Category Archives: Local Life

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

High Steppin’ into Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2015

There was a wee bit of a chill in the air, but spirits were warm and bright on Sunday at the third annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

Thousands lined East River Road to take festive trip to St. Paddy’s Day nine days early via hundreds of paraders.

Take a look at the above slideshow for a glimpse into Rumson’s new tradition.

Don’t forget to click on the icon in the bottom right corner to enlarge for a full view!

Mangia! Spaghetti Dinner Served!

It’s comfort food and company for the soul — the annual Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company’s Spaghetti Dinner.

The trek up those steps at the firehouse sets off a surge of soothing memories for any longtime Fair Havenite. The smell of sauce simmering on the stove, the familiar sound of a banquet room full of friends, the sight of the good ladies of the auxiliary serving meals and the kitchen … oh, the kitchen, where the guys who made the spaghetti and meatballs keep things cooking.

Then there’s Angelo, meatball master supreme. He watches over everything and keeps it all good.

Take a look at our slideshow above to get a glimpse into the evening and all things fine at the firehouse. Mangia!

Oh, and don’t forget to click the icon on the bottom right of the slideshow to enlarge it and get a full view!

Going Retro With a Taste of Italy & a Fair Lady


For our special treat today, in honor of all things Italian style and to honor the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company Spaghetti Dinner, we take you back to a minute with the fire company’s own fair Italian lady, Jeanette Choma.

Jeanette has been working at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, well, forever. She loves working in the Grab Bag Booth and selling those balloons.

And, she will tell you in a heartbeat that she’s been at the fair for “50 YEARS!”

Watch what happens when we ask her about her age in this outtake clip above.

Rewind: Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade 2013

The third annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day parade is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.

The relatively new area tradition has drawn hundreds of participants and thousands of viewers.

This year, the parade is dedicated to its first lead organizer, Michael Larkin. Fair Havenite and Fox 5 reporter JoAnn Pileggi is back for the third year as emcee; and the grand marshal is Philip Murphy, a Middletown resident with a Rumson connection who was U.S. Ambassador to Germany.

Take a look back in our slideshow revisiting the first Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

See you Sunday!


The R-FH Weekend: Spaghetti Dinner, St. Patrick’s Day Parade & More

The upcoming weekend in the Rumson-Fair Haven area is flush with fun, festivity, remembrance and tradition.

To start, on Saturday  …

• It’s been a longtime tradition of the Fair Haven Volunteer Fire Company — the annual Spaghetti Dinner fundraiser.

The sauce and meatballs are prepared under the tutelage of 85-year-old Angelo DePonti, a Red Bank friend of Fair Haven who has been a social member of the fire company for 25 years.

“I was born to cook and I love sharing my recipe and food with so many,” Angelo says.


The meal of spaghetti and meatballs, salad Italian bread, soft drinks and homemade desserts is made and served by firemen, Ladies’ Auxiliary members and fire cadets.

The dinner, from 5 to 8 p.m. on Saturday at the firehouse on River Road,  is BYOB and costs $10 for adults and $5 for children. Oh, and take-out is available.


• Later on Saturday night, as a prelude to Sunday’s Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade is the parade’s Investiture Cocktail Reception fundraiser from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. at The Salt Creek Grille in Rumson.

Tickets are $75. The price includes cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

And on Sunday …

• The third annual Rumson St. Patrick’s Day Parade marches into town beginning at 1 p.m.

The parade lines up at Victory Park and then proceeds east on River Road for about 1 mile to Piping Rock Park.

Last year, police estimated that there was a crowd of roughly 7,000.

• Also on Sunday, from 3 to 5 p.m. RFHers may pay their respects to former RFH teacher and coach Hal Lorme.

The service is being held from 3 to 5 p.m., with a prayer service at 4:30, at the Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad Street, Red Bank.

A Little Retro RFH Baseball

RFH Class of '78 friends play some casual catch have some laughs. Photo/George Day
RFH Class of ’78 friends play some casual catch have some laughs.
Photo/George Day

Our Retro Pic of the (George) Day honors the memory of former RFH Coach Hal Lorme in an unofficial sports way.

In this photo taken in the 1970s, a few RFH Class of ’78 pals were caught just clowning around on the field — nothing of the varsity level going on here, just a little fun playing some casual catch.

Not only does this glimpse into the past honor Coach Lorme’s love of baseball, but there’s a hint of wrestling in here, too — all in fun.

RIP Coach Lorme. Thanks for some fun times and hearty competition at RFH.

Many thanks, again, to George Day for this and many of the photos in Coach Lorme’s memorial slideshow.

Retro Gull on the Beach


Seagull om Sea Bright Beach in the fall of 2014. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Seagull om Sea Bright Beach in the fall of 2014.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Our Retro Pic of the Day focuses on a gull on the beach in Sea Bright.

