After the Rowayton Memorial Day parade, my friends and I headed to the Community Center field where we play our annual stickball game. Growing up, we played every day in the summer. Now, this is the only day we play all year. The perfectly lined oak trees have slowly disappeared (kind of like my hair), and the field has been turned into a dog park. Nonetheless, it’s still the highlight, as the old-timers take on the young guns. Of course, we’re not that young and the old-timers aren’t that old. Just a few years separate the teams.
This year, our fun was interrupted by the Norwalk Police who were called by a couple of dog lovers in the park. They didn’t think we had the right to play our game since it’s now a dog park. The craziest part is that they’re from Mamaroneck, New York and that the police were going to side with them even though we have been playing this game for last 40 years.
A few of us were not going to budge. “Nothing is worth getting arrested for,” one of the cops said to us. But it was to me. We confronted the man about why he had to call the police and take them away from more important duties. He was silent. He was wearing a Switzerland T-shirt and had a strong accent. Although he told me he was now a US citizen, he clearly had no idea how important stickball is to people born and raised on the East Coast.
Fortunately, one of my teammates called the fire chief and the commissioner of Rowayton who both fought on our behalf and we won the most important argument that has ever come up on this field.
The game resumed and the ‘old timers’ beat us in the bottom of the 9th (which is really the 6th) with a walk-off homerun but when one of them tried to rub it in later at a BBQ by asking “Who won the stickball game?” we yelled back “Rowayton!”