Retro Fair Weather Times

Call it literal. With the not-so-fair weather lately, thoughts tend to turn to the hometown warmth and fun that is the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair.

Everyone in the Rumson-Fair Haven area knows that it’s a tradition. So, in keeping with the tradition and the hopes for rising temperatures and more signs of spring, we celebrate summer fair fever.

Never mind spring. We’ll just jump right to summertime when the fair livin’ is laced with a lot of Fair Haven love.

The Retro Pic(s) of the Day offer a glimpse back many decades to the earlier days of the fair.

Check out the apron. Remember Sal’s Tavern in Red Bank? And who are those ladies at what is now the Super 50/50, but used to be the car raffle booth.

All’s fair.

Thanks to the FHFD for the archived photos!

— Elaine Van Develde

Meet RFH’s New Superintendent

A new superintendent has been called to the office at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH).

After more than a year-long search to replace retiring RFH Superintendent Peter Righi, Debra (Edelkraut) Gulick was unanimously approved as the new top administrator of the RFH District on Feb. 26, Board of Education President John Caruso said. Gulick will start her position at RFH on July 1, 2009, after Righi’s retirement takes hold at the end of the current school year.  

Continue reading Meet RFH’s New Superintendent

Prosecutor: Area Man Arrested on Child Porn Charges

A Monmouth County man has been arrested and charged with the possession and distribution of child sexual abuse materials and could face up to 15 years in prison, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced on Wednesday. 

Continue reading Prosecutor: Area Man Arrested on Child Porn Charges

Prosecutor: Neighbor Pleads Guilty to Murder, Sex Assault of 11-Year-Old Girl

The upstairs neighbor of an 11-year-old has pleaded guilty to her 2017 murder and sexual assault, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced.

Andreas Erazo, 20, of Keansburg, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to first-degree murder and first-degree aggravated sexual assault in connection with the July 13, 2017 death of Abbiegail “Abbie” Smith, who was found just hours after she was reported missing from her Hancock Street apartment in Keansburg.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Neighbor Pleads Guilty to Murder, Sex Assault of 11-Year-Old Girl

Prosecutor: Brother Indicted in Colts Neck Family Killings

A Monmouth County grand jury has returned a 16-count indictment against the brother of a Colts Neck man who was found dead along with his wife and two children just days before Thanksgiving, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced Monday morning.

The indictment charges Paul J. Caneiro, 51, of Ocean Township, with four counts of first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree felony murder, two counts of second-degree aggravated arson, one count of second-degree possession of a weapon (firearm) for an unlawful purpose, one count of third-degree possession of a weapon (knife) for an unlawful purpose, one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a weapon (firearm), one count of fourth-degree unlawful possession of a weapon (knife), one count of second-degree theft, one count of second-degree misapplication of entrusted property and two counts of third-degree hindering apprehension of oneself, in connection with the slaying of his brother Keith Caneiro, 50, his sister-in-law Jennifer Caneiro, 45, his nephew Jesse, 11, and his niece Sophia, 8, on Nov. 20, 2018. 

The joint investigation by the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office, and the Colts Neck and Ocean Township police departments has expanded to include the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), New Jersey State Police, New Jersey Regional Computer Forensics Laboratory, Monmouth County Sheriff’s Office and Monmouth County Fire Marshal’s Office.

Paul J. Caneiro remains detained pending trial in the Monmouth County Correctional Institution in Freehold Township. 

If convicted of Murder, Caneiro faces a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without parole on each count. Felony murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, subject to the provisions of the No Early Release Act (NERA). Aggravated arson carries a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison, also subject to the provisions of NERA. The remaining second-degree offenses each carry a maximum sentence of 10 years in state prison, while the third degree offenses each carry a maximum sentence of five years in state prison.   

The case is assigned to Monmouth County Assistant Prosecutor Christopher J. Decker, Director of the Office’s Major Crimes Bureau and Assistant Prosecutor Nicole Wallace.

Defendant is being represented by Mitchell Ansell, Esq., and Robert J. Honecker, Jr. Esq. of Ocean Township.

Investigators continue to seek additional information about the case. Anyone with information about the Colts Neck murders and arson is asked to call Detective Patrick Petruzziello of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Richard Zarrillo of the Colts Neck Police Department at 732-780-7323.

Anyone with information about the Ocean Township arson is urged to call Detective Brian Weisbrot of the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office at 1-800-533-7443 or Detective Christopher Brady of the Ocean Township Police Department at 732-531-1428.

— Press release from the Monmouth County Prosecutor’s Office

Prosecutor: Authorities Seek Help in Animal Cruelty Case

Authorities are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the person or people responsible for the killing of two cats, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni announced on Wednesday.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Authorities Seek Help in Animal Cruelty Case

Remembrance: Longtime Rumson-Fair Havenite, RFH Grad, Daryl Cooper Ley, 58

“There are places I remember … all my life, though some have changed. Some forever not for better. Some have gone and some remained. All these places have their moments, with lovers and friends I still can recall … In my life, I’ve loved them all.”

In My Life ~ The Beatles

And those who knew her, loved her right back …
She was Daryl Cooper Ley.

She grew up in Fair Haven, an adventurous girl who could sport scuffed knees, pigtails, snap some Double Bubble Bubble Gum bubbles and vroom a moped like no other. She was a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) grad with many a prank to pull, paper airplane to fly and hearty hyena laughs to share. She was a supportive, fun Rumson mom and wife with a brazen love of all babies, children, adolescents and teens. She was a compassionate philanthropist. She was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a friend.

