Saturday, February 07, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/8/1965 to 2/14/1965

Rapid growth in the Rome and Floyd County area in particular led to the seventh district becoming the state's most populous congressional district, Congressman John W. Davis reported this week in 1965.

Rumors were flying that the Floyd County Board of Education was considering construction of a new county high school to serve students from Garden Lakes and Alto Park Elementary Schools; the rumors placed the new school less than a mile from West Rome High School. Had it come to pass, West Rome would have had a new competitor to rival East Rome and Coosa--but as we all know, the proposed high school never got off the ground, and those students continued to attend Coosa instead.

Rehearsals were underway for the 1965 ChieftainActs, which was scheduled for March 12th and 13th. Director Bob McEwan said that the show would feature at least eight skits, three chorus lines, comedy acts, a faculty skit, two dramatic monologues, and three "secret skits" that were being rehearsed privately to ensure the element of surprise.

It wasn't a good week for the Chieftains as they fell to the Chattooga County Indians 38-37, losing in the final 10 seconds of the game. The defeat lowered West Rome's overall record to 9-5 and its sub-region records to 6-4. The girls had a much better night, winning their game in a 56-24 romp--and that gave the girls a 14-4 overall record for the season.

Kentucky Fried Chicken moved to its 820 Turner McCall Boulevard location this week in 1965--and in honor of the move, they offered such specials as a bucket of chicken for $3, a two-piece dinner box (or a three-piece fish box or an eight-piece shrimp box) for $1 each, and soft drinks for a dime each. It sounds pretty cheap, but when you adjust for inflation (the current inflation multiplier for the 1965-to-2015 period is $7.52), you'd be paying $7.52 for a dinner and $22.50+ for a bucket!

If your budget was a bit tighter than that, then perhaps five Krystal hamburgers for a quarter was more affordable! That was the special through Valentine's Day in 1965 (although I imagine that if someone gave his beloved five Krystal hamburgers, it might make for a memorable Valentine's Day in a not-so-pleasant way).

And if you wanted a Valentine's Day meal somewhere in the middle, then Redford's was the place to go: they had a hamburger steak with mashed potatoes, gravy, green beans, and a roll for 50¢. Fried chicken, Krystal hamburgers, or hamburger steak... they weren't raising the culinary bar very high for Valentine's Day, were they?

Piggly Wiggly had shoulder roast for 59¢ a pound, lemons for 4¢ each, and bell peppers for a dime each. Kroger had fryers for 27¢ each, sweet potatoes for 12¢ a pound, and a five-pound bag of Colonial sugar for 49¢. Big Apple had Rath's bacon for 59¢ a pound, Merita bread for 19¢ a loaf, and Del Monte catsup for 19¢ a bottle. A&P had pork loin for 49¢ a pound, fresh eggs for 33¢ a dozen, and Campbell's tomato soup for a dime a can. Couch's had chicken breast for 39¢ a pound, Star Kist tuna for 41¢ a can, and Double Cola for 69¢ a 24-bottle case (plus deposit).

The cinematic began with Goodbye Charlie (with Tony Curtis & Debbie Reynolds) and Lili (with Leslie Caron) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought Dear Brigitte (with James Stewart, Fabian, Shirley Carroll, and Billy Mumy) to the DeSoto and Quick! Before It Melts! (with George Maharis & Robert Morse) to the First Avenue.The West Rome Drive-In's weekend double feature included This Crowded Sky (with Dana Andrews & Rhonda Fleming) and Hercules Unchained (with Steve Reeves).

Saturday, February 13th saw the premiere of ABC's 15-minute program ABC Weekend News, which aired from 11:00 to 11:15 PM Saturdays and Sundays. Channel 11 (Atlanta's ABC affiliate in the 1960s) aired the program on Saturday night but not Sunday night; Channel 9 in Chattanooga chose not to air the program at all (or at least, not in its initial weeks). Apparently stations weren't convinced that we needed almost-constant news coverage!

The number one song this week in 1965 was "This Diamond Ring" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys. Other top ten hits included "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers (#2); "Downtown" by Petula Clark (#3); "My Girl" by the Temptations (#4); "The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis (#5); "The Jolly Green Giant" by the Kingsmen (#6); "All Day and All of the Night" by the Kinks (#7); "Shake" by Sam Cooke (#8); "I Go to Pieces" by Peter & Gordon (#9); and "The Boy From New York City" by the Ad Libs (#10).

Playboy Magazine ran an in-depth interview with the Beatles, conducted by Jean Shepherd. That gave a lot of us 1960s adolescents one more reason to attempt to secure a copy of Playboy...

(And speaking of the Beatles, Ringo Starr married Maureen Cox on February 11th, 1965--that left two Beatles married and two unmarried, for those who were keeping count.)

The Red Skull made his first Silver Age appearance as he confronted Captain America on the cover of Tales of Suspense #65, on sale this week in 1965. For those of us who were hooked on comics way before they became cool, this was a big deal indeed!


Drew Geraci said...

That was some good stuff, and manoman, do you have a great memory. I didn't grow up here, but you really wrote your experiences in both a personal and documentary style. Thanks for sharing!

Cliff Biggers said...

I also have Google access to my old home town newspaper (the one for which my Dad wrote), and I enjoy perusing the archives in preparation for each week's piece. I just posted another article in which I talked about why I do these pieces each week, in fact--