The moment that Nancy Johnson saw the gentlemen in white throwing and batting on the thin, sandy pitch carved into Walker Park on Saturday, she flashed back to the 1950s. As a young girl, she had gone with her father, who was from Grenada, to the same park on Staten Island, sometimes with a picnic basket, and watched.
Almost 70 years later, on a rare visit back to New York, Johnson stumbled upon the same scene on a walk with a childhood friend.
“Look,” Johnson told her companion. “They still play cricket.”
A cosmic coincidence brought Johnson, who lives in Portland, Ore., to the park on that particular day, for on Saturday, the gentlemen in white were celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Staten Island Cricket Club, the same club she had watched decades ago. Until Johnson appeared, the person present at the park with the longest connection to the club was Clarence Modeste, the current president, who joined it in 1961, and perhaps played in front of Johnson and her family.