Saturday, April 04, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 4/5/1965 to 4/11/1965

Continued growth in the Rome City School System's student population led to an additional allotment of 27 teachers for the 1965-1966 school year, with at least four of those teachers designated for West Rome High School. Final teacher selection was scheduled to take place over the summer.

Three Chieftains were chosen to take part in the Governor's Honors program in the summer of 1965. Sophomore Mary Ann Witte represented West Rome in English; junior Tom McMahon, math; and junior Phil Jenkins, music. The students would be spending the summer at Wesleyan College, where the courses were offered.

The 1965-1966 Student Council officers were announced. The new officer slate included Jeanne Maxwell, president; Tommy Fricks, vice-president; Tommy Sapp, secretary; and Pam Williams, treasurer.

Robert Redden received a standing ovation during an assembly program held by the West Rome Key Club. Mr. Redden received a special plaque honoring his work on the wonderful mural that decorated the main hall of West  Rome. Painting of the mural began in the spring of 1964, with the bulk of the work completed in the summer of 1964. Mr. Redden continued to work on the mural through the fall and winter, adding finishing touches to the massive piece of art. If only there had been some way to save that stunning piece of art when West Rome was turned into a Walmart parking lot in the early 1990s...

Benny Padgett was elected by the 1965-1966 Chieftains football team to receive the Chieftain Spring Training Award for outstanding performance during spring training and in the Green & White game.

West Rome's thinclads won a four-way track meet on April 7th, defeating Lakeshore of Atlanta, Armuchee, and Cedartown. West Rome was behind at the end of the track events, but strong performances in the field events propelled them to a strong fish and a 15-point margin between them and second-place Lakeshore.

The first county-wide track meet was held on April 10th at West Rome High School. Coach Paul Kennedy was in charge of the event, which kicked off with field events at 9am and running events beginning a week later. Once again, the Chieftains took first place with a total of 187 points, 79 points ahead of second-place Armuchee. Arbie Lovell was the only Chieftain to win in two categories (low and high hurdles).

Even in the boom times of the mid-1960s, there were still many needy families in Rome, which is why Rome and Floyd County announced plans to offer surplus food assistance to qualified families beginning in April and continuing on a monthly basis for the foreseeable future.

McDonald's celebrated the arrival of warmer weather with a special 7¢ shake sale on Friday and Saturday. (And even as far back as 1965, McDonald's had to advertise its product as a "shake" and not a "milkshake" because there wasn't enough real milk in there to qualify as the latter... which helps to explain why those things took so long to melt!)

Piggly Wiggly had five pounds of Colonial Sugar for 35¢, a 14-ounce bag of Brach's individually wrapped Easter Eggs for 49¢, and a 4-pound canned ham for $2.99. Kroger had fresh fryers for a quarter a pound, yellow squash for 15¢ a pound, and a tall can of pink salmon for 49¢. Big Apple had Armour bacon for 59¢ a pound, sirloin steak for 99¢ a pound, and various flavors of Campbell's condensed soup for a dime a can. A&P had pork chops for 39¢ a pound, corn for 8¢ an ear, and Banquet cream pies for 27¢ each.  Couch's had stew beef for 29¢ a pound, a 28-ounce jar of Blue Plate peanut butter for 59¢, and fresh bananas for a dime a pound.

The cinematic week began with John Goldfarb, Please Come Home (with Shirley MacLaine & Peter Ustinov) at the DeSoto and Psycho (with Tony Perkins) back for a return engagement at the First Avenue.  The midweek switch out brought The Satan Bug (with George Maharis, Richard Basehart, & Anne Francis) to the First Avenue, Marriage Italian Style (with Sophia Loren & Marcello Mastroianni) to the DeSoto, and a double feature of Bus Riley's Back in Town (with Ann-Margret & Michael Parks) and Taggart (with Dan Duryea) at the West Rome Drive-In.

Freddie & the Dreamers held on to the number one spot this week in 1965 with "I'm Telling You Now." Likewise, the Supremes held number two for the second week in a row with "Stop! In the Name of Love." Other top ten hits included "Game of Love" by Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders (#3); "I Know a Place" by Petula Clark (#4); "Shotgun" by Jr. Walker & the All-Stars (#5); "Can't You Hear My Heartbeat" by Herman's Hermits (#6); "Tired of Waiting for You" by the Kinks (#7); "Nowhere to Run" by Martha & the Vandellas (#8); "The Clapping Song" by Shirley Ellis (#9); and "Go Now" by the Moody Blues (#10).

Gold Key enlisted star illustrator Wally Wood to develop and illustrate its new comic book series Total War, which launched this week in 1965. The series pitted the MARS Patrol (Marine Attack Rescue Service) against an army of murderous humanoid invaders from who-knows-where. Wood stayed with the book for three issues before leaving; soon afterwards, he would work with Tower Comics to launch THUNDER Agents, using similar concepts and themes, but with a more super heroic approach. In 1965, Total War was almost uncategorizeable--not a war comic, not a science fiction series, and not a superhero adventure. Today, it would likely be immediately licensed for film, television, video games, or all three!

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