Wondering if Joe still has that silver dollar

Published 4:31 pm Monday, October 30, 2023

I first met Joe Stalls on Ninth Street while he was heading to pick up his silver dollar because he had hit a home run over Stewart’s Jewelry store sign the night before at Todd Maxwell Field.  He probably will not remember that meeting because I lived in Raleigh at that time.  It has been 56 years ago.  Joe was a year ahead of me in high school and he graduated with Phil Edwards and Lee ” Burger ” Drake. He lived on Eleventh Street in a brick house across from Miriam Hardison.

We moved back to Washington and Joe and I became good friends.  He was a constant on the baseball field across from Donnie Water’s house and on any football field in our neighborhood.  He ate many a banana sandwich at our table for lunch, like so many did.  Joe was bigger than most boys his age and mine.

His size helped be the first one chosen to play either football or baseball.  He was left handed, which helped him be a good first baseman and his size was perfect for linebacker, a position he played at Appalachian State University along with the late Tommy Langley.  The two signed after high school together and became good friends in !966.

I saw Joe and Tommy play together against Tarboro High School when Mike Caldwell was running Coach Doug Alexander’s offense. They tackled the quarterback every snap.  You see, Tarboro wore black jerseys then and the stadium was not well lit, but still they tackled Mike and Rabbit Summerlin more than they missed.  Later that year in baseball, Phil Edwards and Mike Caldwell threw what was the longest game in NCHSAA history, 17 innings. Tommy caught all 17 innings and Joe played first base while Lee played in the outfield.  You see, playing in a lot with cutout baselines had its advantages.  Joe now lives in Florida and I wish I could see him and meet his family.

If you get the chance buy a book!  We just got a shipment of 30 books. Do your part and explain how the good times were back in the day.  Promote Washington!  The younger generations have not bought a book yet!

They were the best of times with the best of friends and in the best of places, Washington, N.C.!  The Original Washington!