Saturday, July 25, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/26/1965 to 8/1/1965

This was news that no high school senior wanted to hear: President Lyndon Johnson announced that he would be doubling the military draft beginning in the fall of 1965, increasing the call-up from 17,500 to 35,000 draftees each month. (Those of us who lived through the draft can confirm just how much influence it had on the lives of all of us who weren't sure what the future would hold.)

There was also better news for students: summer would go on for a little bit longer! The Rome City School System reminded students that school wasn't scheduled to start back until August 30th, giving students another full month of summer vacation (and since school got out in early June, this was one of those years where students really did get almost three months off!).

The Rome-Floyd County Chamber of Commerce announced that Battey State Hospital land located between Division Street and Lavender Drive in West Rome would be repurposed into a juvenile detention home by July, 1966, pending approval from the Department of Family and Children's Services. Several West Rome residents expressed concern about having a juvenile detention center located so close to established residences, but the officials at the meeting were not inclined to consider another location. Residents said they would take their concerns to their representatives and to state officials.

The Rome Jaycees announced an air show, complete with skydivers, to be held on Sunday in a large area just off Highway 27 across from Berry College's Gate of Opportunity. Planes would take off from  Russell Field and fly over the area so that skydivers could drop into the field, performing stunts during their fall. Almost 3500 people attended the air show; all proceeds were used for the purchase of a school bus for the Floyd County Cerebral Palsy School.

And speaking of planes, Russell Field announced that Eastern Airlines would resume daily flights from Rome to Chattanooga in August. This meant that Rome offered commercial air flights every day to Chattanooga and to Atlanta, where Romans could make connections for flights to other cities across the US. (Hard to imagine that Rome ever had any sort of commercial air travel, isn't it?)

The whole school system merger issue came to a head when both the Rome and Floyd County School Boards called for a referendum to determine if residents even wanted a merger of the two systems. The proposal asked that the systems conduct a referendum in February of March of 1967.

Piggly Wiggly had tomatoes for 15¢ a pound, eggs for 33¢ a dozen, and Chicken of the Sea tuna for 29¢ a can (in oil, of course—tuna in water was pretty much unheard of in the 1960s). Big Apple had center cut pork chops for 79¢ a pound, Round the Clock coffee for 49¢ a pound, and Campbell's tomato soup for 12¢ a can. A&P had shrimp for 69¢ a pound, watermelons for 59¢ each, and lettuce for 19¢ a head. Kroger and sirloin steak for 99¢ a pound, cantaloupes for a quarter each, and Country Club ice cream for 47¢ a half-gallon. Couch's had fryer breasts for 25¢ a pound, Armour's potted meat for a dime a can, and five pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 29¢.

The cinematic week began with Walt Disney's The Monkey's Uncle (with Tommy Kirk & Annette Funicello) at the DeSoto,  Cat Ballou (with Jane Fonda & Lee Marvin) at the First Avenue, and a double feature of The Tomb of Ligeia (with Vincent Price) and The Terror (with Boris Karloff) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switch out brought What's New, Pussycat? (with Peter Sellers & Peter O'Toole) to the DeSoto, Joy in the Morning (with Richard Chamberlain & Yvette Mimieux) to the First Avenue, and an Elvis Presley double feature of Girls! Girls! Girls! and Fun in Acapulco to the West Rome Drive-In.

Herman's Hermits added another number one song to their list when "I'm Henry VIII, I Am" took the top slot this week in 1965. Other top ten songs included "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by the Rolling Stones (#2); "What's New Pussycat?" by Tom Jones (#3); "Save Your Heart for Me" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#4); "I Got You Babe" by Sonny & Cher (#5); "Yes, I'm Ready" by Barbara Mason (#6); "I Like It Like That" by the Dave Clark Five (#7); "Cara Mia" by Jay & the Americans (#8); "I Can't Help Myself" by the Four Tops (#9); and "Don't Just Stand There" by Patty Duke (#10).

Not only did Sonny & Cher have a song in the top ten this week in 1965, but their first album, Look at Us, was also released. The non-mustached, furry-vest-wearing Sonny Bono is barely recognizable, but Cher was distinctively Cher from the very beginning of her musical career...

Animal Man, the Man with Animal Powers, made his first appearance in the pages of Strange Adventures #180 this week in 1965 in a story by Dave wood & Carmine Infantino. This was also the week that Warren Magazines ventured far afield from their normal horror comics fare with the release of Blazing Combat #1, featuring grim war tales from some of the same creators responsible for Creepy and Eerie, all packaged behind a Frank Frazetta cover.

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