Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/15/1965 to 2/21/1965

Rome was involved in an education controversy when it was revealed that school secretaries at some Rome elementary schools--including West End and Elm Street--were teaching about two hours each day, even though they didn't have teaching certificates and were not qualified to teach. Rome City Schools assistant superintendent JB Maddox said, "I don't know if they have certificates or not. One or two may have--I'm not sure of that." The state refused to accept that explanation, however, stressing that it's up the school districts to secure copies of teaching certificates before allowing anyone to teach in any public school classroom. Maddox said that the secretaries taught only to give administrators time off to supervise--an explanation the state also considered unacceptable.

The Rome City Board of Education announced plans for a proposed $720,000 bond issue for new classrooms, auditoriums, and other facilities improvements. West Rome was slated for four additional classrooms, as was West End Elementary, while West Rome High School would get an industrial arts shop if the bond issue passed.

West Rome defeated Lakeview 64-37 in the first game of the 3-AA tournament, thus advancing to the second round. Gerry Law, Rusty Oxford, Stan Dawson, Eddie Hamilton, and Donnie Hill secured the  Chieftain victory quite handily in a game that was never even close. In the next region game, they faced off against West Fannin--and once again, they racked up a victory as Gerry Law and Stan Dawson led the team to a 46-41 victory. Alas, the third time was not the charm, as West Rome lost to Murray County 59-46 in the Region 3-AA championship.

Four sophomores--Allen Brigham, Holly Bellinger, Janet Amspoker, and Bobby Becker-- were inducted into the West Rome Honor Society on February 17th in an assembly held in the West Rome High auditorium.

Mike Jenkins and Debbie Poarch were chosen as Mister and Miss West Rome Junior High School. This is one case where the election most definitely could be bought: each homeroom nominated a candidate to the competition, and then votes were solicited at a penny a vote. The candidates who raised the most pennies won the election. (Maybe we should try this for our Presidential elections in 2016!)

The West Rome Junior Tri-Hi-Y held on to their Club of the Month title, narrowly beating out the Model Senior Tri-Hi-Y.

"Them revenooers" were at it again: Federal Alcohol and Tobacco agents shut down more stills in Rome, including illegal moonshine operations near West Rome, off the Alabama Highway. More than a thousand gallons of mash were destroyed in the raids.

Murphy's on Broad Street was ahead of the trend: they began advertising their new "sidewalk surfboards" this week in 1965. These "surfboards with wheels" came in three sizes, ranging in price for $2.99 to $7.99. Today, we call them skateboards--and I remember my parents being so unconvinced that these things were worth $2.99 that I ended up dismantling a pair of skates and mounting the wheels to a piece of plywood to make my own skateboard... err, sidewalk surfboard.

Belk-Rhodes was touting its new, "more affordable than ever before" cartridge ink pens for only 99¢ each. These pens offered the quality nibs and liquid ink of a fountain pen, but in handy disposable cartridges. And as I can attest from first-hand experience, they could leak in your shirt pocket just as well as any fountain pen, too!

Piggly Wiggly had boneless chuck roast for 69¢ a pound, Heinz tomato soup for a dime a can, and Lady Alice ice milk for 33¢ a half-gallon. Kroger had roasting chickens for 39¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and medium eggs for 39¢ a dozen. Big Apple had smoked ham for 47¢ a pound, a quart of Mrs. Bell's mayonnaise for 49¢, and large bell peppers for 7¢ each. A&P had Super-Right pork sausage for 33¢ a pound, block cheddar cheese for 47¢ a pound, and winesap apples for a dime a pound. Couch's had sirloin stark for 89¢ a pound, Maxwell House coffee for 57¢ a pound, and 12 ounce jars of Bama jellies or jams for 20¢ each.

Whipped cream, move over: Cool Whip was introduced into select markets this week in 1965. If you prefer food with a bit more substance, then Franco-American might have been thinking of you when they rolled out the first cans of Spaghetti-Os this week in 1965. (No, I don't recommend that you eat them together...)

The cinematic week began with Dear Brigitte (with James Stewart) at the DeSoto and Quick! Before it Melts! (with George Maharis & Robert Morse) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought Get Yourself a College Girl (with Mary Ann Mobley, Chad Everett, and Nancy Sinatra) to the DeSoto and The Night Walker (with Robert Taylor & Barbara Stanwyck) to the First Avenue; The Night Walker was also booked at the West Rome Drive-In for its weekend screenings.

Jerry Lewis's son Gary, joined by his band the Playboys, took the number one spot this week in 1965 with "This Diamond Ring." Other top ten hits included "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" by the Righteous Brothers (#2); "My Girl" by the Temptations (#3); "Downtown" by Petula Clark (#4); "The Jolly Green Giant" by the Kingsmen (#5); "Tell Her No" by the Zombies (#6); "Shake" by Sam Cooke (#7); "The Boy From New York City" by the Ad Libs (#8); "I Go to Pieces" by Peter & Gordon (#9); and "King of the Road" by Roger Miller (#10).  And after a few weeks off the charts, the Beatles released a new single, "Eight Days a Week/I Don't Want to Spoil the Party," on February 15th.

NBC's popular espionage-adventure TV series The Man From UNCLE made the jump to the comic book racks; the first issue (featuring art by Marvel Comics regular Don Heck, best known as Iron Man's first illustrator) appeared in stores this week in 1965. I bought my copy at Conn's on Shorter Avenue, which for several years had two comic book spinner racks, both fully stocked, while my other favorite sources for comics (Candler's Drugs, Couch's Grocery, Hill's Grocery, and the EZ Shop on Shorter Avenue) had only one rack each.

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