Category Archives: Local Life

A look, in photos, of latest area events, local everyday people and places.

Retro Blizzard of ’96 Among RFH Friends

Weathering a real storm in 1996 with RFH grad Steph DeSesa.
Weathering a real storm in 1996 with RFH grad Steph DeSesa.

It’s that classic rescue story worth repeating …

Our Retro Pic of the Day takes us back to a blizzard that was true to its word.

What was dubbed The Blizzard of ’96 hit the Rumson-Fair Haven area with full force in early January of 1996. This one lived up to its promise to render everyone in the area immobile.

Continue reading Retro Blizzard of ’96 Among RFH Friends

Focus: Power of People 2018

People. People put the power of place into perspective. They pull us back into places we remember, milestones. They set us soaring toward our dreams, reaching for our own stars. They bring us down to Earth. They anchor us, our memories, our life journeys.

So, in honor of bringing the people in our lives, our communities, all into focus on the journey of one year in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, we offer a glimpse at the people around us in 20018. Relive. Remember. Treasure.

Happy New Year! Be sure to stop, take a look at the faces around you and embrace the memories created in 2019 …

Take a look back (and don’t forget to CLICK to ENLARGE!)

— Elaine Van Develde

Focus: Power of Place 2018

There’s a lot to be said about the importance of place in people’s lives. It defines us in many ways. It brings us comfort. It triggers memories. It is a bookmark in our hearts. Oftentimes that important place is home.

So, to pay homage to the profound power of place in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, home, we offer a glimpse back to significant places of 2018 and many decades preceding it.

Happy New Year! Take a look and let the photos give a tug at your heartstrings. Remember.

(Oh, and don’t forget to click on each photo to enlarge and get the full view!)

— Elaine Van Develde

A First Fair Haven Christmas

Merry Christmas, Rumson and Fair Havenites! Cherish your day, make those memories and hold on tight to them. One day they will be your best Christmas present.

Our Retro Pic of the Day takes you back to 1964 and a first Christmas in Fair Haven for the R-FH Retro publisher and her family.

What could be better than a first Christmas in Fair Haven? How about another generation raised there and 53 more Christmases? It doesn’t get better than that, does it? Until it doesn’t and all a native Fair Havenite has are magical memories of growing up on the street where she lived and all she wants for Christmas is to go home.

So, to those who have left home, close your eyes. Remember. Go back home for that first Christmas. Smile.

On our first Fair Haven Christmas, we asked Santa at the firehouse to grant our modest gift wishes and he did. I got that “doll with a wind” whose retail name is forgotten and sister got a Pebbles doll.

Yes, and the blow-up Santa is a bit freaky looking, but all the rage in the 1960s.

Did you get what you wanted from Santa? Send us your photos at evd@rfhretro.com and we’ll post them. Keep making those memories. Happy holidays, hometown friends.

Focus: Fair Haven Holiday House Decoration Winners

Drum roll please … for, perhaps, the little drummer nutcracker boys on the front porch of the first-place winner of the first Fair Haven Holiday House Decoration Contest — the Ruscignos at 39 Parker Avenue.

Ben, Maria and Rocco Ruscigno added some special touches this year, they said. They collected PJs for ill children and their families at the Jersey Shore University Medical Center Children’s Hospital in an effort to give back the kindness they received when Rocco was ill one year. In an effort to make the drop-off spot as festive and easy to find as possible, spirits soared and their house got the deluxe decoration treatment. Maria announced that they dropped off “100 pairs of brand new pajamas” to Jersey Shore. She thanked all for the donations.

Congratulations to the Ruscignos!

Second place went to the family at 11 Country Lane with the beautiful array of white lights. If you’ve done your holiday lights drive with due diligence every year, you’ve surely seen and admired the display here.

And third place went to the folks at 77 Poplar Ave., whose home is adorned with lots of festive multicolored lights and decorations year after year.

All the entries were drive-by worthy. Take a ride around the borough to see for yourself. There were 13 that were entered in the contest. In the meantime, take a look at some photos of the winners. And don’t forget to click to enlarge!

