Friday, October 30, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 11/1/1965 to 11/7/1965

The annual East Rome-West Rome football game generated more than the usual excitement in 1965, because this game would determine not merely Rome bragging rights, but also the sub-region championship. West Rome went into the game with a 2-1 record within the sub-region, while East Rome had a 1-1-1 record. West Rome could clinch the title by winning or tying the game, while East Rome had to secure a win to become a sub-region champ. Coach Paul Kennedy was cautiously optimistic. “East Rome’s always tough when the play us,” Coach Kennedy said. “Considering what’s at stake, I believe East Rome will give us all we can handle, but I think we're up to it.” The combination of a cross-town rivalry and a sub-region championship on the line led to increased ticket sales, with more than 6000 people buying tickets for the game, which was officially sold out by Thursday afternoon.

If Coach Kennedy was at all concerned about the game’s outcome, he shouldn’t have been: West Rome won 33-0, scoring three touchdowns on the ground and two through the air. It was the biggest winning point-spread in East-West history, and it secured the Region 3-AA South championship for the Chieftains.

West Rome’s Distributive Education program was spotlighted in the Rome News-Tribune. Nineteen Chieftains were enrolled in DE, a work-related program that allowed students to get class credit for on-the-job experience in a  distributive business (which included retail sales). To stay in the program, students had to work between 15 and 35 hours a week. The average student enrolled in the program would earn $500 during the nine-month period, and many of them earned significantly more by continuing to work at the same job during the summer. (Distributive Education began as a “girls only” program in 1945 when Rome still had a Girls High; when Girls High and Boys High merged in 1951 the program was expanded to include boys and girls.)

The Rome Auto Show was held in the Central Plaza Shopping Center parking lot on Sunday, November 7th, with the newest models from Ford, Chevrolet, Cadillac, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Chrysler, Valiant, Imperial, Rambler, Buck, Pontiac, Dodge, Lancer, Volkswagen, and Lincoln-Mercury all on display—and they were all available through Rome auto dealers, so you’d never have to leave Rome to buy the car of your dreams once you discovered it at the auto show! In fact, Volkswagen was promoting their show special: they offered a 1966 VW Beetle for $1722.72 including all taxes and fees—and it included a radio!

Barth’s Sport and Hobby Shop advertised its expansion this week in 1965. The store, located on North 5th Avenue, carried model kits, balsa planes, Tonka toys, Lincoln Logs, and sporting goods.  Considering my obsession with airplane models, I’m not sure how I never knew about this store when I was a kid; I was a Revell and Monogram model addict, with a particular interest in WW2 airplanes, and regularly raided Murphy’s, Redford’s, and Super-Discount store looking for new kits. I suspect my parents were keeping this store a secret from me…

Piggly Wiggly had  pork chops for 53¢ a pound, JFG instant coffee for 99¢, and Shurfine cream corn for 16¢ a can. Kroger had sirloin steak for 95¢ a pound, Maxwell House coffee for 59¢ a loud, and bananas for 12¢ a pound. Big Apple had whole fryers for a quarter a pound, yams for 12¢ a pound, and a 2-pound jar of Lennox Park peanut butter for 69¢. A&P had stew beef for a quarter a pound, a twenty-pound bag of potatoes for 95¢, and Merita bread for 19¢ a loaf. Couch’s had chuck roast for 37¢ a pound, large eggs for 49¢ a dozen, and grapefruit for a nickel each.

The cinematic week began with The Hallelujah Trail (with Burt Lancaster & Lee Remick) at the DeSoto Theater and Beach Ball (with Edd Byrnes) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought The Cincinnati Kid (with Steve McQueen & Ann-Margret) to the DeSoto and Darling (with Laurence Harvey & Julie Christie) to the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In offered a weekend double feature of Witchcraft (starring Lon Chaney Jr. in one of his final acting roles) and How to Stuff a Wild Bikini (with Annette Funicello & Dwayne Hickman). Considering how incredibly different those two films are, you have to wonder who selected the lineup for these double features!…

The Rolling Stones held on to the number one slot for the second week in a row with “Get Off Of My Cloud.” Other top ten hits for the week included “A Lover’s Concerto” by the Toys (#2); “1-2-3” by Len Barry (#3); “You’re the One” by the Vogues (#4); “I Hear a Symphony” by the Supremes (#5); “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass (#6); “Everybody Loves a Clown” by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#7); “Let’s Hang On” by the Four Seasons (#8); “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (#9); and “Ain’t That Peculiar?” by Marvin Gaye (#10).

