Saturday, August 05, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 8/7/1967 to 8/13/1967

We were still enjoying summer fifty years ago in West Rome, because school wasn’t scheduled to start back until August 28th (almost a full month after school’s 2017 starting date). The school buildings weren’t empty during the summer, though: maintenance workers were busy painting classrooms, stripping and waxing floors, repairing and/or replacing damaged equipment, and more in preparation for students’ return. (One thing they weren't repairing was the air conditioning at West Rome… because there wasn’t any!) The only thing that mattered to students, though, was that there were still two more glorious weeks of summer before school opened for the 1967-1968 school year.

Investigators came to Rome looking for evidence related to a theft of 412 sticks of dynamite from a Cartersville storage bin in mid-July. Some of the stick were used to build a bomb that killed  Piedmont circuit solicitor general Floyd G. Hoard on Monday afternoon; Hoard was involved in a complex prosecution involving a car theft ring and a moonshining operation. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation would not give any information regarding their reasons for thinking that there might be Rome links to the crime.

The City of Rome authorized $156,000 in expenditures to improve and modernize the city’s transit system—although they didn’t have to come up with all of the cash. The Department of Housing and Urban Development was willing to put in $2 for every $1 that the city spent, so the real cost to the city was only $53,000. Plans called for 35 new buses to hit the streets of Rome within 30 days. Since Rome used city buses for school bus duty as well, this meant a safer, more comfortable ride for some students once the new buses were put into service.

Rome’s job options improved with the announcement that Trend Mills was building a major addition to its Rome facility. The expansion was expected to produce another 150 jobs in the Rome area.

Piggly Wiggly had 3-Pound Swift’s Canned Hams for $2.89 each, nectarines for 29¢ a pound, and Heinz tomato soup for a dime a can. Kroger had ground beef for 35¢ a pound, Sealtest ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon, and Kroger bread for 18¢ a loaf. A&P had round steak for 77¢ a pound, Eight O’Clock coffee for 49¢ a pound, and blueberries for 39¢ a pint. Big Apple had fresh whole fryers for 25¢ a pound, Duke’s mayonnaise for 29¢ a jar, and cantaloupes for 33¢ each. Couch’s had cube steak for 79¢ a pound, tomatoes for a dime a pound, and Coca-Cola/Tab/Sprite for $1.19 a case plus deposit.

The cinematic week began with El Dorado (starring John Wayne & Robert Mitchum) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and A Guide for the Married Man (starring Walter Matthau) at the First Avenue Theatre. The midweek switch out brought Barefoot in the Park (staring Robert Redford and Jane Fonda) to the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and The Taming of the Shrew (starring Elizabeth Taylor & Richard Burton) to the First Avenue. (Hard to believe that, with so few screens in Rome, the theatre owners insisted on running the same movie at the DeSoto and the Drive-in, thereby reducing our choices even more.)

The Doors held on to the number slot for another week with “Light My Fire.” Other top ten hits included “‘All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles (#2); “I Was Made to Love Her” by Stevie Wonder (#3); “Pleasant Valley Sunday” by the Monkees (#4); “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy” by the Buckinghams (#5); “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli (#6); “A Whiter Shade of Pale” by Procol Harum (#7); Windy by the Association (#8); “Carrie-Anne” by the Hollies (#9); and “A Girl Like You” by the Young Rascals (#10). 

What a n impressive list of albums in the Top Five: the Billboard list for the week included Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles (#1); Headquarters by the Monkees (#2); Flowers by the Rolling Stones (#3); Surrealistic Pillow by Jefferson Airplane (#4) and The Doors by… well, you know (#5).

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