Saturday, April 25, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 4/26/1965 to 5/2/1965

The Rome News-Tribune spotlighted Debby Cooke, a West Rome student who earned straight As even though she was unable to attend any classes due to a severe respiratory ailment. Instead, Robert Honaker of the West Rome High faculty went to Debby's home twice a week for an hour and a half of instruction and work assignments. "Debby does all the work that regular students do, and takes all the required classes," Honaker said. Not only did she keep up with other students, but she often stayed ahead of them.

West Rome's track team once again took first place in a three-way meet, defeating Cedartown and Berry on Monday, April 26th. West Rome scored 106 points, 40 more points than the other two schools combined. West Rome had nine first-place wins, while Arbie Lovell broke the school high hurdles mark and Greg Gray broke the school discus record (a record that was set just a week earlier by Rusty Oxford).

Unfortunately, West Rome only managed to take second place in the Fifth Annual Rome News-Tribune Relays, held on April 30th and May 1st at the West Rome track. Crosstown rival East Rome took first place.

West Rome defeated Chattooga 4-3 in a ten-inning game on April 30th. Stan Dawson scored the winning run on a two-out double by Ken Payne.

The Chiefs defeated Calhoun 8-4 on May 1st, avenging their defeat by Calhoun earlier in the season. Ironically, the victory knocked Calhoun out of the number one place in Region 3-AA, advancing West Rome's arch-rivals East Rome into a tie for first place. Undoubtedly the Gladiators appreciated the favor...

The West Roma Dance Band performed a special jazz festival Friday night, April 30th, at the City Auditorium. Ironically, dancing was not allowed.

Dempsey-Anderson Motor Company ran ads touting the fact that the Rambler American 440 won the Mobil Economy Run with 25.7 miles per gallon from its 125-hp overhead V6 engine.  Yes, you read that right--125 horsepower! (Of course, that beat the 50 horsepower that my family's 1964 Volkswagen offered...)

Construction began on Georgia' first tri-level interchange this week in 1965. The interchange connected US 411, US 27, State Roue 101, and Turner McCall Boulevard. The project came in at a total of $2 million (which would be the equivalent of $15 million in today's dollars). It's hard to believe that Rome actually claimed this major feat of traffic engineering before Atlanta, but it's true!

Krystal advertised their spring special: 5 Krystal hamburgers for 25¢. No wonder Krystal had a reputation as the go-to place for food on a student's budget! Meanwhile, Redford's bargain dinner o the week was country-fried steak with blackeyed peas, candied yams, tossed salad, and rolls for 50¢.

Piggly Wiggly had 24 ounce cans of Swift's spaghetti  and meat sauce for 33¢, a 16-ounce package of Nabisco cookies for 39¢, and a 1i6-ounce can of Libby's fruit cocktail for 20¢. Kroger had t-bone steak for 99¢ a pound, 16 ounce cans of Van Camp's pork & beans for 9¢, and whole watermelons for 79¢. Big Apple had Swift's bacon for 49¢, Bailey's Supreme coffee for 59¢ a pound, and vienna sausages for 19¢ a can. A&P had ground beef for 33¢ a pound, strawberries for 29¢ a pint, and Marvel ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon. Couch's had chicken breasts for 49¢ a pound, Bumblebee tuna for 19¢ a can, and a case of Double-Cola for 69¢ plus deposit.

The cinematic week began with Walt Disney's Those Calloways at the DeSoto and Becket (with Richard Burton & Peter O'Toole) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought The Truth About Spring (with Hayley Mills & James MacArthur) to the DeSoto and 36 Hours (with James Garner & Eva Marie Saint) to the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In offered a weekend double feature that included Strange Bedfellows (with Rock Hudson & Gina Lollobrigida) and 40 Pounds of Trouble (with Tony Curtis & Suzanne Pleshette).

Oooey gooey! Officer Don brought his Popeye Club live program to the First Avenue Theater on Saturday morning, May 1st--and it included the ever-popular Ooey Gooey game, wherein blindfolded participants stuck their hands in one of three paper bags on a turntable; two of the bags contained candy and prizes, while one of the bagas contained chocolate syrup, eggs, and other substances that comprised the special Ooey Gooey bag. Problem was, Officer Don was just mischievous enough that he would often ensure that the turntable stopped on the Ooey Gooey bag...

Once again, Herman's Hermits had two spots in the top ten: "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" held on to the number one position, while "Silhouettes" climbed one place to #7. Other top ten hits included "Count Me In" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#2); "Ticket to Ride" by the Beatles (#3); "Game of Love" by Wayne Fontana & the Mindbenders (#4); "I'll Never Find Another You" by the Seekers (#5); "I Know a Place" by Petula Clark (#6); "I'm Telling You Now" by Freddie & the Dreamers (#8); "The Last Time" by the Rolling Stones (#9); and "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Sounds Orchestral (#10). Obviously the British Invasion was in full swing, with British groups taking eight of the top ten slots, an Australian group taking one spot, and one lone US act (headed by Jerry Lewis's little boy Gary) in the top ten.

CBS revealed that the hit Andy Griffith Show was losing a major cast member: Don Knotts was not renewing his contract after five years, abandoning his role as Barney Fife; he filmed his last episode this week in 1964. Knotts' loss was so significant that Andy Griffith briefly considered leaving the series as well, although he ultimately decided to stay for a few more seasons. The networks briefly considered replacing Don Knotts with either Don Rickles or Bernard Fox, but ultimately decided to bring in Jack Burns to play Deputy Warren Ferguson. (Can you imagine an Andy Griffith Show with Don Rickles as a deputy?)

Television stations also began to take notice of the small but growing cable television market in the spring of 1965. Rather than viewing it as a way to make more money, the stations saw it as a threat, and tried to shut it down with threats of copyright infringement for retransmitting programs without permission. In 1965, only 10% of all homes in the US had access to cable television--and Rome wasn't one of them, with cable TV in Rome still three more years away.

The Teen Titans' late 1964 comics premiere proved so popular that DC brought them back at the end of April in Brave & Bold #60, produced by Bob Haney & Bruno Premiani. The characters were still relatively unfamiliar to many fans and some professionals, apparently, since Kid Flash's uniform is mis-colored throughout the story.

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