Tag Archives: feature

Focus: A Locals’ Summer for the Birds

It’s that time of the year when the beaches are pretty barren. It’s locals’ summer. Perfect time for serenity and little waterfront trek.

That’s how it was recently on Sea Bright Public Beach — a stroll in solitude accompanied only by the birds, the sea, freshly combed sand and solace.

Walk along and take in the view. It’s not just for the birds, really. (And don’t forget to click to enlarge!)

— Elaine Van Develde

Reflection: Sept. 11, 2001

By Elaine Van Develde
It was a beautiful Tuesday. The sun was shining. The air was crisp. The coffee even tasted especially good.
I remember. Most of us remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m.. I know I do. I also remember how everything went from bright, crisp, fragrant and optimistic to dark, dank, acrid and fearful in one second.
For me, a reporter living in Fair Haven and covering Middletown, it went like this …
Continue reading Reflection: Sept. 11, 2001

Retro Back to School of 50 Years Ago

Students were back to school in the Rumson-Fair Haven area this week. Those classic first day of school shots were plastered all over Facebook.

And 50 years ago, or 51, to be exact, in September of 1966, while 91,000 students and 4,700 teachers headed back to public school classrooms in Monmouth County (13,014 to parochial), according to a Red Bank Register story of Sept. 6, 1966, the anticipation of the photo taken with that Brownie camera mounted as that picture of the day developed — taking weeks at times.

And those photos were classics … Mom-styled hair gone awry, buck-toothed and missing tooth grins, shiny Mary Jane shoes, Buster Brown penny loafers and, well, cheesy fashion in which to pose and say, “Cheese!”

At Knollwood School in 1966, half a century ago, there was a first-grade class, headed by Mrs. Ginny Kamin (deceased Red Bank Register editor Art Kamin’s wife) and filled with some area kids who ended up becoming entrenched in the community. One of those kids was me.

Some are no longer with us. Others have moved away, but keep in touch. Others, still, have stuck around and raised their children here, too. One common thread is that none of them have forgotten their hometown and likely that walk to the first day of school so many decades ago.

For me, the memory of the badly side-combed bangs kinda sticks like the Dippity-doo that was in them. Sorry, Mom. So do those little faces that seemed to loom like the Man in the Moon back in that slightly nerve-wracked elementary school daze.  And it seems like yesterday. Yes, that’s scary. It’s especially scary since it wasn’t, in fact, yesterday.

Back in those days, we walked to school with a buddy. For me, those buddies were my best friend and neighbor Pam Young and Jeff Lang. Pam and I met up with Jeff at the corner and the three of us walked the rest of the way together. Yes, Jeff occasionally would carry my books. I remember that vividly. He is gone now, but that memory is a vivid and enduring one. So is the memory of Mrs. Lang waving to us from the front porch and reminding him to do just that.

The first day of school photos were taken on the front porch, in the front yard or on the sidewalk before the first stroll back then. There was that wait for the film development. Remember that? Then there was the wait for the annual class photo, like the one above, when the picture people grabbed a comb from a tub and gave all the kids a really bad comb through before that elementary school grimace moment. Not a good hair day for most of us little kids subject to Mom’s fashion whims.

It’s all a walk down a Fair Haven memory lane with a stumble or two for good measure.

What’s your first day memory? Stumble? Who did you walk with?

— Elaine Van Develde

 

 

Retro First Day of Kindergarten

First day of kindergarten in Fair Haven 1965
Photo/Sally Van Develde

Knock-kneed, nervous and all dressed up with somewhere to go, this gaggle Fair Haven neighborhood girls of 1965 lined up so their moms could get that classic first-day-of-kindergarten shot. And there wasn’t a smile among them.

Continue reading Retro First Day of Kindergarten

Reflection: All’s Fair in the End

There have been a lot of significant beginnings and endings lately. The end of summer. The beginning of locals’ summer. The start of school — new chapters and first days.

But, what about the middle? The end of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair brings me, and probably more than a few others, back to that middle.

Continue reading Reflection: All’s Fair in the End

Simple Summer’s End: Beaching it with a Retired Knollwood Teacher & Friend

Jenifer Weber-Zeller and retired Knollwood School teacher, Pat Egan, enjoy a summer moment together.
Photo/Jenifer Weber-Zeller

It’s pretty simple. The sun is out. The beach is beckoning. Old friends of different generations decide to take it all in together.

Continue reading Simple Summer’s End: Beaching it with a Retired Knollwood Teacher & Friend

Focus: A Fair Haven GOP Council Candidates’ Meet & Greet

Fair Haven Republican Borough Council candidates Susan Sorensen and Betsy Koch cordially invited, as all invites go, Fair Havenites and all other interested parties to a meet-and-greet, getting-to-know-you gathering at The Raven and the Peach Thursday evening.

Sorensen, the incumbent, has served on various committees in her tenure, including starting the non-profit Foundation of Fair Haven, which is designed to offset costs for special events like Fair Haven Day and Oktoberfest.

This is a first run for political office for Koch. A longtime teacher at Knollwood School, she has said that she felt the timing was right for her to pitch in as a seated councilwoman in the hometown borough she loves and as a testament to the legacy of her husband Jerome, who served on council until his premature death a few years ago.

Take a look at the photo gallery below for a glimpse into the evening …. (and don’t forget to click to enlarge!)

— Elaine Van Develde