zombies made their American album debut this week in 1965, riding strong on the fall '64 success of "She's Not There." (Listening to that song and this album, you might find it hard to believe that these songs were all recorded in '64 and released in '65, since they all sound ahead of their time.)

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