Saturday, May 30, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/31/1965 to 6/6/1965

This was the week that the 1964-1965 school year wrapped up. Students had to come to school on Monday and Tuesday, and then they were free for the summer! (For me, June 1st marked the end of my one and only year at West End Elementary. My fifth grade year was spent in classrooms in the West Rome Junior High School building at the south end of West Rome High School, since growth in West Rome meant that West End Elementary was too small from the day it opened. My sixth grade year was spent at West End, but the upcoming seventh grade meant we were going back to West Rome Junior High--this time, not as elementary school "guests," but as junior high students! That's probably why I never really felt attached to West End, but I felt very comfortable at West Rome Junior High.)

West Rome High School commencement exercises took place at the City Auditorium on June 1st. 163 students graduated in a ceremony that began with a commencement speech by Georgia Lt. Governor Peter Zack Geer.

Rome's economy continued to grow, with a 7% increase in bank debits in April (in the pre-computer days of 1965, it took longer to compile data than it does today). Debits are checks and withdrawals from local accounts--and while an increase in debits may sound like a potential problem, it's actually quite the contrary. A growth in spending meant a growth in business activity, and that's a very good thing indeed!

Piggly Wiggly had 24 ounce cans of Swift's beef stew or chili for 39¢ each, ground chuck for 69¢ a pound, and a two-pound bag of Vashling frozen wrench fries for 39¢. Big Apple had ground beef for 37¢ a pound, Irvindale ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon, and Coca Cola or Tab for 29¢ a carton plus deposit. Kroger had sirloin steak for 79¢ a pound, large eggs for 33¢ a dozen, and ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon. A&P had pork loin for 63¢ a pound, corn for a nickel an ear, and a five-pound bag of Ballard's flour for 55¢. Couch's had Southern Maid hot dogs for 39¢ a pound, a 28-ounce jar of Blue Plate peanut butter for 59¢, and cantaloupes for a quarter each.

The cinematic week began with Mary Poppins (with Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke) at the DeSoto and a James Bond double feature of Dr. No (the film that inspired the name for my comic book shop!) and From Russia With Love at the First Avenue, while the West Rome Drive-In offered a double feature of Gunslinger (a nine-year-old Roger Corman Western with John Ireland & Beverly Garland) and Pajama Party (with Annette Funicello & Tommy Kirk). Mary Poppins continued for another week, while the First Avenue brought in The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders (with Kim Novak) and the West Rome Drive-In screened The Caddy (an oldie with Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis) and A Swingin' Summer (with James Stacy & Lori Williams).

The number one song this week in 1965 was "Back in My Arms Again" by the Supremes. Other top ten hits included "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (#2); "Crying in the Chapel" by Elvis Presley (#3); "I Can't Help Myself" by the Four Tops (#4); "Help Me Rhonda" by the Beach Boys (#5); "Mr. Tambourine Man" by the Byrds (#6); "Engine Engine #9" by Roger Miller (#7); "Wonderful World" by Herman's Hermits (#8); "Ticket to Ride" by the Beatles (#9); and "Just a Little" by the Beau Brummels (#10).

This week's TV Guide featured a cover story on Dick York, who played Darrin Stephens on Bewitched for the first few seasons. Co-stars Elizabeth Montgomery and Agnes Moorehead had nothing but praise for York's comedy skills, but York played down his accomplishments. One thing York said about his contributions to the success of the series proved to be amazingly prophetic: "Maybe it’s me. I don’t think so, but the only way to tell if it’s me or not is to kill me off in one show, give the witch another husband and see if I’m missed." A year later, illness forced York to leave the series, and he was replaced by Dick Sargent (who was originally offered the role but passed) for the final three seasons. But for those of us who grew up with Bewitched, Dick York would always be the one true Darrin...

TV Guide also mentioned that NBC's in-the-works science fiction series was being reworked to replace Jeffrey Hunter, who had originally been cast as the captain of the starship. The producers of the series, Star Trek, had hired a new actor named William Shatner to take on the role of the Enterprise's captain; if all went well, NBC hoped to air the series in 1966.

