Friday, January 20, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/23/1967 to 1/29/1967

Two men and two women were taken in for questioning on January 24th after they attempted to cash a forged check at Johnny Reb’s in West Rome. The forgery was so crude that the cashier said it didn’t even look like a real check, so he asked them to wait while he called his boss for approval; instead, the clerk called the police, who found the four would-be forgers waiting impatiently for the cash when the police arrived.

West Rome’s basketball team posted an all-too-rare (for the 1966-67 season) rout, defeating Berry Academy 69-26. The Chieftains played so well that Coach Randall Kent sent in every sub and second-string player on the bench by the end of the third quarter to give them all some playing time. Kenny Stephens and Charlie Layman scored 19 and 17 points respectively. This marked the end of a nine-game losing streak for West Rome.

West Rome turned their victory into a streak with a 63-52 win against Chattooga for the boys team, a 43-34 win for the girls team, and a 53-42 win for the junior varsity. Charlie Layman scored 31 points, Kenny Stephens scored 14, and Benny Padgett scored 10. Juanita Williams was the top scorer for the girls with 27 points.

Barron Stadium took a turn (for the better? for the worse?) this week in 1966 when the bleachers, which were previously located in a general north-south direction, were moved to an east-west direction instead. Work was already underway to relocate lights and to add new dressing rooms and a new press box to the realigned stadium. According to the Rome recreation department, the relocation went so smoothly that there was no doubt that all the work would be completed by the middle of March. (I have no idea why the powers that be felt it was necessary to spend almost $75,000 to rotate the stadium layout 90 degrees… but it happened with almost no advance notice and no explanation.)

Rome’s proposed federal building and post office facility moved one step closer to reality this week in 1967 when the federal budget was approved with a line item allocating more than $1 million to develop the first phase of the project.

The Civil Aeronautics Board ordered Eastern Air Lines to continue serving Rome’s Russell Field, denying their petition for a review with intent of discontinuing service. Eastern was told they had to continue offering one round-trip flight from Atlanta to Rome and back each day.

Sears announced their big sewing machine sale this week in 1967. A zig-zag console matching in an Early American style all-wood console was priced at only $77; a Kenmore deluxe zig-zag machine in an all-wood console, with a thirty-year parts and labor warranty, was available for $117. (Yes, a thirty-year warranty… I don’t know of any manufacturer today who would dream of offering a thirty-year warranty on any piece of equipment!)

The Rome City Commission voted to designate February as American History Month in Rome, following the lead of Congress, who had already designed February as American History Month. To commemorate the event, the Daughters of the American Revolution agreed to sponsor an educational program in the Rome City and Floyd County Schools that included a three-part film presentation at all high schools and an exhibit of important document replicas to be placed in each high school.

Piggly Wiggly had hen turkeys for 35¢ a pound (turkeys weren’t just for Thanksgiving and Christmas, apparently!), eggs for 33¢ a dozen, and Blue Plate mayonnaise for 49¢ a quart. Kroger had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, Minute Maid frozen orange juice concentrate for 15¢ a can, and Maxwell House coffee for 59¢ a pound. Big apple had pork chops for 69¢ a pound, Pride of Georgia ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon, and five pounds of Gold Medal flour for 49¢. A&P had beef brisket for 89¢ a pound, apples for 8¢ each, and a 48-count box of Ann Page tea bags for 59¢. Couch’s had 3-pound Cudahy Bar-S boneless canned hams for $2.99, Blue Plate peanut butter for 59¢ a quart, and bananas for a dime a pound.

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 Woody Allen’s What’s Up, Tiger Lily? at the West Rome Drive-In (and I still think this is one of the strangest choices ever for a drive-in movie…). The midweek switchout brought After the Fox (with Peter Sellers & Britt Ekland) to the DeSoto Theatre and a double feature of The Reptile (with Noel Williams) and Rasputin, The Mad Monk (with Christopher Lee) at the West Rome Drive-In, while Julie Andrews kept singing about her favorite things at the First Avenue.

CBS Playhouse, an award-winning anthology drama series, premiered on January 29, 1967 with The Final War of Olly Winter, which starred Ivan Dixon portraying an African-American master sergeant struggling to return to allied-controlled land after a battle with the Viet Cong. Dixon received an Emmy nomination for his performance, which was essentially a  lengthy monologue (the only other charactter was a Vietnamese girl who spoke no English and could not understand what he said as he recounted his experiences). This was a breakout performance for Dixon, who was previously best known for his role as Staff Sgt. Kinchloe on Hogan’s Heroes.

The Monkees maintained their monkey-like grip on number one this week in 1967 with “I’m a Believer.” Other top ten hits included “Tell It Like It Is” by Aaron Neville (#2); “Snoopy Vs. The Red Baron” by the Royal Guardsmen (#3); “Georgy Girl” by the Seekers (#4); “Words of Love” by The Mamas & The Papas (#5); “Standing in the Shadows of Love” by the Four Tops (#6); “Good Thing” by Paul Revere & the Raiders (#7); “Nashville Cats” by the Lovin’ Spoonful (#8); “Kind of a Drag” by The Buckinghams (#9); and “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” by the Blues Magoos (#10).

The eponymous debut album by The Stone Poneys was released this week in 1967. While the album didn’t sell particularly well and produced no hit singles, it is noteworthy as the first professional recording for vocalist Linda Ronstadt. who sings lead on several songs on the LP. In the mid-70s, when Linda Ronstadt became a superstar, the album was reissued as The Stone Poneys Featuring Linda Ronstadt, and the reissue charted at #72).


paul howley said...

Cliff: Is this true?: "with a line item allocating more than $1 to develop the first phase" The Feds gave Rome one dollar?!

Cliff Biggers said...

Yep, the absence of the word "million" (now corrected) makes a significant fiscal difference, doesn't it? Thanks!