Warren Crutchfield, the first black head coach in MCPS history, passed away on July 5th.
I had the pleasure of sitting down and speaking with him for about an hour last September at the Sandy Spring Slave Museum.
”Crutch” as he was affectionately known to many was an amazing person that went through a lot in Montgomery County.
Growing up in the 40s, he attended segregated schools. He told me of his elementary school in Rockville, which only had half days. There were two to three classes in one room with smal partitions separating the classes, and the only toilets in the school were outside.
He went to Carver High School, which was located on what is now the corner of Hungerford and Mannakee in Rockville. Carver was unique in that it served only graded 10-12. Kids were bussed in from across the county and sometimes had to leave their homes as early as 3am.
Crutch then attended Maryland State (now Maryland Eastern Shore), where he earned his degree in Physical Education.
“Then I had to visit Uncle Sam” he said, referring to being drafted into the military. “They wanted me to be a para trooper or be in the special forces...but I didn’t want to jump out of any plane!” He did well in science so he was attached to the medical unit in Germany for two years.
When he came back he received a call and was told that he had a job as a traveling P.E. teacher. For four years he travelled between Rockville, Monocacy, and Clarksburg.
During this time he was involved with basketball on the segregated playgrounds in Rockville. A man approached him during a Lincoln Park vs. Twinbrook game and asked if he’d be interested in coaching track, so he was brought in as an assistant basketball coach and track coach at Sherwood High School.
“For cross-country, we’d run all over Ashton. Most of the team was white, and the school would get calls every day asking why a black man was running around with all these white kids.” Crutch told me as he recalled his early coaching days.
Almost unable to control his laughter, Crutch shared a story with me, ”There were orchards all over so the kids would snatch apples, peaches, and whatever fruit they’d run by. I got called in by the principal who asked me if I knew anything about this. I told him I had no idea and that I’ll make sure they stop, but I was trying to hide the fruit I had in my pocket too!”
When he became the head coach of the girls basketball team at Sherwood (the first black head coach in MCPS history), schools would try to charge him to enter games. “I had to have my white assistants come out and get me cause they wouldn’t let me in sometimes.” It didn’t stop there, as referees would often show a lack of respect for Crutch, “When we were in the state championship game the ref came and spoke with one of my assistants instead of me.”
”One thing I did have was the support of all the kids. They were behind me from the start.” He remembers teachers smoking in the faculty lounge so he’d take his lunch to the office and kids would come down and eat with him. It started with a few kids and quickly became a large group rushing just to get a seat.
Crutch taught until 1996. He lived in Rockville all of his life and told me he loved every second of it. I asked him about his favorite restaurant in MoCo and he told it was “Silver Diner. Because you can find healthy stuff and it’s not expensive.”
“I love that Montgomery County is progressive. Anyone can move forward if they have the education. Anywhere you turn, you can find help in Montgomery County.” he said about what he loves about our area. “One thing I don’t like is that most of the neighborhoods are gone. I miss the neighborhoods.”
In honor of Warren Crutchfield, I will continue to try to make our whole county one big neighborhood. A place we can all learn about what’s happening, have civil conversations (even if we don’t agree), learn about the rich history of our county, and occasionally get together and hang out.
Crutch certainly left his mark on Montgomery County. He will be deeply missed.
Rest in Peace, Mr. Crutchfield.
This morning a three-alarm fire at the Camelback Village Apartments on Spartan Road in Olney required approximately 100 firefighters with assistance from Red Cross.
Over three dozen residents were displaced by the fire, which was electrical in nature. There were several non-life threatening injuries and portions of 108 and Spartan Rd were closed (now open), according to Pete Piringer.
As soon as Cava Mezze general manager, Lucas Georgiou, heard the news, he put together a few containers of food for the displaced residents.
Join your neighbors from near and far and The MoCoShow in celebrating community at the 38th annual Strawberry Festival in Sandy Spring.
Plan to spend the whole day, enjoying live performances, a family-friendly atmosphere and as much strawberry shortcake as your heart desires!
You won’t want to miss this local family-favorite event that’s been serving up good old fashioned fun for 38 years.