Steve Ditko's two big Marvel Comics creations crossed paths in Amazing Spider-Man Annual #2's story teaming up Spidey and Doctor Strange, on sale this week in 1965. Marvel also mixed Graeco-Roman and Norse mythologies in Journey Into Mystery with Thor Annual #1, which featured Thor versus Hercules. What a great way to begin the summer as far as comics fans were concerned!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/24/1965 to 5/30/1965

This was the last full school week of the 1964-1965 school year; Chieftains had to come back on Monday and Tuesday of the next week, but a two-day week (even one with final exams) wasn't that much of a school week at all! Seniors' last day of class was Friday, May 28th, with Senior Class Night scheduled for that evening.

The Rome City School system announced an agreement with the Federal Department of Health, Education, and Welfare that would result in the desegregation of grades 1, 2, 3, 7, 9, and 12 in the 1965-1966 school year and the addition of grades 4, 8, 9, and 10 in the 1966-1967 school year, with all grades being desegregated by the beginning of the 1967-1968 school year. The era of "separate but equal" (which was never truly equal at all) was finally coming to an end, even though it's unclear why it was taking three years to fully bring segregation to a close--it seems like it would have been easier to have desegregated all grades at once than to have this complex system of individual grade desegregation...

Coach Paul Kennedy was chosen by the Kiwanis Club as the Track Coach of the Year in Rome and Floyd County. The Rome/Floyd County all-star track team was also announced (based on best posted times and distances), and it included Dickie Sapp in the hundred yard dash (10 seconds); Arbie Lovell in the high hurdles (15.2 seconds); Arbie Lovell in the low hurdles (20.4 seconds); Dickie Sapp in the broad jump (22' 8.25"); and Dickie Sapp, Louis Kauffman, Arbie Lovell, Ray Jones, and Steve Holland in the 440 relay.

The Floyd Hospital Authority announced plans to construct an eight-bed psychiatric ward addition paid for entirely with local funds; the addition would provide semi-private rooms to the psychiatric wing. Constructing the addition without federal funding would speed up the construction by more than a year.

Did you know that there was once a federal excise tax on televisions? Well, that tax ended in May 1965, and the immediate result was lower television prices. Sears has a 21" Silvertone color television for only $329.00 (yeah, that's the equivalent of almost $2500 in today's dollars, but cutting edge technology has always been expensive!...)

Dempsey-Anderson Motor Company advertised the new 1965 1/2 Rambler Marlin Sports Fastback on sale this week in 1965. The Marlin was a sports fastback with a vinyl roof hardtop, a choice of manual or automatic transmissions, a 327 cubic inch V-8, and reclining front seats.

Kentucky Fried Chicken celebrated the beginning of summer with an 89¢ chicken dinner special featuring three pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes & gravy, slaw, and hot biscuits. If that was too much for your budget, 54¢ would get a chicken gizzard dinner with the same sides, while 69¢ would buy a chicken liver dinner (a real treat in my household!). They also urged customers to try their "famous Brunswick stew" (I must confess that I don't recall KFC's Brunswick stew at all, so apparently their ad campaign wasn't successful with my family--or the stew was too expensive for out budget back in the mid-1960s).

Piggly Wiggly had Peter Pan canned tuna (Peter Pan made tuna?) for a quarter a can, Southern brand American cheese for 49¢ a pound, and Plymouth bacon for 59¢ a pound. Big Apple had pork tenderloin for 57¢ a pound, Happy Valley ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon, and sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound. Kroger had 12 ounce cans of Big K soft drinks for 6¢ each, cantaloupes for 33¢ each, and baking hens for 29¢ a pound. A&P had Oscar Mayer bologna for 39¢ a pound, shank portion ham for 35¢ a pound, and vine ripe tomatoes for 19¢ a pound. Couch's had their in-store-ground country sausage for 49¢ a pound, 18 ounce jars of Bama strawberry preserves for 49¢, and squash for a dime a pound.

