Saturday, June 20, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 6/21/1965 to 6/27/1965

Coosa Valley Tech was only a couple of years old, but the school was meeting with such overwhelming success that the Floyd County Board of Education and the State Department of Education jointly announced plans for a $750,000.00 expansion of the school, adding 22,000 more square feet of classrooms and labs. Many Chieftains went on to get post-secondary education and job training at CVT, of course—and it remains a vital part of the community today.

Speaking of construction, work began on the new Industrial Arts Shop for West Rome High School. It's amazing to relize that, back then, an entire wing of a building could be built in eight weeks and ready for use by the time the next school term began. Nowadays they wouldn't even finish the site preparation in eight weeks!

Superior Court Judge Robert Scoggins spoke out regarding Rome's rapidly increasing juvenile delinquency problem. He said that the number of cases in the first five months of 1965 was almost twice the level of 1964, with destructive vandalism being the most common problem. The most serious case involved manslaughter, Judge Scoggins said, and the minor was set to be tried as an adult for that crime. He urged parents to keep closer watch on their children during the summer to try to cut down on the problem.

The economic numbers for April were finally tallied, and it turned out that Rome saw a 26% increase in department store sales over the same period in 1964, making Rome the fastest growing area in the state in that category. Furniture sales remained steady year-over-year in Rome, even though they dropped 4% across the state.

Eastern Airlines announced plans to resume daily airline service from Atlanta to Rome, continuing on to Nashville, as well as return flights from Rome to Atlanta. The flights had been put on hold in 1964, but Eastern said that demand seemed sufficient to resume the flights starting later in the summer.

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, pole beans for 19¢ a pound, and watermelons for 69¢ each. Big Apple had round steak for 79¢ a pound, Van Camp Pork and Beans for 20¢ a can, and Starkist tuna for 39¢ a can. Kroger had t-bone steak for $1.09 a pound, Libby's Vienna sausage for 20¢ a can, and eggs for 33¢ a dozen. A&P had shrimp for 89¢ a pound, Jif peanut butter for 47¢ a jar, and Eight O'Clock coffee for 65¢ a pound. Couch's had pork chops for 59¢ a pound, five pounds of Domino sugar for 29¢, and fresh tomatoes for 9¢ a pound.

The cinematic week began with In Harm's Way (with John Wayne & Kirk Douglas) at the DeSoto, A High Wind In Jamaica (with Anthony Quinn) at the First Avenue, and a double feature of Beach Blanket Bingo (with Annette Funicello) and Susan Slade (with Troy Donahue) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switch out saw In Harm's Way continue at the DeSoto and the Beach Blanket Bingo/Susan Slade double feature hang on at the West Rome Drive-In,, while I'll Take Sweden (with Bob Hope & Tuesday Weld) came to the First Avenue. Apparently, Romans didn't go to the movies very much during the summer in the 1960s...

The Four Tops took number one this week in 1965 with "I Can't Help Myself." Other top ten hits included "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones (#2); "Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds (#3); "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (#4); "Wonderful World" by Herman's Hermits (#5); "For Your Love" by the Yardbirds (#6); "Seventh Son" by Johnny Rivers (#7, appropriately enough!); "Crying in the Chapel" by Elvis Presley (#8); "Yes I'm Ready" by Barbara Mason (#9); and "What the World Needs Now Is Love" by Jack DeShannon (#10).

The big album release this week in 1965 as the Byrds' Mr. Tambourine Man, which showcased the talents of Roger McGuinn, Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hillman, and Michael Clarke. The album's twelve tracks included four covers of Bob Dylan songs, including the title song, which had been released as a single ahead of the album and was firmly ensconced in the top ten by the time the album made it to the Record Shop, Redford's, Sears, and the other places where Romans bought their albums.

DC's (and editor Julius Schwartz's) interest in reintroducing the Golden Age heroes into the DC line continued in Brave & Bold #61 as Starman and the Black Canary starred in their own adventure, courtesy of Gardner Fox & Murphy Anderson.  For readers who weren't quite sure who these Earth-2 characters were, DC added one-page origin text features for each of the heroes. For those like me who were fascinated with heroes whose early tales dated back to the time when my parents were my age, a new story starring these characters was a wonderful treat... and even the eleven-year-old me recognized the beauty of artist Murphy Anderson's fine linework!

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