Friday, June 05, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 6/7/1965 to 6/13/1965

In hopes of rerouting I-75 on a path closer to Rome, the City Commission named June 11th as "Interstate 75 Day" in Rome, hoping to drum up public support for the city's preferred "western route" plan that would bring I-75 to the west of Cartersville, where it would intersect with US411 about  fifteen miles east of Rome. (We know now that in spite of Rome's efforts, the western plan never took hold, and I-75 ended up to the  east of Cartersville with no direct access to Rome).  s

West Rome's Mrs. Lucille Smiderski headed up a Project Head Start personnel training session at Georgia Tech that began this week in 1965. The training session was designed to present teachers with useful techniques to help pre-school children who would be attending Rome's "Head Start" classes over the summer.

The Rome City School system said that the state had allocated $212,000 in school construction funds to the Rome system. When added to the school bond issue that passed in May, this would provide enough funding to complete Rome's $1.2 million building program.

Floyd officials warned high school students that "lovers' lane" parking trysts could be dangerous, warning amorous teens that there had been reports of robberies, rapes, and vandalism associated with isolated parking for romantic  interludes. "Not only do the young people run the risk of tarnishing their reputations, but they also place themselves in a potentially dangerous situation," Floyd County Police chief Von Brock said. "A boy and girl can never tell who or what is lurking behind nearby bushes or trees. Many times lovers' lanes are prime hunting grounds for deviates." (Apparently the 1965 method of deterring bouts of romantic parking was to conjure up plot lines of bad horror/slasher films! And yet I never once read a followup story of a tragic bloodbath at a remote lovers' lane in Rome, nor were their any Rome manhunts for teen-stalking serial killers, as far as I can remember...)

Southern Bell announced the addition of fifty more operators for the Rome area, adding $150,000 to Rome's annual payroll (were operators really paid only $3000 a year in 1965?). The increase in operators was necessitated by Rome's rapid growth, and by the fact that many homes were adding second phone lines for high-school-age children.

Piggly Wiggly had Plymouth ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon, Miracle Whip for 59¢ a quart, and hen turkeys for 39¢ a pound. Big Apple had spare ribs for 33¢ a pound, Bailey's Supreme coffee for 59¢ a pound, and a two-pound bag of frozen french fries for 29¢. Kroger had smoked hams for 39¢ a pound, corn for a nickel an ear, and apples for 13¢ a pound. A&P had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, blueberries for 39¢ a pint, and large watermelons for 99¢ each. Couch's had lamb roast for 33¢ a pound, fresh okra for 19¢ a pound, and Van Camp pork & beans for 7¢ a can.

The cinematic week began with Tickle Me (with Elvis Presley) at the DeSoto Theater; a double feature of The World of Abbott & Costello and The Sword of Ali Baba at the First Avenue (apparently, once school was out for the summer, the powers that be figured that people would go see pretty much anything); and Return to Peyton Place at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switch out brought Clarence the Cross-Eyed Lion to the DeSoto; Mister Moses (with Robert Mitchum & Carroll Baker) to the First Avenue; and a double feature of Go Go Mania (with Matt Monro, The Animals, and a brief appearance by The Beatles) and Parrish (with Troy Donahue) to the West Rome Drive-In.

The Four Tops took number one this week in 1965 with "I Can't Help Myself." Other top ten hits included "Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds (#2); "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (#3); "Crying in the Chapel" by Elvis Presley (#4); "Back in My Arms Again" by the Supremes (#5); "Wonderful World" by Herman's Hermits (#6); "Help Me Rhonda" by the Beach Boys (#7); "Engine Engine #9" by Roger Miller (#8); "For Your Love" by the Yardbirds (#9); and "Hush Hush Sweet Charlotte" by Patti Page (#10). 

The two big album releases for the week were The Angry Young Them by Them (featuring lead singer Van Morrison) and For Your Love by the Yardbirds (featuring lead guitarists Eric Clapton on most tracks and Jeff Beck on three songs. For most of us, this was our first exposure to Eric Clapton... but it certainly wouldn't be our last!

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