Saturday, April 30, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/2/1966 to 5/8/1966

The Rome City School system announced that Governor Carl Sanders would deliver the commencement address at graduation services scheduled for the Rome City Auditorium on June 6th. Apparently both West Rome and East Rome had hoped to get the governor--but once again, the Chieftains won against the Gladiators!

School desegregation plans were finalized this week in 1966, with a total of 400 black students signing up to attend previously-segregated city schools; 47 students were scheduled to attend West Rome beginning in the fall of 1966, marking the end of a segregation era that lasted for far too long.

West Rome was the site of an almost fruitless robbery on May 2nd when a thief broke into the Dinner Bell Cafe at 612 Shorter Avenue and stole (get ready for it) eight packs of chewing gum and $5 in pennies. As I said, it was almost fruitless… but apparently not Juicy Fruit-less!…

The car theft ring that the city and county police cracked a week earlier led to a new arrest when NASCAR driver Henley Gray, the ninth ranked NASCAR point winner in 1966, was arrested for possessing an automobile with altered serial numbers. Turned out that Gray had also been an owner of the garage-junkyard that was the site of a chop shop and the base of operations for the theft ring.

The Tri-County Regional Library held a dedication ceremony for its new facility on May 2nd, highlighted by a speech from Congressman John W. Davis and a “history of the Tri-County Library” presentation by state library consultant Lucille Nix.

And the excitement never stopped in Rome in 1966: The National All-Jersey Milk Dealers conference kicked off on May 6th, hosted by Dempsey Brothers Dairies, who made a concerted effort to milk the event for all it was worth with heavy advertising for their Saturday prize dairy cow showing.

Suppose they held a track meet and no one else showed up? That’s almost what happened on May 2nd when West Rome defeated Calhoun 126-20 in a dual track meet. Oh, the Calhoun team was there, but apparently they weren’t ready to compete, judging from the score. The Calhoun team won only a single event—otherwise, it was West Rome all the way!

The next day, the track team beat Cherokee County and Cedartown 91-40-39 in a three-way meet, led by Arbie Lovell (who took first in the low hurdles, the high hurdles, and the triple jump) and Lane Warner (who took first in the 880 and the mile run).

The Chieftains baseball team defeated Dalton 4-1 on May 3rd, thanks to Oscar Horne’s three-hitter, along with two runs scored by Bubba Holbrooks and one each by Ronnie Parker and Oscar Horne.

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 99¢ a pound, Lady Alice ice milk for 35¢ a half-gallon, and a 100-count box of Luzianne tea bags for 69¢. Kroger had turkeys for 39¢ a pound, tomatoes for a quarter a pound, and a three-pound bag of Winesap apples for 59¢. A&P had corn for 8¢ an ear, shank portion ham for 33¢ a pound, and rib roast for 79¢ a pound. Big Apple had RC Cola or Diet Rite for 89¢ a case plus deposit, ground beef for 47¢ a pound, and Bailey’s Supreme coffee for 59¢ s pound. Couch’s had lamb roast for 49¢ a pound, eggs for 33¢ a dozen, and Cudahy Round-Up bacon for 63¢ a pound.

With the DeSoto Theater closed for a few weeks for renovation, Rome’s theatrical choices were slim pickings indeed. The First Avenue kicked off the week with the seven-year-old film North by Northwest (with Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint), while the West Rome Drive-In kicked off its warm-weather seven-night-a-week schedule with The Spy Who Came In from the Cold (with Richard Burton). The midweek switch out brought The Heroes of Telemark (with Kirk Douglas & Richard Harris) and a double feature of the 1955 film You’re Never Too Young (with Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis) and the 1960 film The Rat Race (with Tony Curtis & Debbie Reynolds).  Apparently someone declared it theatrical rerun week in Rome, with films from 1955, 1959, and 1960…

The Mamas & the Papas held on to  the top slot this week in 1966 with “Monday Monday.”  Other top ten songs included “Good Lovin’” by the Young Rascals (#2); “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” by Bob Dylan (#3); “Kicks” by Paul Revere & the Raiders (#4); “Sloop John B” by the Beach Boys (#5); “You’re My Soul & Inspiration” by the Righteous Brothers (#6); “How Does that Grab You Darlin’?” by Nancy Sinatra (#7); “Message to Michael” by Dionne Warwick (#8); “When a Man Loves a Woman” by Percy Sledge (#9); and “Gloria” by Shadows of Knight (#10).

Gold Key brought the Robert Culp-Bill Cosby espionage series to comics this week in 1966 with the release of I Spy #1. Meanwhile, in the pages of Tales to Astonish #82, Iron Man fought the Sub-Mariner in one of my favorite Sub-Mariner tales from the Silver Age.


paul howley said...

eight packs of cheering gum (I'm assuming you meant CHEWING gum)

Cliff Biggers said...

Oh, how I hate autocomplete and autocorrect...

paul howley said...

I've had some "doozies" because of autocorrect!