Friday, September 02, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 9/5/1966 to 9/11/1966

The statistics involving school integration were made public this week in 1966. One white teacher transferred to previously-all-black Main High School; two black teachers transferred to West Rome High School. Sixty black students transferred to West Rome High.(According to the paper, not a single student chose to transfer to Main High School.) The Rome City School System reported no problems related to integration.

West Rome trampled over Chattanooga, racking up a 26-0 win on Friday night, September 9th, led by the outstanding running  of Roger Weaver, who gained 204 yards in 18 carries, including one 59-yard touchdown run; Weaver also set up another touchdown with a 46-yard run. “Roger did a great job, ran exactly the way a coach likes to see his boys run,” Coach Paul Kennedy said. “He had great second effort on a couple of runs, especially on the touchdown. Why, he was hit at the line of scrimmage, but came roaring back and the result was six points!”

Congress approved Rome’s proposed new federal building this week in 1966; the new 89,000 squad foot facility, a combination post office and federal building, was estimated at $3 million. Once constructed, all federal offices and the post office would move out of its location 4th Avenue/East First Street location (a block of Broad Street), where federal offices had been located since its construction in 1896.

At their September 6th meeting, the Rome City Commission received its first bids for a Rome cable TV system. Several local companies, led by Rome Antenna, attended the meeting to protest the plan, saying it put the city in direct competition with private enterprises that specialized in antenna sales, manufacturing, and installation, but the City Commission refused to respond to those concerns.

Piggly Wiggly had Maxwell House Coffee for 59¢ a pound, Blue Plate mayonnaise for 59¢ a quart, and ground beef for 49¢ a pound. Kroger had smoke picnic ham for 39¢ a pound, eggs for 45¢ a dozen, and Country Club ice cream for 47¢ a half-gallon. A&P had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, seedless grapes for 19¢ a pound, and iceberg lettuce for a quarter a head. Big Apple had pork steak for 69¢ a pound, a two-pound jar of Lenox Park peanut butter for 79¢, and a two-pound package of the brand-new Blue Bonnet margarine (Their jingle is indelibly burned into my brain: “Everything’s better with Blue Bonnet on it…”) for 49¢. Couch’s had fresh whole fryers for 29¢ a pound, Bama apple jelly for 19¢ a jar (and the jar could be used as a drinking glass after you had eaten all the jelly!), and Double Cola for 69¢ a case (plus deposit).

The cinematic week began with What Did You Do in the War, Daddy? (with James Coburn & Dick Shawn) at the DeSoto Theater and Batman (with Adam West & Burt Ward) at both the First Avenue Theater and the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switch out brought Walk, Don’t Run (with Cary Grant & Samantha Eggar) to the Desoto Theater; The Tenth Victim (with Marcello Mastroianni & Ursula Andress) to the First Avenue; and a double feature of Situation Hopeless (with Alec Guiness in his pre-Star Wars days) and Slender Thread (with Sidney Poitier) at the West Rome Drive In.

The Supremes held on to the number one slot this week in 1966 with “You Can’t Hurry Love.” Other top ten hits included “Yellow Submarine” by the Beatles (#2);  “Sunshine Superman” by Donovan (#3); “See You in September” by the Happenings (#4); “Summer in the City” by the Lovin’ Spoonful (#5); “Land of 1000 Dances” by Wilson Pickett (#6); “Sunny” by Bobby Hebb (#7); “Workin in the Coal Mine” by Lee Dorsey (#8); “Bus Stop” by the Hollies (#9); and “Guantanamera” by the Sandpipers (#10).

TV viewers boldly went where no viewer had gone before when Star Trek debuted on September 8th, 1966; other debuts for the week included That Girl (9/8/66), Tarzan (9/8/66), The Green Hornet (9/9/66), and The Time Tunnel (9/9/66). That’s quite a week for fans of superheroes and science fiction (and Marlo Thomas)! That Girl would ultimately run for five seasons on ABC, Star Trek would last for three seasons on NBC; Tarzan for two seasons on NBC, while both Green Hornet and The Time Tunnel hung around for only one season.

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