Category Archives: Local Life

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

Retro RFH ‘Honey Bun’ Valentine

RFH Freshman Follies 1975 rendition of Honey Bun with Stephanie DeSesa, Ward Tietz and Elaine Van Develde Photo/George Day
RFH Freshman Follies 1975 rendition of Honey Bun with Stephanie DeSesa, Ward Tietz and Elaine Van Develde
Photo/George Day

Our Retro Pic of the (George) Day is a Valentine of sorts.

It takes us back to the stage of the 1975 Freshman Follies when Ward Tietz, class president, got all dolled up with a hula skirt, coconut shell top and a festive cigar to help your own Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect editor and best friend, since deceased Stephanie DeSesa, do a rendition of South Pacific’s “Honey Bun.”

Considering the regalia, spirit and setting, this one’s a warmer upper on yet another chilly day.

Though, poor Ward Tietz ended up with a very itchy rash from those coconuts. Still, he was a true trooper of a Honey Bun.

Who’s your Honey Bun? Recognize the sailors?

Oh, and many thanks, again, to the fabulous George Day for yet another treasure of a photo.

Retro RFH Winter Swim

RFH Polar Bear Club circa 1970s.  Photo/RFH yearbook
RFH Polar Bear Club circa 1970s.
Photo/RFH yearbook

No, it’s not the swim team.

This Retro Pic of the Day takes us back to a time at Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) when taking a dip in the ocean at the chilliest of winter times was, well, very cool as a Polar Bear Club member. Yes, it was a club back then.

Continue reading Retro RFH Winter Swim

Retro Snow-Capped Peninsula House Paradise

Peninsula House in Sea Bright in the 1970s. Photo/George Day
Peninsula House in Sea Bright in the 1970s.
Photo/George Day

This Retro Pic of the (George) Day is a reprise. Sometimes you just can’t get enough of this kind of view and the memories it stirs … 

If you’re winter daydreaming of snow-capped visions of warm paradise memories, your thoughts may drift to the iconic Peninsula House. It’s as if it was still there. Sometimes, if you close your eyes, like any good memory, you can see it. It all comes back — blankets you in a Tsunami of heart smiles.

The bitter chill of the blustery winter air is on the wane. So, our Retro Pic of the (George) Day is about the thaw that a soul full of cozy reminiscing brings. It hones in on a snow-capped view of the long gone but hardly forgotten favorite historic beach club turned bar/restaurant by the sea at night.

It was the Peninsula House, or P House for short, and it was the Rumson-Fair Haven area go-to hangout — especially for RFH grads.

It was huge and magnificent. The old historic hotel in Sea Bright used old hotel rooms as cabanas. Its wrap-around porch with rocking chairs was an outdoor lounging area seemingly perfectly tailored to locals catching up. There was a backgammon room, a formal dining room. Outside, bands played in a tent near the pool, the beach only a dance step away. It was always bustling, brimming with good vibes.

Tim McLoone played there frequently; and, everyone who took Giff’s RFH ballroom dance class tested their light (and heavy) feet (or whatever you could call those moves) on the dance floor to his music.

What are your memories of Peninsula House? And what was your favorite Tim McLoone rendition for a little dancing?

Many thanks, again, to the fabulous RFH grad, George Day, for the photo!

Retro FHFD Chefs

The guys in the kitchen at the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company Pancake Breakfast in the 1970s. Photo/screenshot of fire company yearbook
The guys in the kitchen at the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company Pancake Breakfast in the 1970s.
Photo/screenshot of fire company yearbook

If you made it to the Fair Haven Fire Department Spaghetti Dinner last week, it probably brought back memories of those same guys as youngsters and their dads doing chef duty at the firehouse for many an event.

Continue reading Retro FHFD Chefs

Retro Peninsula House Swim Teaming

Peninsula House Swim Team of the mid-1970s
Photo/Facebook collection

It was teaming today — rain.

And in some parts of the Rumson-Fair Haven area, like Sea Bright, the precipitation and high tides were forecasted to bring the usual coastal flooding to Sea Bright — or pools of water taken to the street, at least.

So, in keeping with wishes for voluntary swimming (rather than doggie paddling across the street) and sunnier days, the Retro Pic of the Day takes us back to the mid-1970s a different kind of team — not teaming rain, but swim team(ing).

This is the old Peninsula House Swim Team. Check out those freestyle tans, toothy grins and suits. Remember Peninsula House, commonly dubbed P-House? It was a popular, affordable beach club to team up with RFH buds and join back in the day. Recognize any of the RFHers win this pic?

They’re all about the swim and sunny daze.

— Elaine Van Develde

Retro Doc at FHFD Installation

Dr. John Movelle and wife Betty circa 2001 Photo/Kathy Robbins
Dr. John Movelle and wife Betty circa 2001
Photo/Kathy Robbins

Fair Haven Fire Department’s longstanding traditional Installation Dinner was on Saturday.

Besides the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, it’s the fire company’s social event of the year blanketed in official business and fun.

It’s a time to thank the outgoing line officers and welcome the incoming, dance, eat and offer a few cheers for the coming year.

So, the Retro Pic of the Day, contributed by Kathy Robbins (and originally published in 2016), offers a look back at a popular Fair Haven doctor and his wife at the dinner.

Continue reading Retro Doc at FHFD Installation

Retro Fair Haven Snow Day Sirens

A snow day on Third Street in Fair Haven back in the 1960s
Photo/Kathy Robbins

Well, after a lot of warnings and prep, the weekend played host to the snowstorm that wasn’t. But there were plenty of snowstorms that actually snowed Rumson-Fair Haven area folks in and left them to their own devices for resorting to fun in the snow.

Continue reading Retro Fair Haven Snow Day Sirens

Scene Around: Rumson Breakfast Club

Breakfast in Rumson gone to the dogs
Photo/Sue Hill-Spakowski

When you talk about dogs in Rumson, it’s usually a bulldog you’re referring to, as in the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) mascot. But, there’s a new dog in town who is providing a dog’s eye view into Rumson life. That would be Nancy Spakowski.

Continue reading Scene Around: Rumson Breakfast Club