Sunday, July 23, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/24/1967 to 7/30/1967

Rome’s efforts to eliminate obscene magazines from the newsstands, bookstores, and magazine racks kicked into high gear with the creation of the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Clean Literature. The commission had no legal authority to take any action against stores carrying such magazines, but they intended to contact stores and ask them to remove the magazines; if that didn’t work, they’d send in local customers to try to persuade the store owner to reconsider; and if that failed, they’d try to organize protests at the stores in question. The group was made up of a coalition of civic and religious leaders, including West Rome’s own Nick Hyder, school superintendent JS McDonald, Ben Lucas, and Jerry Bryant. (And more than one West Rome store got a call because of their magazine racks—although very few apparently did anything more than put the Playboys on the top shelf, or behind the counter. I suspect they discovered that many of those local customers they hoped to utilize to persuade the stores to discontinue Playboy were actually some of the store's Playboy customers.)

 The State Highway Department began taking bids for construction of a four-lane highway from Shorter Avenue, North Elm Street,and Lavender Drive to Redmond Circle; from there the highway would bear west and then south, connecting to Shorter Avenue/Alabama Road at West Rome High School. The project was fast-tracked in hopes that it could be finished at about the same time that Gala Shopping Center was scheduled to open.

And the burglaries continued: thieves broke into Andrews Motor Company on the night of July 27th, stealing a large quantity of tools, an adding machine, and a timing light. They apparently loaded all of the items into a 1967 automobile, which they then stole to haul away their goodies.

Piggly Wiggly had baking hens for 29¢ a pound, Irvindale ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon, and tomatoes for 19¢ a pound. A&P had country ham for 79¢ a pound, blueberries for 39¢ a pint, and Armour Vienna sausages for 23¢ a can. Big Apple had ground beef for 35¢ a pound, eggs for 39¢ a dozen, and tall cans of salmon for 59¢ each. Kroger had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, lemons for 49¢ a dozen, and 10 pounds of russet potatoes for 59¢. Couch’s had chicken breasts for 49¢ a pound, Blue Plate peach preserves for 33¢ a jar, and fresh okra for 19¢ a pound.

The cinematic week began with The Dirty Dozen (starring Lee Marvin) at the DeSoto Theatre, Hawaii (starring Julie Andrews) at the First Avenue, and Born Losers (starring Tom Laughlin) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switchout brought Caprice (starring Doris Day) to the First Avenue and Fancy Pants (starring Bob Hope) to the West Rome Drive-In, while The Dirty Dozen remained captive at the DeSoto for another week.

The Doors sizzled at number one with “Light My Fire” this week in 1967. Other top ten hits included “I Was Made to Love Her” by Stevie Wonder (#2); “Windy” by the Association (#3); “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli (#4); “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum (#5); “Little Bit O’ Soul” by The Music Explosion (#6); “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by the Buckinghams (#7); “White Rabbit” by Jefferson Airplane (#8); “Up—Up and Away” by the 5th Dimension (#9); and “C’Mon Marianne” by the Four Seasons featuring the Sound of Frankie Valli (#10).

Gold Key launched its Star Trek comic book series this week in 1967. While the comic wasn’t particularly faithful to the TV series in every detail, it was the first authorized expansion of the Star Trek canon, and for those of us who couldn’t enough of the Enterprise and its crew, this was a must-have.

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