Friday, July 10, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/12/1965 to 7/18/1965

West Rome's varsity basketball cheerleaders headed to Mercer University for a cheerleading camp this week in 1965. Attendees included Brenda Burrell, Celeste White, Pam Callaway, Belinda Whitter, Cathy Robinson, and Penny Andrews.

West Rome principal Dick McPhee was appointed by Governor Carl Sanders to serve on a Georgia State Alcoholism Study Committee. McPhee was Rome and Floyd County's only representative on the committee; his particular field of expertise was teenage drinking and its relationship to adult alcoholism.

The East Rome interchange to Highways 411 and 27 was ahead of schedule this week in 1965. Bob Ledbetter said that the interchange was already 50% complete, which put them a full month ahead of where they should have been. Ledbetter had already moved more than 80,000 tons of earth, and they still had another 100,000 tons of earth to move from the "Goat Hill" area.

Back in the 1960s, Rome was still a manufacturing center, which is why 35 new industries located to the Coosa Valley from mid-1964 to mid-1965, with 41 existing plants expanding their facilities. The Rome News-Tribune estimated that one quarter of all Rome jobs were in the manufacturing sector, so the growth was great news for Romans looking for work.

West Rome got its very own Buy Wise Discount Center at 1924 Shorter Avenue this week in 1965. The grand opening featured such bargains as light bulbs for a nickel each, Listerine for 59¢ a bottle, and a 100-count bottle of Bufferin for 93¢.

Something was fishy at McDonalds: the fast food restaurant was promoting its fish sandwiches this week in 1965, offering a Filet o' Fish sandwich and a small order of french fries for only 39¢. (When I was a kid, the fish sandwich was my favorite thing at McDonald's, so this was definitely good news as far as I was concerned!)

Piggly Wiggly had whole fryers for 27¢ a pound, five pounds of Colonial sugar for 49¢, and cantaloupes for 20¢ each. Kroger had smoked sugar-cured ham for 45¢ a pound, lemons for 33¢ a dozen, and a 6 pack of RC or Diet Rite Cola for 25¢ plus deposit. Big Apple had spare ribs for 39¢ a pound, Bailey's Supreme Coffee for 59¢ a pound, and the ever-popular Spam for 45¢ a can. A&P had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, white corn for 6¢ an ear, and Van Camp's pork & beans for 12¢ a can. Couch's had Mann's Golden Harvest bacon for 59¢ a pound, okra for 19¢ a pound, and Aristocrat ice milk for 33¢ a half-gallon.

Rome's cinematic week began with The Art of Love (with James Garner, Elke Sommer, Dick Van Dyke, & Angie Dickinson) at the DeSoto, The Train (with Burt Lancaster) atd the First Avenue, and a double feature of GI Blues (with Elvis Presley) and Crack in the World (with Dana Andrews) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switchout brought Harlow (with Carroll Baker) to the DeSoto, the TV-goes-to-the-movies film McHale's Navy Joins the Air Force (with Ernest Borgnine & Tim Conway) to the First Avenue, and a b-movie horror triple feature with The Horror of Party Beach, The Curse of the Living Corpse, and The Horror of It All at the West Rome Drive-In.

The Rolling Stones were probably very satisfied to have the number one song this week in 1965 with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction." Other top ten hits included "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" by Herman's Hermits (#2); "I Can't Help Myself" by the Four Tops (#3); "What's New Pussycat?" by Tom Jones (#4); "Cara Mia" by Jay & the Americans (#5); "Yes, I'm Ready" by Barbara Mason (#6); "What the World Needs Now Is Love" by Jackie DeShannon (#7); "Seventh Son" by Johnny Rivers (#8); "Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds (#9); and "You Turn Me On" by Ian Whitcomb (#10).

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