Saturday, July 18, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome – 7/19/1965 to 7/25/1965

West Rome’s million-gallon-capacity Watson Street water tank was officially dedicated on July 21st. The tank was officially named the S.L. Hancock water tank (I had no idea it had a name!), and cost a then-hefty $156,000 to build; it was totally dedicated to meeting the water needs for the rapidly growing West Rome area within the city limits, with no water going to the surrounding county areas.

The city paved the way for a lot more students to attend West Rome High School when they annexed 74 acres of property off Burnett Ferry Road (not too far from Fellowship Baptist Church) into the city, which meant that the future residents of the planned $3 million subdivision would be West Rome Chieftains, not Coosa Eagles. Harry Butler, developer of the subdivision, said that it would consist of 180 homes when complete.

Even the State of Georgia was pushing for Rome and Floyd County to merge school systems: the state’s Peabody Report called for the merger, along with other educational changes; Rome and Floyd County were among 27 systems in nine areas that were studied, with recommendations that several of them should merge.  The report offered no insight regarding the financial challenges of such mergers, though, so its suggestion went nowhere.

Did you remember that Atlanta briefly had a semi-professional football team, the Mustangs, run by the former owner of Rome’s semi-professional team The Bisons? Did you know that it went away after the team’s owner was charged with counterfeiting after he paid the team off with phony $20 bills? The owner was W.E. Westcott, who wsa arrested by the Secret Service after several players, including some who lived in Rome, discovered that they money was no good around here… literally!  Westcott made things worse for himself when he assaulted reporters and photographers who tried to cover the arrest and arraignment.

Rome Lincoln Mercury was offering a free tag, title, and ten gallons of gas with the purchase of any new Comet through the end of July. The tag and title might have saved a little bit, but with gas selling at an average of 31¢ a gallon, that was only a three dollar discount, which doesn’t really seem like that much, even then!

Piggly Wiggly had chuck steak for 59¢ a pound, a half gallon of Borden ice cream for 49¢, and a ten pound bag of potatoes for 89¢.. Kroger had sirloin tip roast for 99¢  pound, Kroger ice milk for 37¢ a half-gallon, and white corn for 4¢ an ear. Big Apple had sirloin steak for 79¢ a pound, a ten pound bag of White Lily flour for 99¢, and watermelons for 59¢ each.  A&P had a four-pound Marhoefer canned ham for $3.29, tomatoes for 19¢ a pound, and Ann Page tomato soup for 13¢ a  can. Couch’s had chicken breast for 39¢ a pound,  lettuce for 13¢ a pound, and Seven Hills bacon for 49¢ a  pound.

The cinematic week began with  Harlowe (with Carroll Baker) at the DeSoto, McHale’s Navy Joins the Air Force (with Ernest Borgnine & Tim Conway) at the First Avenue, and a double feature of I’ll Take Sweden (with Bob Hope) and The World of Suzie Wong (with Sylvia Syms) at the West Rome Drive-In.  The midweek switchout brought Walt Disney’s The Monkey’s Uncle (with Tommy Kirk & Annette Funicello) to the Desoto, while the First Avenue brought in Cat Ballou (with Jane Fonda & Lee Marvin) and the West Rome Drive-In added a double feature of Those Calloways (with Brian Kieth & Vera Miles) and Rio Conchos (with Richard Boone & Stuart Whitman).

The Rolling Stones held on to number one this week with “(I Can’t Get No) Satifaction.” Other top ten hits included “I’m Henry VIII, I Am” by Herman’s Hermits (#2); “What’s New Pussycat?” by Tom Jones (#3); “Cara Mia” by Jay & the Americans (#4); “Yes I’m Ready” by Barbara Mason (#5); “I Can’t Help Myself” by the Four Tops (#6); “What the World Needs Now Is Love” by Jackie DeShannon (#7); “Save Your Heart for Me” by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#8); “I Like It Like That” by the Dave Clark Five (#9); and “Seventh Son” by Johnny Rivers (#10).

This week’s prominent new album releases include The Magnificent Moodies by the Moody Blues (their first album, featuring the hit “Go Now”) and More Hits by the Supremes by… well, you know.

While there were no noteworthy comic book releases this week in 1965, this was the week that I picked up a copy of HP Lovecraft’s The Case of Charles Dexter Ward at Liberty Newsstand on Broad Street, triggering my fifty-year literary love affair with HPL’s prose. In retrospect, I have no idea why that unattractive Belmont cover caught my eye; I have to assume that it was because it was shelved at about the same eye level as Warren’s Creepy and Eerie magazines, a few racks away from the regular sized comics.

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