Friday, June 09, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 6/12/1967 to 6/18/1967

The Rome Board of Education approved a change in the marriage policy for high school students. For several years, the rule had required that a high school student receive permission from his or her principal to marry 30 days prior to the wedding date, or else the student would e forced to withdraw from school. The board voted to waive that rule in the case of a high school student whose fiance was being sent to Vietnam as a part of military service. (Today, it’s hard to imagine anyone even considering a policy that would require a  student get permission from his or her principal in order to get married.)

Three teenagers were apprehended after a crime spree that includes burglaries at several Rome grocery stores, convenience stores, churches, and schools, including both East and West Rome High School. The thieves had stolen cash, merchandise, tape recorders, record players, and other electronic items; some of the stolen merchandise was recovered in Rome, while some of it was recovered in Atlanta, where the teens had transported the merchandise in order to sell it.

Rome’s crime spree wasn’t over, though: at 4am on Tuesday, June 13th, a 15 year old boy was apprehended after breaking into Skelton’s Motorcycle Shop on Shorter Avenue, where he stole a motorcycle, a helmet, a jacket, and a shirt (apparently he wanted to be fashionable while riding). They also found wallets in his possession that belonged to West Rome residents whose cars had been broken into earlier that evening.

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, okra for 29¢ a pound, and Luzianne coffee for 69¢ a pound. Big Apple had whole fryers  for 25¢ a pound, Bama apple jelly for 25¢ a jar, and Armour pork & beans for a dime a can. Kroger had T-bone steak for 99¢ a pound, White Lily Flour for 49¢ for a five-pound bag, and angel food cakes for 49¢ each. A&P had pork chops for 59¢ a pound, Double Cola for 89¢ a case plus deposit, and cabbage for a nickel a pound.  Couch’s had pork steak for 59¢ a pound, Georgia peaches for 15¢ a pound, and the ever-popular pork brains (beloved by pig zombies everywhere) for a quarter a pound.

The cinematic week began with War Wagon (starring John Wayne & Kirk Douglas) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In, and A Man for All Seasons (with Paul Scofield) at the First Avenue Theatre. The midweek switchout brought a double feature of The Absent Minded Professor and The Shaggy Dog (both starring Fred MacMurray) to the DeSoto Theatre and Devil’s Angels (starring John Cassavettes)  to the West Rome Drive-In, while A Man For All Seasons seemed destined to spend at least one full season at the First Avenue Theatre.

The Young Rascals took number one this week in 1967 with “Groovin’.” Other top ten hits included “Respect” by Aretha Franklin (#2); "She’d Rather Be With Me” by the Turtles (#3); “Release Me (And Let Me Love Again)” by Engelbert Humperdinck (#4); “Somebody to Love” by the Jefferson Airplane (#5); “Little Bit o’ Soul” by the Music Explosion (#6); “Windy” by the Association (#7); “All I Need” by the Temptations (#8); “I Got Rhythm” by the Happenings (#9); and “Mirage” by Tommy James & the Shondells (#10). 

Once again, the Monkees had two albums in the Top Ten Charts this week in 1967 (More of the Monkees at #4 and Headquarters at #6). This meant that the Monkees had two albums charting higher than Paul Revere & the Raiders’ Greatest Hits (#9) and Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits (#10). People forget just what a pop powerhouse the Monkees were in their first two years!

This was the week of the Monterey Pop Festival, which featured The Who, Simon & Garfunkel, Eric Burdon & the Animals, The Byrds, the Association, Jefferson Airplane, Big Brother & The Holding Company with Janis Joplin, Otis Redding, Booker T & The MGs, and Ravi Shankar—but it was Jimi Hendrix who became a rock star as a result of the Festival. It was here that he did his legendary bit of setting his guitar on fire, which made him a shock-rock sensation (yes, this was what passed for shock-rock in 1967!).

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