It was considered a privilege and honor. They were chosen from the junior class at RFH to serve as the debutante-like ushers for the graduating class. All dressed in white and supposedly gracefully toting a chain of daisies, the Daisy Chain girls were a fixture of high school finery at graduations in the 1970s.
The origins of the somewhat upper-crust tradition date back to the 1900s, but this Retro Pic of the Day was snapped in 1978.
It’s just one of those days — an everybody-in-the-pool kinda day.
It’s the kind of day when a Rumson-Fair Haven area person wishes he or she could take a swim, sit on a poolside porch overlooking the ocean and rock. Really rock … in a rocking chair at the old iconic Peninsula House.
It’s been gone for years, but the memories of the giant old hotel-turned-beach club are definitely not. It’s a pretty sure bet that anyone who grew up in the area has at least one story tucked away in the memory and ready to tell about the place that was a beach club by day (and a reasonable one at that) and seaside club by night.
Most locals met up at P House for socializing one way or another, be it at a swim meet, to take a little non-competitive dip, lounging by the ocean in the summer, or rocking in those rocking chairs on that wrap-around porch or to the tunes of one of the bands at night.
So, the Retro Pic(s) of the Day take us back to the spot with some shots of Rumson’s well-known longtime mayor, John Ekdahl, poolside and megaphone in hand for a meet, the entrance to the grand place, some familiar area ladies on the porch and the swim team of yesteryear.
Take a gander and tell us your favorite P House memory.
Heat’s on. Top’s down. Spirits are riding high. Summer’s coming. So is RFH graduation. So are those last summer days with high school buds before college.
That last summer before college is a pivotal, cherished milestone. It’s all about making memories that last a lifetime. Even one ride, top down, top 10 hits blasting on an AM radio, belly laughs, pranks and soaring spirits makes an indelible mark in the heart. It’s a mark that always conjures up a smile and an exhale of content.
So, the Retro Pic of the Day is dedicated to that time with a look back to the summer of 1978, best of friends from RFH, a 1965 powder blue Mustang convertible and, well, a big ol’ grimace of good times’ remembrance.
Yes, your esteemed editor is one of these alligator shirt-clad cronies. Another is gone. And one is still a best bud.
The memories … they’re a best friend, too. Smile.
What kind of car did you cruise in back in those summer days? Favorite spots? Pranks?
This crew spent an inordinate amount of time egging unwitting young lovers on the beach, ordering a Ham Dinger (they had them at 7-11) and dancing with the top down just to annoy people making out on Scenic Drive.
Tonight’s the night that a longtime annual area tradition sets the pace for riding into summer. The Sea Bright Fire Department Carnival is all set up and ready for its start at 5 p.m. in the municipal parking lot.
The carnival, or fair, is, as usual, is host to rides, games of chance, classic fair food, and live entertainment, and runs through Sunday.
Here’s the schedule:
• Thursday, May 18, 5 to 11 p.m.
• Friday May 19, 5 p.m. to midnight, featuring The West End Dogs band at 6 p.m.
• Saturday May 20, 5 p.m. to midnight is also Mug Night, featuring The Jukebox Criminals band at 6 p.m.
It may look like it, but, no, it’s not a Jets rumble … And it’s not a musical, either. It could be the west side of the field. But a west side story? Eh, could be. Only the players on this stage know for sure.
You put the coffee on. You called for us when dinner was ready. You held on tight when we needed a hug. You wiped our dirty little faces, sopped up tears and runny noses. You were there, front and center, at many a school open house, game, play, concert and, yes, principal’s office visit. You welcomed the neighborhood kids as if they were your own. You wrote all those notes to get us out of gym class (because some of us were clods). You shook your heads in disbelief over our antics and yelled our full names like a loving banshee when you were mad. You had our backs. You were just plain there — the unshifting foundation of a community through the years, building a legacy.
Thank you. We remember those who are gone and salute those who carry on …
With the thaw of the cranky and closed-in mindset imposed by a heavy dose of spring fever, people tend to get in the mood for a little carefree joy ride to let their hair down, or at least mess it up a bit.
So, the Retro Pics of the (George) Day are dedicated to the good old days of hitting that spring fever pitch with a good ol’ ride in a classic kind of ride, be it a dirt bike, a classic car or a go cart.
In the featured pic, these guys of the 1970s are hanging outside by what was the Junior Lounge at the high school and they’re looking a little restless.
While we’re not certain, it certainly seems like they are a little antsy and looking to break out of the confines of the school, shed their coats and any inhibitions they actually have left and do the “happy days are here again” dance … or ride … ride into some spring fever-like antics.
The other dude and team of monsters are cruising for something. What? No one is exactly sure.
George Day, the RFH yearbook photographer of the time is taking a spin in a go cart.
And whoever those ghouls are … Well, they’re not getting far on that dirt bike in the sunken floor of the RFH Senior Commons.
Know who the monsters are? How about that car in the featured pic? Whose is it? And what are these guys really up to? Anyone know what the most popular car or bike was in the 1970s?
Baby, they were born to ride at RFH — or something like that.
— Elaine Van Develde
Oh, and thanks, once again, to the fabulous George Day for this photographic gem!
Rugby has gained popularity in America lately, and its sports appeal has kicked in with kid players and adult coaches in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.
RFH Youth Rugby, under the umbrella of Jersey Shore Youth Rugby Association, has kicked off its spring season with a camp session and has more in store.
Here’s what’s happening:
• The first day of spring youth rugby camp was held at the Community Center fields in Fair Haven on May 7 with a great turnout, organizers said. The camp comprises a co-ed, non-tackle, flag rugby program for kids kindergarten age through 8 that runs until the middle of June on Sunday afternoons.
The teams play in the fall and spring and the organization hosts many free rugby clinics throughout Monmouth County and is scheduled to hold weekly summer rugby camps through area rec programs in July.
• The Spring Rugby Fundraising Mixer will be held on Thursday night, May 11, from 7:30 to 10 p.m. at the Fair Haven Knights of Columbus Hall, Fair Haven Road. The $35 admission includes appetizers, beer, wine and soda.
• On Memorial Day, May 27, high school tackle rugby will come to Rumson for the first time as the RFH Youth Rugby Club hosts the 2017 NJ HS Rugby State Championships along with the states’ rugby governing body, RUGBY NJ at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s Borden Stadium.
The day will feature an exhibition match of the U16 Blue and Gold Division Boys, followed by the Boys HS Gold Division (Single School Division) and the Blue Division (Community Based) programs which will determine the 2017 NJ HS State Champions.
Also, an exhibition youth flag rugby match featuring kids from the Jersey Shore Youth Rugby Association. The RFH Youth Rugby Club will also participate in the competition.
Match times are to be announced, but an afternoon start time is anticipated. Student ticket prices are $3 for advance purchase and $5 at the door. Adult tickets are $6 for advance purchase and $8 at the door. The snack shack will be open serving hot dogs, hamburgers, cold soda, candy, baked goods, etc.