Saturday, June 04, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 6/6/1966 to 6/12/1966

Bad news for those who slacked off, skipped class, or flunked out during the school year: Rome City School System's summer school was slated to start at the inconveniently located and totally un-air-conditioned East Rome Junior High beginning June 13th and running through July 29th, with July 4th off. Students had to pay a $20 fee for each 1/2 unit course they took in summer school, and students could take up to three courses in summer school.  (Of course, this was also good news for those students who were hoping to take a course early to free up their regular school schedule for another elective—I never knew anyone who did such a thing, but there were rumors…)

Younger kids looking for a place to play could head to Elm Street Elementary School, because the city of Rome decided to open the Elm Street playground from 8:30 AM to 11:30 AM and from 2:00 PM to 5:30 PM. The city would have playground supervisors to keep an eye on kids and to organize such activities as Batman & Robin Day, Hobo Day, and Cowboys & Indians Day. In addition, there would be organized horseshoe tournaments, softball, and other activities.

For those willing to drive a bit, Powatan Beach was open once again for the summer of ’66, offering a white sand beach, paddle boats, motorboat rides, fishing, horseback riding, swimming, a train ride, miniature golf, a driving range, and more. Admission was 60¢ for adults, 35¢ for children—but the whole family could get a season pass for only $10! Admission came with free camping privileges for the night as well. (Powhatan was located near where Floyd Junior College—now Georgia Highlands College—would be constructed a few years later.)

Some truly depraved individual poisoned 28 ducks and a giant snapping turtle at the Rome Civic Center pond on Thursday, June 9th. “We’re hoping that no one picked up a duck and decided to make a meal fit,” Rome Parks and Recreation Director Walt Attaway said, “because there’s enough poison there to kill a horse—or a person.”

A nationwide strike of telegraphers shut down the Rome Telegraph Office at the Western Union station on East 2nd Street. And yes, people still sent telegrams back in 1966…

Piggly Wiggly had whole or half hams for 59¢ a pound, squash for 15¢ a pound, and fresh-baked apple, peach, or cherry pies for 63¢ each. Kroger had ribeye steak for $1.89 a pound (and that explains why we never had ribeye steak when I was growing up!), a 6-ounce can of frozen orange juice concentrate for 15¢, and Country Club ice cream for 30¢ a half-gallon (but you had to buy $7.50 or more in groceries to get this special price). A&P had fancy beef liver for 39¢ (I’d like to know what made it fancy), Ann Page mayonnaise for 59¢ a quart, and whole wheat bread for 19¢ a loaf. Big Apple had chicken breasts for 49¢ a pound, okra for 33¢ a pound, and Bailey’s Supreme coffee for 59¢ a pound (with a $5 purchase). Couch’s had flat cans of Unica salmon or 33¢ each, two pounds of cheese food (no, it’s not real cheese) for 69¢, and ground beef for 43¢ a pound.

The cinematic week began with Cast a Giant Shadow (with Kirk Douglas & Senta Berger) at the DeSoto, Last of the Secret Agents (with Marty Allen & Steve Rossi) at the First Avenue, and a double feature of Revenge of the Gladiators (with Roger Browne) and The Skull (with Peter Cushing) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switch out brought Paradise Hawaiian Style (with Elvis Presley) to both the DeSoto and the West Rome Drive-In, while  Last of the Secret Agents hung around for another week at the First Avenue.

The Rolling Stones held on to the first place slot for a second week with “Paint It, Black.” Other top ten hits 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 and 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).

Spider-Man’s two part confrontation with the Green Goblin reached its dramatic conclusion in the pages of Amazing Spider-Man #40 this week in 1966. “The End of the Green Goblin!” the cover proclaimed—but we know that most definitely would not be the case! This was the second issue illustrated by John Romita and Mike Esposito; Romita stepped in when Steve Ditko left the book, and while his style was very different, he quickly became a fan favorite.

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