Continue reading Remembrance: Longtime Rumson-Fair Havenite, RFH Grad, Daryl Cooper Ley, 58

ReFlection: Love Letter to AN RFH Honey Bun of a best bud Funny valentine

RFH Freshman Follies 1975 rendition of Honey Bun with Stephanie DeSesa, Ward Tietz and Elaine Van Develde Photo/George Day
RFH Freshman Follies 1975 rendition of Honey Bun with Stephanie DeSesa, Ward Tietz and Elaine Van Develde
Photo/George Day

Well, the hubbub of Valentine’s Day, hearts and roses and a day off for some and sales on Presidents Day is done. But that doesn’t mean this mind hasn’t mused over the meaning of at least one of those days — Valentine’s Day. And Valentines of a different kind. The best kind. Best friends.

Remember the big ol’ shoe box full of Valentines you got from your elementary school classmates? Remember your kids getting that slew hearts and of toting that home? It was mandatory, yet the feelings fostered in those classrooms among a passel of kids with eager, open hearts, were not.

For some, or many, the simple gesture of scrolling a heart and silly message on a tiny cartooned piece of cardboard was the start of a lifetime of milestone moments and crazy memories engraved in the ol’ ticker.

This is a Valentine for best friends, the irreplaceable antics endured with them and, most of all, a true love like no other — friendship.

This scene takes us back to a couple of best friends since second grade and an unwitting RFH class president, the RFH stage, entertainment at the hands of primo pranksters and lots of laughs forevermore.

I was the actress. She was the chief prankster and troublemaker. There were actually three of us. A threesome of best buds. Each with her own brand of kooky fierceness. And blood-sister loyalty. The other escaped this escapade. I’m not sure how she managed to do that, but she did.

There were rehearsals in the basement at babysitting jobs with a plastic record player, a constant replay of the song Honey Bun from South Pacific, dance moves choreographed, if you could call it that, us wanting to kill each other and laughs … lots of laughs. I made her do it. I still can’t believe she did. That’s OK, she made me do lots of things, too, with that everlasting threat of “I’m your friend! I would do it for you!” Call her the devil. Always raising a little Hell.

She was Stephanie DeSesa. We were Fair Haven girls. We met at Knollwood School in second grade. She was my friend from the age of 7 when her dad drove us to the bowling alley to tote some giant balls and strike out — a lot. The toting was never a fear for us. We had guts, in a sissy kind of way.  Guts to laugh really hard and loud — and sometimes snort and spit a little. Guts to From that first day of ball-grabbing and toting on, it was one hell of a ride for us. Ups, downs, good, bad and crazy, oh, so crazy … but always memorable like nothing else.

Nothing like it. That old best friend who knows all your kinks and never tries to flat-iron them out. That friend who rolls with the best and worst of you and you with her, enduring many traditional Valentines and exacting girlfriend revenge on some bad boyfriend with some shameless stalking, telling off and prank phone calling.

Yeah, the advent of caller ID had her in a tizzied state of depression back in the 80s. That’s because she was that one who was always up for some standing by you and a little mischief to make you feel better. Of course, you did it back, but under the threat of “I would do it for you!” That’s a Valentine of the best kind. Really.

So, when it’s your turn to drag her into a Lucy & Ethel role of humiliation and zaniness, the “I would do it for you!” works and you end up having a blast and making unforgettable memories. And that’s what you are left with, and that’s a lot, when that irreplaceable her is  gone.

Then, when the day comes that you get too real for one another and step over the best bud familiarity contempt line and, without warning, she’s suddenly gone, you remember that you always have those times, her heart. You cry, you smile, you laugh. And you remember.

Steph passed away very suddenly in 2011. The other Musketeer in this zany Fair Haven-raised Knollwood and RFH brood met her on the other side last year. They were my funny Valentines. I was theirs. Tradition be damned.

Some moments on the stage that I dragged them to were captured. They, priceless, stained with tears and dog-eared now, remain a snapshot of some of the best times of my heart’s life.

So, “stay little Valentine stay” … In my life, I loved you both more.

Sometimes a box of chocolates and flowers, or a crock of soup and some crap and chocolate lips, just don’t make the heart swell the same way as lifetime friendship.

Not that there’s anything wrong with a little confection and flora or a quality beau, for that matter. Just sayin …

When you know this kind of friendship on Earth is over, you remember, as this tribe’s old Bozz Scaggs favorite mused, “Best of friends never part … best of fools that love forever …”

Don’t forget to remember. Always let those lifetime connections  know what they mean to you. Call them. Quarrel. Make up. Be you with no reservation. Let them be them and embrace all of them. Hug them a lot. Text them with a little ditty, just calling to say you love them “ladeedoodahdayyyy.” Silly? Who cares? They do. You do.

Happy Valentine’s Day to you and your forever friends and best of beaus!

The staged moments captured are at the 1975 Freshman Follies when Ward Tietz, class president, got drafted by the crazy squad to get all dolled up with a hula skirt, coconut shell top and a festive cigar and dance a little to our Honey Bun from South Pacific.

Poor Ward ended up with a very itchy rash from those coconuts and Steph and I lost our hats and composure mid-song over the sight of him.

The other, blurrier of the moments, is on stage at Knollwood after all three of us had our first year together as friends (Daryl joined us in 7th grade) in Anything Goes. Cracking up and dancing in their mother’s shoes, it was the start of something very big — a lifelong friendship.