Chieftains were surprised by the announcement of a major coaching change this week in 1968: Coach Paul Kennedy was promoted to coordinator of athletic activities and elementary physical education. Kennedy had been head coach at West Rome since the school’s opening in 1958; prior to that, he was line coach at the old Rome High School for three years. During his West Rome head coaching career, Kennedy compiled a record of 66 victories, 32 losses, 7 ties, and one incredible state championship.
To fill the vacancy left by Kennedy’s departure, Rome City Schools superintendent M.S. McDonald announced that Nick Hyder would be promoted to head coach and athletic director for West Rome High School. Both promotions were slated to take place with the beginning of the 1968-69 school year, although Coach Kennedy would be splitting his time between West Rome and the Board Office effective immediately and Hyder would be in charge of 1968 football spring training. “I consider it a privilege to have coached under Paul for ten years,” Hyder said. “Needless to say, it’s a real challenge to carry on the program that Paul has developed."
Most of West Rome was without power for a couple of hours on Wednesday night, January 3drd, when a substation failed. Most of Shorter Avenue from Horseleg Creek Road to Redmond Road were left in the dark, along with many residential streets that fed off the Shorter Avenue lines. The power failure also affected parts of Broad Street and the area around Floyd Hospital, although tdhe hospital itself went to backup generator power a few minutes after the power failed.
1967 was another good economic year for Georgia, with thirty thousand new jobs created and unemployment hitting record lows of 3.8%. Average weekly earnings for Georgia manufacturing workers reached $89.50, an increase of $3.50 over 1966 levels. The Georgia Department of Labor predicted similar improvements throughout 1968.
1968 began with an almost crime-free week; the only reported theft for the week was a burglary at the office of Dr. Norton and Hortmann, where a cashbox containing $63.00 was taken.
Piggly Wiggly had fresh whole fryers for 25¢ a pound, Double Q salmon for 45¢ a can, and bananas for a dime a pound. Big Apple had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, JFG coffee for 59¢ a pound, and Sealtest ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon. Kroger had pork chops for 49¢ a pound, Bama grape jelly for 19¢ a jar, and eggs for 37¢ a dozen. A&P had Allgood bacon for 49¢ a pound, perch fillets for 43¢ a pound, and cabbage for 8¢ a pound. Couch’s had country sausage for 59¢ a pound, Nabisco saltines for 37¢ a box, and Van Camp’s chili with beans for 29¢ a can.
The cinematic week began with Fitzwilly (starring Dick Van Dyke) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and The Family Way (starring Hayley Mills) at the First Avenue. The midweek switchout brought The Comedians (starring Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton) at the DeSoto Theatre and The House of 1000 Dolls (starring Vincent Price) at the First Avenue Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In.
The Beatles held on to number one this week with “Hello Goodbye.” Other top ten hits included “Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)” by John Fred & His Playboy Band (#2); “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Gladys Knight & the Pips (#3); “Woman, Woman” by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap (#4); “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees (#5); “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin (#6); “Bend Me, Shape Me” by the American Breed (#7); “I Second That Emotion” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (#8); “Storybook Children” by Billy Vera & Judy Clay (#9); and “Honey Chile” by Martha Reeves & the Vandellas (#10).
Captain America graduated to his own series this week in 1968, although the book was listed as Captain America #100 on the cover, since it continued the numbering from the Tales of Suspense title that Cap had shared with Iron Man since 1965. Because Marvel had a half-issue Iron Man story ready to go (as well as a half-issue-length Sub-Mariner story from the end of the Tales to Astonish split-title that Sub-Mariner shared with Hulk), this week also saw the release of the one-and-only Iron Man & Sub-Mariner #1.