Saturday, December 23, 2017

Fifty Years Ago in West Rome - 12/25/1967 to 12/31/1967

A sixteen-year-old’s grand theft auto career came to an early end on December 26th when he was arrested for stealing two cars—one from C&M Motors in Rome and the other from a dealership in Cedartown.  And that wasn’t the only incidence of juvenile crime: on Christmas night, five Floyd County teenagers were arrested after destroying thirty mailboxes—some with fireworks, some with baseball bats. If found guilty, all five faced jail time of up to three years and a fine of up to $1000 per mailbox. Then, on Thursday night, two juveniles were arrested for opening up fire hydrants in North Rome, greatly reducing water pressure in the area. Apparently, too much time off from school wasn’t always a good thing!...

Postmaster Leo Russell announced that this was the last week to mail letters at the old 5¢ rate before first-class postage jumped by 20% to 6¢ beginning in January 1968. Postal rates for newspapers and magazines jumped 24% while junk-mail (that is, advertising mail) rates jumped 34%. The lower 4¢ rate for unsealed greeting cards was also scheduled to come to an end, and they would cost the same as a first class letter beginning on January 1st. (I never realized that the post office offered a penny discount for unsealed greeting cards for many years--and I'm still not sure I understand the logic behind it.)

Big K announced that holiday season sales in Rome had exceed predictions by more than 20%, making the West Rome store the most successful store in the chain. The company said that they anticipated even more sales growth once Gala Shopping Center was fully built out and all spaces were occupied.

Piggly Wiggly had hog jowl for 23¢ a pound, cabbage for 7¢ a pound, and dried blackeyed peas for 10¢ a pound. Kroger had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, collard greens for 19¢ a bunch, and vienna sausages for 19¢ a can. A&P had chuck roast for 35¢ a pound, bananas for 12¢ a pound, and Maxwell House coffee for 77¢ a pound. Big Apple had ham for 39¢ a pound, seedless grapes for 19¢ a pound, and sweet potatoes for 15¢ a pound. Couch’s had Southern Maid bacon for 49¢ a pound, Bama blackberry preserves for 39¢ a jar (and you could use the empty jar as a drinking glass once you ate all the preserves!), and five pounds of Stiver’s corn meal for 39¢. 

The cinematic week began with Battle of the Bulge (starring Henry Fonda) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and Triple Cross (starring Christopher Plummer) at the First Avenue Theatre. The midweek switchout brought Fitzwilly (starring Dick Van Dyke) to the DeSoto and the West Rome Drive-In and The Family Way (starring Hayley Mills, with a soundtrack scored by Paul McCartney) to the First Avenue.

The Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye” held on to number one for a second week as the year ended. Other top ten hits included “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Gladys Knight & the Pips (#2); “Daydream Believer” by The Monkees (#3); “I Second That Emotion” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (#4); “Woman, Woman” by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap (#5); “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses)” by John Fred & the Playboys (#6); “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin (#7); “Bend Me, Shape Me” by the American Breed (#8); “Boogaloo Down Broadway” by the Fantastic Johnny C (#9); and “Skinny Legs and All” by Joe Tex (#10).

Apparently some musical artists hadn’t heard that it was supposed to be bad business to release a new album just after Christmas: the week after Christmas in 1967 saw the release of John Wesley Harding by Bob Dylan, A Gift from a Flower to a Garden by Donovan, Mr. Fantasy by Traffic, The Look of Love by Dusty Springfield, Thirteen Smash Hits by Tom Jones, Songs of Leonard Cohen by Leonard Cohen, Pandemonium Shadow Show by Harry Nilsson, and Sorcerer by Miles Davis. Maybe they figured a lot of music fans got cash for Christmas...

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