The cinematic week began with Mary Poppins (with Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke) at the DeSoto Theater and Young Cassidy (with Rod Taylor) at the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-in resumed its seven-nights-a-week schedule this week in 1965 with a double feature of Commancheros (with John Wayne) and John Goldfarb Please Come Home (starring Shirley MacLaine & Peter Ustinov--and written by none other than William Peter Blatty, who went on to become famous for The Exorcist). The midweek switch out brought a double feature of Dr. No and From Russia With Love (the first two James Bond films, both starring Sean Connery, the one true James Bond) to the First Avenue, while the West Rome Drive-In went for the big screen spectacle with Cleopatra (starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton); Mary Poppins hung around for a second week at the DeSoto.

The Beach Boys took the number one spot this week for the second week in a row this week in 1965 with "Help Me Rhonda."  Other top ten hits included "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (#2); "Back in My Arms Again" by the Supremes (#3); "Crying in the Chapel" by Elvis Presley (#4); "Ticket to Ride" by the Beatles (#5); "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits (#6); "I Can't Help Myself" by the Four Tops (#7); "Just a Little" by the Beau Brummels (#8); "Engine Engine #9" by Roger Miller (#9); and "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones (#10).

The number one album this week wasn't by any of the artists listed above, however: it was the Mary Poppins soundtrack, which had taken the number on position in April and was destined to hold on to that slot until mid-July.

The Enemy Ace, a somber, introspective WWI flying ace inspired by Baron Von Richthofen, earned his first solo comic book this week in 1965. Written by Robert Kanigher and illustrated by Joe Kubert, Showcase #57 featured a full-length tale of Hans Von Hammer, who was first introduced in Our Army at War #151 a few months earlier.

Who knew that Max Baer, best known for his portrayal of Jethro on the Beverly Hillbillies, was such a hostile and unpleasant guy? Well, we all knew after reading his interview in TV Guide this week in 1965; he revealed that he didn't like the show, but "the money's good, the dames are good..." He also dismissed fellow actors on other hit series, such as  Jim Drury and Robert Reed, as "nothing actors" who were nothing more than handsome faces. *sigh*

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/17/1965 5o 5/23/1965

Any Chieftains hoping to take the long way around Redmond Circle to West Rome was probably surprised to discover that the road was closed to through traffic for the first two days of the week due to resurfacing of the Redmond Circle-Garden Lakes Boulevard intersection. (While my parents never went this way to take me to school when I was a kid, I remember that Phil Patterson's sister Judy sometimes went "the long way" from Watson Street to West Rome High, and I'm sure she wasn't the only one.)

And speaking of Watson Street, at long last, Rome's new million-gallon water tank near the railroad tracks on Watson Street was completed and painted this week in 1965. Once the paint was allowed to dry and cure, Rome would begin filling the tank in preparation to put it into service beginning in July. The addition of a 1 million gallon tank was designed to alleviate water pressure issues in West Rome; since development began in West Rome in the 1950s, Rome's water usage had grown to six million gallons a day on average, and almost a quarter of that was in the West Rome area.

Stan Dawson was awarded Shorter College's Dean's Scholarship for the 1965 summer session. "Stan was chosen because of his outstanding record and capabilities," West Rome guidance counselor Owen Blanton said. The scholarship covered tuition costs for summer courses at Shorter.

Rome and Floyd County School System officials met with US Commissioner of Education Francis Keppel in Atlanta this week in 1965, hoping to discuss school desegregation rulings and plans for the next school year. The federal government had informed both systems that they were requiring that at least four grades be desegregated by the start of the 1965-1966 school year in order for each system to continue receiving federal funds. The Rome system's counter-proposal involved desegregating the first through third grades, while the federal government insisted that they had to desegregate the first grade, the seventh grade, the ninth grade, and the twelfth grade. The meetings were designed to develop a final agreement in order to avoid a funding cutoff.

