Friday, October 27, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 10/30/1967 to 11/5/1967

Coach Paul Kennedy of West Rome and Coach Larry Muschamp of East Rome both agreed on one thing in the lead-in to the East-West football game: it would be a close game with strong defense, and whichever team scored 14 points would win. “I’m expecting the closest game we’ve played in several years,” Coach Kennedy said. (The record going into this game was six wins for West Rome, one win for East Rome, and one tie. The Gladiators didn’t even manage to score a point against the Chieftains in 1965 or 1966.)

The 1967 game gave the Chieftains their seventh win—and it was nowhere nearly as close as both coaches had predicted. The final score was 35-6 West Rome, with Roger Weaver emerging as the star of the game. Weaver rushed for 129 yards, scored a touchdown, intercepted two passes, returned two kickoffs for 56 yards, and ran back two punts for 36 yards. Since the only other team with a no-loss season in region play was LaFayette, who lost their game on the same night that West Rome won, that meant that the Chiefs became region champs without the necessity of a playoff game.

A special dedication ceremony for the remodeled Barron Stadium was held during halftime of the West Rome-East Rome football game on Friday, November 3rd. The stadium reconstruction was funded through a special $165,000 bond, along with matching funds from the federal government.

Rome police set some sort of law enforcement speed record in solving the case of Jerry Terrell’s stolen car. The auto theft was reported at 10:11 am on October 31st—and at 10:15 am, the police made an arrest and recovered the car, which was being driven by a nineteen-year-old who apparently wasn’t very good at grand theft auto. If only every crime could be solved in four minutes!

Rome’s rash of store robberies took a deadly turn on Saturday, November 4th, when 72-year-old shop owner LT McCright was killed in his Kingston Road grocery store by a burglar who beat and then fatally stabbed the old man when he tried to stop them from stealing the cash from that day’s sales.

Color TV prices continued to drop: BF Goodrich had a 23” Motorola color TV for $449.95(the equivalent of $3100 in 2017 dollars)—and the purchase included a complete set of 1967 New Standard Encyclopedias! (Remember when a set of encyclopedias—either the really good Britannica version or the bargain encyclopedia sold a-volume-a-week at the grocery store? The latter set was the one we had—but you know, it still worked out pretty darn well when it came time to do a report on the natural resources of Brazil.)

Just what I look for in a jewelry store: Eves Jewelers had a sale on 19-shoot .22 caliber 19-shot repeating rifles for only $49.99 each—and they gave you a hundred free rounds of ammo with each gun purchase! I suspect that all those burglars plaguing Rome stayed away from this jewelry store…
Piggly Wiggly had baking hens for 29¢ a pound, Maxwell House coffee for 69¢ a pound, and lettuce for 19¢ a head. Kroger had smoked ham for 59¢ a pound, cornf for 9¢ a can, and frozen Morton TV dinners for 33¢ each (do you remember folding back that heavy foil oversheet to uncover the dessert so that it would crisp up in the oven?). Big Apple had spare ribs for 49 a pound, Banquet cream pies for 25¢ each, and bananas for a dime a pound. A&P had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, apples for 15¢ a pound, and Sealtest ice cream for 69¢ a half-gallon. Couch’s had stew beef for 33¢ a pound, Ritz crackers for 39¢ a box, and large oranges for 39¢ a dozen.

The cinematic week began with Hour of the Gun (starring James Garner) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and Sand Pebbles (starring Steve McQueen) at the First Avenue. The midweek switchout brought Waterhole #3 (starring James Coburn and Carrol O’Connor in his pre-All in the Family days) to the DeSoto and the West Rome Drive-In, while Sand Pebbles maintained its beachhead at the First Avenue. (It makes you wonder how we ever got a chance to see most major release films, since Rome tended to show the same movie at two theaters and then hold other movies over for week after week after week.)

Lulu continued to hold on to the number one slot with her song "To Sir With Love." Other top ten hits included "Soul Man" by Sam & Dave (#2); "It Must Be Him" by Vikki Carr (#3); "Expresway (To Your Heart)" by Soul Survivors (#4); "Your Precious Love" by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (#5); "Never My Love" by the Association (#6); "Incense and Peppermints" by the Strawberry Alarm Clock (#7); "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman" by Aretha Franklin (#8); "The Rain, The Park, & Other Things" by the Cowsills (#9); and "Please Love Me Forever" by Bobby Vinton (#10). 

Nico released her first solo album, Chelsea Girl, this week in 1967. Most of the songs featured instrumental backing by the Velvet Underground, with whom Nico had collaborated prior to going solo; Jackson Browne also played guitar on the folk-pop album, The album is now considered one of the 1960’s masterpieces. This was also the week that Sly and the Family Stone released their debut album, A Whole  New Thing, and Judy Colilns released the best-selling album of her career, Wildflowers.

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