The intent of this pic is to get Rumson-Fair Haven people all ready for the warm weather ahead — of course.

What’s your favorite spot at the beach and what are you looking forward to most once the sun hits the shore?


A Warm Winter Tiki Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

Aloha! The Foundation of Fair Haven has gone from Oktoberfest lederhosen and beer steins to hula skirts and leis with its newest fundraiser — the first annual Tiki Haven.

Locals gathered at the Knights of Columbus hall in Fair Haven on Saturday for an evening of luau food and festivities. Most everyone came dressed for the occasion in one way or another; and while gathering for “some tropical fun,” people participated in a super 50/50, auctions, games and dancing for a $50 donation to The Foundation of Fair Haven for Future Fair Haven Days.

The photo booth in the food and dancing room revealed some interesting visitors.

Food was provided by Red Bank Flavour. Local businesses provided baskets for the raffles and auctions; and Jake’s Surf Shop, a Sea Bright business owned by an RFH graduate, donated sweatshirts to the Tiki Toss game.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect caught a glimpse into the evening with lots of photos. Check out the above slideshow set to tropical music for a look. Make sure you click on the icon in the lower right corner of the video to enlarge to full screen!


Serving Up Soul Food for the Soul

By Elaine Van Develde

It was good for the soul. A comforting scent of collard greens, pigs’ feet, chicken and fish filled the air. And there was a hearty helping of Fair Haven families rooted in the borough since the 19th century connecting.

It was Saturday afternoon’s Fisk AME Chapel Soul Food Dinner at the church in Fair Haven.

“We sold out!” one of the organizers cheered. “Seventy dinners!”

That was only a couple of hours after they opened the doors. They were proud and the food was not the only reason why.

The Fisk AME Chapel congregation has been steeped in Fair Haven history since 1858. Named after Civil War hero General Clinton B. Fisk, a “devout Methodist” and champion of civil rights, the first Fisk Chapel in Fair Haven was where Bicentennial Hall now stands.

Before that, the congregation had a church on River Road near what is now the Shrewsbury Yacht Club — then dubbed the Bethel AME Church (congregation).

Fisk, a Union officer, ran President Lincoln’s Freedman’s Bureau when the Civil War ended. He championed equal rights laws for African-Americans and education focusing on special courses about those rights. He ended up living in Rumson.

“Soon after the Civil War and his arrival in Rumson, New Jersey, General Clinton B. Fisk became very interested in the local Black community at Fair Haven village,” a narrative on Facebook compiled by Stacy Harris (a descendent of the well-known Rileys and Browns) said. “Many of his servants were Blacks, and Fisk apparently won the admiration and respect of these employees.”

After a fire destroyed the original Bethel church in 1875 and those in the black community, many of whom were some of Fair Haven’s founding fathers, were forced to make their way to Red Bank to worship, Fisk made sure a chapel was built to quell the difficulty of commuting.

Right before the church was built, he was also instrumental in having what was a school for black children on Fisk Street. It was known for many years as the Youth Center. After the end of segregation, Youth Center was used for kindergarten.

Kids were walked there to school on a rope. But, that’s a whole other story.

Fisk Street Chapel’s Rev. Thomas Johnson was very proud on Saturday, as were all the participating congregants and guests who made the Soul Food Dinner a Success.

Take a look at the photos in the above gallery for a glimpse into the event. Recognize anyone? It’s a pretty sure bet you do, if you’ve lived in the area for any length of time.  

A Ducky Two River Exhibition in Rumson

Saturday was a very ducky day in Rumson.

Live ducks were out wandering around by the river banks at Victory Park. Then there were myriad decoys, photos, drawings, paintings — all things ducky, otherwise bird-inspired, sporty and collectible — at Forrestdale School as the Two River Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art held its second annual event all day.

Rumson Police Chief Scott Paterson was honorary chairman of the show; and he had a couple of special family members by his side.

Take a look at our slideshow for a glimpse into the event. Don’t forget to click on the icon in the lower right corner of the video to enlarge!

Slideshow and photos by Elaine Van Develde

Retro Tiki, Anyone?

A snow-capped Donovan's Reef Tiki Bar the winter after Hurricane Sandy Photo/Elaine Van Develde
A snow-capped Donovan’s Reef Tiki Bar the winter after Hurricane Sandy
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Our Retro Pic of the Day is a sort of retro prequel (oxymoronic as that is) to the Tiki Haven fundraiser in Fair Haven on Saturday.

This shot is of what was left of the Tiki Bar at the iconic Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright in the winter of 2012 right after Hurricane Sandy flattened the bar. It was the summer spot where all Rumson-Fair Haven area people flocked for some Tiki fun, sun, food and drink.

Donovan’s was expected to reopen last summer, but that did not happen.

This summer? That’s what the word is.