And it was a great week for albums, too: Smokey Robinson & the Miracles’ Going to a Go-Go (the first album to include a separate credit line for Smokey Robinson) and The Temptations’ The Tempting Temptations were both released this week in 1965. This was also the week that the Who released their iconic single “My Generation,” although it wouldn’t chart for a while yet.

Everyone thinks of comics as being superhero adventures, but the comics rack was quite diverse this week in 1965: you could choose from Army War Heroes, Black Fury (a comic about a horse that roamed the West righting wrongs), Career Girl Romances, Cheyenne Kid, Fightin’ Marines, Fightin’ Navy, Gunmaster, Hot Rod Racers, Just Married, Old Yeller, Teen Confessions, Teenage Hotrodders, Tippy Teen, and Zorro, as well as at least a half-dozen different Archie titles—and that was just a sampling of the non-superhero books published this week in 1965!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/25/1965 to 10/31/1965

Just imagine if all these planned interstates had come to fruition: the Rome-Floyd County Chamber of Commerce announced that talks were underway to construct an I-20 extension that would connect Atlanta, Rome, and Huntsville. Like every other direct interstate connection planned for Rome, this also got tabled before the first shovelful of dirt was turned…

The era of mandatory auto inspections was almost upon us this week in 1965: As of November 1st, all cars had to be inspected, and the government was warning people that there would be no extensions. Almost a half a million vehicles remained uninspected, according to Trooper FG Lankford, who said, “After October 31st, state troopers will make cases avians the operator of any vehicle that does not display the safety inspection sticker.”  (They also estimated that there was no way the few Rome area inspection stations could possibly inspect all the area vehicles before the deadline…)

Mrs. Virginia Turpin of the Floyd County Selective Service office confirmed that changes to the draft law meant that married men without dependent children could now be drafted—a change from the prior status, which offered exemptions to all married men. Mrs. Turpin said that there were no plans to begin drafting married men from Rome or Floyd County yet, but she said that the draft board would begin calling married men to report for physicals in preparation for a potential escalation of the draft. There were probably a number of recent West Rome graduates who were getting a little be nervous with all this talk of draft escalation…

Rome announced that trick or treating would be scheduled for Saturday night, October 30th, to avoid any conflict with church activities. The Rome police department also reminded everyone that trick or treating was intended for children twelve years of age or less, and that no vandalism would be tolerated. (I didn’t remember any suggested age limits for trick or treating, although I’m pretty sure I gave it up in 1965, the year that I turned twelve… was that because I felt like I was too old for it, or because my parents saw the suggestion in the newspaper and steered me away from it? Of course, the upside was my taking over trick-or-treat candy distribution at my house, which meant that I made sure to save some of the best candy for myself!)

West Rome got its first taste of winter this week in 1965 when the temperature dropped to an unexpected 26 degrees on the morning of October 25th—but it wasn’t a record low, since October 25, 1962, also saw a 26 degree low.

The Chieftains football team had the week off to prepare for the next week’s big East Vs. West game.

Jo Anne Cook, a West Rome 9th Grader, was selected as a finalist in the Teen Magazine WAIFer of the Year Contest. The winner of the contest would meet actress Jane Russell, Princess Margaret, and the Earl of Snowdon, at a Hollywood ball sponsored by WAIF-ISS. (WAIF, a division of International Social Services, was a service group with clubs in all fifty states.) Jo Anne said she entered the contest after seeing the advertising in Teen Magazine; she hoped to get a WAIF club started in Rome.

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, a three-pound bag of red delicious apples for 33¢, and a one-pound can of Maxwell House coffee for 66¢. Big Apple had ground chuck for 59¢ a pound, Spam for 49¢ a can, and Irvindale ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon. Kroger had Swiss steak for 69¢ a pound, Starkist tuna for 29¢ a can, and a quart of Blue Plate mayonnaise for 59¢. A&P had rib steaks for 85¢ a pound, Florida oranges for a dime a pound, and a three-pound can of Fluffo shortening (I ain’t making this stuff up!) for 85¢. Couch’s had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, turnip greens for 8¢ a pound, and Green Giant creamed corn for 15¢ a can.

The cinematic week began with The Ipcress File (with Michael Caine) at the DeSoto and War Gods of the Deep (with Vincent Price) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought The Hallelujah Trail (with Burt Lancaster) to the DeSoto and Ship of Fools (with Vivien Leigh & Lee Marvin) to the First Avenue, while the West Rome Drive-In’s weekend offering included a double feature of The TAMI Show (a rock music anthology film) and Girls of the Beach (with Noreen Corcoran).

