Tag Archives: feature

Lighting Up Holiday Trees, Spirits in Rumson, Fair Haven

Both Rumson and Fair Haven had festive holiday celebrations replete with traditional tree lightings this past weekend.

While Fair Haven had to endure yet another soggy festivity, all went smoothly, we hear.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect caught the tail end of those festivities on Friday.

On a much chillier Sunday, however, spirits were warm at Rumson’s tree lighting, replete with the usual — Tim McLoone & the Shirleys sprinkled with some Holiday Express, the RFH Tower Singers, hot chocolate and a lot of dancing and singing.

Check it all out in the photo gallery above. Click on any photo to enlarge and click on the arrow to the left or right to scroll through. Enjoy!

Catching Up With Hibernians at Murphy’s

By Elaine Van Develde

It’s not every day that you wander into a speakeasy in Rumson and end up in a sea of green sweatshirts steeped in bagpipe music and merriment —  not every day … except Saturday.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect caught up with a contingent of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, Division 2 Monmouth as they made their way around towns and into Murphy’s in a pub crawl.

Take a look at our photo collage above for a glimpse into their time spent in the classic Rumson hangout. Just click any of the photos to enlarge and scroll with the arrow to the left or right.

RFH Seniors Garner Scouts’ Gold

The following is an edited press release from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School:

Three Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) seniors recently achieved the highest honor in Girl Scouts — the Gold Award.

In addition to the  connection, the three are members of Girl Scout Troop 1930 in Fair Haven.

To achieve the award, each girl needed to identify an issue affecting her community, devise a plan for helping to resolve it or educate others about it, and lead a team in completing a project that will have lasting effects.

Continue reading RFH Seniors Garner Scouts’ Gold

Knollwood Cross-Country, Field Hockey Athletes Honored

The following is an edited press release from the Fair Haven School District:

The Knollwood School Cross-Country and Field Hockey teams were recently honored for their outstanding seasons.

The Fair Haven Board of Education threw a pizza and cake party in the Knollwood School All-Purpose Room for the athletes and coaches prior to the start of a scheduled Nov. 19 meeting.

An awards ceremony, commemorating all the athletes’ accomplishments, took place at the beginning of the meeting.

Continue reading Knollwood Cross-Country, Field Hockey Athletes Honored

Sad Farewell to Middletown Deputy Police Chief Craig Bahrs

By Elaine Van Develde

It was 14 years ago that I had the pleasure of being introduced to Craig Bahrs, a young narcotics police officer in Middletown who had just been paired with the department’s newest addition, K-9 Officer Jack, a blonde German shepherd with brown patches.

Chief John Pollinger brought me out to Bahrs’ K-9 vehicle that was just pulling up. I looked up on that sunny day and saw a bright smile emanating from the driver’s seat and a beautiful dog with the same demeanor. I got a respectful handshake and a smile from the young officer and a couple of generous licks and a paw from Jack.

In fact, the chief joked that Jack had such a friendly disposition, they were more afraid he’d lick suspects to death than attack — lest we forget that the two were quite serious about their jobs and quite good at them.

I conducted the interview and then we spent some time chatting, playing with Jack and then trying to get him to pose his handsome self for photos, each of us dangling treats and toys above him so that he’d perk up his ears and look his best.

It was the kind of assignment that makes a reporter’s day — and ends up making them love their career.

It didn’t take long to see that both the officer and his K-9 partner were not only among the finest of the boys in blue, but that this was the start of lasting, good a reporter-police relationship.

And it was. I was at Jack’s swearing-in. Yes, it was part of my job, but yet another good part.

And in covering Middletown for many years, I did many a story on Jack and Craig’s drug busts. Through the years, I was always happy to run into the two when I had to stop at the police station or town hall for one thing or another.

I came to know Craig better over the years as a reporter. He was a true gentleman and the kind of police officer anyone, much less a reporter, would hope to be the one answering their calls for help.

As often happens when reporters and officers are reassigned, you fall out of touch at times.

After a few years of no longer being assigned to covering Middletown and moving to other newspapers, I ended up being hired as editor of the Middletown Patch.

As one of my first responsibilities, I made the usual trek back to the police station to let everyone know I was back and where they could find me if there was news.

I went into the chief’s office to say hello to the longtime secretary there and another officer I had come to know well and respect over the years.

His office was next to Craig’s, which was empty that day. The door was open and I could see that story I had done all those years ago hanging on the wall. Not realizing how much time had passed, I asked how K-9 Jack was.

That was when I heard news that I didn’t want to hear on this happy reunion day. Jack had passed away and Craig was out of the office ill and battling cancer.

I saw Craig again a few times. He looked great and said he was feeling good. His smile never changed. You could always see and recognize it from a mile away. On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was the last time I saw that smile. It was peering out from under his dress uniform hat, warming a sullen occasion with sincerity.

