Friday, January 13, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/16/1967 to 1/22/1967

The prior week’s arrest of two juveniles for breaking into a Shorter Avenue coin laundry, as well as Rome Roller Rink on South Hanks Street, expanded in scope with the arrest of three more suspects—two juveniles and an eighteen-year-old—on Monday, January 16th. The additional suspects were arrested after alert parents contacted the police when they saw that their children had stolen property. “I knew my son couldn’t afford all that stuff, so he had to have stolen it,” the mother of one of the boys told the authorities when she called them to her house to take her son in; he identified the remaining two suspects, and those boys’ parents helped to verify their sons’ involvement.

Juvenile Court Judge John A. Frazier announced a change in court policy: beginning in February 1967, juvenile lawbreakers would have their names released to the press and public upon their second offense. Previously, juveniles’ identities were always protected, but juvenile court judges and the state legislature determined that parents might be more likely to get involved in keeping their children on the straight and narrow if they knew that their identities would be made public once they became “repeater offenders.”

Ceramics were a big thing in the 1960s—so big, in fact, that the Rome Recreation Department announced plans to expand their ceramics class schedule from two days a week to five days a week. More than 200 Romans were already signed up for the classes; with the new schedule, the recreation department hoped to make room for 500 to participate in their ceramics classes.

Popular Southern comedian Brother Dave Gardner offered “a fun filled evening of adult humor” at the Rome City Auditorium on January 21st. Long before the Blue Collar Comedy Tour, comedians like Dave Gardner offered their own distinctively humorous takes on Southern lifestyles and quirks.

Rome was “still crazy,” apparently: police and federal “revenooers” (as they referred to them in the Snuffy Smith comic strip) shut down a huge still off the Alabama Road, just a few miles past West Rome High School. Two men were arrested and charged with manufacturing and possessing non-tax-paid whiskey; their three thousand gallon still was destroyed.

West Rome’s wrestlers lost their first match of the week against East Rome but won their second match by trouncing Sprayberry. Bobby Kerce remained unbeaten, while Greg Quinton, Richard Marable, Jeff Anderson, Roger Weaver, and Anthony Slafta all came through with pins.

Piggly Wiggly had split fryer breasts for 47¢ a pound, tall cans of Double Q salmon for 59¢, and five pounds of oranges for 39¢. Kroger had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, a five-pound bag of Dixie Crystals sugar for 39¢, and a half-gallon of Kroger ice milk for 39¢. A&P had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, Eight O’Clock coffee for 63¢ a pound, and tomatoes for 29¢ a pound. Big Apple had Cudahy Bar S bacon for 59¢ a pound, a ten-pound bag of White Lily flour for 99¢, and Country Maid cling peaches for a quarter a can. Couch’s had their own custom-ground country sausage for 59¢ a pound, Kitchen Kraft black-eyed peas for 15¢ a can, and Nabisco Saltine crackers for 35¢ a box.

The cinematic week began with Follow Me Boys (with Fred MacMurray) at the DeSoto Theatre, The Sound of Music (with Julie Andrews) at the First Avenue, and Tickle Me (with Elvis Presley) at the West Rome Drive-In. Follow Me Boys and The Sound of Music hung around for another week, while the West Rome Drive-In brought in Woody Allen’s comedy What’s Up Tiger Lily for the weekend.

The Monkees held on to the number one slot this week in 1967 with “I’m A Believer.” Other top ten hits included “Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron” by the Royal Guardsmen (#2); “Tell It Like It Is” by Aaron Neville (#3); “Good Thing” by Paul Revere & the Raiders (#4); “Words of Love” by The Mamas & the Papas (#5); “Standing in the Shadows of Love” by the Four Tops (#6); “Georgy Girl” by the Seekers (#7); “Sugar Town” by Nancy Sinatra (#8); “Nashville Cats” by the Lovin’ Spoonful (#9); and “Tell It To the Rain” by the Four Seasons (#10).

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