Category Archives: Local Life

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

A Look Back on a Sunny Donovan’s Kind of Day

An empty tiki bar sits on the spot where Donovan's was bustling before Hurricane Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
An empty tiki bar sits on the spot where Donovan’s was bustling before Hurricane Sandy. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Rumson-Fair Haven area people, it’s cold outside!

So, here’s a peek back to the summer of 2014 on Sea Bright beach to warm you up a little.

The volleyball nets were up, beach bums were sunning, swimming and surfing and a reminder of what’s to come with the rebirth of Donovan’s Reef sat barren on the beach.

The mainstay locals’ beach bar, obliterated by Hurricane Sandy, was slated for a small preview-like comeback over the summer. A tiki bar was set up on the beach but never quite made it to full-swing operational mode.

Word is that the iconic bar will be back in much different form for the summer of 2015.

A Revival: Holy Cross Church

By Elaine Van Develde

When it comes to Holy Cross Church in Rumson, you could say it’s a case of that old Peter Allen song, Everything Old is New Again — and, maybe, vice versa.

The long-anticipated, beleaguered church restoration/expansion project broke ground in the spring of 2013.

When portions at the rear of the 1885 white-shingled house of worship were demolished, leaving only its facade and room for the expansion, the sight of the hollowed, one-dimensional flat structure was a view of a different kind.

The foundation for the expansion was blessed on Nov. 3, 2013.

Since then, a lot of building, recreating the designs of Charles Keely, has been done. Slated for completion by the end of 2014, the compromise of what was originally to be an even bigger Holy Cross is looking nearly complete.

Take a look at our photo gallery above. Just click on any photo to enlarge and scroll through using the arrows to the left or right. 

Past Life of the Atlantic Hotel

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By Elaine Van Develde

It was called the Atlantic Hotel — the spot on Fair Haven Road in Fair Haven where the old Lock Stock & Barrel and Varsity Club sat. It’s now Navoo Grill Club.

As the Atlantic Hotel, the place had a history rich with visits from famous producers, Vaudevillian actors and millionaires who traveled via steamship to the banks of the Navesink River for respite or to entertain some more.

Last year, Fair Haven was given unearthed registers of the establishment dating back to the early 1900s.

On one page, in particular, the registration of Long Acre Quartette decorated a page, noting that it was the Fourth of July, 1908.

The troupe hailed from “N.Y. City” and its members listed their names followed by “and wife.”

Funny how the women were nameless back in the day. Take a look. Do you recognize any of these names?

A Look Back at Our Fair Ladies

Patty Overman and Ann Dupree at the Fair Haven Firemen's Fair. Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Patty Overman and Ann Dupree at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair. Photo/Elaine Van Develde

These two ladies have been a staple at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair for probably close to half a century — not that they look it.

They really don’t. In fact, Patty Overman and Ann Dupree pretty much look the exact same as the first day they set foot on the fairgrounds.

Who knows the name of the booth the two have manned for years?

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?