Category Archives: Local Life

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

Honoring Vets in Rumson, Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

“Many of those who were drafted into war many years ago were only seniors in high school. They were so young, their faces looked like dough,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said, explaining the significance of what is dubbed the Doughboy Statue that stands at Memorial Park.

It’s where the Veterans Day ceremony in the borough took place on Tuesday. It’s also where some of those once dough-faced soldiers, now wearing the passage of time and life experience on their faces and in their eyes, gathered to pay tribute to fellow vets, those who have passed, those killed in the line of duty and those still in service.

They gathered in both Fair Haven and Rumson.

In Fair Haven, World War II vet Warner White, recipient of the Purple Heart award and Combat Infantry Badge, made his way up to the mic to speak of his time on the Atlantic French Coast at Utah Beach (D plus 94) and the Battle of the Bulge.

A native of Ohio, White has made Fair Haven his home since 1962.

Modest, as many World War II vets are, White quipped, “Ya see this picture of me here (pointing to the program). They make it look like I’m saluting. I really wasn’t. I was just combing my hair.”

He spoke of his experiences and all listened intently, including the very young, doughy-faced students in attendance.

Also recognized were a couple of the oldest living World War II vets in the audience: Ray Taylor, who served in Korea as well, and Oscar Hille, of the U.S. Army Air Corps. Also still living in Fair Haven, Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect has learned, is 97-year-old World War II vet, Ken Curchin.

In Rumson, special recognition was paid to Jack Donovan Fowler, who was a First Lieutenant in the 7th Armored Division of the Battle of the Bulge.

Captain Daniel J. Edwards was the “presiding officer of the day” for the ceremony and Captain Mike Lilley, of the U.S. Marine Corps, spoke. Lilley, a Rumson resident, is executive director of Better Education for Kids, Inc.

All are the faces of service to the country. There were many thank-you’s and handshakes Tuesday morning. And Mayor Lucarelli called for that and more consideration to be a constant.

“In war there are and (have been) so many casualties and lives lost … Many who served and return have wounds that cannot be seen, such as post traumatic stress disorder and brain trauma …

“If you see a vet, thank a vet. If you see a vet and it seems like he’s having a hard time, understand. Go up to him and comfort him if you can.”

The casualties of the wars … 

• World War I, 115,000 lives lost;

• World War II, 405,000 lives lost;

• Korean War, 36,000 lives lost;

• Vietnam, 50,000;

• Persian Gulf conflicts, 7,000.

Doing the RFH Reunion Dance

RFH's Class of '78 parties. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
RFH’s Class of ’78 parties. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Class of ’78 has a problem.

Classmates have no concept of the passage of time — ahem … their age. They partied for three days without skipping a beat. The party started on a Friday night in August of last year with some cocktails and dancing at Woody’s then Even Tide in Sea Bright.

 

What 70s dance do you think this trio was doing? What song were they dancing to? Was there even a song?

Rewind: Picking a Fair Winner

Tom Kirman spins the wheel for a winner at the 2014 Fair Haven Firemen's Fair. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Tom Kirman spins the wheel for a winner at the 2014 Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

As the cold sets in, the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair and the end of summer seem like a distant memory.

But it always warms the heart to take a look back and forward to the next one.

Most people reappear manning the same booths from year to year. Tom Kirman is always at this one. Do you remember the name of it?

Veterans Day in Rumson, Fair Haven

By Elaine Van Develde

Both the boroughs of Rumson and Fair Haven will commemorate Veterans Day on the same day, same time — Nov. 11 at 11 a.m..

“The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month,” Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli said.

In Rumson, the ceremony will take place in the usual spot by the war memorial in Victory Park. It will feature members of the armed forces and veterans of various wars as highlighted speakers and participants.

In Fair Haven, the service will take place at Memorial Park. Remaining World War II vets from the borough will be in attendance, the town’s oldest living World War II and Korean War vet, Ray Taylor, 93, will be a featured speaker.

“He’s (Taylor) is a very special man,” Lucarelli said. “It’s always an honor to hear him speak.”

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will feature photo galleries of both events.