The Rolling Stones knocked the Beatles out of first place as “Get Off of My Cloud” climbed to number one this week in 1965. Other top ten hits included “A Lover’s Concerto” by the Toys (#2); “Yesterday” by the Beatles (#3); “Everybody Loves a Clown” by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#4); “Keep on Dancing” by the Gentrys (#5); “You’re the One” by the Vogues (#6); “Positively 4th Street” by Bob Dylan (#7); “1-2-3” by Len Barry (#8); “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass (#9); and “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (#10).

The Beatles became the first popular musicians to be appointed Members of the British Empire this week in 1965.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/18/1965 to 10/24/1965

West Rome took on the Rossville Bulldogs in an away game on Friday, October 22nd; the Chieftains lost 27-14--but considering how every prognosticator in Georgia had foreseen a total shutout for the Chiefs, they did pretty well. Coach Paul Kennedy described it as West Rome's "finest effort of the season against the finest team the Chieftains have ever played."

The West Rome Senior Hi-Y and the West Rome Senior Tri-Hi-Y won first place in the Rome-Floyd County Inter-Club Council competition

The sophomore class, under the guidance of sponsor Mrs. H.C. Brewer, elected its officers this week in 1965, including Mike Grass, president; April Garrison, vice-president; Layne Lucas, secretary; and Marie Edwards, treasurer.

The Future Teachers of America, sponsored by Mrs. Lucille Smiderski, elected officers for the 1965-1966 school year; the slate of officers included Ann Finley, President; Beth King, vice-president; Brenda Stover, secretary-treasurer; Mac Dewain Sandlin, historian.

The Library Club, sponsored by Miss Martha Hurst, elected its officers for 1965-1966, including Sandra Addington, president; April Garrison, vice-president; Layne Lucas, secretary; and Marie Edwards, treasurer.

The West Rome National Junior Honor Society presented the school library with 22 quality framed reproductions of famous masterpieces by Rembrandt, daVinci, and others; according to WRNJHS sponsor Lucille Smiderski, the program was created to develop art appreciation among the students.

West Rome yearbooks went on sale this week in 1965; the preorder price for a yearbook was $10 (a bargain now, but a pretty hefty sum in 1965!).

Spanish style furniture was all the rage in 1966, and Maxwell Brothers was fully stocked! You could have a bedroom suite (with a dresser, mirror, chest, and bed frame) for only $399, all featuring "grille moulding and intricate details that capture the look of distinction that's so definitely Spanish!" For only $29 more, you could add a matching framed matador print to hang over the bed!

Piggly Wiggly had a 16-ounce jar of Jif peanut butter for 39¢, Lady Alice ice milk for 33¢ a half-gallon, and leg o' lamb for 69¢ a pound. Big Apple had a one-pound can of Maxwell House coffee for 69¢, baking hens for 33¢ a pound, and Libby pork & beans for a dime a can. Kroger had round steak for 79¢ a pound, cabbage for 15¢ a head and a quart of Kraft's mayonnaise for 47¢. A&P had yams for a nickel a pound, pork roast for 39¢ a pound, and a dozen oranges for 59¢. Couch's had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, grapefruit for 8¢ each, and a 24-ounce can of Castleberry's beef stew for 49¢.

The cinematic week began with A Rage to Live (with Suzanne Pleshette) at the DeSoto and The Reward (with Max Von Sydow) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought The Ipcress File (with Michael Caine) to the DeSoto, The Secret of My Success (with Stella Stevens) to the First Avenue, and a double feature of Desire Under the Elms (with Sophia Loren & Anthony Perkins) and Moll Flanders (with Kim Novak) at the West Rome Drive-In.

The Beatles continued to hold the number one slot with Paul McCartney's "Yesterday." Other top ten songs included "A Lover's Concerto" by the Toys (#2); "Get Off of My Cloud" by the Rolling Stones (#3); "Keep on Dancing" by the Gentrys (#4); "Everybody Loves a Clown" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#5); "Treat Her Right" by Roy Head (#6); "You're the One" by the Vogues (#7); "Positively 4th Street" by Bob Dylan (#8); "Hang on Sloopy" by the McCoys (#9); and "1-2-3" by Len Barry (#10).

It was a big week for new albums, too: among those album debuting this week in 1965 were Fairytale by Donovan; Going Places by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass; Mann Made by Manfred Mann; My Name is Barbra, Two by Barbra Streisand; the eponymous Paul Butterfield Blues Band; and Burl Ives' Christmas classic Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.