That smile and that one story 14 years ago had made my day. And, since then, the memory of that one person, whom I had the honor and pleasure of passing through my life, made it all that much better — even if for only the memory of a moment or a few.

As journalists, we see a lot of sadness and tragedy and have to write about it. We also see some amazing things. We live through and report on some rare, treasured moments. We also meet some very special people. Craig Bahrs was one of those people.

Rest easy, Craig. I am confident that there are so many more out there whose days you made better — even if only for a moment, or with one brief glance and smile.

You are remembered.

The following is a released statement from the Middletown Township Police Department:

With deep sorrow, the Middletown Township Police Department regrets to announce the passing of Deputy Chief of Police Craig A. Bahrs Jr. Badge #264.

Deputy Chief Bahrs passed away peacefully at home on Monday, Dec. 1, 2014 at the age of 45, following a courageous struggle with a lengthy illness.

Deputy Chief Bahrs was a lifelong resident of Middletown Township and a graduate of the Middletown High School North Class of 1987. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Science from Widener University and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Training and Development from Seton Hall University.

He joined the Middletown Police Department on February 1, 1996 and served with distinction and honor for more than 18 years. During his career, he served as a Patrolman, Police K-9 handler with his K-9 partner Jack, Patrol Sergeant, Patrol Lieutenant, Deputy Chief and Commander of the Uniform Services Bureau and in his final command as the Deputy Chief of Professional Standards and Training.

Deputy Chief Bahrs was recognized as Police Officer of the Year and earned numerous commendations, including the Distinguished Service Award. He was firmly committed to the pursuit of excellence in his personal and professional life. His leadership and steadfast dedication influenced many officers and left a lasting legacy with our agency.

The Middletown Township Police Department is deeply saddened by this loss and requests that anyone who wishes to join with us, is welcome to attend a memorial service to be held on Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014 at 9 a.m. at The Tower Hill First Presbyterian Church located at 255 Harding Road, in Red Bank, New Jersey, as we
gather to honor the memory of our lost brother.

Getting Festive with Rumson, Fair Haven Tree Lightings

By Elaine Van Develde

It’s time to haul out the community holiday spirit and get set for the Rumson-Fair Haven area kick-offs to the season of Santa and all the festivities that come to town with him.

First, on Friday evening, at 5:30 p.m., Jolly Ol’ Saint Nick will arrive via fire truck at Fair Haven’s Memorial Park on the corner of Fair Haven and River roads. After the initial greetings, Santa will pose for photos with children, according to a release from the Fair Haven Business Association.

The tree will be lit at 6 p.m. and there will be music, food and activities for the kids, the release added.

Throughout the lighting and Santa’s arrival, from 5 to 7 p.m., the release said, there will be a stroll through the River Road East business district during which businesses will be open and featuring a collaborative open house, a newer tradition in Fair Haven.

The business district will be open on Saturday and Sunday for shopping.

Then, in Rumson on Sunday the borough will hold it’s annual traditional tree lighting and festivities in Victory Park.

The event begins at 5 p.m. and will feature, as usual, the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School Tower Singers, Deane-Porter’s third grade chorus and Tim McLoone & the Shirleys with members of Holiday Express.

A Retro Look at RFH Cheerleaders

Photo/RFH yearbook screenshot
Photo/RFH yearbook screenshot

In the interest of giving equal time to the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) girls of the football season, after showcasing the guys (players), the Retro Pic of the Day hones in on the cheerleaders of the past.

This above photo features the varsity cheerleaders of RFH in 1975-76.

Notice how the captains of the squad’s letters are RF only and they’re in white. Hmmm.

What do you miss about the role of the cheerleader in the past versus the present. What do you like better now about the cheering squads and what is now a dance team.

Services Set for Fair Haven’s Councilman Koch

By Elaine Van Develde

The times and place have been set to honor and bid farewell to Fair Haven Borough Councilman Jerome A. Koch, Jr., who died on Sunday after sustaining fatal injuries from a Saturday afternoon bicycle accident in the borough.

On Wednesday, there will be a visitation at Church of the Nativity, 180 Ridge Rd., Fair Haven, from 5 to 8 p.m., according to information on the Thompson Memorial Home website.

A Mass of Christian burial will follow on Thursday at 11 a.m. at the church.

Koch, 63, who moved to Fair Haven in 1975, served on the governing body since 2006. He was retired from the family business, Karl Koch Erecting Company and served in the U.S. Army from 1973-77, according to his biography on the borough website.

He was also the council liaison to the borough’s Department of Public Works and Fair Haven Fields Natural Area.

Councilman Koch leaves behind his wife Betsy, a teacher at Knollwood School, Kristen, Kathryn (Katie) and son-in-law Erik Thorvilson, Jerome (Jake), Kerry and granddaughter Grace, the child of Katie and Erik.

