Friday, September 29, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/2/1967 to 10/8/1967

Scores of Romans headed to Bartow County this week in 1966 to assist in a desperate search for three-year-old Bill Hardman, who went missing in the dense woods north of Cartersville on Tuesday, October 3rd. Altogether, more than 1500 people from six counties joined in the search, but it was a neighbor who found the child—ironically, only after the neighbor got lost in the woods after spending hours assisting in the search! The child was not even dehydrated, leading doctors to conclude that he must have drunk from the many streams and ponds that were located in the area.

Rome’s new cable television system began its expansion into West Rome this week in 1967. Shorter Heights was one of the first areas to get cable, with expansions down the length of Shorter Avenue and into adjacent subdivisions scheduled before the end of the year. “All nine channels are beautiful,” Rome Cable TV manager Hugh Smith said. (Yes, nine channels—three VHF from Chattanooga, 3 VHF from Atlanta, and three UHF from Atlanta—and that was the entirety of our cable choices in the distant past of 1967!)

Nine Rome juveniles were arrested in connection with a number of burglaries, larcenies, and shoplifting crimes that had occurred over the past three months. All nine confessed to sniffing airplane glue to get ready for their crimes. The kids said that they had never heard of glue sniffing until they read about it in the Atlanta paper--proving that in the 1960s, even criminals read the news on a regular basis.

And speaking of criminals… Someone broke into the cashier’s office at Berry College’s Hermann Hall and stole almost $10,000 on Thursday, October 5th. The money was stolen sometime between noon and 1pm, when everyone was at lunch. Two days later, police arrested a 22-year-old Berry senior from Florida for the theft after climbing in through an open window. 

Roger Weaver was recognized this week in 1967 for becoming the first Chieftain to rush more than 2000 yards in his varsity career—and Weaver did it early in his junior year! His 140 yards rushing against Wills on September 29th put him over the 2000 yard mark (2065 yards, to be exact). He was just one touchdown short of achieving 100 points scored, yet another landmark record.

The Chieftains took on one of their two biggest local rivals, the Coosa Eagles, on Friday, October 6th, posting a 14-0 victory before a sellout crowd of 6500 at Barron Stadium. Mike Grass and Mike Johnson scored the two touchdowns

Poorer Romans gained new access to health care beginning this week  in 1967 when a new program known as Medicaid launched. The plan assured that  those on public assistance, as well as those on 65, would not be denied medical care regardless of their ability to pay.

Piggly Wiggly had fresh whole fryers for 23¢ a pound, a quart of Georgia Maid dill pickles for 33¢, and grapefruit for a dime each. Kroger had T-bone steak for $1.09 a pound, corn for 6¢ an ear, and a case of Coca-Cola, Tab, or Sprite for $1 (plus deposit). A&P had boneless round roast for 89¢ a pound, red delicious apples for 12¢ a pound, and Betty Crocker layer cake mix for 41¢ a box. Big Apple had pork loin for 59¢ a pound, yellow squash for 19¢ a pound, and Sealtest sherbet or ice cream for 49¢ a half-gallon. Couch’s had roasting chickens for 29¢ each, ‘Showboat pork & beans for 19¢ a large can, and vine-ripe tomatoes for 19¢ a pound. 

The cinematic week began with Two for the Road (starring Audrey Hepburn) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and Up the Down Staircase (starring Sandy Dennis) at the First Avenue. The midweek switch out brought an unusual double feature to both the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In: alternating showings of What’s New Pussycat (with Peter Sellers) and How to Murder Your Wife (with Jack Lemmon) at both theaters, while the First Avenue held Up the Down Staircase over for another week.

The Box Tops held on to the number one slot for another week with “The Letter.” Other top ten hits included “Never My Love” by the Association (#2); “Ode to Billie Joe” by Bobbie Gentry (#3); “Come Back When You Grow Up” by Bobby Vee & the Strangers (#4); “Little Ole Man (Uptight—Everything’s All Right)” by Bill Cosby (#5); “(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher” by Jackie Wilson (#6); “Reflections” by Diana Ross & the Supremes (#7); “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by Jay & the Americans (#8); “How Can I Be Sure” by the Young Rascals (#9); and “Gimme Little Sign” by Brenton Wood (#10). 

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