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Rekindling Elementary Schools Rivalry, Decades Later

Nearly a half-century later, Stoneleigh and Rodgers Forge graduates plan a play date at Stoneleigh Lanes.

They may might not remember all of their elementary school teachers or classes or grades. But they sure remember who beat them in kickball—even nearly a half-century later.

Stoneleigh and elementary school alumni are getting together on May 19 to have an old-fashioned play date at Stoneleigh Lanes.

It was around that time of year, Rodgers Forge alumnus Sam Wahbe said, that the two schools would play each other in friendly Olympic-style games: softball, relay, kickball and dodge ball.

Many of the students between the two schools were friends and many later went on to attend and together.

"We wanted to get more people involved in the reunion and we thought it would be kind of cool to re-enact the event," said Wahbe, a Hampton resident and 1967 Stoneleigh graduate who is organizing the event.

Memories from the games are still fresh for many alumni.

"You knew the guys you had to watch out for and if they threw the ball, look out," said Wahbe. "There were super athletes on both sides."

"I remember I got knocked flat on my face when I pitched the kickball," recalled Mary Lees Gunther, a 1967 Rodgers Forge graduate who now lives in Sykesville. A Stoneleigh student "kicked it, knocked me right flat on my feet, boom."

Only bowling is on the docket this time around ("I think some of us are starting to replace hips and knees," she said). The bowling alley sits on what Gunther jokingly refers to as the demarcation line between the friendly rivals.

"It's like east and west. York Road was the DMZ," she said. "Even today, somebody jokingly online said we should erect the maypole."

But growing up in Rodgers Forge and Stoneleigh was no "West Side Story." The kids would hang out at Harry Little's (still there), play at Stoneleigh Lanes (obviously still there) and enjoy teen center parties at the St. Pius X Church (also still there). And without Facebook and far fewer channels on TV, the kids played outdoors.

"The older you get, the more fun that is," she said. "You have a shared common experience, growing up in the 60s, running around Rodgers Forge and Stoneleigh and we literally did that. We ran the streets, the neighborhoods."

For more on the play date, visit the Facebook event page.

Carol March 22, 2012 at 03:09 PM
Stoneleigh rules! Rodgers Forge drools!
Sam Wahbe March 22, 2012 at 04:35 PM
For anyone not on facebook, contact me @swoobs@aol.com for more information on the event. Go Stoneleigh! Sam
Sam Wahbe March 23, 2012 at 12:32 AM
We are also looking for teachers who taught us between 1964-1967 to join us! So far, we have our Principal Dr. Cornell aka Bud, Mrs. Eleanor Norris McKenna, Mrs. Linda Ashe Cross.

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