Click here for Jerome Koch’s full obituary on the Thompson Memorial Home website.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will be writing a tribute/feature story about Councilman Koch. Anyone who would like to contribute information and/or quotes is invited to contact us at evd@rfhretro.com

FYI on Fair Haven Hirees

By Elaine Van Develde

Fair Haven has hired a new “Special Law Enforcement Officer, Class I” and renewed the temporary contract of its interim borough mechanic.

Both are familiar faces and names in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

A resolution was passed at last week’s Borough Council meeting, the governing body approving of the hiring of Michael Volker, effective Dec. 1, for the Special Class I position in the borough’s police department at a pay rate of $13 per hour.

The appointment was made at the recommendation of Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge.

Volker, a Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School graduate who lives in Fair Haven and is from Rumson, according to his Facebook page, attends the Academy of Law and Public Safety in Long Branch.

Special Class I officers are apprentices, of sort, who work for police departments and have limited enforcement powers. They go through weeks of basic training in areas such as first aid, motor vehicle laws and do not carry firearms. Class II specials do carry firearms, go through months (rather than weeks) of training and have full enforcement power, but only while on duty.

Council also passed a resolution to hire David Becker as interim borough mechanic for another 90 days at a stipend of $120 a week on top of his regular borough salary in Public Works.

Becker, according to the resolution, had been hired as the interim mechanic for an initial period of 90 days, which has expired.

This 90 days is effective from Nov. 11, 2014 to Feb. 9, 2015.

 

A Retro Look at RFH Football

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Back in the day, in the 1970s, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s big football rivalry game, always against Red Bank Catholic, started just about everyone’s Thanksgiving Day.

People went to the traditional game, then home for Thanksgiving dinner. The homecoming dance was the night before, when all the recent graduates would reunite. And the announcement of the new homecoming king and queen came on the football field at the game’s half-time.

Take a look back with us in the Retro Pic of the Day photos above. Do you recognize anyone on the team? Some are still in the area. Who were the football stars of the day?

Services for Umberto’s Silvio Set for Tuesday

By Elaine Van Develde

The news of the sudden death of Umberto’s Silvio Fabbri on Nov. 26 was met with an outpouring of sadness.

Fair Havenites have since mourned the man they knew as a friend to the community who never forgot a face, a name or a nugget of information about pretty much everyone who walked through the pizzeria’s doors.

On Friday night, the front of Umberto’s was adorned with flowers, cards, posters, candles and all sorts of tokens of appreciation and remembrance. As tradition holds true in the borough, there was a special farewell posted on the marquee at the Fair Haven Firehouse: “Rest in Peace Silvio … Hanga Loose.”

Inside, the place was bustling with mourners paying their respects to the family as Silvio’s son Anthony flipped dough and gave out pizza for free. It was his way of honoring his father while showing appreciation for the outpouring of love.

Below is a glimpse into one piece of Fair Haven’s sad goodbye to Silvio. Click on the photos to enlarge.

The following is an edited version of Silvio Fabbri’s obituary from the Thompson Memorial Home website:

Silvio Fabbri, 59, of Shrewsbury, died Wednesday Nov. 26.

Born in Monte di Procida Italy, Silvio immigrated to the U.S. in 1976. He served in the Italian Navy on the Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian training ship.

From 1976 to 1984,  Silvio worked in various pizzerias along the Jersey Shore honing his pizza making skills. In January of 1984, Silvio began working for Umberto’s Restaurant in Fair Haven.

He and his brother Michele purchased the business in 1991 and operated it along with his family until the time of his death. Silvio married his beloved wife MaryRose (nee) Katzer in 1987.

He was a avid soccer fan continually following his favorite team Internazionale from Milan. Silvio had a knack for creating his own poetry which always put a smile on people’s faces.

He also had a unique gift of remembering peoples last names and upon entering Umberto’s, that’s how many where welcomed. He was a kind generous man who gave to all who expressed the need. A special town event or a family or friend in need, Silvio was there and did so without wanting anything in return.

He loved the many friends he had made over the years at Umberto’s, and that love was reciprocated by all. One of his great joys was teaching children the art of pizza making.

During Superstorm Sandy, Silvio and Michele remained open without electricity and using only gas to ensure that the people of Fair Haven, and surrounding towns and all emergency personnel had a hot meal when it was needed.

Silvio was known as the unofficial welcoming committee to the newcomers of Fair Haven. Many have recognized him as the first person they met after moving to town. He was a devoted husband, father, brother and uncle to dozens of nieces and nephews.

Silvio was predeceased by loving parents, Antonio and Filomena Fabbri. He is survived by his wife MaryRose; his son Anthony and future daughter-in-law, Melanie DeFranco; his brother, Michele and his wife Lucia and his devoted nephew Tony.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at The Thompson Memorial Home, 310 Broad St., Red Bank. Mass of christian burial will be celebrated on Wednesday, 11 a.m. at The Church of The Nativity, Fair Haven. Burial will be private. Donations to Friends of Silvio, PO Box 8097, Red Bank , NJ 07701 are preferred.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect will be posting a memorial tribute to Silvio.