Saturday, May 21, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/23/1966 to 5/29/1966

Garden Lakes residents met with Rome City officials at West Rome High School on Monday night, May 23rd, to discuss the annexation of Garden Lakes into the city of Rome. The residents were eager to have their children become Chieftains, pointing out that they were much closer geographically to West Rome than they were to Coosa. (We know that the annexation never came about, which seems odd, since the newspaper article talks about how overwhelmingly positive the residents were about the annexation.)

A Rome News-Tribune investigation into Rome and Floyd County Head Start expenditures revealed that the per-pupil cost for each preschool child taking part in the five-hour-a-day head Start during the January-August time period was $631—more than twice the cost of attending a private nursery day-care preschool program for nine hours a day, two-and-a-half times the cost of sending a student to private kindergarten, and almost exactly the cost to send a student to Berry College or Shorter College for nine months. The cost was far, far above the initial estimates for $360 per student per eight-month term. (Wait a minute… you mean that the government spent a lot more money for something than they initially said it would cost? That’s crazy talk!…)

West Rome’s JV track team won the Floyd County Junior Varsity Track & Field Championship on Tuesday, May 24th, with 101 points. They defeated Model (80 points), Berry Academy (76), Darlington (61), Georgia School for the Deaf (48), Armuchee (33), and Cave Spring (7). Roger Weaver took first place in the hundred yard dash, while Wayne Worsham took first place in the high hurdles.

The fourth annual Rome-Floyd County Tri-Hi-Y and Hi-Y recognition banquet was held on Saturday, May 28th, at the General Forrest Hotel in downtown Rome. The Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y chorus provided the musical program, “Sounds of ’66.” West Rome principal Dick McPhee was the host of the program. bestowing awards and commendations on individual members, sponsors, and on various school clubs for their outstanding work during the 1965-1966 school year.

Kentucky Fried Chicken (they hadn't become KFC yet) was still pushing that Brunswick stew that I can’t seem to remember: their combination special for the week was a half-pint of Brunswick stew, one piece of chicken, french fries, and two biscuits for 89¢.

Summer was coming, so various stores were pushing window-mounted air conditioners. Economy Auto had an 18,200 BTU Temp Master air conditioner for $248, while Sears had a 20,000 BTU Kenmore for $275.

The cinematic week began with Inside Daisy Clover (with Natalie Wood & Christopher Plummer) at the First Avenue and Where the Spies Are (with David Niven) at the West Rome Drive-In. And at long last, the DeSoto Theater reopened on Thursday, just in time for the mid-week switch out; the theater renovation brought new seats, a new screen, improved air conditioning, and other renovations to Rome’s premiere theater. The DeSoto reopened with The Trouble with Angels (with Hayley  Mills & Rosalind Russell), while the First Avenue and the West Rome Drive-In both showed the country music concert film Music City USA (complete with the tag line “So big, gay, and musical that it’s playing two theaters in Rome!”).

Piggly Wiggly had pork steaks for 59¢ a pound, corn for 6¢ an ear, and watermelons for 99¢ each. Kroger had baking hens for 37¢ a pound, tomatoes for a quarter a pound, and medium eggs for 33¢ a dozen. A&P had stew beef for 69¢ a pound, strawberries for 39¢ a pint, and Blue Bonnet margarine for 31¢ a pound (“Everything’s better with Blue Bonnet on it…”). Big Apple had prime rib roast for 69¢ a pound, Happy Valley ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon, and Heinz pork & beans for 12¢ a can. Couch’s had Armour Star bacon for 69¢ a pound, Libby’s beef stew for 49¢ a can, and JFG coffee for 79¢ a pound.

Percy Sledge held on to number one for the second week in a row with “When a Man Loves a Woman.” Other top ten hits included “A Groovy Kind of Love” by the Mindbenders (#2); “Paint It, Black” by the Rolling Stones (#3); “Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?” by the Lovin’ Spoonful (#4); “I Am a Rock” by Simon & Garfunkel (#5); “Monday Monday” by the Mamas & the Papas (#6); “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” by Bob Dylan (#7); “It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World” by James Brown (#8); “Green Grass” by Gary Lewis & the Playboys #9); and “Strangers in the Night” by Frank Sinatra (#10).

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