Saturday, September 09, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 9/11/1967 to 9/17/1967

The “dust case,” as it was dubbed in the newspaper, finally got its days in court—Floyd Superior Court, to be precise. Watson Street residents contended that the Minge cement company was operating a heavy industry in an area only zoned for light industry, and that the related dust, noise, and heavy vehicle traffic was ruining the quality of life for everyone who lived in and around Watson Street. Judge Jerry L. Minge —whose family owned the cement company--had allegedly pulled strings in the courthouse to have the case dismissed, but a public outcry attracted the attention of sympathetic county officials, who pushed to have the case heard. So how did the case turn out? Well, you’ll have to be here next week to find out!...

Coach Paul Kennedy shared his apprehensions about the week’s game against the Carrolton Trojans. “Our offense must improve at least 100%,” Coach Kennedy said. “I certainly wasn’t impressed with our offense against Chattooga… We’ve got to become more consistent with our offense.” Coach Kennedy apparently had every reason to be apprehensive, too: the Trojans won the game 26-0, allowing the Chieftains only one remote chance at scoring—and that chance was denied them by the intimidating Carrolton defense. This was the first defeat of the season for the Chieftains.

West Rome Honor Society president Pat Finley officiated at the induction of eight new members  on September 12th. The inductees included Cherri Dixon, Marguerite Diprima, Joanna Leffel, Laurie Bryant, Bonnie Logan, Elaine Darsey, Kathy Corpe, and Sharon Galloway. 

Way back in February of 1967, Floyd County inmate William Gaddis escaped from a work detail on Horseleg Creek Road. On September 14th, Gaddis walked into the office of Governor Lester Maddox and asked if he could turn himself in, “because I just got tired of running.” The governor’s executive secretary called the state patrol, who transported Gaddis back to Rome.

Burglars targeted the Floyd County Courthouse in the wee hours of Tuesday morning, September 12th, but there was was all too little reward for all that risk: apparently the only thing they found to steal was one empty whiskey bottle. What’s so odd about that is that they skipped right over radios, pistols, and other items to remove that one whiskey bottle from the evidence cabinet at the courthouse. Furthermore, the burglars ransacked desks in every office of the courthouse, but went to the trouble to try to put things back in a semblance of order so that it wouldn’t look like desks has been tampered with. 

We’ve all heard of bake sales to raise money for the band or a school group, but the Rome Civil Air Patrol took that concept to the next level with their light bulb sale to pay for the cost of a new CAP airplane. Either they expected to sell a lot of light bulbs, or that was one very cheap airplane…

With the Coosa Valley Fair slated to kick off beginning on September 18th, the Georgia National Guard announced that they would be offering firearms classes a the fair for boys and girls ages 10 to 14. “Waht we hope to do is impress upon our young people the importance of knowing how and when to use firearms,” a spokesman said. (Now imagine if anyone today announced a young person’s firearms course in conjunction with a county fair!) 

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 39¢ a pound, Castleberry chili for 33¢ a can, and Hunt’s pizza catsup (I had no idea that such a thing ever existed—did anyone ever try this?) for 13¢ a bottle. Kroger had sirloin steak for 99¢ a pound, Sealtest ice cream for 69¢ a half-gallon, and fresh okra for 15¢ a pound. A&P had fresh whole fryers for 25¢ a pound (29¢ a pound if you preferred your fryers cut up), seedless grapes for 19¢ a pound, and Poss Brunswick stew for 49¢ a can. Big Apple had perch fillets for 39¢ a pound, tomatoes for 19¢ a pound, and an eight-bottle carton of Double Cola for 39¢ plus deposit. Couch’s had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, bananas for a dime a pound, and Chef Boyardee spaghetti for 29¢ a can.

The cinematic week began with Fathom (starring Raquel Welch) at both the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and The Sound of Music (starring Julie Andrews) at the First Avenue.  The midweek switchout brought The Big Mouth (with Jerry Lewis) to the DeSoto Theatre and Circus of Horrors (with no one who matters) to the West Rome Drive-In, while Julie Andrews continued to deprive romans of a cinematic choice at the First Avenue.

Apparently we were obsessed with whatever BIllie Joe McAllister threw off the Tallahatchee Bridge: Bobbie Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe” held on to the number one slot for the fifth time this week in 1967. Other top ten hits included “Reflections” by Diana Ross & the Supremes (#2); “Come Back When You Grow Up” by Bobby Vee & the Strangers (#3); “The Letter” by the Box Tops (#4); “Baby I Love You” by Aretha Franklin (#5); “You’re My Everything” by the Temptations (#6); “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by Jay & the Techniques (#7); “All You Need Is Love” by the Beatles (#8); “San Franciscan Nights” by Eric Burdon & the Animals (#9); and “Funky Broadway” by Wilson Pickett (#10). 

The Doors performed “”Light My Fire” on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 17th—a performance that resulted in their being banned from the show from then on. Sullivan had mandated that the group not include the line “Girl we coudn’t get much higher” in their performance and the band agreed—but then they performed the line anyway. Apparently Sullivan held a grudge, since he refused several requests by the Doors’ manager to have the group appear again on the popular Sunday night variety show.

That very same night, the Who made the news by destroying their instruments during a performance on The Smothers Brothers Show. Pete Townsend was injured when Keith Moon’s bass drum exploded after being packed with fireworks. Moon had secretly packed three times the planned amount of fireworks in the drums, causing them to explode in a thunderous burst that Townsend later blamed for his hearing loss; the pyrotechnics also set Townsend’s hair on fire. (Moon himself was injured as well, as shrapnel from his cymbals cut his arm.) The outrageous gimmick worked, though: for the first time, the Who were generating major news coverage in the US.

TV premieres this week in 1967 included The Carol Burnett Show (September 11th), Ironside (September 14th), and Mannix (September 16th). 

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