Friday, February 10, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/13/1967 to 2/19/1967

Owen Blanton reminded Chieftains that this week was the deadline for signing up to take the National Educational Development test scheduled for Saturday, March 4th. The NEDT was actually a series of tests in English, social studies, science, math, and vocabulary designed to measure each student’s ability to apply learning skills (rather than his/her ability to memorize facts). The test was to be given at West Rome High School on Saturday, March 4th, at 8:30 am, but no one could take the test unless he/she signed up by February 17th.

Diane Massey of West Rome was one of four winners of a DAR Good Citizens Pin, awarded by the Xavier Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The pins were given to senior girls selected by the faculty and class as having outstanding qualities of dependability, service, leadership, and patriotism.

An internal audit of Rome’s Headstart project revealed numerous financial discrepancies, leading to a full-scale audit of the entire program by an independent state auditor. The second audit revealed even more discrepancies leading to one immediate dismissal. Spokespeople said that the audit revealed small discrepancies that got larger as the year went on—a typical sign of intentional mismanagement of funds. The city and the county jointly issued checks to replace the $3000.00 that was missing, which seemed to satisfy the federal government, who declined to reveal the name of the person responsible for the discrepancies or to recommend prosecution.

1967 was the first year that Georgians were required to play their ad valorum taxes at the time their tags were purchased, and Floyd County tax commissioner Sarah Keown said that Romans apparently didn’t like it. Tax collection and tag sales were down by about 35% over the same period last year, with 75% of Romans apparently waiting until the last minute to pay their tag and taxes.

West Rome’s girls pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season when they defeated top-rated Pepperell 41-37. Coach June Hyder had special praise for her guards (Linda Hilley, Judy Stegall, and Debbie Hovey). “We fouled only eight times—four times in each half,” Coach Hyder explained. “And this certainly helped. And they managed to hold Nancy Mathis [a top-ranked Peppered player who had averaged 34 points per game) to 16 points.”

H&R Block was pushing their tax preparation service this week in 1967, offering to prepare both federal and state returns for $5 for a basic return.

Piggly Wiggly had Hormel potted meat for a dime a can, T-bone steak for 99¢ a pound, and Bama preserves or jam (in jars that could used as drinking glasses once emptied) for a quarter a jar. Big Apple had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, Coke/Tab/Fresca/Sprite for 29¢ a case plus deposit, and carrots for 19¢ a bunch. A&P had rib eye steak for $1.79 a pound, Eight O’Clock coffee for 59¢ a pound, and bath-sized Lifebuoy soap (“The soap that’s 99 and 44/1000% pure… so pure it floats!”) for 19¢ a bar.  Kroger had pork loin roast for 59¢ a pound, lettuce for 15¢ a head, and strawberries for 29¢ a pound. Couch’s had pork chops for 49¢ a pound, squash for a dime a pound, and ten pounds of White Lily flour for 99¢.

The cinematic week began with Funeral In Berlin (with Michael Caine) at the DeSoto Theater, The Sound of Music (with Julie Andrews) at the First Avenue, and Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (with Stuart Whitman) at the West Rome Drive-In. Those Magnificent Men flew over to the DeSoto at the midweek switchout, Julie Andrews refused to vacate the First Avenue, and Second Time Around played for the first time at the West Rome Drive-In.

The Buckinghams’ “Kind of a Drag” pushed the Monkees out of the number one slot this week in 1967, knocking “I’m a Believer” down to second place. Other top ten hits included “Ruby Tuesday” by the Rolling Stones (#3); “Georgy Girl” by the Seekers (#4); “(We Ain't Got) Nothin’ Yet” by the Blues Magoos (#5); “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” by the Supremes (#6); “98.6” by Keith (#7); “Tell It Like It Is” by Aaron Neville (#8); “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny & Cher (#9); and “Gimme Some Lovin’” by the Spencer Davis Group (#10).

Dolly Parton released her debut album Hello, I’m Dolly this week in 1967. The album generated two top twenty country hits: “Dumb Blonde” and “Something Fishy.” The album also brought Dolly to the attention of Porter Wagoner, who would soon invite her to join his band and appear on his weekly television show.

Khan Noonien Singh (played by Ricardo Montalban) made his first appearance in the Star Trek episode “Space Seed”  this week in 1967. Of course, he would go on to kill Spock in The Wrath of Khan… but don’t worry, Spock got better!

Two future TV stars crossed paths this week in 1967 when Green Arrow and Batman teamed up in Brave & Bold #71, courtesy of Bob Haney & George Papp.  (But I can assure you that, back in 1967, not even the most dedicated DC comics fan ever would have dreamed that Oliver Queen would ever make the jump to teevee!)

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