Saturday, July 01, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/3/1967 to 7/9/1967

The complaints by Mr. Patterson and his Watson Street neighbors regarding noise, dust, and debris from the Minge cement plant (reported here last week) struck paydirt: The chairman of the Floyd County Board of Health immediately directed a full-scale investigation into the residents’ complaints to determine if the Minge plant qualified as a health hazard. “A special meeting of the Health Board will be called immediately after the investigation has been completed and all data has been compiled,” Health Board Chairman James Mehaffey said. “We will be diligent in our efforts to determine whether residents of this area are being subjected to a health hazard.” Needless to say, the residents were very pleased with the news. “This is better than we could have hoped for,” Mr. Patterson said, who had been frustrated for many months by Judge Minge allegedly using his position at the courthouse to manipulate the residents’ case in favor of his family’s cement business.

In response to student complaints that Rome City summer school classrooms were too hot, the city proposed a change: they would start summer school classes at 6:30 am rather than 8am, which would enable students to leave at 10:30am rather than noon. Apparently the complaining students decided the classroom weren’t all that intolerable after all, since the school system ended up sticking with the 8am-noon schedule for the rest of the summer.

After several years, prices on color TVs began to drop in 1967, with Sears offering 23” color TVs (the largest size color TV offered in 1967) coming in as low as $369 for a 23” table model and $469 for a 23” walnut console color TV. While this is the equivalent of $2775 and $3525 in today’s dollars (in other words, just about the same price you’d pay for a high-quality 75” 4K TV today that has more screen space than nine 23” TVs), it was the first year that a color console crossed into the sub-$500 range. That might explain why a lot more families began adding color TVs to their homes in the late 1960s.

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 99¢ a pound, white corn for 8¢ an ear, and okra for 19¢ a pound. Big Apple had fresh whole fryers for 27¢ a pound, pinto beans for 10¢  a pound, and Maxwell House coffee for 55¢ a pound. Kroger had pork chops for 59¢ a pound, tomatoes for a dime a pound, and Sealtest ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon. A&P had chuck roast for 35¢ a pound, Poss Brunswick stew for 49¢ a can, and locally grown tomatoes for 29¢ a pound.  Couch's had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, lettuce for a dime a head, and Irvindale ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon.

The cinematic week began with You Only Live Twice (starring Sean Connery) at the DeSoto Theatre, Hawaii (starring Julie Andrews) at the First Avenue, and A Fistful of Dollars (starring Clint Eastwood) at the West Rome Drive-In. You Only Live Twice and Hawaii hung around for another week, while the West Rome Drive-In brought in Hell on Wheels (starring Marty Robbins) for the weekend.

The Association held on to the number one song this week in 1967 with “Windy,” which hit the top of the charts for a second week. Other top ten hits included “Little Bit O’ Soul” by the Music Explosion (#2); “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli (#3); “San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)” by Scott McKenzie (#4); “Don’t Sleep in the Subway” by Petula Clark (#5); “Come On Down to My Boat” by Every Mother’s Son (#6); “Up—Up and Away” by the 5th Dimension (#7); “Let’s Live For Today” by the Grass Roots (#8); “Groovin’” by the Young Rascals (#9); and “The Tracks of My Tears” by Johnny Rivers (#10).

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