Saturday, July 07, 2018

Fifty Years Ago This Week in West Rome - 7/8/1968 to 7/14/1968

Two young men drag racing on Oakwood Road took out power for several hundred West Rome homes when they lost control, hit a tree, then slammed into a power pole, pulling down lines and destroying a transformer.  One teenage driver was injured in the crash (not seriously, thankfully). Georgia Power was able to restore electricity in less than two hours, so the inconvenience was short-lived, at least!

The Rome Board of Education announced the selection of Johnny Shook to serve as the West Rome High School band director at their July 12th meeting. They also announced the appointment of Mrs. Pauline L. Holstun to the position of guidance counselor at West Rome High School and Junior High School, where she would assist Owen Blanton in the counseling department. The board also approved  a $12,000 expenditure to draw up blueprints for a new high school to replace East and West Rome High, should Rome residents vote to combine the two schools into one. (That's right, they spent the money on designs for a school they weren't sure they were going to build...)

The State Board of Corrections ordered the removal of a supervisor at the Floyd County Public Works Camp after the arrest of an escapee who had not even been discovered missing from the works facility. The prisoner walked away from the works camp on June 29th and was arrested on June 30th; when he was returned to the camp, they were surprised to learn that he had left the facility. Inspector Jake Moon said that the warden allowed the escapee (and other prisoners) "to come and go just about as he pleased. This isn't the first 'warden's boy' that has left the camp," Moon said, referring to prisoners who were allowed to leave the camp at will to do work at the warden's home.

The Governor's Tax Revision Study Commission recommended increasing the state sales tax from 3% to 4%; the commission proposed to use the extra tax to pay for all the costs of public education, eliminating the need for any school system ad valorum or property taxes for education. As we know, the state did increase the sales tax... but they didn't pony up the full cost of public education, requiring cities and counties to continue their education property taxes. (Wait... you mean that a government agency passed a tax increase without delivering all the benefits they promised would accompany it? How can it be?!)

The Rome Selective Service Board called up forty young men from Rome and Floyd County for their pre-induction examinations, the first step to possible drafting into military service.  Mrs. Virginia Turpin, clerk of the Rome Selective Service office, reminded Romans of one big change: graduate students would no longer be exempted from the draft beginning in the fall of 1968 unless they were studying medicine, denstistry, veterinary, or optometry.

Piggly Wiggly had chuck roast for 37¢ a pound, Chicken of the Sea tuna for 33¢ a can, and okra for 19¢ a pound. A&P had country ham for 79¢ a pound, cantaloupes for 29¢ each, and a large box of Tide detergent for 83¢. Kroger had Kelly's bacon for 49¢ a pound, a one-pound package of Parkay margarine for 25¢, and Velveeta cheese for 49¢ a pound. Big Apple had fresh whole fryers for 25¢ a pound, Chase and Sanborn coffee for 49¢ a pound, and Pine Mountain grits for a dime a pound. Couch's had Armour all meat wieners for 39¢ a pound, Del Monte fruit cocktail for 29¢ a can, and squash for a dime a pound.

The cinematic week began with The Odd Couple (starring Jack Lemmon & Walter Matthau) at the DeSoto Theatre, Custer of the West (starring Robert Shaw) at the First Avenue, and For a Few Dollars More (starring Clint Eastwood) at the West Rome Drive-In.  The midweek switchout brought Rosemary's Baby (starring Mia Farrow) to the DeSoto, A Man and a Woman (starring Anouk Time) to the First Avenue, and The Odd Couple (starring Lemmon and Matthau) the West Rome Drive-In.

Herb Alpert took number one this week in 1968 with "This Guy's In Love With You."  Other top ten hits included "The Horse" by Cliff Nobles & 'Co. (#2); "Jumpin' Jack Flash" by the Rolling Stones (#3); "Lady Willpower" by Gary Puckett & the Union Gap (#4); "Grazing in the Grass" by Hugh Masekela (#5); "The Look of Love" by Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66 (#6); "Angel of the Morning" by Merrilee Rush & the Turnabouts (#7); "Stoned Soul Picnic" by the 5th Dimension (#8); "Here Comes the Judge" by Shorty Long (#9); and "Indian Lake" by the Cowsills (#10).

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