Saturday, November 12, 2016

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 11/14/1966 to 11/20/1966

With Thanksgiving rapidly approaching, this week in 1966 was a very slow one. Fifty years ago, the Christmas push still waited 'til after Thanksgiving for the most part, so most (but not all!) advertising stressed Thanksgiving food and family gatherings.

One newsworthy event did occur, however: West Rome faced off against Dalton in Barron Stadium on Friday, November 18th for the AA title, and the end result was a West Rome loss that stopped their dreams of a state championship. Roger Weaver led  the Chieftains with 40 yards gained in 15 carries, but it wasn’t enough to defeat the Catamounts.

Atlanta Gas Light began a test drilling project in various locations in Floyd County—including some just a couple of miles past West Rome High School heading west—for underground caverns where natural gas could be stored. The geologists were looking for porous rock formations into which natural gas could be pumped and stored, creating and underground storage facility similar to ones already in operation in 24 other states.

The Jewel Box had a rather strange gift offering just in time for Christmas: an 18-piece Pearl drum set for $399. I’m not sure what motivated a jewelry store to expand into percussion, but they were advertising these pretty heavily—and they were offering no-interest layaway until Christmas Eve,knowing that the expense (the equivalent of $3000 today) would mean that most people couldn’t easily afford to pay for them all at once. (Drums for Christmas? I once gave my nephew a drum set as a Christmas gift, and I’m not sure my sister ever totally forgave me for that…)

Kentucky Fried Chicken decided to venture into the Thanksgiving business with a Turkey dinner with all the trimmings for $12.95. This included a 12 pound turkey, dressing, a quart of gravy, a quart of green beans, and a pint of cranberry sauce. (I never recall KFC offering already-cooked turkey dinners when I was a kid—but apparently Rome had many restaurant offerings of which I was unaware!)

Piggly Wiggly had Butterball turkeys for 45¢ a pound, oranges for a dime a pound, and five pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢. Kroger had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, Maxwell House coffee for 55¢ a pound, and bananas for a dime a pound. A&P had chuck roast for 39¢  pound, Pillsbury biscuits for 9¢ a can, apples for a dime a pound. Big Apple had hen turkeys for 39¢ a pound, Ocean Spray canned cranberry sauce for 23¢ a can, and sweet potatoes for a dime a pound. Couch’s had whole picnic hams for 39¢ a pound, Irvindale ice milk for 35¢ a half-gallon, and grapefruit for a nickel  each.

The cinematic week began with The Liquidator (with Rod Taylor) at the DeSoto Theatre and Way, Way Out (with Jerry Lewis) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switch out brought Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round (with James Coburn) to the DeSoto and Moonlighting Wives (a risqué film with an “all star cast” that no one ever heard of) to the West Rome Drive-In. So what happened to the First Avenue Theater? Apparently they were closed for renovations, leaving Romans with even fewer movie-going options than usual.

The Supremes hung on to the number one slot this week in 1966 with “You Keep Me Hanging’ On.” Other top ten hits included “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys (#2); “Winchester Cathedral” by the New Vaudeville Band (#3); “Last Train to Clarksville” by the Monkees (#4); “Poor Side of Town” by Johnny Rivers (#5); “Devil With a Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly” by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels (#6); “I’m Your Puppet” by James & Bobby Purify (#7); “96 Tears” by ? & the Mysterians (#8); “If I Were a Carpenter” by Bobby Darin (#9); and “Rain On the Roof” by the Lovin’ Spoonful (#10).

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