Fair Haven Day is now a new tradition in the community.
So, on the cusp of the event slated for Saturday, we look back to a Fair Haven Day of 2015 and remember a bond of friendship that started in town.
Ben Hamilton, who is no longer with us, was a Fair Haven kid. From the time he was a kid, he forged a lasting friendship with Dave Becker, Cathy Mazza Becker and his significant other, Wendy Ostrov Delehanty.
The four got together at Fair Haven Day 2015, all smiles, keeping that lifetime friendship going strong.
It turned out to be Ben’s last Fair Haven Day. RIP, Ben.
Have thanked a lifetime friend for their friendship lately?
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.
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.
It was like a scene out of The Wizard of Oz, with a wicked witch of a storm dropping a house on the spirits of Rumson-Fair Haven area locals. It was the scene of what many might call the Superstorm Sandy crime that devastated the Sea Bright peninsula and wiped out a decades-long iconic spot — Donovan’s Reef.
When the coast was literally clear of the storm’s wrath, locals flocked to the site to see what Sandy had spit out and left behind. They cried, reminisced, meditated on the jetty and gathered tiny scraps of memories made at the longtime RFHers’ hang-out.
The Retro Pic(s) of the Day take us back to Donovan’s in the aftermath of Sandy.
Laying on the ground were decades worth of remnants from a hut by the sea where many milestone memories were made. On the cusp of the iconic spot’s reopening, people wonder if the new and expanded hut by the sea will be a place to DO it again? Time will tell. Locals are poised for the fresh start. But, they always seem to look back on the good ol Donovan’s days.
What is your favorite Donovan’s memory from years gone by?
It was considered a privilege and honor. They were chosen from the junior class at RFH to serve as the debutante-like ushers for the graduating class. All dressed in white and supposedly gracefully toting a chain of daisies, the Daisy Chain girls were a fixture of high school finery at graduations in the 1970s.
The origins of the somewhat upper-crust tradition date back to the 1900s, but this Retro Pic of the Day was snapped in 1978.
It’s just one of those days — an everybody-in-the-pool kinda day.
It’s the kind of day when a Rumson-Fair Haven area person wishes he or she could take a swim, sit on a poolside porch overlooking the ocean and rock. Really rock … in a rocking chair at the old iconic Peninsula House.
It’s been gone for years, but the memories of the giant old hotel-turned-beach club are definitely not. It’s a pretty sure bet that anyone who grew up in the area has at least one story tucked away in the memory and ready to tell about the place that was a beach club by day (and a reasonable one at that) and seaside club by night.
Most locals met up at P House for socializing one way or another, be it at a swim meet, to take a little non-competitive dip, lounging by the ocean in the summer, or rocking in those rocking chairs on that wrap-around porch or to the tunes of one of the bands at night.
So, the Retro Pic(s) of the Day take us back to the spot with some shots of Rumson’s well-known longtime mayor, John Ekdahl, poolside and megaphone in hand for a meet, the entrance to the grand place, some familiar area ladies on the porch and the swim team of yesteryear.
Take a gander and tell us your favorite P House memory.
Heat’s on. Top’s down. Spirits are riding high. Summer’s coming. So is RFH graduation. So are those last summer days with high school buds before college.
That last summer before college is a pivotal, cherished milestone. It’s all about making memories that last a lifetime. Even one ride, top down, top 10 hits blasting on an AM radio, belly laughs, pranks and soaring spirits makes an indelible mark in the heart. It’s a mark that always conjures up a smile and an exhale of content.
So, the Retro Pic of the Day is dedicated to that time with a look back to the summer of 1978, best of friends from RFH, a 1965 powder blue Mustang convertible and, well, a big ol’ grimace of good times’ remembrance.
Yes, your esteemed editor is one of these alligator shirt-clad cronies. Another is gone. And one is still a best bud.
The memories … they’re a best friend, too. Smile.
What kind of car did you cruise in back in those summer days? Favorite spots? Pranks?
This crew spent an inordinate amount of time egging unwitting young lovers on the beach, ordering a Ham Dinger (they had them at 7-11) and dancing with the top down just to annoy people making out on Scenic Drive.