Saturday, January 02, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/3/1966 to 1/9/1966

Coach Paul Kennedy was named State Coach of the Year for 1965 by the Atlanta Touchdown Club in an public announcement made on January 9th. Kennedy said the honor “came as a complete surprise. I received a letter early last week from the Touchdown Club inviting me to attend the meeting. The letter congratulated me on winning the state championship and on being selected as coach of the year. I didn’t realize what it meant for a while… It is an undeserving award made possible by fine assistant coaches, a fine group of boys, and the tremendous school spirit we had out there this past season. No one man does the job.”

West Rome’s basketball teams scored two wins over Dalton on Tuesday, January 4th. The Boys won 57-56 in overtime in a game the Coach Randall Kent described as “our poorest game of the season,” although he did have good things to say about guard David Garrett, who scored 13 key points; Stan Dawson, who scored 16 points; and Rusty Oxford, who scored 14. The girls had an easier time of it, winning 36-29. Ann Peery led the Chiefs with 10 points.

On January 9th, the Chiefs again racked up dual wins, with the boys winning 72-42 over Chattooga, while the girls won 52-14. Coach Kent praised his boys’ performance. Rusty Oxford led the boys with 25 points, while Stan Dawson scored 15 points. Both Diane Bell and Ann Peery scored 17 points for the girls team.

Nelson McGee of Ledbetter-Johnson Company announced that the East Rome Interchange was more than 60% complete, and the whole interchange would be open in the summer of 1966. The East 12th Street bridge was almost totally complete, and was slated to open later in January, offering Romans a faster way to get to Roy’s Little Garden and other Dean Street businesses.

The draft board confirmed that, as of January 1966, childless married men would still face draft exams and could possibly be drafted, ending the married exemption. 118 Floyd County men, including 60 married men without children, were scheduled to report for their pre-induction exam on January 12th (an increase of 43 men over the December numbers). Mrs. Virginia Turpin of the Floyd Selective Service System  said that they had to begin drafting childless married men because they had pretty much run out single 19 year olds to call up. She also explained that they would now reconsider men who had been exempted because of minor physical defects or health issues. If the call-up of childless married men between the ages of 19 and 25 didn’t yield enough draftees, the next step would be to call up all eligible men between the ages of 26 and 35, both single and childless married, as well as college students who were in the bottom 25% of their class.  Suddenly, those who had presume the draft wouldn’t touch them because of marriage or college had to face the fact that they, too, could become soldiers in Vietnam…

Roman Donald Eugene Kell, who robbed the West Rome Super-Discount Store on Shorter Avenue in mid-December, waived extradition and was returned to Rome from Rhode Island, where he had fled following the robbery. He was held on a bond of $25,000—about 20 times the amount of money he took in the armed robbery. Thankfully, money was all he took—no one was killed or seriously injured.

Piggly Wiggly had eggs for 49¢ a dozen, Swift’s bacon for 69¢, and orange juice for 49¢ a half-gallon. Big Apple had ocean perch for 33¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and a two-pound jar of Lenox Park peanut butter for 69¢. Kroger had Royal Crown or Diet-RC Cola for a quarter a carton plus deposit, chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, and a 20-pound bag of Idaho potatoes for 99¢. A&P had whole flyers for 27¢ a pound, five pounds of Ballard flour for 55¢, and A&P chunk light tuna for 27¢ a can. Couch’s had Southern Maid all-meat wieners for 43¢ a pound, Van Camp’s chili with beans for 29¢ a pound, and vine ripened tomatoes (back when that actually meant something) for 19¢ a pound.

The Rome cinematic week began with Do Not Disturb (with Doris Day & Rod Taylor) at the DeSoto and The Second Best Secret Agent in the Whole Wide World at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought That Darn Cat (with Hayley Mills and Dean Jones) to the DeSoto and Revenge of the Gladiators (with Roger Browne) to the First Avenue. The West Rome Drive-In’s weekend screenings included Bullet for a Bad Man and Under the Yum Yum Tree.

The Beatles took two slots on the top ten this week in 1966: number one with “We Can Work It Out” and number six with “Day Tripper.” Other top ten hits included “Sounds of Silence” by Simon & Garfunkel (#2); “She’s Just My Style” by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#3); “Five O’Clock World” by the Vogues (#4); “Ebb Tide” by the Righteous Brothers (#5); “Flowers on the Wall” by the Statler Brothers (#7); “The Men in My Little Girl’s Life” by Mike Douglas (#8); “As Tears Go By” by the Rolling Stones (#9); and “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” by the T-Bones (#10). The last song began as a musical jingle for an Alka-Seltzer song, and the artists who recorded it weren’t really a group per se—they were Los Angeles session musicians no known as The Wrecking Crew, including Hal Blaine, Carol Caye, and Tommy Tedesco.

The Beatles also claimed the number one album slot with Rubber Soul, giving the Fab Four a very strong start for 1966.

It was the best of times and the worst of times for teen-focused music shows on TV. Hullabaloo was having a banner year, airing promo videos for “Day Tripper” and “We Can Work It Out” on January 3rd. However, Shindig aired its final episode on January 8th after dwindling ratings made it unprofitable; both the Kinks and the Who performed on the finale.

Dell continued to publish its line of TV-based comics, with the first issues of both Get Smart and Hogan’s Heroes debuting this week in 1966.

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