Friday, February 16, 2018

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 2/19/1968 to 2/25/1968

Rome’s burglars were back in action in the early morning hours of February 19th, breaking into four businesses, including Floyd County Lanes on North Elm Street, Mobley Furniture Store, North Rome Methodist Church, and Gresham Auto Parts. In every case, burglars broke into vending machines and ransacked offices looking for cash. The total amount of cash stolen exceeded $350; damage to the various locations pushed losses above the $2000 mark.

Two days later, a mysterious fire caused extensive damage to the Coosa Valley Furniture Company at 632 Shorter Avenue. Investigators found three milk bottles filled with a flammable liquid at the place where the fire began, leading them to conclude that the fire was arson. Police and fire authorities said that they had no immediate suspects, but investigations would continue. 

West Rome’s girls basketball team defeated Cedartown 41-37 in the first game of the region 6-AA tournament on Tuesday night, but the Chieftains' joy was short-lived, as the the boys lost their game 54-39 against East Rome on the same night, knocking them out of the single-elimination tournament.  Debbie Poarch was the high scorer for the girls, while Mike Day was the high scorer for the boys with 12 pints. 

A surprise cold snap brought lows of 14 degrees to Rome on Thursday morning, with Thursday afternoon highs never making it above freezing. Thankfully, there was no snow in Rome to accompany tdhe very cold weather, but areas in Central Georgia weren’t so lucky. Rome got its blast of frozen precipitation two days later as the front moved back north, bringing a mixture of sleet and snow Friday night and Saturday morning. Lows fell into the 20s over the weekend, with highs barely topping the freezing mark. 

The cinematic week began with Cool Hand Luke (starring Paul Newman) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and Billion Dollar Brain (starring Michael Caine) at the First Avenue Theatre. The midweek switchout brought The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (starring Clint Eastwood) to the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In and Bonnie & Clyde (starring Warren Beatty & Faye Dunaway) to the First Avenue. 

Piggly Wiggly had chicken breasts for 49¢ a pound, ten-pound bags of potatoes for 39¢, and three pounds of Swift’s shortening for 64¢. Big Apple had sirloin steak for 87¢ a pound, Campbell’s tomato soup for 13£ a can, and 2 pounds of Kraft’s Velveeta cheese for 95¢. A&P had shank portion hams for 29¢ a pound, Eight O’Clock coffee for 49¢ a pound, and Poss Brunswick stew for 49¢ a can. Kroger had pork chops for 49¢ a pound, Kroger white bread for 18¢ a loaf, and bananas for a dime a pound. Couch’s had T-bone steak for $1.08 a pound, Morton’s pot pies for 18¢ each, and large brown eggs for 39¢ a dozen. 

“Love Is Blue (L’Amous Est Bleu) by Paul Mauriat & His Orchestra took the number one position this week in 1968. Other top ten hits included “(Theme from) Valley of the Dolls” by Dionne Warwick (#2); “Spooky” by the Classics IV (#3); “I Wish It Would Rain” by the Temptations (#4); “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding (#5); “Simon Says” by the 1910 Fruitgum Company (#6); “Green Tambourine” by the Lemon Pipers (#7); “I Wonder What She’s Doing Tonight” by Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart (#8); “Goin’ Out of My Head/Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You” by the Lettermen (#9); and “Nobody But Me” by the Human Beinz (#10). 

Fleetwood Mac released their first album this week in 1966, but it was a blues-based album very different from the 1970s vocal-driven sound that most associate with the group. The week also saw the release fo The Beat Goes On by Vanilla Fudge, the group’s most ambitious album; and the Mason Williams Phonograph Record, which featured the mega-hit song “Classical Gas.”

Fred Rogers put on his red sweater on NET Television (the precursor to PBS) for the first time on February 19th for the premiere of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood

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