Friday, July 28, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/31/1967 to 8/6/1967

How did Rome have so much crime without me knowing about it? Two burglaries (one at an area bait shop, the other at a tavern), a larceny at a service station, and an auto theft from a downtown parking lot—and was all on one day (July 31st). Tuesday, August 1st saw a house burglary in a home off Alabama Road (but in this case, three men were arrested less than 24 hours after the burglary occurred). Thursday brought reports of two more service station break-ins, including Camp’s service station on Shorter Avenue. And more tools were stolen on Friday, this time from Rome Automobile Company.

Two Chieftains—Benny Padgett and Anthony Slafta—were chosen to play on the North team in the Georgia High School Association mid-summer Athletic Classic in Savannah on August 3rd. Alas, the two West Rome players weren't enough to secure a win for the North, as the South took the game 7-0.

Barron Stadium finished a major revamp on August 6th, just in time for the high school football season to begin in late August. The renovation included new bleachers, twin scoreboards on both sides of the stadium, an all-new pressbox, new concession stands, a resurfaced track, new sod, and more. 

Hal M. Polk, formerly of Forest High School in Forest, Mississippi, was chosen to become West Rome’s new band director. Rome  City Schools conducted an extensive search, interviewing more than a dozen applicants before selecting Mr. Polk.

A casting agent for Batjac Productions came to Rome on August 5th the interview males of Asian heritage for minor roles in the John Wayne film The Green Berets, which was slated to begin filming at Fort Benning and in the Columbus area. 

TV watchers looking for a relative bargain”could add a “giant screen 22 inch" Motorola console color TV to their home for only $509.00 (the equivalent of $3600+ in today's dollars), thanks to a sale at General Tire Company. Sears countered with a 23” console color TV for $549, while Rome Radio had a 21” Philco tabletop color TV for only $429.00. So why the push for TVs? Probably because the fall season was only weeks away, and in the pre-DVR, pre-streaming, pre-VHS, pre-DVD, pre-blu-ray era, the fall season launch was a Big Event in most households, and almost a third of all annual TV sales occurred in the month before the new viewing season kicked off.

Eastern Airlines (remember them?) and Cherokee Air Taxi announced changed on their daily schedules between Rome and Atlanta. Eastern lights were scheduled to leave Atlanta at 10am every day and arrive in Rome at 10:34am. Return flights were scheduled to leave Rome at 11:10am and arrive in Atlanta at 11:44am. Cherokee flights were scheduled to leave Atlanta at 10:41am and arrive i Rome at 11:21am. Return flights were scheduled to leave at 11:26am and arrive in Atlanta at 12:06. And here’s proof that it was a different era: flyers were urged to arrive at the gate at least ten minutes before the departure time. 

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 93¢ a pound, cantaloupes for 39¢ each, and ten pounds of Dixie Crystals sugar for 89¢. Kroger had smoked ham for 59¢ a pound, white grapes for a quarter a pound, and Kroger bread for 18¢ a loaf. Big Apple had pork roast for 47¢ a pound, Sealtest ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon, and yellow corn for 8¢ an ear. A&P had chuck roast for 37¢ a pound, strawberries for 39¢ a pint, and Prell shampoo for 49¢ a bottle. Couch’s had ground steak for 69¢ a pound, large eggs for 39¢ a dozen ,and Van Camp chili with beans for 29¢ a can.

the cinematic week began with The Dirty Dozen (starring Lee Marvin) at the DeSoto Theatre, Caprice (starring Doris Day) at the First Avenue, and Banning (starring Robert Wagner) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switchout brought El Dorado (with John Wayne and Robert Mitchum) to the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In, and A Guide for the Married Man (starring Walter Matthau and Robert Morse) to the First Avenue.

The Doors held on to number one for a second week with “Light My Fire.” Other top ten hits included “I Was Made to Love Her” by Stevie Wonder (#2); “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles (#3); “Windy” by the Association (#4); “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum (#5); “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli (#6); “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by the Buckinghams (#7); “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane (#8); “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by the Monkees (#9); and “Little Bit O’ Soul” by the Music Explosion (#10). 

Bobbie Gentry released her debut album, Ode to Billie Joe, this week in 1967. The album's title song would go on to become one of the most memorable hits from the 1960s.

No comments: