Friday, September 23, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 9/26/1966 to 10/2/1966

The Rome Downtown Development Authority unveiled its ambitious plans to renovate Rome’s downtown area—and we know now that not all of their proposals were implemented. Among other things, they wanted to widen East First Street (which parallels Broad Street), move  through traffic in Rome to the newly widened street, and then restrict traffic on Broad Street to shopping traffic and pedestrian traffic only. Plans also called for more planters on Broad Street to beautify the area; the addition of more storefront awnings to make it easier for pedestrians to shop during rainy weather without getting soaked; and much stronger design guideline enforcement to maintain the appeal of the downtown area.

Darn those schools and their new-fangled ways!… Apparently “modern math” was so confounding to our parents back in the 1960s that the YMCA saw the need to add a class teaching parents what the heck this modern math was all about. Even more surprising--the class filled up and the Y had to look at offering a second session!

The Chieftains took on the Wills Tigers in a home game on Friday, September 30th. It’s hard to tell if the Tigers even showed up for the game, though, since West Rome won 49-0—one of the biggest routs in West Rome history. No Chieftains were named players of the week because no one had to play particularly well to beat the visiting team.

Bonnie Davis Chevrolet announced the Rome debut of Chevrolet’s new power car, the Camaro, this week in 1966. A 327 cu. in. 210 hp engine, dual brakes, hideaway headlights, a more luxurious interior with bucket seats and a console—Chevrolet was pushing the new Camaro as their “Mustang killer” with more comfort and features that Ford's pony car.

Piggly Wiggly had whole hams for 55¢ a pound, apples for 15¢ a pound, and Brachs’ chocolate covered cherries (a favorite at our house—especially the dark chocolate!) for 49¢ a box. Big Apple had fresh whole fryers for a quarter a pound, Heinz pork & beans for 12¢ a can, and Georgia delicious apples for  15¢ a pound.  A&P had  chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, Wesson oil for 39¢ a 24-ounce bottle, and five pounds of Gold Medal flour for 59¢. Kroger had pork roast for 49¢ a pound, grapes for 13¢ a pound, and StarKist chunk tuna for 33¢ a can.  Couch’s had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, Coca-Cola for 99¢ a case (plus deposit), and lettuce for 19¢ a head.

The cinematic week began with How to Steal a Million (with Audrey Hepburn & Peter O’Toole) at both the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and Lord Love a Duck (with Roddy McDowell & Tuesday Weld) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought a double feature of Dr. No and Goldfinger (with the one and only true James Bond, Sean Connery) to both the DeSoto Theater and the West Rome Drive-In and The Greatest Story Ever Told (with Max Von Sydow) to the First Avenue. Apparently there were so few noteworthy new films that every screen was turned over to cinematic reruns!… Maybe the new 1966 TV season was even better than I remembered!

The Association held on to the number one position this week in 1966 with “Cherish.” Other top ten hits included “Reach Out I’ll Be There” by the Four Tops (#2); “96 Tears” by ? & the Mysterians (#3); “Black Is Black” by Los Bravos (#4); “Beauty is Only Skin Deep” by the Temptations (#5); “Last Train to Clarksville” by the Monkees (#6); “Cherry, Cherry” by Neil Diamond (#7); “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes (#8); “Psychotic Reaction” by Count Five (#9); and “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by the 4 Seasons (#10).

Jack Cole’s Golden Age elastic hero returned in DC Comics' Plastic Man #1, courtesy of Arnold Drake & Gil Kane. Kane’s fluid art style was a perfect fit for this light-hearted comic about a stretchable superhero. This was DC’s second whimsical superhero title, following up on the offbeat Inferior Five. Alas, neither was destined to last very long— Apparently readers weren't looking for super-silliness...

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