Friday, March 17, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/20/1967 to 3/26/1967

Academic Awards were presented by the Chieftains Club to the top five students in each class, grades 7-12. Those receiving academic awards included Marvin Smith, Carol Culp, Greg Quinton, Dianne Massey, and Janet Amspoker (12th grade); Pate Finley, Steve Warren, April Garrison, Anita Smith, and Sandy Witherington (11th grade); Beth Watson, Beverly Hall, Bonnie Logan, Karen Hart,  Robert Blalock, and Mary Beth Boggus (10th grade—and there was a GPA tie for fifth place); Paula Lane, Cynthia Morgan, Vicky Vinson, Deborah Beard, and Susan Gardner (9th grade); Phyllis Cox, Randy Kennedy, Greg Carter, Jamie Cook, & Rosalind McKibben (8th grade); and Joyce Gribble, Virginia Leiter, Cindy Purcell, Debbie Reynolds, and David Whitworth (7th grade). 

A rock and roll stage show was held at 7:30 pm on Wednesday, March 22nd, at West Rome High School. After the stage show, a dance was held, with Rhythm Inc. providing the music. The dance was held on Wednesday night because school was closed on Thursday and Friday as a lead-in to Easter, which fell on March 26th that year.

West Rome’s intramural game between the Greens and the Whites took place on Thursday, March 23rd, at Legion Field (the game was normally held at Barron Stadium, but off-season construction at Barron forced the game’s relocation).This was one of the few official “games” of the spring; other schools simply held off-season practice, but Coach Paul Kennedy said that West Rome fans loved football so much that they wanted to see the teams play, so he was scheduling two intrasquad games: one for the JV and 9th grade players, and a second for the varsity team. The Whites beat the Greens 20-7, largley thanks to Roger Weaver, who scored one touchdown and set up the other two. (The paper offered no info on the outcome of the JV/9th grade game.)

The Magic Touch Car Wash at the corner of Shorter Avenue and Burnett Ferry Road completed its renovation and expansion this week in 1967. The new conveyor-car-wash system, one of the first fully automated systems in the Southeast, made it possible for the car wash to handle 600 cars per day. Magic Touch also added 8 gasoline pumps to their facility, making it easy for customers to fill up and get a car wash in a single stop.

Rome and Floyd County saw an increase in the unemployment rate to 5.1% in early 1967, largely due to the closing of the viscose division of Celanese Fibers, which resulted in the layoff of 900 employees. Had the Celanese closing not occurred, area unemployment would have come in at just under 4%. Rome chamber of commerce spokesmen said that they were aggressively seeking new manufacturers to relocate to Rome because of the number of trained workers available in the area, but they didn’t give any specifics. 

In spite of the increase in unemployment, Rome was still undergoing an unprecedented building boom, with more than $105 million in new construction planned for the 1967-1970 time period. This included major additions to Georgia Power’s Plant Hammond; new dorms at Darlington; new dorms, classrooms, and a student center at Berry; new classrooms at Shorter; a major expansion of Coosa Valley Vocational Technical School, new dorms at Georgia School for the Deaf; and the major construction of Gala Shopping Center, right across the street from West Rome High School.

Piggly Wiggly had Swift’s Butterball turkeys for 39¢ a pound, Bailey’s Supreme coffee for 59¢ a pound, and Merita bread for a quarter a loaf. Kroger had smoked ham for 37¢ a pound, large eggs for 42¢ a dozen, and sweet corn for 6¢ an ear. Big Apple had shoulder lamb roast for 49¢ a pound, Diet-Rite cola for 29¢ a carton plus deposit, and Campbell’s pork & beans for 15¢ a can. A& P had boneless round roast for 89¢ a pound, and fresh strawberries for 39¢ a pint. Ann Page peanut butter for 59¢ a jar, and Couch’s had baking hens for 35¢ a pound, Stokely’s fruit cocktail for 19¢ a can, and tomatoes for 19¢ a pound. 

The cinematic week began with Easy Come, Easy Go (with Elvis Presley) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and Doctor Zhivago (wit Omar Shariff) at the First Avenue Theatre. The midweek switch out brought Thunder Alley (with Annette Funicello & Fabian) to the DeSoto and the West Rome Drive-In, while Doctor Zhivago hung around for yet another week at the First Avenue.

The Turtles climbed to number one this week in 1967 with “Happy Together.” Other top ten hits included “Dedicated to the One I Love” by the Mamas & the Papas (#2); “Penny Lane” by the Beatles (#3); “There’s a Kind of Hush” by Herman’s Hermits (#4); “Baby I Need Your Lovin’” by Johnny Rivers (#5); “Sock It to Me, Baby!” by Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels (#6); “For What It’s Worth” by Buffalo Springfield (#7); “My Cup Runneth Over” by Ed Ames (#8); “Love Is Here and Now You’re Gone” by the Supremes (#9); and “Ruby Tuesday” the Rolling Stones (#10). 

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