Friday, August 19, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 8/22/1966 to 8/28/1966

School registration began on Thursday, August 25fh, for students new to the Rome City School system, while returning students reported to school on Friday, August 26th, to pick up their schedules (9th graders at 9am, 10th graders at 10:30am, 11th graders at noon, and 12th graders at 2pm). Classes were slated to begin on Monday, August 29th, because back in the 1960s, school systems still believed in giving students a real summer break. (And as all of us who attended West Rome remember very well, the school had absolutely no air conditioning, so August classes were always a bit on the warm side…)

After weeks of tweaking and fine-tuning, Rome City Schools finally came up with a desegregation plan that passed Department of Health, Education, and Welfare muster. The new Rome plan allowed for Rome students and teachers to be granted transfers to any school in which students/teachers of their race were not predominant.

Burglars broke int o the Rome Coca-Cola Bottling Company on West Fifth Avenue, cracked the safes, and made off with an undetermined amount of cash in a brazen burglary in the early morning hours of August 25th. So why was it brazen? Well, the fact that the Rome City Police Department was less than 200 yards away from the site of the burglary certainly had something to do with it! The two safes that were looted contained the proceeds collected by Rome route delivery drivers on the prior day.

Rome City Schools also announced plans to develop an advanced placement program for Rome City Schools students. Superintendent MS McDonald said that the program would take a few years to roll out. “It must be developed step by step,” McDonald said. “We now have an enrichment program for the brighter students beginning  int eh seventh grade. We will continue toe expand that and will gradually work up to advanced placement.” Rome City Schools already had a limited program in place that allowed students to earn credit at Shorter College and Berry College in their senior year.

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, corn for 6¢ an ear, and Strietmann’s pecan candies for 49¢ a pack. Kroger had ground beef for 45¢ a pound, tomatoes for 19¢ a pound, and Kroger sherbet for 49¢ a half-gallon. A&P had fresh whole fryers for 29¢ a pound, seedless grapes for 19¢ a pound, and Hydrox cooked for 35¢ a pack. Big Apple had Porterhouse steak for 99¢ a pound, okra for 23¢ a pound, and Around the Clock coffee for 59¢ a pound. Couch’s had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, watermelons for 69¢ each, and JFG salad dressing for 29¢ a pint.

The cinematic week began with Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (with Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In, and Namu the Killer Whale (with Robert Lansing) at the First Avenue Theatre. The midweek switch out brought The Glass Bottomed Boat (with Doris Day & Rod Taylor) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and Lady L (with Sophia Loren & Paul Newman) at the First Avenue.

Donovan took the number one position this week in 1966 with “Sunshine Superman.” Other top ten hits included “Summer in the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful (#2); “See You in September” by the Happenings (#3); “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes (#4); “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles (#5); “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb (#6); “Land of 1,000 Dances” by Wilson Pickett (#7); “Working in a Coal Mine” by Lee Dorsey (#8); “Blowin’ in the Wind” by Stevie Wonder (#9); and “Summertime” by Billy Stewart (#10).

Not only was “Sunshine Superman” the number one song this week in 1966, but this week also saw the release of Donovan's Sunshine Superman album; among the session musicians who played on the album was Jimmy Page, who would go on to achieve superstardom with Led Zeppelin a couple of years later.

Gold Key released the first issue of their Secret Agent comic book series this week in 1966, based on the TV series starring Patrick McGoohan. Ironically, this was also the week when Patrick McGoohan turned in his notice that he was leaving the Secret Agent TV series; he wanted to turn his attention to a complex new project he had in the works—an enigmatic series called The Prisoner, which many have speculated might be peripherally connected to Secret Agent

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