Friday, April 21, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 4/24/1967 to 4/30/1967

The votes were counted, and the residents of Garden Lakes turned down their chance to become West Rome Chieftains, voting 794-333 to remain in the county rather than being annexed into the city. The deciding issue seemed to be the fate of Garden Lakes Elementary School: since the county was asking for a significant sum of money for the school grounds and facilities, the city had indicated that it would instead reassign Garden Lakes students to Elm Street and West End. Apparently the residents of Garden Lakes found that totally unacceptable, so the annexation was soundly rejected. (One has to wonder how different things might have been had Garden Lakes voted yes; the influx of almost 500 new students of all ages into the West Rome school network might have inspired the city to keep West Rome open rather than turning the school into a Walmart parking lot…)

For the first time since the end of World War II, Romans set their clocks ahead one hour when they went to bed on Saturday, April 29th, thanks to daylight saving time. Of course, the official time change took place at 2am on Sunday, but since most of us were asleep by that time, we diligently gave up an hour of rest as we set our clocks ahead at bedtime. Georgia had observed daylight saving time in the past—during the war years of 1918, 1919, 1942, 1943, 1944, and 1945—but once the war was over, Georgia had left its clocks alone until 1967, when the entire nation (with the exception of a couple of recalcitrant states) began observing daylight saving time. And there was no automatic daylight saving time setting on our clocks back then—daylight saving time required changing all clocks by hand, knowing that we would have to change them back again six months later. (We can only hope that, at some point, our legislators will show the common sense and courage to do away with this outmoded and counterproductive practice: recent studies have shown that switching to daylight saving time actually costs us slightly more in energy use, it has negative health ramifications, and it remain quite unpopular.)

Steve Harwell’s triple in the eighth inning, followed by a score from third on a throwing error, gave West Rome's baseball team a 3-2 victory against the Cedartown Bulldogs on April 24th.

And a day later, West Rome once again defeated Cedartown—this time in a dual meet at the West Rome track. The final score was 113-23, with West Rome racking up twelve first places. The only double winner of the day was Mike Johnson, who ran the 100 in 10.5 seconds and the 220 in 23.6 seconds.

Over the weekend, West Rome’s baseball team went on to defeat Coosa 3-1. The Chieftains scored a solo run in the first inning on a double by Charles Williams and a sacrifice fly by Jim Partee. Doug Meadows and Greg Oyler both scored runs in the fifth inning to ensure the win. The next day, the baseball team posted a major victory over East Rome, 7-1. It was a tie game until the fifth inning, when West Rome scored three runs; they followed that up with three more runs in the seventh inning. Pitcher Steve Harwell was credited with the win, allowing only four hits. And it was good that we defeated East Rome in baseball, because... 

The Rome News-Tribune Relays took place at West Rome High School over the weekend, and the outcome wasn’t what West Rome had hoped for: our crosstown rivals the East Rome Gladiators won the track meet handily, with West Rome coming in fourth place.

Marcel Beam, solo clarinetist for the West Rome High School Band, traveled to Grady High School in Atlanta with band director Charles Davis so that he could audition for the Georgia All-State Band. Beam was the only Chieftain and the only Roman invited to audition.

Marguerite DiPrima and Judy Oxford were tapped to head the 1967-1968 West Rome High School annual The Watanyah; the announcement was made this week in 1967, since preliminary work on the next school year’s annual actually began before the prior school year ended and continued all through the summer. 

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, cantaloupes for 35¢ each, and Libby’s vienna sausages for 25¢ a can. Kroger had smoked ham for 35¢ a pound, Maxwell House coffee for 59¢ a pound, and bananas for a dime a pound. Big Apple had baking hens for 29¢ a pound, corn for 6¢ an ear, and Blue Plate mayonnaise for 49¢ a quart. Couch’s had chicken breast for 39¢ a pound, A&P had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, Bama apple jelly for 23¢ a jar, and watermelons for 99¢ each. Campbell’s tomato soup for 15¢ a can, and  Coca-Cola/Tab/Sprite for 99¢ a case plus deposit. 

The cinematic week began with Doctor, You’ve Got to Be Kidding (with Sandra Dee) at the DeSotoTheatre, The Blue Max (with George Peppard) at the First Avenue, and Deadlier Than the Male (with Elke Sommer) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switchout brought Monkeys Go Home (with Dean Jones) to the DeSoto Theatre and Guns of the Black Witch (with no one you’ve ever heard of) at the West Rome Drive-In, while The Blue Max hung around for another week at the First Avenue. 

Frank & Nancy Sinatra held on to number one for another week with “Something’ Stupid.” Other top ten hits included “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” by the Monkees (#2); “Happy Together” by the Turtles (#3); “Sweet Soul Music” by Arthur Conley (#4); “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tommy James & the Shondells (#5); “Western Union” by the Five Americans (#6); “This Is My Song” by Petula Clark (#7); “The Happening” by the Supremes (#8); “Bernadette” by the Four Tops (#9); and “Jimmy Mack” by Martha & the Vandellas (#10). 

The Turtles’ most successful album, Happy Together, was released this week in 1967, as was the eponymous debut album by the Electric Prunes and Chuck Berry's first “greatest hits” album, Chuck Berry’s Golden Decade.

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