Two of DC Comics' most famous female superheroes, Supergirl and Wonder Woman, teamed up in Brave & Bold #63, on sale this week in 1965. Considering how few female superheroes there were in comics at this time, a team-up of this sort was noteworthy indeed; alas, it wasn't illustrated by Ross Andru & Mike Esposito (the Wonder Woman art team) or by Jim Mooney (the Supergirl artist), so it was a bit of a disappointment for fans of either character.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/11/1965 to 10/17/1965

One of the advantages of having multiple community-focused high schools rather than one high school located in the hinterlands: members of the West Rome Chieftains Club launched their membership drive this week in 1965—and the drive directors had mapped out the West Rome area to ensure that members of the Chieftains Club would be able to visit every single home in the West Rome district to try to encourage parent involvement! That's something that the folks at Rome High School wouldn't even attempt nowadays...

The Rome City School System joined in observing National School Lunch Week this week in 1965—and they really know how to make lunchrooms popular back then! To commemorate the week, they replaced Tuesday's hot dog lunch with a foot long hot dog lunch (and to a kid like me who loved hot dogs, there could be no better way to celebrate School Lunch Week than to get a chili dog that was twice as big as usual!).

Rome police solved a whole lot of burglary cases in two fell swoops when they cracked not one but two burglary rings. The first ring involved four Romans, while the second ring involved ten men. More than $20,000 in cash and merchandise was found at the sites of the two arrests. According to Sheriff's investigator Bill Hart, all evidence indicated that the two groups of burglars didn't know each other and had no connections.

West Rome celebrated its homecoming on Saturday, October 16th--and what better way to celebrate than with a football victory? The Chiefs defeated Cedartown 26-7, with Roger Weaver taking the spotlight. Weaver scored West Rome's first touchdown and gained 63 of set Rome's 172 yards. While he didn't score again, his running set up the second and third touchdowns, which were scored by Ronnie Parker and Arbie Lovell; the fourth touchdown was scored by David Garrett.

214 people attended the YMCA Program Planning Caravan on Saturday at West Rome High School. The event was designed to acquaint Tri-Hi-Y and Hi-Y officers with the responsibilities of their office; the West Rome Tri-Hi-Y acted as host for the caravan.

In a time when every soft drink manufacturer was using nothing but deposit bottles, Double Cola began touting their new no-deposit 12 ounce bottles this week in 1965. Even better, the bottle caps for these new bottles offered purchasers a chance to win prizes and gifts.

Friday was  fish day in Rome, with Redford's promoting their Friday fish fillet dinner for 65¢, including pinto beans, creamed potatoes, cole slaw, hot rolls, and coffee or tea. Meanwhile, Kentucky Fried Chicken had their Friday fish dinner for only 79¢, including two flounder fillets, french fries, hot biscuits, and tartar sauce (I had no idea KFC even offered fish fillets!). And not to be left out, McDonald's was pushing their new Filet o' Fish sandwich with a three-for-69¢ special. And of course, the school lunch on Friday was--you guessed it--fish!

Piggly Wiggly had five pounds of Colonial sugar for 39¢, baking hens for 29¢ a pound, and cabbage for a nickel a pound. Big Apple had Porterhouse steak for $1.09 a pound, Irvindale ice milk for 39¢ a pound, and red delicious apples for 12¢ a pound. Kroger had standing rib roast for 75¢ a pound, sweet potatoes for 8¢ a pound, and Armour chili for 33¢ a can. A&P had pork loin for 65¢ a loud, tokay grapes for a dime a pound, and a 24-ounce jar of Ann Page jelly for 45¢. Couch's had pork roast for 59¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and Castleberry's Brunswick stew for 49¢ a pound. 

The cinematic week began with The Third Day (with George Peppard & Elizabeth Ashley) at the DeSoto Theater and Mirage (with Gregory Peck & Diane Baker) at the First Avenue. The midweek switchout brought A Rage to Live (with Suzanne Pleshette) to the DeSoto and Young Dillinger (with Nick Adams) to the First Avenue, while the West Rome Drive-In's weekend screenings included a double feature of Sergeant Deadhead (with Frankie Avalon) and The Earth Dies Screaming (with Willard Parker).

