Friday, June 16, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 6/19/1967 to 6/25/1967

Construction began on a $50 million expansion at Plant Hammond this week in 1967; Georgia Power intended to add a fourth generating unit to the plant; the new unit would give Plant Hammond an 8000,000 kilowatt generating capacity, making it the second-largest generating station in Georgia. Plans called for at least 300 new jobs to be added once the construction was completed, while the construction itself added brought in almost 400 jobs.

And speaking of construction, the first girders and concrete blocks began going up at Gala Shopping Center this week in 1967. The builders hoped to finish the shopping center (which was right across Redmond Circle from West Rome High School) in time for the Christmas 1967 shopping season, but they warned that any significant weather delays could push the opening into 1968.

Seventh District Congressman John Davis unveiled plans to extend the Blue Ridge Parkway from Blue Ridge all the way south to the Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park, offering easy access to the north Georgia mountains. As we now know, the plan didn’t develop quite the way John Davis foresaw it, but it was pretty close geographically speaking: the proposed extension eventually became the Zell Miller Parkway and I-575, which terminates within a few miles of Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield Park.

Funny how history repeats itself: fifty years ago this week, Kroger advertised that they were slashing prices on thousands of items, offering lower-across-the-board prices, and re-establishing themselves as a low-price leader in Rome’s grocery market. “Watch Kroger for the most revolutionary food news in Rome history,” they advertised. Alas, the price changes were a bit less impressive than the advertising implied: while Kroger insisted that they lowered prices on 2149 items, most price drops were a nickel an item or less. 

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, potatoes for 12¢ a pound, and Pepsi Cola for 99¢ a case plus deposit. Big Apple had rump roast for 79¢ a pound, Campbell’s chicken noodle soup for 19¢ a can, and grapes for 19¢ a pound. A&P had fresh whole fryers for 25¢ a pound, Maxwell house coffee for 69¢ a can, and lettuce for a dime a head. Kroger had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, tomatoes for a quarter a pint, and Luzianne coffee for 49¢ a pound. Couch’s had pork chops for 49¢ a pound, okra for 19¢ a pound, and Blue Plate peach preserves for 35¢ a jar. 

The cinematic week began with The Absent-Minded Professor and The Shaggy Dog (both starring Fred MacMurray) at the DeSoto Theatre, A Man for All Seasons (starring Paul Scofield) at the First Avenue, and Devil’s Angels (starring John Cassavettes) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switchout brought Double Trouble (starring Elvis Presley) to the DeSoto and The Countess From Hong Kong (starring Marlon Brando) to the West Rome Drive-In, while A Man For All Seasons refused to release ites grip on tdhe First Avenue Theatre.

The Young Rascals took number one this week in 1967 with their laid-back “Groovin’.” Other top ten hits included “Respect” by Aretha Franklin (#2); “She’d Rather Be with Me” by the Turtles (#3); “Windy” by The Association (#4); “Little Bit O’ Soul” by the Music Explosion (#5); “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers In Your Hair)” by Scott McKenzie (#6); “Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane (#7); “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by Frankie Valli (#8); “Sunday Will Never Be the Same” by Spanky & Our Gang (#9); and “Let’s Live For Today” by the Grass Roots (#10).

Less than a month after the release of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, the Beatles performed their newest song, “All You Need Is Love,” for the worldwide broadcast of the Our World television special on June 25, 1967. If you ever get a chance to watch the film of the event, keep a lookout for the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, and the Who mixed in among the backing singers.

No comments: