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An R-FH Area Veterans’ Homage

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Their faces are the faces at the core of a close-knit community. Some have passed. Some are still with us. They are cherished. They are veterans.

They were and are neighbors, dads, and just plain friendly faces around the Rumson-Fair Haven area towns.

They served. They fought for freedom in World War II and the Korean War.

They lived and still do live their lives with hometown pride, honor and respect. They were, they are founding fathers, friends. They were, they are cornerstones of the sense of community that is the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

The gift of their legacies bears no upscale real estate market value. They passed along a love of country and community that is priceless.

Thank you, on Veterans Day, to the veterans of the area who have passed and are still with us. You are cherished, honored.

Take a look at some of their faces and remember the legacy they carry.

— Elaine Van Develde

— Photos, courtesy of families of the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

Retro Flirty Fair Haven Council Team

Fair Haven’s newly-elected council members as Knollwood Class Flirts
Photo/Knollwood School Yearbook, screenshot from council candidates’ Facebook page

From class flirts to council members. That’s the path on which life has taken Fair Haven’s newly-elected Borough Council members Meg Chrisner-Keefe and Mike McCue.

Continue reading Retro Flirty Fair Haven Council Team

Retro RFH Politics

RFH Political Club of 1974-75
Photo/RFH Yearbook

It’s the eve of elections.

Political season has been in full swing; and things in Fair Haven’s Borough Council campaigning have been quite cordial. In fact, the four candidates debated in a very diplomatic, respectful way. And three have answered questionnaires with excellent, well-thought-out answers to some very detailed questions about Fair Haven and critical issues. Some bi-partisan kudos and pats on the back we also given in the process.

These candidates have taken the silly out of silly season and given residents cause to believe that all is fair in this political haven.

But, let’s take the focus off local politics of today for the evening and step back in time to the 1970s and politics as it was with RFH students and teachers.

Continue reading Retro RFH Politics

A Happy Retro RFH Halloween!

Halloween is here!

And back in 1977, it was a really happy one for the RFH Class of ’78 and some underclassmen. It was a tradition back then to get the Halloween party started early — like from the beginning to the end of the day at school.

So, RFHers arrived via the bus or (ahem) other appropriate or inappropriate mode of transportation all dressed up for the occasion with somewhere to go. RFH. They spooked, laughed, pranked and played all day and even paraded over to the Rumson elementary schools.

Yes, RFHers did Halloween in grand style. Take a look. (Click, wait and watch our slideshow.)

May the retro spirit of RFH haunting be with you!

Can you guess which is yours truly — your RFH Retro publisher/founding editor?

And, thanks to the fabulous George Day for these spectacular shots! 

Retro RFH Witchy Women’s Ride

Witchy RFH women on Halloween of 1977 Bonnie Werner and Sue Brower
Photo/George Day

Call it Halloween buddy system brooming. Remember the old buddy system? Trick or treating with a buddy to stay safe. Ever apply that theory in high school tricks with the only treat being the friendship and good ride through it all together?

Well, this gruesome twosome of best buds applied the system for some double trouble all in good ghoulish fun. Now that’s a special brand of mischief. You could say they were headed every witch way on this Halloween in the late 1970s, except to class.

The two would be Sue Brower and Bonnie Werner of the RFH Class of ’78.

So the double-dose Retro Pic(s) of the (George) Day feature them at their Halloween best.

Continue reading Retro RFH Witchy Women’s Ride

Looking Back: Donovan’s Sandy Demise

By Elaine Van Develde

Seven years ago it began. And when Superstorm Sandy stopped its swirling on the sliver of peninsula that is Sea Bright, it plopped the iconic Donovan’s Reef down in bits and pieces.

People of the Rumson-Fair Haven area mourned the loss to a relentless, remorseless Sandy. And when they were allowed to travel over the bridge into Sea Bright, many diehard loyalists of the tiki hut by the sea could be found just sitting and staring at what once was. They walked the sea wall looking for souvenir scraps reminiscent of their glory days at Donovan’s. They talked. They even cried.

Continue reading Looking Back: Donovan’s Sandy Demise

Retro RFH Ghostly Gaggle

An RFH ghostly gathering on Halloween in 1977
Photo/George Day

A Halloween reprise to honor the season of the ghost …

Scary season has set in. People in the Rumson-Fair Haven area aren’t just out raking leaves, either. They’re haunting up their homes, crafting costumes and getting into the spirit. So, why not add a little extra retro spooking from RFH students of the past?

BOO … who or what? It was all in the haunt for RFHers back in the 1970s. They started getting the Halloween party going early on and ended up with a pretty festive feast of ghouls on the grounds of the high school and, yes, beyond.

Continue reading Retro RFH Ghostly Gaggle

Focus: Halloween Haunts II

Some are creepy. Some kooky. Some mysterious. Some spooky. And some, as the Addams Family theme song goes, are “altogether ooky.” That is how Halloween decorations around the towns in Rumson and Fair Haven can be described.

But to see for yourself is to know the thriller factor of it all. So, a good drive-boo (or by), or two or three, of local haunts is always in order on such a “holiday.” The Halloween spirit, or spirits, seem to have moved residents — or at least jarred them a bit. Good ghoul! Now, that’s the All Hallows spirit!

Take a look at the latest and most diabolical decorations we spied and tell us about the best haunters in your ‘hood for Halloween!

Photos/Elaine Van Develde

Halloween in Fair Haven
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Retro Hippie Hill Hunt Scene

It’s that time the year again when thoughts of old-time Hunt times come flooding back for many Rumson-Fair Haven area folks. There may still be a Hunt, but not this one. So, we are offering a glimpse back to the days of the Haskell Hunt from a non-tailgating vantage point with a reprise of the following Retro Pic(s) of the Day piece originally posted on Oct. 20, 2017 … 

The hunt for more Hunt photos ensued and the find was a treasure trove of glimpses at the happening scene up on hip, hip Hippie Hill. RFH grad and Hippie Hill frequenter Bird Jensen reminded us this year that this weekend “would’ve been the weekend we’d all gather at Hippie Hill.” 

Fair Havenite Tom Bull’s description of The Hunt to “outsiders” has quickly become a classic: “I used to explain to people how it was a cross between a Grateful Dead concert and a Grey Poupon commercial.”

The elegant tailgating part shown yesterday would be the Grey Poupon commercial aspect. Hippie Hill is the Grateful Dead concert side — or so it would naturally seem.

So, here’s the Dead concert — or, perhaps, a little Lennon soirée …

It was probably the late 1970s. These peacefully assembled cool long hairs and renegades likely snuck into the Haskell Hunt through the fence and onto that infamous hill on ol Amory Haskell’s elegant estate. Call them musicians, concertgoers and peace pipe tokers, if you will.

Continue reading Retro Hippie Hill Hunt Scene

Focus: Rumson-Fair Haven River Hug

To talk to anyone who considers the Rumson-Fair Haven area home, from their own back yard to far away places, a peek into the day’s end at the river is a home embrace. A hug. Comfort. So it’s been said. So it’s been felt.

So, if you can’t get down by the river tonight, here’s a hug, or 20, from the end of your road to home. (And, don’t forget to click to enlarge to get the whole hug picture.)

Which hometown hug speaks to you most?

— Elaine Van Develde