Friday, January 22, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/24/1966 to 1/30/1966

Rome got just under an inch of snow on January 26th, but it wasn’t enough to close schools for the day—much to the dismay of students, I’m sure! It was close, though: both Polk County school and Gordon County schools were closed because of the weather. After a couple of warm days, a second snowstorm brought 4” of snow to Rome on Saturday, January 29th, dropping temperatures to 4 degrees. Once again, though, school wasn’t affected, since the snow came in on a Saturday; by Monday morning, roads were fine and school was in session. (Is there anything more disappointing to a student than a weekend snowfall? It’s such a waste of perfectly good snow…) Even more frustrating, Floyd County Schools were closed for two days because of the snow, ice, and cold!

The votes were tallied, and West Rome’s Senior Superlatives were announced this week in 1966. The winners were Regina Swinford, Bill Bishop, & Dennis Souder (most dependable—Bill and Dennis tied); Jane Cox & Tom McMahon (most likely to succeed); Cheryl Lanier & Jerry Wiseman (best looking); Jeannie Maxwell & Mike King (best dressed); Donna Ott & Ronney Hall (wittiest); Marsha Morgan & John Brown (friendliest); Ann Peery & David Garrett (most athletic); Patti Tolbert & Travis Payne (most talented); Pat Barna & Mike Murphy (best all-around); and Connie Love & Arbie Lovell (best personality). Jeannie Maxwell was selected as Miss West Rome, while John Brown was chosen as Mr. West Rome. The class favorites were Charlene Lamb & Mike Murphy.

They weren’t making any progress on a direct I-75 link to Rome, so the Rome-Floyd Chamber of Commerce looked west for a new project: an interstate highway from Memphis, TN to Columbia, SC—and the route would take it right through Rome. Apparently they were no more successful with that proposal than they were with the I-75 proposal… but for what it’s worth, the recently-completed bypass from US 27 near Georgia Highlands College to the Alabama Road was built on some of the land originally purchased for the never-constructed interstate, so something came out of the project… fifty years later!

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, collards for 19¢ a bunch, and Bama jelly for 23¢ a jar (and these weren’t the usual jelly-glass jars, but the new Bama server jars that were supposed to be so attractive that you’d want to save them forever!). Big Apple had veal cutlets for 99¢ a pound, pears for 15¢ a pound, and Wesson oil for 49¢ a quart. Kroger had fruit cocktail for 12¢ a can, bananas for a dime a pound, and sirloin tip roast for 99¢ a pound. A&P had Campbell’s soup for 18¢ a can, avocados for 19¢ each, and Star-Kist chunk light tuna for 31¢ a can. Couch’s had stew beef for 49¢ a pound, celery for a dime a bunch, and a two-pound jar of JFG peanut butter for 59¢.

That Darn Cat was still hanging around at the DeSoto Theater for the first part of the week, while Thunderball (with the one true James Bond, Sean Connery) was showing at the First Avenue. The midweek switchout brought a bawdy double feature of Tom Jones and Irma La Douce to the DeSoto, while Sean Connery continued to search for a lost nuclear missile in Thunderball at the First Avenue. Apparently theater-owners were convinced that Rome had a real appetite for risqué films: the Tom Jones-Irma La Douce double feature was also showing at the West Rome Drive-In over the weekend, which meant that while kids couldn’t buy tickets, they could see segments of the film if they were riding down Shorter Avenue heading towards West Rome High School at just the right time of night…

Petula Clark took the number one slot this week in 1966 with “My Love.” Other top ten hits included “Barbara Ann” by the Beach Boys (#2); “No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach’s In)” by the T-Bones (#3); “We Can Work It Out” by the Beatles (#4); “Lightnin’ Strikes” by Lou Christie (#5); “The Men in My Little Girl’s Life” by Mike Douglas (#6); “She’s Just My Style” by Gary Lewis & the Playboys (#7); “Five O’Clock World” by the Vogues (#8); “A Must to Avoid” by Herman’s Hermits (#9); and “Crying Time” by Ray Charles (#10).

The Beatles’ Rubber Soul held on to the top slot on the album charts, but Whipped Cream & Other Delights by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass climbed back to the number two slot… and I’m sure that sexy cover photo of a lovely woman covered in whipped cream had a lot to do with it!

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