At the same time that a federal funds cutoff was being threatened, the Rome City School System announced that they had received a $31,000 federal grant to launch a Project Headstart pre-school program for underprivileged students. "Availability of these funds in Rome will enable these children to get a head start in escaping from poverty by avoiding its basic cause—the lack of an early education," Seventh District Congressman John W. Davis said.

WROM-FM began a soft launch of its stereo broadcasting on 97.7FM on Sunday, May 23rd, prior to launching full-time service on Monday, May 24th. This would be Rome's first full-time FM stereo radio station, which would mean an uphill battle for listeners, since few vehicles and even fewer homes had FM radios at this time.

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, Borden's sherbet for 49¢ a half-gallon, and cantaloupes for 29¢ each.  Big Apple had Cudahy's bacon for 55¢ a pound, Peter Pan peanut butter for 35¢ a jar, and bananas for a dime a pound. Kroger had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, fresh eggs for 33¢ a dozen, and Spotlight coffee for 59¢ a pound. A&P had baking hens for 29¢ a pound, strawberries for 29¢ a pint, and Hydrox (better than Oreos!) for 45¢ a package. Couch's had Morton's or Mrs. Smith's frozen pies for 33¢ each, five pounds of Domino Sugar for 39¢, and T-bone steak for 89¢ a pound.

The cinematic week began with Beach Blanket Bingo at the DeSoto Theater and Masquerade at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought the acclaimed Walt Disney film Mary Poppins (with Julie Andrews & Dick Van Dyke) to the DeSoto for a two-week run and The Fool Killer (with Anthony Perkins) to the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In's weekend double feature included Fun In Acapulco (with Elvis Presley) and Black Spurs (with nobody who matters).

The Beach Boys took the number one position this week in 1965 with "Help Me Rhonda." Other top ten hits included "Ticket to Ride" by the Beatles (#2); "Back in My Arms Again" by the Supremes (#3); "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits (#4); "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (#5); "Crying in the Chapel" by Elvis Presley (#6); "Count Me In" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#7); "I'll Never Find Another You" by the Seekers (#8); "Just a Little" by the Beau Brummels (#9); and "It's Not Unusual" by Tom Jones (#10).

This week in 1965, CBS announced that they had signed Eddie Albert to appear in a new sitcom slated to debut in the fall of '65; the working title was Country Cousins, but most of us remember it by its final name, Green Acres.

Among this week's noteworthy album releases were Tom Jones' debut album Along Came Jones; Herman's Hermits on Tour by... well, you can figure it out; My Name is Barbra by Barbra Streisand; My Funny Valentine by Miles Davis; Maiden Voyage by Herbie Hancock; and Wooly Bully by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs.

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Family by Birth, Family by Choice

I have no brothers by birth. I have one incredible sister, Kimberly, but she and are the only two children in our family.

I am lucky enough, however, to have two brothers by choice: Charles Rutledge and Jim Moore. These are people who have become such close friends over the years that I have come to love both of them as brothers. These are men with whom I've shared both the joys and the hardships that life has dealt me; they have celebrated my best moments, and they have helped me to endure my worst. I love the both of them as much as I could love any brother by birth.

Charles and Jim have been so close by for so long that I pretty much took it for granted that they would always be a part of my daily existence. Sometimes you don't really know how good things were until they change. I didn't fully appreciate their daily presence in my life until I first realized that was about to change.

Jim has often talked of moving to New England, but the fates and the complexities of life conspired to keep him here for so long that I had thought (or hoped) that he was a Georgian for life. However, in recent months a variety of events  intersected at just the right moment, leading Jim to decide this was the time to give New England a try.

As of tomorrow morning, Jim hits the road for Boston, all his belongings in a U-Haul truck; he's joined by his good friend Chris Golden, who flew down here for World Horror Con and is riding back with Jim. Chris is a great guy, and I'm glad that he's working with Jim to make this dream of a New England life become a reality. But at the same time, part of me wishes it wasn't happening.

