Friday, February 24, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/27/1967 to 3/5/1967

Tentative plans to annex Garden Lakes into the city of Rome (and send their high school students to West Rome) went nowhere at the county commission meeting on the night of March 1st. Commissioners failed to make any decision to allow a referendum for the annexation, saying that their financial concerns had not yet been addressed.

West Rome High School tied with Marietta High School for first place in the Seventh District Science Fair, held at Berry College on March 3rd and 4th. Missy Greear won the award for chemistry and Warner Kiser for zoology. Other Chieftains whose projects placed in the competition included Janet Amspoker & Holly Bellinger (experimental psychology), Marie Edwards (experimental psychology), Rae Richardson (engineering), Debbye Morris (bacteriology), Jimmy Perry (natural resources), Greg Quinton (chemistry), Joan Satterfield & Lynda Brown (botany), Billy Surratt Jr. (zoology), and Joe Holcombe (physical science).

Imagine the outrage if a state legislator did this nowadays: This week in 1967, Floyd Representative Sidney Lowrey introduced a House resolution requiring that the House employ ten additional assistant doorkeepers at the house. The job specifications required that the ten employees be “tall, blonde, and beautiful… between the ages of 19 and 23, and shall dress in miniskirts between the hours of 9am and 11:30am.” The resolution didn’t pass, because there was no extra funding available for ten staff positions.

Today, we shop at the various big-box retailers for our appliances—but back in the 1960s, both Georgia Power and Atlanta Gas Light were in the appliance business. Both companies offered low (and in some cases, interest-free) financing added on to your utility bill each month, and both companies offered delivery, installation, service, and warranty coverage. Maybe there some benefits to regulated utility companies after all… (Well, in addition to the benefit of monthly bills that were often less than the base pipeline charge we all have to pay now!)

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 35¢ a pound, Bama mayonnaise for 39¢ a quart, and Lady Alice ice milk for 19¢ a half-gallon (the lowest price  I’ve seen listed in five years of “Fifty Years Ago This Week” columns!). Kroger had T-bone steak for 95¢ a pound, Carnation evaporated milk for 15¢ a can, and Chicken of the Sea tuna for 29¢ a can. A&P had beef brisket for 89¢ a pound, tomatoes for 29¢ a pound, and Van Camp chili with beans for 39¢ a can. Big Apple had leg o’ lamb for 69¢ a pound, Luzianne coffee for 59¢ a can, and Southern Maid English peas for 19¢ a can. Couch’s had Peach Brand bacon for 49¢ a pound, Bama pickles for 39¢ a quart, and bananas for a dime a pound. 

The cinematic week began with Tobruk (with Rock Hudson & George Peppard) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and The Restless Ones (with a very forgettable cast) at the First Avenue. The midweek switchout brought Kiss the Girls and Make Them Die (with Mike Conners) to the DeSoto Theatre, Is Paris Burning? with Kirk Douglas) to the First Avenue, and Arrivederci Baby (with Tony Curtis) to the West Rome Drive-In.

The Rolling Stones’ “Ruby Tuesday” leapt to number one this week in 1967. Other top ten hits included “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” by the Supremes (#2); “Kind of a Drag” by the Buckinghams (#3); “Baby I Need Your Lovin’” by Johnny Rivers (#4); “Georgy Girl” by the Seekers (#5); “The Beat Goes On” by Sonny & Cher (#6); “Gimme Some Lovin’” by the Spencer Davis Group (#7); "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye” by the Casinos (#8); Sock It To Me Baby!” by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels (#9) and “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees (#10).

This week in 1967 Gunsmoke was renewed by CBS for another season, ending speculation that the network intended to cancel the long-running Western series with its twelfth season (1966-1967). Turns out that CBS actually did intend to cancel the series, but the word got out and the public outcry was so overwhelming that the network kept it around. Because they hadn’t left a place in the schedule for the series, CBS had to cancel another show that had already been renewed: Gilligan’s Island. (The producers of Gilligan’s Island had intended to chronicle the castaways’ rescue in the final episode of the series--but since they had no idea the last episode of season three was destined to be their final episode, no rescue was ever chronicled.)

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