Friday, April 06, 2018

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 4/8/1968 to 4/14/1968

West Rome students had a very short school week—one day long, in fact. (The week was less short for athletes, since both the baseball team and the track team had games/meets scheduled during the week--the idea of giving all students and coaches a holiday was apparently unheard of in the 1960s.) Students were out on Tuesday while teachers went to in-service training, and Easter holidays (they didn’t call them spring holidays back then!) started on Wednesday. Which leads me to wonder if it’s really worth having a one-day school week, since a lot of students undoubtedly failed to make it so that they could have a nine-day holiday…

The West Rome Honor Society presented senior Maria Perez with a $700 scholarship at the Honors Day program held on Monday, April 8th. Maria planned to use the money to help cover expenses at Berry College, where she planned to study after graduating from West Rome. The funds for the scholarship were raised by Honor Society members through bake sales, a dance, and sponsorships raised from Rome businesses.

The Rome City Board of Education budgeted $40,000 for summer Headstart programs, summer school scholarships, and summer vocational programs. Harold Brock was chosen to oversee the elementary school program and Mrs. J.N. Finley was chosen to head the vocational programs. 

A plane that took off from Russell Field on a flight to Charlotte never made it. As a result, the Eastern Aerospace Search and Rescue Center launched a four state search that included Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and part of Tennessee (just in case the plane got off course). Alas, the plane was found just north of Ellijay, where it failed to clear a ridge and crashed into the mountainside; three passengers and the pilot were killed in the crash. The Search and Rescue Center said that flights from Rome were particularly challenging because of the number of mountains along every major flight route to other cities.

The Chieftains won 11-6 over Wills in a region game on Tuesday, April 9th. The win was particularly important, since this was a region game against a team that was the 6-AA champion a year before. Danny Fricks hit a 330-foot grand slam homer in the seventh inning.

The week didn’t end quite as well for the baseball team, however, as the Chiefs lost to Chattooga 6-4 in another region 6-AA game. West Rome had a 2-0 lead going into the third inning, but a series of costly errors allowed Chattooga to pull ahead 3-2. Chattooga scored three more runs in the fourth inning and the Chiefs were never abe to close the gap.

West Rome didn’t fare as well in their track meet against South Cobb either, losing 72-64. The Chieftains posted seven of sixteen first-place finishes in the meet. 

Piggly Wiggly had pork roast for 79¢ a pound, eggs for 29¢ a dozen, and strawberries for 33¢ a pint. A&P had 4 pound Armour canned hams for $2.99, Eight O’Clock coffee for 49¢ a pound and Cool Whip for 29¢ a tub. Kroger had roasting hens for 39¢ a pound, cantaloupes for 39¢ each, and Sealtest ice cream for 79¢ a half-gallon. Big Apple had sirloin steak for 89¢ a pound, a five-pound bag of oranges for 59¢, and Angel Flake coconut for 39¢ a bag. Couch’s had hickory smoked hams for 49¢ a pound, lettuce for 15¢ a head, and red potatoes for 6¢ a pound. 

The cinematic week began with Don’t Just Stand There (starring Robert Wagner and Mary Tyler Moore) at the DeSoto Theatre and the West Rome Drive-In, and The Graduate (starring Dustin Hoffman and Ann Bancroft) at the First Avenue. The midweek switchout brought Walt Disney’s Blackbeard’s Ghost (starring Peter Ustinov) to the DeSoto and Did You Hear the One About the Travelling Saleslady? (starring Phyllis Diller) at the West Rome Drive-In, while The Graduate was held back another week at the First Avenue.

Bobby Goldsboro took the number one slot this week in 1968 with the syrupy and somewhat maudlin “Honey.” Other top ten hits included “Young Girl” by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap (#2); “(Sittin’ On) The Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding (#3); “Cry Like a Baby” by the Box Tops (#4); “(Sweet Sweet Baby) Since You’ve Been Gone” by Aretha Franklin (#5); “Lady Madonna” by the Beatles (#6); “The Ballad of Bonnie and Clyde” by Georgie Fame (#7); “La - La Means I Love You” by the Delfonics (#8); “Valleri” by the Monkees (#9); and “Mighty Quinn (Quinn the Eskimo)” by Manfred Mann (#10). 

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