Thursday, September 29, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/3/1966 to 10/9/1966

West Rome took on further-west adversaries Coosa in their sixth game of the season—and they went into the game in a prime position, having not only posted an undefeated season thus far (two ties, three wins), but having left all five of their earlier adversaries scoreless! Coosa did prove tough enough to rack up a few points against the Chieftains, but it wasn’t enough, and West Rome won 40-6. Lane Brewer was chosen lineman of the week by the Rome News-Tribune for his performance in the game; Brewer was credited with 18 individual tackles; blocked an Eagles quick kick and ran it back to the one yard line, kicked two extra points and four fifty-plus yard kickoffs… quite an impressive evening for any player!

Floyd County Ordinary Harry Johnson had good things to say about Rome’s first voting machine election. Thanks to the ease of tabulation with machine-based elections, Rome’s first voting machine primary was totally tabulated by 9pm—just two hours after the polls closed. (Makes you wonder how it is that, with today’s super fast computers, it takes much longer for us to get the election returns…)

Beginning bridge, ballroom dancing, knitting, ceramics—these were just a few of the classes offered as a part of the YMCA’s “Learning for Living” program. Each class ran for eight weeks, meeting one evening a week for most classes (although the beginning bridge class met at 10am.)

The draft board announced implementation of a new Selective Service College Qualification Test to help determine whether draft registrants should be considered for educational draft deferments. Students could take the test only one time; anyone who scored below a predetermined level would not qualify for a college deferment.  (Today, the draft seems like a custom from a different era, but it was just fifty years ago that many young men had to put their entire life plans on hold because of forced military service… and all too many young men never had the chance to resume those lives afterwards.)

Rome’s proposed $3.3 million dollar post office and federal building got approval from the Congressional Public Works, Buildings, and Ground Committees this week in 1966, which meant that it was one Congressional vote away from final approval. According to Seventh District Congressman John W. Davis, Congress almost always voted in favor of any proposals that cleared the committees, so the new facility was almost a done deal.
Rome set a record low temperature on the morning of October r3rd, coming in at 38 degrees. The cool weather continued for the remainder of the week, with highs and lows at least ten degrees below normal.

Piggly Wiggly had Wilson’s bacon for 69¢ a pound, lettuce for 19¢ a head, and Jello for a dime  a pack. Kroger had round steak for 79¢ a pound, Blue Plate mayonnaise for 49¢ a quart, and tomatoes for 19¢ a pound. A&P had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, apples for 15¢ a pound, and peanuts for 39¢ a pound. Big Apple had smoked hams for 39¢ a pound, grapefruits for 13¢ each, and JFG coffee for 59¢ a pound. Couch’s had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, corn for a dime an ear, and Coca-Cola, Tab, or Sprite for 99¢ a case plus deposit.

The cinematic week began with a double feature of the James Bond films Dr. No and Goldfinger (starring Sean Connery) at both the DeSoto Theater and the West Rome Drive-In, and The Greatest Story Ever Told (with Max Von Sydow) at the First Avenue, The midweek switch out brought This Property Is Condemned (with Natalie Wood & Robert Redford) to the DeSoto Theatre, Lost Command (with Anthony Quinn) to the First Avenue, and That Tennessee Beat (with Minnie Pearl & Merle Travis) to the West Rome Drive-In.

The Four Tops took number one this week in 1966 with “Reach Out I’ll Be There.” Former number one “Cherish” by the Association dropped to second place. The other top ten songs for the week included “96 Tears” by ? & the Mysterians (#3); “Last Train to Clarksville” by the Monkeys (#4); “Psychotic Reaction” by Count Five (#5); “Cherry, Cherry” by Neil Diamond (#6); “Walk Away Renee” by the Left Banke (#7); “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?” by Jimmy Ruffin (#8); “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” by the Four Seasons (#9); and “You Can’t Hurry Love” by the Supremes (#10).

The Tammy Grimes Show performed so badly that it was cancelled this week in 1966 after only four episodes; ABC filled the hole in their schedule with a prime-time version of The Dating Game, which earned more than ten times the number of viewers of the show it replaced.

THE Cat, the Robert Loggia TV series about a former cat burglar turned good guy who used his skills to assist those who needed more help than the law could offer, came to comics this week in 1966, thanks to the folks at Gold Key (Gold Key seemed to specialize in licensed property comics in the 1960s, bringing many films and television programs to the comics racks).

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