Saturday, November 28, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 11/29/1965 to 12/5/1965

Interest was so high in the Georgia Class AA football championship game slated for Saturday night in Atlanta that West Rome officials announced that they were selling tickets for a bus for adults who wanted to see the game but weren’t keen on making the drive. (This was in the years before I-75 was opened, so the preferred route from Rome to Atlanta involved a long drive down US 41 through Marietta.)

Ultimately, almost 3500 Romans made the trek to Grady Stadium in Atlanta to watch the Chiefs defeat St. Pius 6-0. West Rome’s touchdown came in the second quarter when quarterback Mike Souder threw a 34-yard bomb to Arbie Lovell for the game's only scoring play.

Sandy McPhee of East Rome High School walked away with top honors in the baton competition at the National Baton Twirling Association meet in Columbus. So why am I reporting it here? Well, because Sandy’s dad was West Rome principal Dick McPhee, and as her father he was undoubtedly quite proud of her accomplishment, even if she did attend school on the other side of the river!

The Chieftains also launched their basketball season with a 56-43 victory over Chattooga in a Region 3-AA game. “We accomplished what we set out to do,” Coach Randall Kent said. “We played the game only to give our boys some experience before they meet East Rome next week, and we accomplished that aim. The fact that West Rome won was icing on the cake.”

The West Rome Seventh Grade Tri-Hi-Y sponsored a rummage sale on Saturday in front of the old depot building on Broad Street.

The city of Rome began discussion to annex the Old Airport Community near GE in West Rome in order to correct “unhealthy conditions” caused by old, improperly installed, overflowing septic tanks. The city hoped to complete annexation by the middle of 1966.

Governor Carl Sanders visited Rome on November 30th to announce major construction and development plans in the works involving Fox Manufacturing and Trend Mills. Trend confirmed plans to double the size of its carpet manufacturing facility, while Fox was expanding its furniture processing facility. “Since January of 1963, Rome and Floyd County have witnessed nine new planet developments,” Governor Sanders said, “in addition to nineteen major expansions of existing industries. By their decision to locate here, the officials of these firms have sown tangible confidence in the economy and in the people of Rome and Floyd County… In ten years’ time, the total payroll for Floyd County has doubled.” (It’s perfectly understandable why so many of us felt like we were living in the glory days of the Rome-Floyd County area back in the 1960s—because we were!)

Belk-Rhodes received a big shipment of go-go boots for $5.99 to $9.99 a pair… which may be official proof that the go-go craze was coming to an end.

Beginning December 1st, Sears extended its hours until 9pm every night until Christmas (except for Sunday, of course!). “Shop at your one-stop Christmas store,” Sears touted—and back in the 1960s, it pretty much seemed to be true!

Most sheriffs devote a lot of time to trying to keep the jail’s occupants safely locked away, but Sheriff Joe Adams spent two days trying to evict a dog who slipped into the jail to spend time with its owner. A lot of Romans were outspoken in their belief that the dog should be allowed to stay, but the sheriff ultimately took the dog to a kennel to be held until its owner was released.

The Floyd County Home Demonstration Club kicked off their annual three-day Christmas Show beginning Thursday, December 2nd. The show at the Civic Center drew almost 6000 attendees who came to see its displays showing how Christmas was celebrated around the world, with a holiday craft bazaar offering attendees a chance to buy handmade gifts, toys, decorations, and more.

Piggly Wiggly had JFG coffee for 69¢ a pound, sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, and pecans for 99¢ a pound. Kroger had ground beef for 43¢ a pound, Mel-O-Soft bread for 20¢ a loaf, and Scott bathroom tissue for a dime a roll. Big Apple had smoked picnic hams for 39¢ a pound, Bartlett pears for 19¢ a pound, and Sealtest ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon. A&P had whole fryers for a quarter a pound, tangerines for 39¢ a dozen, and a five-pound bag of Irish potatoes for 33¢. Couch’s had Oscar Mayer bacon for 79¢ a pound, Van Camp’s chili for 29¢ a can, and bananas for a dime a pound.

The cinematic week began with Harum Scarum (with Elvis Presley) at the DeSoto Theatre and Agent 8 3/4 (with Dirk Bogarde & Robert Morley) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought The War Lord (with Charlton Heston & Richard Boone) to the DeSoto, while the First Avenue went for a low-budget horror film schlockfest with Frankenstein Meets the Space Monster (with an “I’ve-never-heard-of-them” cast that included James Karen & Marilyn Hanold) and Curse of the Voodoo (starring the equally-unknown Bryant Haliday & Dennis Price) at the First Avenue. Apparently The War Lord was a pretty big deal, because it also played on the big screen at the West Rome Drive-In over the weekend.

The Byrds took first place this week in 1965 with “Turn! Turn! Turn!” Other top ten hits included “I Hear a Sympony” by the Supremes (#2); “Let’s Hang On” by the Four Seasons (#3); “I Got You (I Feel Good)” by James Brown (#4); “Over and Over” by the Dave Clark Five (#5); “I Can Never Go Home Any More” by the Shangri-Las (#6); “1-2-3” by Len Barry (#7); “A Taste of Honey” by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass (#8); “Rescue Me” by Fontella Bass (#9); and “I Will” by Dean Martin (#10).

This was a big week for album release, with The Beatles’ Rubber Soul, the Rolling Stones' December’s Children (And Everybody’s), and The Who’s  debut release, My Generation, all reaching record shops this week in 1965. The Beatles also released their double A-sided single “Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out” to accompany the album’s release.

Marvel Comics became famous for their super-heroes, but Fantasy Masterpieces #1—released this week in 1965—celebrated their pre-hero science fiction, monster, and weird fiction comics from the 1950s and early 1960s, reprinting stories by Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Dick Ayers, Steve Ditko, Don Heck, and Joe Sinnott. The oldest story in the comic was published in 1959, while the most recent was a scant three years old when this comic was published!

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