Jim has been a cherished part of our Wednesday night dinners for so long that it'll be tough to see anyone else sitting in his chair; I'll have the resist the urge to tell them to move over so that Jim will have a place at the table with us. But for a while, at least (and we're hoping it's only for a while), Jim will be with us in spirit only. The lively conversations, the occasional venting, the ruminations, prognostications, and cogitations... they'll have to take place via email or phone. But that chair just to Charles' left will always be Jim's chair; we're just letting other people keep it warm for him.

Thornton Wilder said it pretty well in Our Town:

“EMILY: "Does anyone ever realize life while they live it...every, every minute?"

STAGE MANAGER: "No. Saints and poets maybe...they do some.” 

Not one of us every fully realizes the wondrous joy of all those moments while we live them, alas; it's only when they end (hopefully temporarily... but I more than many know the unpredictability of our lives) that we can fully gauge what they meant to us.

Jim, you meant a lot. Still do. And while you're in Boston, remember—there's a place at the table for you every Wednesday.

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/10/1965 to 5/16/1965

West Rome extended its winning streak to eight games on Monday with a pair of victories. They began with an 11-4 victory over Dalton in a regular season game, then followed that up on the same day with a 14-4 win over Armuchee in the Annual Floyd County tournament. The Chiefs looked likely to extend their win to nine games with a victory over East Rome on Tuesday, but a rain storm forced the game to be called in the third inning... too early for West Rome's 5-1 lead to translate into a win. The game was rescheduled for May 12th, but the 24-hour delay did not deter West Rome, with the Chief posting a 7-6 victory. Alas, the win wasn't enough to move West Rome's baseball team into the playoffs; instead, it forced East Rome into a playoff against Calhoun for the Region 3-AA South title. (A mixed early season took a toll that a nine-game winning streak couldn't overcome, unfortunately.)

The Floyd County baseball tournament was held on Thursday, May 13th, with West Rome winning 9-8 over Model. The win wasn't a sure thing, though: Model scored seven runs in the first inning, but West Rome came back to take the game. Alas, the Chieftains' winning streak ended there; the next day, they were defeated 5-4 by Darlington, who took the Floyd County championship.

West Rome's track team defeated the Gladiators on Tuesday with a 87 1/2 point to 85 point win; LaFayette and Calhoun came in a distant third and fourth place. The victory resulted in West Rome taking the sub-region championship and advancing to the Region 3-AA South track and field championship. "I never saw a more determined bunch of guys in my life," Coach Kennedy said. "We trailed to 18 points at one time and the closest I figured we could come to East Rome was six points."

The track team's winning streak ended there, however. Dalton won a decisive victory, scoring 132 points to West Rome's 77, due in large part to Dickie Sapp's injury in a pre-game bicycle incident at the school early Friday afternoon. As a result, Dalton took the Region 3-AA championship.

The West Rome Senior band held its banquet at the Aloha Restaurant (one of Rome's classier restaurants in the 1960s) on the evening of May 12th. Band director Clyde Roberson presented music camp scholarships to Jean Jackson, Pattie Tolbert, and Travis Payne. New band officers were announced, including Travis Payne (band captain), Wayne Dempsey (drum major); Tony Baker (percussion lieutenant); Regina Swinford (brass lieutenant); and Pat Barner (woodwind lieutenant). Barbara Oldham was named solo twirler; Elissa Payne, majorette captain; and Inga Thomas, Connie Wiggins, Dianne Chambers, Sally Ryer, and Terry Holcomb, majorettes. The 1965-66 color guard included Susan Whaley, Jan Drummond, Judy Ross, and Gwen Day.

On Tuesday, May 11th, Rome voters passed a bond issue to finance school additions and recreational facilities. As is all too common, the vote was decided by a small minority of voters--only 1610 of 10,000 registered voters actually voted, with about 75% of those voters voting in favor of the bond issues. Apparently some things never change... and voter apathy remains at the top of the list.

