Rome detectives broke up a Rome-based auto theft ring that whose operations stretched from Chicago to Birmingham to Savannah. The thieves were stealing cars in distant towns, then bringing them to Rome where they changed the vehicle ID numbers and resold them as used cars in the Rome market. Since the ring crossed state lines to carry out its crimes, the Rome police department called in the FBI to assist. Eleven stolen vehicles were recovered, and police were going through records to try to determine how many other stolen vehicles had been sold to unsuspecting buyers.
Rome got an early hint of winter when temperatures fell to 39 degrees in the early morning hours of Friday, September 29th. (There were reports of frost at the top of Mount Alto, which is almost unheard of in Georgia in September) Temperatures dropped even more on Saturday morning, hitting a record low of 36 degree—perfect football weather!
Rome City Schools’ plans for an ambitious Headstart program were put on hold when the US Office of Economic Opportunity delayed approval of the plan. The school system was surprised by the delay, since they had been approved for funds for the 1966-1967 school year and thought approval for the 1967-1968 school year was pretty much an automatic thing… but apparently they underestimated the lethargy of the governmental bureaucracy.
The Chieftains faced off against the Wills Tigers in a hard-fought game that found the Chieftains behind 14-7 midway through the third quarter. West Rome’s defensive line recovered a blocked punt late in the third quarter and ran it in for a touchdown, then Roger Weaver scored on a 23-yard run in the fourth quarter to put the Chiefs in the lead. Mark Brewer’s on-target kicking secured the 21st point, giving the team another victory.
West Rome Junior High School published its first newspaper, Smoke Signals, this week in 1967, under the guidance of journalism teacher Norris V. Johnson. Journalism was one of two new courses added to the junior high school curriculum in the 1967-68 school year; the other was speech & drama (a single course combining both subjects), which was taught by Mrs. Huffstetler on the 7th grade level and Mrs. Brannon on the 8th grade level. The theaters were already working on plans to present two one-act plays to the student body during the school year.
Plans were underway for a four-lane east-west corridor highway linking Memphis, Tennessee, and Columbia, South Carolina—and those plans had the road coming right through Rome. While it wasn’t an interstate, the plans would have given Rome a new multi-line highway to access areas of the South that were previously not connected by any major thoroughfares.
Big K estimated that more than 25,000 customers shopped in its new Gala Shopping Center department store in its first week of operation. This was far more than store management had initially anticipated, and they said that it showed how important the new Gala Shopping Center would be to the Rome economy once the other stores in the center opened. (We know that they were correct: the presence of Gala Shopping Center established West Rome as a shopping destination. Gala would remain Rome's busiest shopping area until Riverbend Mall opened almost a decade later--but even Riverbend couldn't replace West Rome as a shopping destination, it could merely supplement it. It was Broad Street that suffered due to the development of shopping centers and malls, although it would be several more years before Romans would begin to see the first downtown retail casualties.)
Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 99¢ a pound, red delicious apples for 15¢ a pound, and a six-bottle carton of Coca-Cola, Tab, or Sprite for 39¢ plus deposit. A&P had center cut pork chops for 69¢ a pound, Poss Brunswick stew for 49¢ a can, and red seedless grapes for 19¢ a pound. Big Apple had baking hens for 29¢ a pound, Jif peanut butter for 39¢ a jar, and grapefruit for 15¢ each. Kroger had smoked hams for 39¢ a pound, cantaloupes for 33¢ each, and a five-pound bag of Domino sugar for 39¢. Couch’s had ground beef for 45¢ a pound, large eggs for 35¢ a dozen, and Maxwell House coffee for 69¢ a pound.
The cinematic week began with Heat of the Night (starring Rod Steiger) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In, and The Sound of Music (starring Julie Andrews) at the First Avenue Theatre. The midweek switchout brought Two for the Road (starring Audrey Hepburn) to the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In, and Up the Down Staircase to the First Avenue.
The Box Tops held on to the number one slot for a second week with “The Letter,” while Bobbie Gentry held second place with her hit “Ode to Billie Joe.” Other top ten songs included “Never My Love” by the Association (#3); “Come Back When You Grow Up” by Bobby Vee & the Strangers (#4); “Reflections” by Diana Ross & the Supremes (#5); “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by Jay & the Techniques (#6); “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson (#7); “Funky Broadway” by Wilson Pickett (#8); “I Dig Rock & Roll Music” by Peter, Paul, & Mary (#9); and “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison (#10).
Deadman’s second appearance in Strange Adventures #206 was released this week in 1967. Normally a second appearance isn’t particularly newsworthy, but in this case it most definitely is, because artist Neal Adams took over the series with the second issue and quickly made it one of his “signature series.” Many people forget that Carmine Infantino illustrated the first issue, because Adams’ art quickly came to define the look and feel of Deadman (Infantino understood, since he had taken over Adam Strange from Mike Sekowsky and instantly established it as his own, leading people to forget Sekowsky’s early issues). Fifty years later, Adams is working on a new Deadman series that picks where his original run left off—and I guess that proves that good things do come to those who wait!