Retro Winter Warmth with RFH Clowns on the Beach

It may be winter, but the warm memories of good times with old RFH classmates keeps things cozy no matter what. And all warm, fuzzy, beachy thoughts surface when those RFH classmates plan a post-reunion holiday get-together.

Yes, the RFH Class of ’78 is spreading cheer to one another again with a few cheers at Murphy’s on Friday. All friends and classmates are welcome to suit up (or not) and join in the merriment.

All the talk of reuniting and the warmth that memories inspire reminded us of a moment back in time when some RFH girls (we think they’re girls) took to some spectacular sort of sunbathing on the high school stage in their own special (Oh, it was special alright!) rendition of The Beach Boys’ Girls on the Beach in the Freshmen Follies.

The year was 1974 and this little ditty was done with a little lip syncing and sunbathing gear that was telling of what was in some moms’ closets in that era. Sorry, moms, it was a bit scary.

In honor of it all, the triple-dose Retro Pic(s) of the (George) Day are dedicated to this special crew of stunners.

Recognize any of these sun worshippers? Who’s that behind those Foster Grants or Acme specials? Who in this photo was on the RFH Class of ’78 reunion committee?

Somehow, I doubt anyone would be up to some beach blanket bingo with these gals.

Thanks, once again, to RFH alum George Day for this photo collage treat!

— Elaine Van Develde

Looking Back: A Tale of Tradition and Firehouse Santa Pics

By Elaine Van Develde

It’s that time of the year for a longstanding Fair Haven tradition  — photos at the firehouse with Santa.

This year, Santa’s came to the firehouse on Sunday.

It’s another Fair Haven tradition you can always count on.

I remember …

Continue reading Looking Back: A Tale of Tradition and Firehouse Santa Pics

R-FH Area Weekend: Singing, Santa & Lights

It’s that kind of holiday-laced weekend again. And there are a couple of events in the area that will have you humming, ho-hoing or strung up, in a festive sense.

On Saturday, if you’d like to venture a bit out of the Rumson-Fair Haven area, there’s a holiday gift of song that awaits you … 

You are cordially invited to celebrate the holiday season with a festive after noon concert. Red Bank Area Chapter of the Barbershop Harmony Society will present RINGING IN THE HOLIDAYS — a fun concert of vocal harmonies — on Saturday at 2 p.m. at the Ocean Township High School Auditorium, 550 West Park Avenue, Oakhurst.

This is a merry group of harmonizing singers. You really have to see them to get your spirits soaring. 

The concert will feature traditional holiday favorites sung in 4-part harmony by the Chorus of the Atlantic — a group of male harmony singers under the direction of Craig J. Page.  

Also appearing on stage will be the Matinee Idles, a group of retired men that perform for area organizations in the afternoons.  The Matinee Idles will sing some favorites and share some laughter and good cheer, under the direction of Will McCain.

In addition, there will be some special guests … Ocean Chamber Choir from Ocean Township High School under the direction of Teddy Kernizan.

And Santa is rumored to show. 

Tickets are $18 for general admission, $15 for seniors and students, free for children age 16 and younger.  Tickets are available at the door.  Please call ahead to buy your tickets and save $3 per ticket. Call 732-784-7343 and leave your name and phone number.

The Chorus of the Atlantic welcomes visitors to their rehearsals.  They meet Tuesday evenings from 7:30 – 10 p.m. beginning Jan. 8, 2019 at the Red Bank Middle School, Harding Road, Red Bank.  

And on Sunday … 

Santa will park himself in a chair at the Fair Haven Firehouse from 1 to 3 p.m. to visit with all the good boys and girls around the towns and offer gifts and candy.

Word on the street is that Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick will also be seen riding around town in the fire truck from noon to 1 p.m. as a precursor to the classic holiday event. 

And all through the weekend and beyond …

Let your holiday decorations shine and be judged, as Fair Haven sets in motion its new festive decor contest. Which house is the most festive? Only residents know for sure.