The Rome City School System "decided to decide" in their meeting on May 13th, voting to file an official desegregation plan by June 15th. This was less than the federal and state government had asked for; they had indicated that some federal and state funds might be withheld if the plan wasn't filed by the end of January. Ultimately, both the federal and state governments agreed to continue funding while waiting on the final plan.

Rome's Annual "May Daze" sales event took place on May 13th, 14th, and 15th, with Rome merchants running special sales on all sorts of merchandise; according to the Rome News-Tribune, this sale event was second only to the week before Christmas in the sales volume that it generated each year. (This was a time when the phrase "Black Friday" didn't exist in terms of shopping; while merchants began stocking and displaying Christmas merchandise right after Thanksgiving, there were no special sales events on that Friday. As a result, Christmas sales hit their peak in the days just before Christmas, not the Thanksgiving weekend.) Sales included a 4 quart ice cream freezer for $14.88 at Enloe's Rexall Drugs, Caravelle watches for $10.95 at Brocks, women's coats for $19 at Esserman's, a Hamilton Beach electric hand mixer for $8.88 at Buy Wise, white wall tires for $19.50 each at Sears, sport coats for $7.99 at Millers, bed pillows for $1 each at Redfords, women's shoes for $10 a pair at Higgins, purses for $2.59 each at Millers, a 21" console color television for $396 at Rome TV and Electronics, a four-racquet badminton set for $4.87 at Murphy's,  and much, much more.

Piggly Wiggly had sliced picnic ham for 33¢ a pound, frozen french fries for 19¢ a pound, and fresh okra for 39¢ a pound. Kroger had pork chops for 59¢ a pound, grapefruit for a nickel each, and eight-count canned biscuits for a dime. Big Apple had Cudahy all-meat hot dogs for 39¢ a package, ground beef for 37¢ a pound, and Nabisco saltines for 19¢ a box. A&P had cantaloupes for 29¢ each, chicken breast quarters for 39¢ a pound, and A&P Coffee for 73¢ a pound. Couch's had chuck roast for 29¢ a pound, Coca Cola or Tab for 99¢ a case pus deposit, and cucumbers for a nickel each.

The cinematic week began with John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn at the DeSoto and My Blood Runs Cold (with Troy Donahue & Joey Heatherton) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought the bawdy Fanny Hill ("A Female Tom Jones!" the ad declared... alas, today that would only confuse most newspaper readers, who would wonder what a period piece film has to do with a aging pop singer) to the First Avenue and the decidedly not bawdy Beach Blanket Bingo (with Frankie Avalon & Annette Funicello) to the DeSoto. The West Rome Drive-In added a double feature for the weekend—Captain Newman (with Gregory Peck & Tony Curtis) and The Truth About Spring (with Hayley Mills & James MacArthur).

The Beatles returned to number one with "Ticket to Ride," finally bouncing Herman's Hermits out of first place. Other top ten its included "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits (#2); "Count Me In" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#3); "Help Me Rhonda" by the Beach Boys (#4); "I'll Never Find Another You" by the Seekers (#5); "Back in My Arms Again" by the Supremes (#6); "Silhouettes" by Herman's Hermits (#7); "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (#8); "Just One In My Life" by the Righteous Brothers (#9); and "Crying in the Chapel" by Elvis Presley (#10).

Donovan Leitch, better known by his first name only, made his musical debut this week in 1965 with the release of the album What's Bin Did and What's Bin Hid in the UK; in the US, the title was changed to Catch the Wind to take advantage of the popularity of the single by the same name. Donovan began as a folk singer in the Pete Seeger-Bob Dylan vein before venturing into pre-psychedelic pop with songs like "Mellow Yellow" and "Hurdy Gurdy Man."

Saturday, May 02, 2015

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/3/1965 to 5/9/1965

The Rome City School Board gave priority approval to an expenditure for shop equipment for the new West Rome High shop that was already under construction. Yes, the city did indeed approve construction of a new shop before deciding whether or not to pay for any equipment to go into those newly constructed walls! Such is educational bureaucracy...

