Friday, April 28, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/1/1967 to 5/7/1967

Apparently those Garden Lakes folks were hard to please: a week after voting down the proposal to annex Garden Lakes into the city and make them part of the Chieftain family, a delegation of Garden Lakes residents went to the county to complain about the condition of the roads, the inadequacy of the street lights, the quality of the water service, and the facilities at Garden Lakes Elementary. Not too surprisingly, the county said that it had no funding to address any of these issues.  (Too bad these folks didn’t think about negotiating some of these requests with both the city and the county prior to the vote!)

Maybe these thieves should have spent more time attending school and less time breaking into school: would-be burglars broke into West Rome High School on Saturday, May 6th, and then attempted to open the front hall Coke machine in search of quick cash. Unfortunately for them, it was Saturday, when school was not in session, and the Coke machines had been emptied at the end of the day on Friday, so there was no cash to steal. They also attempted to open the cooler section of the Coke machine to steal a couple of drinks, but were unsuccessful at that, so they gave up and left before the police arrived.

West Rome’s track team racked up another victory, this time defeating Cedartown and Coosa in a 3-way track meet on May 2nd. West Rome picked up eleven first-place honors, more than twice the total number of first-place finishes for Cedartown and Coosa combined.

McDonald’s celebrated its third anniversary in Rome by offering a free hot apple pie with the purchase of The All American dinner (a hamburger, french fries, and a shake) for 55¢. Even better, they were bringing in Ronald McDonald on May 6th from 2pm to 7pm, so you could get a cheap meal and entertainment! (Oddly enough, they promoted the fact that Ronald MacDonald would be autographing--not sure how many kids really care about autographs, and of those who do, how many of them would want an unknown performer to sign the name of the character he was portraying?)

Piggly Wiggly had Cudahy’s Bar S bacon for 49¢ a pound, Swift’s potted meat for a dime a can, and 10 pounds of Domino sugar for 99¢, Kroger hd pork chops for 59¢ a pound, corn for 6¢ an ear, and Coca-Cola/Tab/Sprite for 29¢ a six-pack plus deposit. Big Apple had perch for 39¢ a pound, watermelons for 89¢ each, and Libby beef stew for 49¢ a can. A&P had Delmonico steaks for $1.59 a pound (and that’s why my family never ate Delmonico steaks), prunes for 29¢ a canister, and Alabam Girl dill pickles for 33¢ a quart (and no, I didn’t misspell Alabama—Alabam Girl is indeed the name of the company).  Couch’s had fresh ground sausage for 49¢ a pound, Hunt's ketchup for 29¢ a bottle, and grapefruit for a nickel each.

The cinematic week began with Monkeys, Go Home (with Dean Jones) at the DeSoto Theatre, The Blue Max (with George Peppard) at the First Avenue Theatre, and Hot on Sunset Strip (with Aldo Ray) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switchout brought Hombre (with Paul Newman) to the DeSoto and Masquerade (with Cliff Robertson) to the West Rome Drive-In, while The Blue Max hung around for another week at the First Avenue.

Nancy & Frank Sinatra maintained their grip on first place in the top ten for another week with “Somethin’ Stupid.” Other top ten hits included “The Happening” by the Supremes (#2); “Sweet Soul Music” by Arthur Conley (#3); “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” by The Monkees (#4); “Happy Together” by The Turtles (#5); “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tommy James & The Shondells (#6); “Don’t You Care?” by the Buckinghams (#7); “Close Your Eyes” by Peaches and Herb (#8); “You Got What It Takes” by The Dave Clark Five (#9); and “I’m a Man” by The Spencer Davis Group (#10).

It was an eventful week in popular music: on May 1st, Paul McCartney told the world that all four members of the Beatles had used LSD; Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas; and a frustrated Capitol Records finally pulled the plug on the Beach Boys mysterious Smile project when Brian Wilson was unable to deliver a finished album more than a year after starting work on it.

One of the shorted-lived television networks in history began operation on May 1st when the United Network unveiled its first (and only) television program, The Las Vegas Show. A month later, the television station was out of business. Atlanta’s WJRJ Channel 17 (which would officially launch in June of 1967) had plans to carry United Network programming, but those plans changed when the network collapsed after a month.

This week in 1967, Marvel Comics began poking fun at themselves and other comics in the pages of Not Brand Echh #1. Stan Lee & Jack Kirby kicked everything off with their eight-page spoof “The Silver Burper,” but during the book’s too-short run, they would mock their competition as well as their own books.

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