Sunday, January 14, 2018

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/15/1968 to 1/21/1968

After a couple of snowy false starts, “snow day” was the call of the day for January 15th, when an inch of snow and a layer of sleet made Rome roads too dangerous for school traffic. “If there’s any water on the road, it’s going to be ice,” a Georgia State Patrol officer warned travellers. With highs not getting out of the 20s for the first part of the week, very little melting took place--but it was just enough to make it possible for students to return to school on Tuesday, although attendance for that day was only about 88%.

Both Citizens Federal and Rome Bank & Trust reported record years for 1967, while Home Federal paid its largest dividend ever based on 1967 earnings. All three institutions reported significant growth in savings and a strong home loan market as factors in the growth.

West Rome High School won first place in the Region 6AA one-act play competition portion of the Region Literary Meet with their performance of “One Upon a Playground.” The cast, coached by Mrs. Judy Woody, consisted of Elaine Byars, Debbie Cole, Daye Davis, Cherrie Dixon, Bill Doster, Beverly Hall, Baxter Joy, and Kippy Scarbrough.

Piggly Wiggly had sirloin steak for 99¢ a pound, Lady Alice ice milk for 39¢ a half-gallon, and yellow corn for 7¢ an ear. Kroger had pork chops for 49¢ a pound, canned biscuits for a nickel a can, and bananas for 9¢ a pound. A&P had baking hens for 39¢ a pound, Eight O’Clock coffee for 49¢ a pound, and Armour chili with beans for 39¢ a can. Big Apple had ground beef for 39¢ a pound, grapefruit for a dime each, and Blue Plate mayonnaise for 49¢ a quart. Couch’s had lamb roast for 49¢ a pound, Duncan Hines cake mixes for 33¢ a box, and fresh strawberries for 39¢ a basket.

The cinematic week began with Tony Rome (starring Frank Sinatra) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In, and The Ambushers (starring Dean Martin) at the First Avenue. The midweek switchout brought Valley of the Dolls (starring Susan Hayward) to the DeSoto Theatre, Biggest Bundle of Them All (starring Raquel Welch) to the First Avenue, and A Man Called Dagger (starring Jan Murray) at the West Rome Drive-In.

The number one song this week in 1968 was “Judy in Disguise (with Glasses)” by John Fred and the Playboys, knocking the Beatles’ “Hello Goodbye” out of first place. Other top ten hits included “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin (#2); Hello Goodbye” by the Beatles (#3); “Woman, Woman” by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap (#4); “Green Tambourine” by the Lemon Pipers (#5); “Daydream Believer” by the Monkees (#6); “Bend Me, Shape Me” by the American Breed (#7); “I Second That Emotion” by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles (#8); “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by Gladys Knight & the Pips (#9); and “If I Could Build My Whole World Around You” by Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell (#10).

College sports are a vital part of television nowadays, but this week in 1968 saw the first-ever prime-time televised college basketball game. Houston defeated UCLA 71-69 at the Houston Astrodome. At the time, many were unsure that there were enough college sports fans to justify a prime-time showing; extremely high ratings for the game made it very clear that tdhe audience was definitely large enough.

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