Saturday, May 02, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/3/1965 to 5/9/1965

The Rome City School Board gave priority approval to an expenditure for shop equipment for the new West Rome High shop that was already under construction. Yes, the city did indeed approve construction of a new shop before deciding whether or not to pay for any equipment to go into those newly constructed walls! Such is educational bureaucracy...

West Rome's track team defeated Cherokee County and Calhoun in a three-way track meet on May 3rd, racking up 99 points versus Cherokee's 34 and Calhoun's 25. Steve Holland set a school record of 22.9 seconds in the 220 yard dash.

The Chieftains beat the Carollton Trojans 7-6 on Wednesday, May 5th. The victory came in the 7th inning, thanks to the hitting of Tod Zeiger and Ronnie Parker. The next day, they defeated Coosa 11-5 in a game that was clearly West Rome's from the first inning, when they scored three runs. Then they posted another victory (their sixth win in a row) on Saturday, beating Cass 9-5.

And finally, topping out a great sports week for West Rome, the Chiefs defeated East Rome thanks to a victory in the mile relay... the same race in which a loss the year before had caused the Chiefs to fall to the Gladiators. In both years, the score was tied 61-61 going into the final event.

West Rome junior Janet Johnson was chosen as the state reporter for the Georgia Association of Library Assistants; Johnson was elected at the annual convention held in Lake Jackson.

Don Biggers (my dad and one of the most ardent West Rome supporters I knew, even though his job as sports editor required that he keep that out of his newspaper columns and articles) was one of three Rome News-Tribune staff members to win an Associated Press news writing award this week in 1965. Dad won a first place citation or sports reporting for his interview with golfer Phil Rodgers. Mom always celebrated Dad's awards with a special meal or a special dessert; I wish now I could say that I remembered exactly what we had in celebration of Dad's recognition. (One of the most enjoyable aspects of researching material for this column is that I get to see Dad's professional acumen from the point of view of an adult who fully realizes the challenge posed by a blank page--or screen--and a deadline. He made it look so easy that I just assumed that writing came naturally for everyone.  I wouldn't be a  professional writer--nor would I be doing this column each week--if Dad hadn't made writing seem to be as intrinsic a part of our lives as speaking.)

Piggly Wiggly had Swift's Premium franks for 39¢ a pound, JFG coffee for 59¢ a pound, and fresh strawberries for 49¢ a quart. Kroger had round steak for 79¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and Sealtest ice cream for 69¢ a half-gallon. Big Apple had Oscar Mayer bacon for 59¢ a pound, carrots for a dime a bunch, and a 24-ounce jar of Bama strawberry preserves for 49¢. A&P had cubed steak for 99¢ a pound, whole watermelons for 59¢, and lettuce for a dime a head. Couch's had fresh whole fryers for 23¢ a pound, a pint of JFG mayonnaise for 29¢, and a case of Coca-Cola or Tab for 99¢ plus deposit.

The cinematic week began with The Truth About Spring (with Hayley Mills & James MacArthur) at the DeSoto and A Boy Ten Feet Tall (with Edward G. Robinson) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn to the DeSoto Theatre and Kimberley Jim (with Jim Reeves) to the First Avenue--and for some reason, Rome's theaters were so convinced that people wanted to see Kimberley Jim that they also showed at the West Rome Drive-In over the weekend. That's a lot of screen time for a movie that I've never heard of!...

Herman's Hermits had two songs in the top ten for the third week in a row: "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" held on to first place, while "Silhouettes" climbed to #5. Other top ten hits included "Count Me In" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#2); "Ticket to Ride" by the Beatles (#3); "I'll Never Find Another You" by the Seekers (#4); "Help Me Rhonda" by the Beach Boys (#6); "I Know a Place" by Petula Clark (#7); "I'll Be Doggone" by Marvin Gaye (#8); "Just Once in My Life" by the Righteous Brothers (#9); and "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (#10).

Thor first faced off against the Destroyer in Marvel Comics' Journey Into Mystery #118, on sale this week in 1965. As I watched the Destroyer confront Thor on the big screen a couple of years ago, I still remembered the sense of wonder that Stan Lee & Jack Kirby brought to this story a half-century ago, and I only wish that Jack had lived long enough to see one of his most visually distinctive villains adapted so well to film.

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