Category Archives: Local Life

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

Sandy’s Slam to the Fair Haven Waterfront

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven was a luckier victim of Hurricane Sandy’s penchant for whipping up the floodwaters. But neither the dock nor the marina and little beach at the end of DeNormandie Avenue quite stood up to it.

The water level rose above decks and it’s stormy strength ripped up chunks of the borough’s iconic landmarks while it tossed debris all over the place in both spots.

It’s all been put back together since. But, this is what the area at the end of DeNormandie looked like then. Today’s weather brings a hint of it all back.

Fair Haven Dock after Sandy ripped out chunks of it. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Fair Haven Dock after Sandy ripped out chunks of it. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Donovan’s Sandy Demise

By Elaine Van Develde

When the superstorm stopped, it plopped Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright down in pieces.

People of the Rumson-Fair Haven area mourned the loss to an unforgiving Sandy. And when they were allowed to travel over the bridge into Sea Bright, many diehard loyalists of the Donovan’s summer tiki tradition by the sea could be found sitting and just staring at what once was piled in a heap feet away from its spot of origin.

After surviving rumors of commitment to rebuilding, a sale and total obliteration flipping back and forth, Donovan’s owners have announced that they will be rebuilding. This past summer, though, one non-functional Tiki hut marked the spot. Until next season …

Here’s what the demise of the popular spot looked like in 2012, just after the storm …

All photos by Elaine Van Develde, not previously published

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Happy Halloween! Enter the R-FH Area at Your Own Risk!

By Elaine Van Develde

From a former Haunted Mansion ghoul, and your founding editor of Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect, Happy Halloween and may you get yourself a good scare and give one, too!

There’s a mad scientist gatekeeper of sorts at the corner of River Road and Church Street in Fair Haven that we couldn’t resist featuring as a sort of Halloween host. Look for him tonight.

And while you’re trick-or-treating, remember, from this trained monster, that all good ghouls know how to give a good scare (all in fun, of course).

So, for the adults, here are a few tips:

• Play your part with heart. In other words, believe who you are for the night and other tricksters will believe it all, too.

• Give ’em a good stare-down. If you can stay in character without cracking a smile, you can send people screaming into the night.

• Give ’em a good shock scare. After staring them down, when they least expect it and think all is calm, prove them wrong and give a good scream, hiss or thump, followed by something your character would shout out.

• A good evil laugh as they run is always a fun follow-up.

Most of all, don’t try this at home unless you’re an adult or a kid supervised by parents who love the same sort of Halloween fun.

And, above all, have FUN and stay safe! Remember the area rules from police.

As, Haunted Mansion ghouls say, “I’m scared o’ you!” Happy haunting!

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Rumson Rocked by Sandy

Rumson's Piping Rock Park after Sandy blew through. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Rumson’s Piping Rock Park after Sandy blew through. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

Remember what things looked like around town two years ago?

While the low-lying areas of Rumson were smacked the hardest by Hurricane Sandy, trees were felled all over town.

They brought wires down with them as they crashed onto various mainstay structures. Piping Rock Park, near the high school, was no exception.

Meanwhile, in the West Park section, no one could get in or out. But, from a distance one could see that the water and wind parked all sorts of debris from Sea Bright on Rumson land along the Shrewsbury River.

There were boats, cabanas and more.  Stay tuned for tomorrow’s Retro Pic of the Day devoted to looking back on Sandy.

Looking Back at Sandy Sights

Sandy's block from the bridge to Sea Bright. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Sandy’s block from the bridge to Sea Bright. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

It was two years ago that Sea Bright and low-lying parts of Rumson were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy.

Even after the wind and rain stopped and the Shrewsbury River and ocean parted and drifted back to where they belonged, people were put out of their homes and there was no getting into or out of Sea Bright.

The U.S. Army’s National Guard was called in to help.  Sea Bright residents lined up for a shuttle to take them for a small window of time to grab integral belongings from their ruined homes.

Rumson police and the guardsmen blocked the bridge and food, hot beverages were served as emergency clothing was doled out.

It was a surreal scene for all involved.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will feature Sandy photos for the next two weeks, until the lights came back on at the time in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

 

Rumson Revs Up for Halloween

By Elaine Van Develde

Not only is Halloween approaching, but it’s also a historic time of the year for people in the Rumson-Fair Haven area — the second anniversary of Sandy, the superstorm that crippled the coast.

So, as Rumsonites ready for Halloween, it’s also hard to forget Sandy’s wrath. That was certainly scary enough.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect found few decorations in the borough. Take a look and alert us to more (evd@rfhretro.com). In the meantime, notice one Shrewsbury Avenue resident’s creative take on the anniversary and Halloween combined.

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Photos by Elaine Van Develde

Halloween Parading in Rumson & Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

Sunday was the day for all ghosts and ghouls in Rumson and Fair Haven to parade their holiday personas.

Both boroughs hosted the fall festivities on a crisp, sunny day. Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect paid a visit to both.

Take a look at our slideshow of the two events combined. Click on the arrow in the center of the photo below and enjoy!

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Sunny COA Beach Sweeps

 

By Elaine Van Develde

It was a great day to not only sun, but sweep the beaches.

Clean Ocean Action, spearheaded by Rumsonite Cindy Zipf, held its fall beach sweeps on Saturday; and, the weather cooperated quite nicely.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect caught up with sweepers in Sea Bright.

Take a look at slideshow below for a glimpse into the sunny sweeps day.

 

R-FH Area’s Halloween Celebrations

By Elaine Van Develde

OK, Rumson-Fair Haven area friends and fans, there will be festivities to celebrate Halloween this weekend!

First of all, there’s a Fair Haven Halloween Egg Hunt, yes an egg hunt, at the park at Sickles School on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. We have no idea what this really means, other than that Mayor Ben Lucarelli said today that “it’s an opportunity to gather everyone at one spot to celebrate Halloween.”

In addition, the borough is hosting its annual Halloween parade on Sunday at 2 p.m., starting at Knollwood School on Hance Road. Line-up starts at 1:30 p.m.

Also on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. is the Rumson Halloween Parade and Party at Victory Park. There will be all sorts of activities and festivities. Line-up is at 3:15 p.m.  There will be a costume contest and prizes and a Mad Science Slime-Making Booth.

Have fun, friends and fans! I’ll see you at the festivities! In the meantime, I offer you a … BOO!

What’s Up This Weekend: Beach Sweeps, Blood Drive

By Elaine Van Develde

There are a couple of things going on this weekend that involve learning and giving.

Friday

• Calling all war history buffs! Friday night at 6:30 p.m. there’s  unique lantern tour going on at Sandy Hook’s Fort Hancock Museum. All dressed up as authentic U.S. Army coast artillery soldiers, volunteers from the Army Ground Forces Association will lead people on a historic tour of the Fort, featuring Battery Gunnison.

Saturday

• Get your gloves and hard-soled shoes on and help sweep the beaches you frequent clean of debris with Clean Ocean Action.

The organization, headed by none other than Rumson native and current resident and RFH grad Cindy Zipf, is slated to start at 9 a.m. at various locations throughout the state. The sweeps run through 12:30 p.m.

In the R-FH area, the closest meet-up points are, Sea Bright Public Beach, Borough Hall and Gaiters Restaurant (in Sea Bright), Sandy Hook/Lot D, Monmouth Beach Bathing Pavilion and Maple Cove at the foot of Maple Avenue in Red Bank.

For a full list of locations, click here.

• And on the same day, Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Fair Haven Business Association is asking people to “starve a vampire, feed your neighbor.” The group is sponsoring a blood drive for the Central Jersey Blood Center at the Knights of Columbus Hall at the foot of Third Street (200 Fair Haven Rd.).

Donors must be at least 17, healthy and weigh at least 120 pounds. ID with signature must be presented at the door. Oh, and drink water before you donate.

Sunday

• If you’re in the market for some unique crafts and/or food, hit the Red Bank Farmers Market before the season comes to a close.

The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Galleria parking lot.

And, while you’re there, don’t forget to check out Fair Havenites Melanie and David Stewart’s Handmade Haven tent. Read their story here.

If you can think of anything else that’s going on this weekend, let us know at evd@rfhretro.com.

In the meantime, I’ll see you on the beach, giving blood or around the towns somewhere else!

Halloween Haven: Spooky Fair Haven Sightings

By Elaine Van Develde

They’re creepy and kooky, maybe a little mysterious and spooky, and, perhaps, altogether ooooky, as the classic Addams Family theme music says. Maybe all of the above. But there’s one thing Halloween decorations in Fair Haven definitely are —  part of a longstanding local celebration of the season.

Yes, fall is in the air and the Halloween spirit is adorning lawns in this 1.4-square-mile suburb. Have you seen them sprouting up all over? We have.

Here’s a sampling of a few in the light of day. Let us know (at evd@rfhretro.com) where we can find more of the most creative, creepy sights and we’ll get over there to grab a photo.

We’ll be adding to the collection; and, Rumson will have its own gallery as well.

In the end, a special Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect prize may be awarded to the winner. Don’t forget to email us your favorites; and Happy Haunting!

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