 

A Little Toilet Paper Mischief

 

Mischief Night results on Fair Haven Road. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Mischief Night results on Fair Haven Road. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

 

Maypole? Well, it’s either block-long try at one or a prime example of good ol’ Mischief Night toilet papering.

The guess is the latter. Fair Haven Road really looked like a giant maypole on Halloween day.

The police had issued a warning against using such “materials” to wreak a little traditional, yet, illegal havoc. But, in this case, the culprits eluded them.

Take a look at the close-up portion of the TP in the photo. One ply or two?

A Look Back at Sandy Charity

Clothing drive at Bicentennial Hall in Hurricane Sandy's aftermath. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Clothing drive at Bicentennial Hall in Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

Generosity was overwhelming in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

When the call for help was sent out by the newly-created Sea Bright Rising, surrounding community organizations and just plain nice people, supply and clothing bins’ contents were almost spilling into the streets.

At one stop in Fair Haven, organizers had to ask people to stop giving.

Remember this?

A Little Sea Bright Patriotism Post-Sandy

 

A little patriotism stands tall after Sandy flattened everything around it. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
A little patriotism stands tall after Sandy flattened everything around it. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

 

By Elaine Van Develde

When the Atlantic Ocean met the Shrewsbury River two years ago and obliterated Sea Bright, remnants of the superstorm named Sandy included everything from cars and torn up homes to furniture and jewelry.

On a side street in Sea Bright, among the debris, a flag was anchored in front of a devastated home, truck still in the driveway.

Remember?

Girl Scout Project Earmarks Sandy, Storm Surge Education

 

An informational sign/map of Sandy and other storm surges' history and protection guidelines was conceived and crafted as a Gold Star Girl Scout project by Fair Haven's Caroline Peters. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
An informational sign/map of Sandy and other storm surges’ history and protection guidelines was conceived and crafted as a Gold Star Girl Scout project by Fair Haven’s Caroline Peters. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven Girl Scout Caroline Peters made it through Hurricane Sandy unscathed.

But the teen, daughter of Councilman Jonathan Peters, saw what the storm did to the property of people she knew well and cared about. She watched as it ripped up the iconic Fair Haven Dock, a traditional spot for all those who grow up Fair Haven style.

Continue reading Girl Scout Project Earmarks Sandy, Storm Surge Education

A Post-Sandy Sunset in Rumson

Sunset in Rumson's West Park after Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Sunset in Rumson’s West Park after Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

By Elaine Van Develde

Hurricane Sandy’s waters rushed into Rumson’s West Park section, pushing residents out and leaving lots of devastation behind.

The U.S. Army National Guard’s soldiers were posted at its entrances. There was no passing through for some time.

When the downed wires and felled trees were fixed enough and the floodwaters had subsided, there was a sense of calm, yet eerie stillness in the neighborhood.

This is what it looked like at sunset at the foot of Washington Avenue by the Shrewsbury River’s inlet.

Remember?

Alabama Power: Haven of Heroes

Back Camera

By Elaine Van Develde

When the storm’s rage subsided, the Rumson-Fair Haven area was left literally powerless for nearly two weeks. Then the guys from Alabama Power rolled in to the rescue, quickly being dubbed Hurricane Sandy heroes.

In what seemed like effortless work to them, sorely needed electricity was on and humming away within a couple of days.

Area residents flocked to Fair Haven Fields to feed the crew and heap on the accolades. The Alabama guys met them with smiles and a great service that has gone unforgotten.

Remember these warm smiles?

 

Voting in 2012 in the Wake of Sandy

By Elaine Van Develde

Two years ago, voting in a presidential election in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy became historic for many reasons.

One of those reasons was just the logistics of where displaced people whose towns and selves were handicapped by the storm were voting.

Then there was the notion of getting people out from under their Sandy-plagued circumstances to vote at all.

Well, the turnout was much higher than anticipated. This is how it looked at one polling place in Fair Haven — the firehouse — that took in its Sea Bright neighbors to vote.

Remember?

Two RFH area girls helped out at the polls at Fair Haven Firehouse during the 2012 elections in the aftermath of Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Two RFH area girls helped out at the polls at Fair Haven Firehouse during the 2012 elections in the aftermath of Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde