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.

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