Friday, January 26, 2018

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 1/29/1968 to 2/4/1968

Rome finally got its first specialized cardiac care facility when the Floyd Hospital approved the creation of a five-bed coronary intensive care unit at Floyd Hospital. The facility, which would be stocked with the latest cardiac care technology, was budgeted at $25,000. One drawback: the facility would not include a coronary surgical unit, which would have added an additional $15,000 to the cost. Because of the change, cardiac patients could be diagnosed and stabilized at the Floyd facility, but would have to transported to Atlanta for surgery. 

West Rome High School was approved for funding of a 24-booth language lab for the 1968-1969 school year, expanding the capacity and the technology of the existing language lab. The new lab technology would allow teachers to listen to all students at the same time or to individual students, to address all students or individual students, and to arrange for students to listen to one of four different language lessons at the same time, making it possible for the lab to be used for students of French, Spanish, and Latin simultaneously for instance. 

Cole Drug Store opened in Gala Shopping Center, right across the street from West Rome High School, this week in 1968. The store was almost twice the size of any other West Rome drugstore, and its competitive pricing made it a major challenger to Enloe's and Candler's.

It was a somber weekend for West Rome basketball fans as the Chiefs lost 59-53 to the East Rome Gladiators in a Friday night faceoff.  By knocking off the West Rome team, the Gladiators secured a positionin the region 6-AA playoffs, while the Chieftains’ managed to make their Friday night loss a little less painful with a 55-54 win over Armuchee on Saturday night. 

Piggly Wiggly had chicken breast quarters for 39¢ a pound, Maxwell House coffee for 79¢ a pound, and lettuce for a dime a head. Kroger had ground beef for 49¢ a pound, okra for 19¢ a pound, and donuts for 39¢ a dozen.  A&P had stew beef for 69¢ a pound, apples for 19¢ a pound, and Marvel ice milk for 45¢ a half-gallon. Big Apple had sirloin steak for 87¢ a pound, tomatoes for 27¢ a pound, and Luzianne coffee (“with a touch of chicory”) for 49¢ a pound. Couch’s had Oscar Mayer bacon for 69¢ a pound, Libby’s spaghetti & meatballs for 39¢ a can, and ten pounds of white potatoes for 39¢. 

The cinematic week began with Valley of the Dolls (starring Susan Hayward) at the DeSoto Theatre, Wicked Dreams of Paula Schultz (starring Elke Sommer) at the First Avenue, and You Only Live Twice (starring Sean Connery) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switchout brought Walt Disney’s The Jungle Book to the DeSoto and The President’s Analyst (starring James Coburn) to the First Avenue and the West Rome Drive-In. 

The Lemon Pipers made it to number one this week in 1968 with their song “Green Tambourine.” Other top ten hits included “Judy in Disguise” by John Fred & the Playboys (#2); “Chain of Fools” by Aretha Franklin (#3); “Spooky” by the Classics IV (#4); “Bend Me, Shape Me” by the American Breed (#5); “Woman, Woman” by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap (#6); “Love Is Blue (L’amous Est Bleu)” by Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra (#7); “Nobody But Me” by The Human Beinz (#8); “Goin’ Out of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You” by The Lettermen (#9); and “I Wish It Would Rain” by the Temptations (#10). (About that ninth place song: the actual title is “Goin’ Out Of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off You,” which is more grammatically correct… but that’s not what the Lettermen sang. They definitely sang “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” and the “of” is necessary for proper meter, so I will diligently re-insert the missing preposition into the title every time I run across it.) 

Steppenwolf made their album debut with the release of their eponymous first album wthis week in 1968. The LP would become become a top ten hit because of the success of their signature song, “Born to Be Wild.” “The Pusher” and “Sookie, Sookie” became popular cuts on FM radio. (The former never got any significant AM play, though, because of objectionable language, even though the song was very much a condemnation of drug pushers.)

Five years after his debut in Tales of Suspense #39, Iron Man finally got his own comic this week in 1968 with the release of Iron Man #1 by Archie Goodwin & Gene Colan. Alas, this would the last issue in Colan’s run (he had illustrated Iron Man for a while in Tales of Suspense prior to this time), and the book would never look quite as good.

No comments: