Friday, August 05, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 8/8/1966 to 8/14/1966

A Monday Rome News-Tribune feature article on the dilapidated conditions at Russell Field (Rome’s airport) inspired almost immediate action. The Floyd County Board of Road And Revenue announced  plans to inspect, renovate, and repair the airport—replacing missing runway lights, upgrading the facilities, resurfacing the runways, etc.—in hopes of making the airport a worthwhile addition to Southern Airways’ flight schedule. County Manager Colquitt Hall said that the airport would be in tip-top condition before the end of the year.

A plane took out a new store under construction in Garden Lakes on Wednesday, August 10th. No, it didn’t crash into the construction site—it broke the sound barrier as it passed over West Rome, and the sonic boom caused the roof trusses that had just been put into place to shake and then fall like dominoes. When the trusses fell, they took down the concrete block walls upon which they had been resting—and thus, within two minutes, the entire building under construction right next to Garden Lakes Pharmacy was a pile of rubble. “It was just too unbelievable” Garden Lakes Construction Company contractor BS Elliott said. “If I hadn’t seen it, I wouldn’t have believe it was possible.”

Rome’s desegregation plans ran into a hurdle on August 11th when the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare rejected the city’s faculty desegregation assignments. The city’s plans would have concentrated black teachers in one school, which the federal government said was unacceptable.  Rome was given two weeks to resubmit a more acceptable plan.

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, cantaloupes for 33¢ each, and General Mills’ new snack food, Bugles, for 39¢ a box. Kroger had ground beef for 39¢ a pound; white seedless grapes for 15¢ a pound; and Coca-Cola, Tab, or Sprite for 99¢ a case plus deposit. A&P had cubed steak for 79¢ a pound, potatoes for a dime a pound, and Eight O’Clock Coffee for 63¢ a pound. Big Apple had chicken breasts for 49¢ a pound, nectarines for a quarter a pound, and Irvindale ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon. Couch’s had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, cucumbers for a nickel each, and a four-pound carton of pure lard for 59¢.

The cinematic week began with Lt. Robin Crusoe USN (with Dick Van Dyke) at the DeSoto Theater, Three on a Couch (with Jerry Lewis & Janet Leigh) at the First Avenue, and Stagecoach (with Ann-Margret & Red Buttons) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switch out brought Torn Curtain (with Paul Newman & Julie Andrews) to the Desoto Theater and the West Rome Drive-In and The Gold Guitar (with Del Reeves & Roy Drusky) to the First Avenue,

The Lovin’ Spoonful took the number one slot this week in 1966 with “Summer in the City.” Other top ten hits included “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb (#2); “Li’l Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham & the Pharaohs (#3); “Wild Thing” by the Troggs (#4); “They’re Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haa!” by Napoleon XIV (#5); “See You in September” by the Happenings (#6); “The Pied Piper” by Crispian St. Peters (#7); “Mother’s Little Helper” by the Rolling Stones (#8); “I Couldn’t Live Without Your Love” by Petula Clark (#9); and “Sunshine Superman” by Donovan (#10).

The Beatles released their experimental and innovative album Revolver this week in 1966 (well, it was released a few days earlier in the UK, but not too many of us were flying over to England to buy our albums). This album, which included tape loops, backwards recording, Indian instrumentation, classical strings, variable speed playback, and other musical innovations that gave the album’s tracks a sound unlike any Beatles album that had come before.

This was also the week in which John Lennon defused some of the uproar regarding his “Beatles are more popular than Jesus” remarks with an apology. "I suppose if I had said television was more popular than Jesus, I would have gotten away with it,” Lennon explained. "I’m sorry I opened my mouth. I'm not anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion. I was not knocking it. I was not saying we are greater or better."

1 comment:

paul howley said...

and thus, whiten two minutes, the