Friday, November 10, 2017

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 11/13/1967 to 11/19/1967

West Rome residents were dealing with traffic frustrations this week in 1967 as the roads department was resurfacing the entirety of Shorter Avenue from the underpass to Redmond Circle. Ledbetter Construction planned to spread 12,200 tons of deep strength asphalt under a $119,559 contract; spokespeople for Ledbetter said that they hoped to complete the work in two weeks, weather permitting.

West Romans finally had access to cable tv as of November 1967: Rome Cable TV Company reported that they had now run cable to all West Rome streets within the city limits. The cable company was offering a total of nine channels (2, 5, and 11 from Atlanta, 3, 9, and 12 from Chattanooga, educational channel 7 from Alabama, educational channel 8 from Athens, and channel 4, a cable channel offering local weather forecasts for Rome and northwest Georgia). Cable was available for $3.95 a month plus a $5 installation fee.

Burglars entered the Rome Seed & Feed Store on Wednesday night, November 145h, and stole $700 in cash. The thieves also stole a 12-gauge shotgun fro the display case. Footprints found on the roof of an adjacent building (which was the means by which the thieves gained access to the Rome Seed & Feed roof, which they entered through an air conditioning vent) indicated that there were two thieves. 

Superintendent MS McDonald said that the Rome school system was doing everything it could to comply with a US Department of Health, Education, and Welfare order that all schools be totally integrated by 1969, but he said it would be a challenge, since Rome still has five all-black schools in 1967: Main High, Main Elementary, Reservoir, Mary T. Banks, and Anna K Davie. Davis said that some of these school shad been deemed inadequate for renovation, requiring that new schools be built before integration could be completed. Rome planned to operate the schools under a “freedom of choice” system that allowed city school students to attend any city school of their choice, but the students and their parents were responsible for arranging transportation if that school was not the one geographically nearest to them.

With the region football season in the books, Roger Weaver was proclaimed a record-setter in two categories: he set a season rushing record with 1001 net yards in 176 carries, and he set a season scoring record with a total of 70 points. His three-year record was 2588 yards, putting him almost three hundred yards ahead of his nearest competitor.

Alas, the football season came to a disappointing end for the Chieftains as the Dalton Catamounts claimed a surprisingly strong 33-0 victory over the Chiefs. Dalton took advantage of a couple of fumbles to jump out to a 13-0 lead early in the game, followed by a pair of interceptions and another fumble recovery for 20 more points in the second half. “We beat ourselves” was all Coach Paul Kennedy had to say.

Big K introduced the newest trend in artificial Christmas trees for the 1967 holiday season: the Bradford Snowmaker. “Plastic snow continually falls on the tree. Snow is recirculated from the tree base to the tree top—a fascinating illusion of softly falling snow It’s safe… clean… no refills needed." The Snowmaker was $29.88 with a 6 foot 91 branch artificial tree, or only $24.95 if you added your own tree. (I have to admit that i have never heard of this, but a subsequent search in various discussion groups reveals that it’s a hard-to-find and much sought after item by Christmas aficionados.)

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 35¢ a pound, Maxwell House coffee for 59¢ a pound, and bananas for a dime a pound. Kroger had five pounds of sugar for 39¢, whole smoked hams for 49¢ a pound, and Kroger mayonnaise for 39¢ a quart. Big Apple had turkeys for 43¢ a pound, pears for 15¢ a pound, and Land o’ Lakes butter for 69¢ a pound. A&P had rib roast for 85¢ a pound, Castleberry beef stew for 35¢ a can, and a five-pound Jane Parker fruitcake for $3.99. Couch’s had pork chops for 35¢ a pound, White Lily cornbread mix for a dime a package, and large coconuts for 19¢ each. (How did I go through my childhood without ever buying a coconut at Couch’s? Now I’m old enough to know that a whole coconut is an instrument of frustration, but when I was a kid, I thought a whole coconut was bound to be some of the best food that anyone could ask for. My parents held a different opinion…)

The cinematic week began with Rosie (starring Rosalind Russell & Sandra Dee) at the DeSoto Theatre, Grand Prix (starring James Garner) at the First Avenue, and The Trip (starring Peter Fonda) at the West Rome Drive-In.  The midweek switchout brought Bonnie & Clyde (starring Faye Dunaway & Warren Beatty) to the Desoto and the West Rome Drive-In, while Grand Prix kept making the rounds at the First Avenue.

Apparently music fans just couldn’t get enough of Lulu: her song “To Sir With Love” maintained its grip on the number one slot for another week. Other top ten hits included “Soul Man” by Sam & Dave (#2); “Incense & Peppermints” by Strawberry Alarm Clock (#3); “The Rain, The Park, & Other Things” by the Cowsills (#4); “It Must Be Him” by Vikki Carr (#5); “Please Love Me Forever” by Bobby Vinton (#6); “Your Precious Love” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (#7); “I Say a Little Prayer” by Dionne Warwick (#8); “Expressway (To Your Heart)” by the Soul Survivors (#9); and “I Can See for Miles” by the Who (#10). 

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