Friday, March 09, 2018

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 3/11/1968 to 3/17/1968

West Rome’s girls’ basketball team made it to the Georgia Class AA playoffs, in spite of a challenging season. The girls only managed to win 10 of 22 games, but there were enough region wins to get them into the Region 6-AA playoffs, which they won, and that took them to the Georgia AA meet. Crosstown rivals East Rome also made it to the Class AA meet, where they were favored over West Rome. Alas, the championship was not destined to be theirs, as they did not advance beyond the first round.

West Rome principal Dick McPhee was elected president of the Georgia Association of Secondary School Principals at the Georgia Education Association Convention held on Friday, March 15th. 

Girl Scouts began their annual cookie sales on March 15th, 1968; cookie offerings included Chocolate Mint Wafer (which we now know as the Thin Mint), Peanut Butter Sandwich, Butter Shortie, and assorted sandwich cookies. Cookies sold for 50¢ a box, and the sales period lasted until March 31st. 

The King’s Inn Restaurant on Shorter Avenue suffered considerable damage after a fire swept through the building in the early morning hours of March 11th—and before the day was out, Rome realtor (and owner of the building) Dwyatt Dempsey was under arrest for setting the fire. Three five-gallon gasoline cans were found in his car, and officers saw him leaving the building as the fire began. Police said that Dempsey would not tell them why he had started the fire, but they suspected it may have been insurance related.

Daniel Thomas King, the gunman responsible for the March 9th armed robbery at the Thrift Store on Broad Street, was apprehended in Virginia on March 11th. King’s two female accomplices, who were arrested in Rome within hours of the robbery, offered police information about his travel plans that led to his arrest. 

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 37¢ a pound, Maxwell House coffee for 49¢ a pound, and eggs for 39¢ a dozen. A&P had picnic hams for 39¢ a pound, apples fo a quarter a pound, and a 16 ounce jar of Pickle Patch sliced hamburger dills for 31¢. Big Apple had chicken breast for 47¢ a pound, Sealtest ice cream for 49¢ a pound, and Welch’s grape jelly for 39¢ a jar. Kroger had pork roast for 39¢ a pound, a five-pound bag of Dixie Crystal sugar for 37¢, and carrots for 15¢ a bunch. Couch’s had 3 pounds of stew beef for 89¢, cabbage for a nickel a pound, and Van Camp’s pork & beans for 17¢ a can. 

The cinematic week began with Walt Disney’s Happiest Milliionaire (starring Fred MacMurray) at the DeSoto Theatre, High Wild & Free (starring Gordon Eastman) at the First Avenue, and Hell’s Chosen Few (starring Jody Daniels) at the West Rome Drive-In. The midweek switchout brought Wait Until Dark (starring Audrey Hepburn) to the DeSoto, Reflection in a Golden Eye (starring Elizabeth Taylor) to the First Avenue, and The Ambushers (starring Dean Martin) at the West Rome Drive-In.

Two beloved television series ended their runs this week in 1968: The Lucy Show (Lucille Ball's second comedy series) aired its last episode on March 11th and Batman’s last episode followed three days later.

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