*No pets allowed
- MedStar Montgomery Medical Center Main Stage
- Studio of Ballet Arts and PTSMC Community Stage
- Christopher's Hardware Beer & Wine Garden featuring Waredaca Brewing Company, Brookeville Beer Farm , Elder Pine Brewing & Blending Co, and Olney Winery
- Kids' Activities in the Badlands Adventure Zone by Badlands Playspace
- Pony Rides by Reddemeade Horse Center and Park Overlook Farm
- Face Painting
- Petting Zoo
- Obstacle Course by Kang's Black Belt Academy
- Camp Sonshine Moon Bounces
- Rock Climbing Wall
- Fresh Strawberries
- Plant Sale by Sandy Spring Museum Garden Club
- Arts & Crafts Vendors including Memere's Tots Handmade Kids Outfits
- Food Trucks: Corned Beef King, That Smoothie Place, El Pollo Submarine, Holy Crepes, Kona Ice, Chix N Stix, Hardy's BBQ, Balkanik Taste, and CapMac
168 Asian Burrito and Rice Bowl has opened in Olney. It has taken over the location attached to the Exxon gas station (18000 Georgia Ave) that was formerly home to Doner Kebab for a brief six month stint and Corned Beef King for years prior to that.
Asian Burrito and Rice Bowl will serve sushi-like burritos (think giant sushi rolls...the size of burritos) and rice bowls as their entrees. Other items include Korean chicken, Taiwanese chicken nuggets, and tuna/chicken sandwiches.
They are open and ready for business.
Phone number: (301)774-2930
We spoke with Taco Bar owner, Raul Valdivia, who told us that all inspections have been passed as of today.
With that news, Taco Bar Olney is expected to open at some point in the next two weeks in the old Jerry’s location at 18100 Georgia Avenue.
Taco Bar will offer authentic Mexican cuisine with items like tacos, tortas, quesadillas, burritos, and more. After the initial soft opening, they’ll be opening at 6am and will offer breakfast items as well. Full menu available here: Taco Bar Menu
The Olney Tavern (18200 Georgia Avenue) has closed permanently. They made the announcement in a Facebook post that stated the following:
“After over a decade and a half of memories, an era comes to an end this weekend.
The Olney Tavern has been pleased to have been a part of so many lives and special moments, and we want to thank you all for holding a place in your hearts (and bellies) for us!”
Today I spoke with an employee of OneLife Fitness in Rockville who told me that the gym is actively looking at Olney for a new MoCo location.
US Fitness, the parent company of OneLife Fitness and Sport & Health, sold a majority stake to two investment firms this past summer. Currently the company has nearly 50 gyms (3 different brands) and the investment has been rumored to include over $50 million for expansion.
I was told that nothing has been signed, but that negotiations are ongoing with an unconfirmed location in Olney. I was also told that Giant is in negotiations with a gym and that they are not currently accepting new offers at this time.
While there is no confirmation from either end, it seems like the writing is on the wall.
February 18th UPDATE: We are told Sardi‘s is not purchasing the building, but will be leasing it instead.
t’s not every day that I give credit to the Victor Litz Music Store in Gaithersburg for breaking news, but earlier today they broke the news of Sardi’s buying Greene Growlers in Old Town Gaithersburg.
I’ve made a few calls and was able to confirm the . I’ve also been told that Sardi’s is planning on maintaining the brewery. This should be interesting as the former Sardi’s Fusion in Olney rebranded as Sardi’s Taphouse this past summer.
I’m told that if all goes as planned, Sardi’s will be open in the Growler’s location (227 E. Diamond Ave.) as soon as this summer.
A few months ago we reported on Taco Bar opening an Olney location at the building that used to be home to Jerry’s (18100 Georgia Avenue).
Since then we’ve been swamped with questions about when they’ll be opening.
Yesterday I was told that they will try to have everything finalized in February so that the restaurant can be open for business in March!
Taco Bar currently has locations on Russell Ave in Gaithersburg, and in Frederick. Taco Bar Washingtonian (in Rio) is not related to the restaurant.
We just received word that Corned Beef King may be returning to Olney!
The locally famous gas station deli left Olney in April of 2018 for a new location in Rockville.
We’re told they’re bringing a food truck next to their old location at the Exxon on Georgia Avenue.