Friday, May 05, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 5/8/1967 to 5/14/1967

The Chieftains won 4-0 against Cass on Tuesday, May 9th, thanks in large part to pitcher Steve Harwell’s three-hitter. Then, on Wednesday, West Rome defeated Chattooga 7-2, led by the pitching of Charlie Williams. The twin victories pushed West Rome’s overall season record to 11-7.

The Rome Board of Education approved $17,000 for a summer reading program to be held at Elm Street Elementary to assist economically deprived students. The program was designed to run from8:30am until 2:30pm June 19th through July 28th; participating students would receive a free lunch and free transportation to Elm Street from each student’s local elementary school. .

The board also voted to raise tuition for out-of-system students from its old rate of $25 per month to a new rate of $35 per month. (This is the cost that any student living in in Floyd County outside the city limits would have to pay to attend a city school.)

Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons almost performed in Rome this week in 1967, but Valli’s illness and hospitalization forced the group to cancel their scheduled appearance. So instead of spending a weekend in Rome, Valli got to spend his weekend in a hospital bed in Detroit, Michigan.

Lavender Drive and Redmond Circle have been four-lane roads between Shorter Avenue and Alabama Road for so long that I almost forgot that there was a time when they weren’t—but fifty years ago, they were just two lanes. This week in 1967, though, the plans for widening the roads were submitted to the state and federal highway authorities for approval, and local officials said that they could finish the entire four-lane widening by late 1967 or early 1968. Why such a rush? Well, it had a lot to do with the scheduled opening of Gala Shopping Center, right across the street from West Rome High School. The developers had asked the city to four-lane Redmond Circle in front of the shopping center, while Trend Mills and General Electric had asked that Lavender Drive be widened, so the city combined them into one fast-tracked project.

Piggly Wiggly had beef liver for 29¢ a pound (people must have eaten a lot more beef liver in the 1960s than they do now—not a week went by that someone wasn’t advertising beef liver), cantaloupes for 33¢ each and corn for 7¢ an ear. Big Apple had round steak for 77¢ a pound, Sealtest ice milk for 33¢ a half-gallon, and iceberg lettuce for a quarter a head. Kroger had chuck roast for 49¢ a pound, strawberries for 33¢ a pint, and Blue Plate mayonnaise for 49¢ a pound. A&P had baking hens for 29¢ a pound, Tetley tea bags for 89¢ a box, and five pounds of White Lily flour for 59¢. Couch’s had fresh whole fryers for 23¢ a pound, small eggs for 20¢ a dozen, and Blue Plate grape jelly for a quarter a jar.  

The cinematic week began with Hombre (with Paul Newman) at both the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In, and Blow Up (with Vanessa Redgrave) at the First Avenue. The midweek switchout brought Bullwhip Griffin (with Roddy McDowell) to the DeSoto Theatre and Women of Straw (with Sean Connery & Gina Lollobrigida) to the West Rome Drive-In, while Blow Up hung around for another week at the First Avenue. 

The Supremes took the number one slot this week with “The Happening,” knocking Frank & Nancy Sinatra’s “Somethin’ Stupid” to third place. Other top ten hits included “Sweet Soul Music’ by Arthur Conley (#2), “Groovin’” by the Young Rascals (#4); “A Little Bit Me, A Little Bit You” by the Monkees (#5); “Don’t You Care” by The Buckinghams (#6); “You Got What It Takes” by the Dave Clark Five (#7); “Close Your Eyes” by Peaches & Herb (#8); “I Got Rhythm” by the Happenings (#9); and “I Think We’re Alone Now” by Tommy James & The Shondells (#10). 

The Jimi Hendrix Experience released their debut album, Are You Experienced, this week in 1967; this was the same week that Country Joe and the Fish released their debut album, Electric Music for the Mind and Body. One album sold significantly better than the other, although both were considered influential in the psychedelic rock movement.


paul howley said...

You might want to re-read this whole paragraph: Lavender Drive and Redmond Circle have been four-lane road between Shorter Avenue and Alabama Road for so long that I almost forgot that there was a time when they weren’t—but fifty years ago, they were just two-lane road. This week in 196, though, the plans

Cliff Biggers said...

Thanks for catching that--apparently that segment was never proofread!