The sun has had a hard time peering out from the dank weather veil these days. So, daydreaming about a simpler summer time when a dive into the ocean in Sea Bright was all you needed comes a lot easier than that ball of fire and the imminent need to cool down.
The Fair Haven Fire Department Wetdown on Saturday brought a huge community contingent out.
Call it a christening of sorts — a wetdown. It’s the traditional ceremony celebrating new trucks and honoring the retired ones by hosing them down, the drivers of the old ones turning over the hose to the new.
And the Fair Haven Fire Department Triple Wetdown Dedication did just that on Sunday to celebrate the arrival of a new (1372 Mack) truck and two command vehicles (1366 and 1355), a fire chief’s command and first responder command vehicle. The old 1372 was retired after 41 years of service.
The celebration is a grand one in fire company tradition. In addition to the wetdown rite of passage, there’s a community party with music, food and drink and fire departments from all over joining in the welcoming of the new and retiring of the old.
Take a look … (Be sure to CLICK on each pic to enlarge!)
— Elaine Van Develde
Swim, anyone? Water ballet? More like whatever works!
It’s the unofficial start of summer and today’s Retro Pic of the Day shows some RFH boys diving right into the season at the Monmouth Beach Club pool back in the 1970s.
OK, it’s probably a staged shot before the pool was filled. Nonetheless, it says a lot about the spirit of summer fun in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.
No one better to spread some of those toasty warm vibes than a look back at some carefree fun at the hands of teen guys.
Everybody in the pool!
Recognize any of these guys? What was your favorite summer spot and/or fun?
Half a century of Stokes! Today marks the milestone for Fair Haven students, parents and Knollwood School staff.
They’re homeward bound, satiated with 50 years of it all.
Some stalwart traditions have changed in the evolution of the trip, but one thing has remained the same — lifetime connections forged and pranks aplenty pulled.
One such classic story is that of Knollwood teacher and Stokes organizer Andy Dougherty and Jenny Jones Costello.
The two grew up as Fair Haven neighbors whose parents were best buds. They, of course, went to Stokes in the 80s. They forged a friendship, as their siblings also did, from the time they were babies. And they were mighty cute babies, as only their babysitter would know for sure (ahem). Call it another kind of family tie. Best of neighbors and second string siblings. It all started more than 40 years ago.
They both graduated from RFH. Still on the block. They spread their wings and flew the neighborhood coop for a bit. Eventually Andy ended up becoming a teacher at the very same school, though not on the block where his parents stayed until they passed away. Jenny and her family ended up back on the same block.
She ended up volunteering year after year to be a parent counselor at the camp. And, two of her children have already been indoctrinated into the Stokes tradition. Andy has become an anchor in the annual trip.
This year, Jenny was back for the 50th with her son Nick, like Mom, a pretty happy camper.
The kids have their own little pranks going on at Stokes. Hey, it’s a tradition. We’ll just pretend for now that such things no longer happen with the young ones. But, since the statute of limitations is up for the “elders,” or something like that, they got right back to it.
In the interest of keeping with tradition, Andy and Jenny revisited an old prank. It all has something to do with a swim suit and a case of botched identity … or not, Doug Herty. And laughs. Lots of laughs.
Hey, that’s what friends and Stokes are for!
So, raise some frozen underwear up the flagpole, put some itching powder in a sleeping bag (well, maybe not) and remember the good ol’ days. Tradition!
What was your Stokes prank?
What would a Donovan’s Reef reopening be without a spotting of its unofficial, or official, mascot — the iconic guy about town everyone knows as Dizzy Dave?
Well, lots of area folks were there for Sunday’s (delayed from Saturday) grand reopening. And, while it was pretty packed and running into Dave was tantamount to playing a giant game of Where’s Waldo, one devout Donovan’s fan, Gerry Ryan, found him and struck the classic pose.
Ryan’s wife, former Red Bank Councilwoman Grace Cangemi Ryan, grabbed the photo op and shared it with Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect.
Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl told us he was there as well, but, no roving photographers seemed to capture him, either. He said he did not see Dizzy. “It’s surprising that I didn’t,” Ekdahl said on Memorial Day. “He’s pretty hard to miss!”
The new place got a thumbs up from the mayor. The Ryans and all other locals and fans we spoke with gave the new Donovan’s rave reviews.
Now, where’s Dizzy Dave?
It’s that time of the year when Fair Haven schools tradition takes hold and all good Knollwood sixth graders go on their trip to Stokes State Forrest. And this year marks the 50th anniversary of the most wonderful time of the year for those sixth graders. Wow.
The Memorial Day parade may have been rained out in Rumson, but those who fought for their country and lost their lives in war were remembered.
Take a look … (Don’t forget to click to enlarge!)
— Elaine Van Develde
The rain may have stopped the Memorial Day parade, but Fair Haven folks still paid homage to those who lost their lives in war defending America.
Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect could not make the ceremony at Knollwood School on Monday, but signs of remembrance remained all over the borough on the drizzly day.
Take a look … (Click to enlarge.)
— Elaine Van Develde
It’s day that many Rumson-Fair Haven area locals have been anticipating since the ravaging dawn of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy — the reopening of the devastated iconic Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright.
After many fits and starts, that day, save for any unforeseen issues, now appears to be set. It’s Saturday, a Twitter post confirmed, though with a praying hands emoji.
“4+ years ago we were washed away 😪 thanks Sandy,” a post on the Donovan’s Facebook page says. “NOW, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can sit at the inside bar & take in this amazing view! Can’t wait to see you! Hope for no delays and we open MDW!”
Take a look at the progression since Sandy in the below photos …
— Photos/Elaine Van Develde
Despite a forecast that predicts a 40 percent chance of rain, Memorial Day services and parades have been set for Monday.
Spring has finally sprung. In fact it’s bloomin’ bouncing into seasonal warmth lately, save for a few bad days this week.