West Rome's track team defeated Cherokee County and Calhoun in a three-way track meet on May 3rd, racking up 99 points versus Cherokee's 34 and Calhoun's 25. Steve Holland set a school record of 22.9 seconds in the 220 yard dash.

The Chieftains beat the Carollton Trojans 7-6 on Wednesday, May 5th. The victory came in the 7th inning, thanks to the hitting of Tod Zeiger and Ronnie Parker. The next day, they defeated Coosa 11-5 in a game that was clearly West Rome's from the first inning, when they scored three runs. Then they posted another victory (their sixth win in a row) on Saturday, beating Cass 9-5.

And finally, topping out a great sports week for West Rome, the Chiefs defeated East Rome thanks to a victory in the mile relay... the same race in which a loss the year before had caused the Chiefs to fall to the Gladiators. In both years, the score was tied 61-61 going into the final event.

West Rome junior Janet Johnson was chosen as the state reporter for the Georgia Association of Library Assistants; Johnson was elected at the annual convention held in Lake Jackson.

Don Biggers (my dad and one of the most ardent West Rome supporters I knew, even though his job as sports editor required that he keep that out of his newspaper columns and articles) was one of three Rome News-Tribune staff members to win an Associated Press news writing award this week in 1965. Dad won a first place citation or sports reporting for his interview with golfer Phil Rodgers. Mom always celebrated Dad's awards with a special meal or a special dessert; I wish now I could say that I remembered exactly what we had in celebration of Dad's recognition. (One of the most enjoyable aspects of researching material for this column is that I get to see Dad's professional acumen from the point of view of an adult who fully realizes the challenge posed by a blank page--or screen--and a deadline. He made it look so easy that I just assumed that writing came naturally for everyone.  I wouldn't be a  professional writer--nor would I be doing this column each week--if Dad hadn't made writing seem to be as intrinsic a part of our lives as speaking.)

Piggly Wiggly had Swift's Premium franks for 39¢ a pound, JFG coffee for 59¢ a pound, and fresh strawberries for 49¢ a quart. Kroger had round steak for 79¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and Sealtest ice cream for 69¢ a half-gallon. Big Apple had Oscar Mayer bacon for 59¢ a pound, carrots for a dime a bunch, and a 24-ounce jar of Bama strawberry preserves for 49¢. A&P had cubed steak for 99¢ a pound, whole watermelons for 59¢, and lettuce for a dime a head. Couch's had fresh whole fryers for 23¢ a pound, a pint of JFG mayonnaise for 29¢, and a case of Coca-Cola or Tab for 99¢ plus deposit.

The cinematic week began with The Truth About Spring (with Hayley Mills & James MacArthur) at the DeSoto and A Boy Ten Feet Tall (with Edward G. Robinson) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought John Ford's Cheyenne Autumn to the DeSoto Theatre and Kimberley Jim (with Jim Reeves) to the First Avenue--and for some reason, Rome's theaters were so convinced that people wanted to see Kimberley Jim that they also showed at the West Rome Drive-In over the weekend. That's a lot of screen time for a movie that I've never heard of!...

Herman's Hermits had two songs in the top ten for the third week in a row: "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter" held on to first place, while "Silhouettes" climbed to #5. Other top ten hits included "Count Me In" by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#2); "Ticket to Ride" by the Beatles (#3); "I'll Never Find Another You" by the Seekers (#4); "Help Me Rhonda" by the Beach Boys (#6); "I Know a Place" by Petula Clark (#7); "I'll Be Doggone" by Marvin Gaye (#8); "Just Once in My Life" by the Righteous Brothers (#9); and "Wooly Bully" by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (#10).

Thor first faced off against the Destroyer in Marvel Comics' Journey Into Mystery #118, on sale this week in 1965. As I watched the Destroyer confront Thor on the big screen a couple of years ago, I still remembered the sense of wonder that Stan Lee & Jack Kirby brought to this story a half-century ago, and I only wish that Jack had lived long enough to see one of his most visually distinctive villains adapted so well to film.