Monday, January 30, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/30/1967 to 2/5/1967

After racking up a three-game winning streak in spite of their relative inexperience and smaller size, the Chieftains basketball team earned a new nickname: “Randall’s Runts.” The Chiefs went into their January 31st game against Pepperell with a great attitude, but that wasn’t enough to keep their streak alive: West Rome lost 56-42. while the girls lost 62-40.The weekend was no better for the Chieftains, with East Rome’s basketball teams beating West Rome’s boys and girls teams 87-30 and 45-41 respectively. (Well, the winning streak was nice while it lasted!...)

The newly expanded and modernized Magic Touch Car Wash opened for business at 1705 Shorter Avenue this week in 1967. The Shorter Avenue location was the most highly automated car wash in Northwest Georgia at the time it opened; all exterior washing was automatic, and personnel only cleaned the interior of the car by hand. The roller-conveyor-driven car wash could handle 600 cars a day, and customers could watch their cars as they progressed through the wash.

Residential and commercial growth in Rome and northwest Georgia was so strong that Georgia Power announced plans to add a $50 million generating unit that would more than triple the plant’s production capacity. Rome district vice president Robert W. Scherer said that the 300,000 extra kilowatts of power would supply electricity to the area from Dalton to Atlanta, with a significant amount of the extra power going to the Rome area.

Two West Rome 18-year-olds were arrested on Wednesday night for breaking into Hill’s Grocery on Shorter Avenue and stealing cigarettes and chewing tobacco. The thieves were renting a small apartment above the grocery store; they had pried up the floorboards and used an awl on a string to stab the cigarettes and chewing tobacco on the store shelves below, pulling  them back up through the hole in the floor where the plank used to be.

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, cabbage for 6¢ a pound, and Wesson oil for 37¢ a quart. Big Apple had fresh fryers for 27¢ a pound, Bailey’s Supreme coffee for 59¢ a pound, and Sealtest ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon. Kroger had hen turkeys for 33¢ a pound, Coca-Cola for 39¢ a carton (plus deposit), and Blue Plate mayonnaise for 43¢ a quart. A&P had Swiss steak for 89¢ a pound, tomatoes for 19¢ a pound, and tall cans of Sea Choice salmon for 49¢. Couch’s had  Oscar Mayer bacon for 69¢ a pound, a 24-ounce can of Poss Brunswick stew for 49¢, and pole beans for 15¢ a pound.

The cinematic week began with After The Fox (with Peter Sellers) t the DeSoto Theatre, The Sound of Music (with Julie Andrews) at the First Avenue, and Dr. Goldfoot & The Girl Bombs (with Vincent Price & Fabian) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switchout brought Penelope (with Natalie Wood) to the DeSoto Theatre and The Cavern (with John Saxon) to the West Rome Drive-In, while Julie Andrews kept singing about those living hills at the First Avenue.

The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour debuted on February 5th, 1967, on CBS. The show, which blended comedy, music, and sociopolitical satire, proved to be a major hit, even though Tom & Dick Smothers were constantly warring with CBS over content. Writers for the series included Jim Stafford, Rob Reiner, Steve Martin, Don Novello, Lorenzo Music, Pat Paulsen, and Albert Brooks—all of whom went on to achieve success as comedians and actors in their own right.

The Monkees held on to number one with “I’m a Believer” this week in 1967. Other top ten songs included “Georgy Girl by the Seekers (#2); “Snoopy Vs. the Red Baron” by the Royal Guardsmen (#3); “Tell It Like It Is” by Aaron Neville (#4); “Kind of a Drag” by the Buckinghams (#5); “Words of Love” The Mamas & The Papas (#6); “(We Ain’t Got) Nothin’ Yet” by the Blues Magoos (#7); “98.6” by Keith (#8); “Good Thing” by Paul Revere & the Raiders (#9); and “Standing in the Shadows of Love” by the Four Tops (#10).

The Monkees also held on to the number slot on the album charts with their eponymous first album. No other pop-rock albums made the top five, with The Sound of Music soundtrack, the Doctor Zhivago soundtrack, SRO by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, and Winchester Cathedral by the New Vaudeville Band filling out the charts.

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