Retro RFH Girls’ Drive into the Past

RFH girls' ride into the summer of '78 ... Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde, Debbie Humbert and Daryl Cooper Ley Photo/Elaine Van Develde
RFH girls’ ride into the summer of ’78 … Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde, Debbie Humbert and Daryl Cooper Ley
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

There’s nothing quite like a summer drive in a classic car with the top down. Though it may not be summer yet, it’s been that kind of day for a few days now. So, we’re re-running this piece just because the sun needs to shine on friendships and good times like these. There’s nothing quite as warm. Put the top down and take a drive back with us again … 

The drive is all the better if it’s made with best friends. So, as a continuing ode to summer fun of the past at the hands of RFH teens, the Retro Pic of the Day encapsulates the whole idea — best friends, a cool ride and warm memories.

This Polaroid shot of four RFH besties the summer after graduation was taken in Fair Haven on Woodland Drive.

These four swore they’d never part — just like the Boz Scaggs song “It’s Over” from the Silk Degrees album they wore out that year.

Yes, I was fortunate to be one of that foursome in the summer of ’78. What a summer. It was the kind of summer nostalgia movies are made of (well, pretty close).

We worked, we beached, we partied, pranked each other and the poor woman at the Wendy’s drive through. But, mostly, we just cherished every minute of what we thought was the end of our youth. If we had only realized we were only 18 and not quite ready for the old age home or a senior club until, well, now?

There was a tiny radio in that car and we managed to blast it for a lot of out-loud singing and sometimes dancing on the seats (not the streets, thank the gods for small favors) to Springsteen, Scaggs and Donna Summer.

I will now take the opportunity to apologize to all the other teens trying to make out in peace on Scenic Drive in Highlands while we blasted the radio, sang and danced with our top down (the convertible top, that is), yes, intentionally trying to prank and ruin their private moment!

One of us is gone now. That would be Stephanie DeSesa (next to me in the pink shirt and my best friend since second grade). We went off to college in different states, but somehow always came back to one another.

That’s Daryl Cooper Ley (right), whose car conjured up the magic of the memories. And, yes, we stayed in one another’s lives, like many RFH friends from way back.

Those days are gone — or what we had no choice letting go of — but this moment and others like them still make us all smile and, sometimes laugh out loud for no reason when we see each other — except this connection. Here’s the thing. Those days have a way of staying with you and keeping you happy on the worst of days. The secret is not such a secret. We still drive around in another convertible blasting Beach Boys, Donna Summer and, well, any OLD song we can find and embarrass our children who are no longer children. Did ya see us in the Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade? Where there’s a will, there’s a convertible, best buds and a song …

Sun’s still out. Hitchin’ a ride, anyone?

Who are your RFH friends with whom you still share that special bond? Your summer before graduation? Send us your RFH besties pic at

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