Friday, October 07, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/10/1966 to 10/16/1966

Rome City Schools got $91,000 in federal funds to expand the language program at East Rome and West Rome high school. Plans called for creation of a junior high school feeder program for French and Spanish, the addition of one more full-time or two more part-time language teachers at both West Rome and East Rome, and technological upgrades to both language labs.

Sophomore Roger Weaver was the talk of the town after his performance in the prior week’s game against Coosa. Weaver may have only scored one of the Chieftains’ touchdown,s but he managed to rack up 142 yards in 24 carried, making him the Region 6-AA rushing leader. For the season, Weaver’s average to date was 130+ yards per game. “Roger is not a quick starter,” Coach Paul Kennedy said, “but once he picks up momentum he’s real hard to stop. He’s probably the hardest and toughest runner we’ve ever had a West Rome… The boy just doesn’t get tired.”

The Chieftains took on Cedartown’s Bulldogs on Friday, October 14th—and ironically, they had to do it without Roger Weaver, who had to sit out the game due to an injury. However, Chieftain Jerry Hill stepped in to pick up the slack, rushing for more than 80 yards  and leading West Rome to a 7-6 victory over the Bulldogs. This put West Rome at the top of Region 6-AA with a 4-0 region record

“Father’s Night” took place at Elm Street Elementary at 7:30pm on Thursday, October 13th. West Rome coach Nick Hyder was the guest speaker at the event, focusing on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and its benefits.

After several years of almost uninterrupted good economic news, Romans awoke to an unpleasant surprise on Tuesday, October 11th, as Celanese Fibers announced plans to close its forty-year-old Rome rayon plant, eliminating a thousand jobs. Celanese said it would continue to run its acetate plant, keeping some 700 jobs active for the foreseeable future—but the loss of a thousand jobs would have a $5 million impact on Rome’s economy.

Piggly Wiggly had T-bone steaks for 79¢ a pound, Sealtest ice cream for 79¢ a half-gallon, and bananas for a dime a pound. Kroger had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, five pounds of Pillsbury flour for 49¢, and grapefruit for a dime each. Big Apple had pork roast for 45¢ a pound, Chase & SanbOrn coffee for 59¢ a pound, and Van Camp beef stew for 49¢ a can. A&P had ocean perch filets for 35¢ a pound, Bama preserves for 33¢ a can, and Poss Brunswick stew for 49¢ a can. Couch’s had picnic hams for 39¢ a pound, Nabisco saltines for 29¢ a box, and Eatwell tuna for 23¢ a can. (man, we had some strange brands in the 1960s, didn't we?)

The cinematic week began with This Property Is Condemned (with Natalie Wood & Robert Redford) at the DeSoto Theatre, Assault on a Queen (with Frank Sinatra & Virna Lisi) at the First Avenue, and Smoky (with Fess Parker) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switch out brought The Agony & The Ecstasy (with Charlton Heston) to the DeSoto, La Dolce Vita (with Marcelo Mastroianni and Anita Eckberg) to the First Avenue, and Apache Woman (with Lloyd Bridges) to the West Rome Drive-In.

The Four Tops took the number one slot this week in 1966 with “Reach Out I’ll Be There.” Other top ten songs included “96 Tears” by ? and the Mysterians (#2); “Last Train to Clarksville” by the Monkees (#3); “Cherish” by the Association (#4); “Psychotic Reaction” by Count Five (#5); “Walk Away Renee” by The Left Banke (#6); “Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers (#7); “What Becomes of the Brokenhearted?” by Jimmy Ruffin (#8); “Dandy” by Herman’s Hermits (#9); and “See See Rider” by Eric Burdon and the Animals (#10).

After several months at the top of the album charts, the Beatles’ Revolver was supplanted by The Supremes A’ Go-Go, which pushed the Beatles down to second place, while Ray Conniff was knocked out of fourth place by The Mamas & the Papas’ eponymous first album. The Doctor Zhivago soundtrack and Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass’s What Now My Love held on to third and fifth place in the charts. (While we tend to think of the mid60s as a prime era for rock and soul, albums that we would now classify as Easy Listening or Adult Contemporary continued to chart through the 1960s.)

And speaking of albums, two 1960s classics were released this week fifty years ago: Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, & Thyme by Simon & Garfunkel and The Monkees by… well, you can figure it out. This was the third studio album for the folk-rock Simon & Garfunkel, generating such hits as “Homeward Bound,” “The 59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin’ Groovy),” and the title song, while the Monkees’ album was their first LP, featuring such songs as “The Monkees Theme,” “I Wanna Be Free,” and “The Last Train To Clarksville”—plus a personal favorite of mine, the zany “Gonna Buy Me a Dog.”

This was also the week that ABC unveiled an unusual television experiment: a made-for-TV version of Brigadoon that included several songs that were cut from the 1954 theatrical film. Robert Goblet, Peter Falk, & Sally Ann Howes starred in the special, which was both a popular and a critical success; however, it aired only one other time, in 1967, before disappearing completely, and no one subsequently has been able to  locate a complete copy in the network’s vaults.

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