The Beatles held on to the number one slot for another week with Paul McCartney's "Yesterday." Other top ten hits included "Treat Her Right" by Roy Head (#2); "A Lover's Concerto" by the Toys (#3); "Get Off of My Cloud" by the Rolling Stones (#4); "Keep on Dancing" by the Gentrys (#5); "Hang on Sloopy" by the McCoys (#6); "Just a  Little Bit Better" by Herman's Hermits (#7); "Everybody Loves a Clown" by Gary Lewis & The Playboys (#8); "Positively 4th Street" by Bob Dylan (#9); and "You're the One" by the Vogues (#10).

Cher released her first solo album, All I Really Want to Do, this week in 1965. The covers album was produced by Sonny Bono.

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/4/1965 to 10/10/1965

The Chiefs fell 20-14 to the top-rated Kingsport team on October 8th in an away game played in Kingston, TN. "We were outmanned," Coach Paul Kennedy said, "but the boys played their hearts out and I'm proud of them. Kennedy went on to say that David Garrett played "the finest game of his career," and he also praised David Slaughter, Benny Padgett, and Richard Camp for their outstanding performance on the field.

Five shop courses were added to the West Rome curriculum: drafting, woodworking, electronics, metal working, and general shop. The classes were all offered in West Rome's new state-of-the-art shop, which was equipped with facilities to accommodate up to 18 classes a day.

Mac's Radio & Television Shop on Glen Milner Boulevard was hit by burglars in search of entertainment early in the morning on October 5th; the thieves took off with five television sets, a record player, and a portable stereo. The owner said that this was his fourth burglary this year--and the largest! Two nights later, thieves (most likely the same group) hit B&L Appliance & TV Center on E. Third Avenue, but they were scared off by a patrol car before they could steal anything.

The draft may be a part of history nowadays, but it was a very real concern in 1965. 111 Floyd County young men were called up for pre-induction draft physicals in October 1965, an increase of 73 (almost 200%!) over the prior month's numbers. The actual number of Romans slated to be drafted was 29, a increase of 24 over September's call-up of 5 (and almost a 500% increase). Today's teens have no idea how lucky they are to be able to make plans for their lives without worrying about an unplanned military draft call-up.

McDonald's began to downplay their short-lived hot dog offering, instead stressing their Filet o'Fish sandwich for only a quarter. Unlike the hot dog, the Filet O'Fish was destined to become a permanent part of McDonald's menu!

Piggly Wiggly had round steak for 79¢ a pound, eggs for 39¢ a dozen, and Chicken of the Sea tuna for 33¢ a can. Big Apple had pork loin for 59¢ a pound, Libby pork & beans for a dime a can, and a ten-pound bag of White Lily flour for 97¢. Kroger had cubed steak for $1.09 a pound, Mel-o-Soft white bread for a dime a loaf, and a ten-pound bag of apples for 89¢. A&P had whole fryers for 25¢ a pound, Eight O'Clock coffee for 65¢ a pound, and red grapes for a dime a pound. Couch's had beef liver for 23¢ a pound, Campbell's tomato soup for a dime a can, and Aristocraft ice milk for 33¢ a half-gallon.

The cinematic week began with Marriage on the Rocks (with Frank Sinatra, Deborah Kerr, & Dean Martin) at the DeSoto and A Zebra in the Kitchen (with Jay North & Andy Devine) at the First Avenue Theater. The midweek switch out brought The Third Day (with George Peppard & Elizabeth Ashley) to the Desoto Theater and The Skull (with Peter Cushing) to the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In's weekend offering was a double feature of Circus World (with John Wayne) and A Very Special Favor (with Rock Hudson & Leslie Caron).

The Beatles held on to number one for a second week with Paul McCartney's earnest "Yesterday." Other top ten hits included "Treat Her Right" by Roy Head (#2); "Hang on Sloopy" by the McCoys (#3); "A Lover's Concerto" by the Toys (#4); "Keep on Dancing" by the Gentrys (#5); "The 'In' Crowd" by the Ramsey Lewis Trio (#6); "Just a Little Bit Better" by Herman's Hermits (#7); "Baby Don't Go" by Sonny & Cher (#8); "Do You Believe in Magic?" by the Lovin' Spoonful (#9); and "Eve of Destruction" by Barry McGuire (#10).

Marvel Comics made it easy for readers to catch up on their four-year-old Marvel Universe in the pages of Marvel Collector's Item Classics #1, which offered complete reprints of early issues of Fantastic Four, Amazing Spider-Man, Tales to Astonish featuring Ant-Man, and Journey Into Mystery featuring Tales of Asgard. It's hard to believe that only four years after Marvel kicked off its Silver Age superhero line, there was so much readership growth that Marvel could justify complete reprints--but for fans like me who had a few holes in their collection, this new reprint collection was just the thing!