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Retro Fair Kitchen & Dining Room Folks

The following piece was originally published on Aug. 27, 2015. It’s just bout fair time again, so it’s time to take a look back at how things were and are done a pivotal place at the fair — the kitchen and dining room.

By Elaine Van Develde

Someone’s in the kitchen at Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair grounds.

And while they may have, at one point another been with someone named Dinah, as the old ditty goes, it’s a definite they’ve been with someone named Mike, Dale, Sue (x2), Raquel, Ethel (x2), Mary, Anne, Amanda, Skippy, Hodgie, Mary Ellen, Joe, Evie, and, oh, yeah, Andy and a few others.

And they certainly haven’t been strummin’ on any ol’ banjo. They’ve been way too busy — cutting, peeling, filling, flouring, husking and just plain cooking.

Except there’s nothing plain about what’s cooking in the fair kitchen, who’s cooking it, when, where, why or how.

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Retro Back-to-School with an RFH Science Teacher & Assistant Superintendent

A look back at RFH science teacher James Parker and Assistant Superintendent Donald Trotter Photo/George Day
A look back at RFH science teacher James Parker and Assistant Superintendent Donald Trotter
Photo/George Day

Back-to-school time is already creeping around that corner.

And with back-to-school thoughts come hopes of a good teacher or two and memories of the ones who we thought were the coolest. Then there were those administrators who weren’t just a Charlie Brown teacher voice cawing over the ol’ daydreaming student’s non-thought process. Some, or one in particular, are remembered as a real education innovators.

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Retro Rides of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair

A Fair Haven Firemen's Fair ride perspective from the 1990s Photo/Elaine Van Develde
A Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair ride perspective from the 1990s
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

It’s that time. They’re setting up for the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair. And before you know it, Majestic Midways will come rolling into town with the rides.

Some have been fair staples for decades — like the Zipper and the ferris wheel. Some are still terrifying to adults — never mind the childhood chicken terrors from the thought of being dared to ride anything but the stationary chair on the merry go ’round.

OK, so that’s a little pathetic. Hey, sometimes you just want to spare onlookers from some scenes that just wouldn’t be pretty — like a full-grown middle-aged person ill, in tears and hanging upside down at the top of a ride.

But we digress …

The Retro Pic of the Day hones in on two classic fair rides from the 1990s. We know one is the ferris wheel. And it looks like the same one. What about the other?

Know what ride that is? What’s your favorite? Least favorite.

We vote Zipper on least. Still, it’s some sort of odd comfort to see it again every year.

— Elaine Van Develde

Revisiting RFH Freshmen Follies with a ‘Gilligan’s Island’ Gal

Actress Natalie Schafer, Lovey on Gilligan's Island, visits the RFH Freshman Follies circa 1975. Photo/George Day
Actress Natalie Schafer, Lovey on Gilligan’s Island, visits the RFH Freshman Follies circa 1975.
Photo/George Day

It’s that kind of summer day when a little boat ride and escape to a deserted island, or one in the Shrewsbury River, makes for the perfect getaway not so far away — as long as there’s some mosquito netting.

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Retro RFH Reunion Bridge Alert

A bridge RFH reunion invite
Photo/Doug Borden

It’s reunion season. And while some RFH classes may actually be planning or attending a reunion this summer, one class is gearing up for it’s 40th and realizing that getting the word out was a bit simpler (or not) when classmates could just paint the bridge.

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Retro Summer RFH Girls’ Drive into the Past

RFH girls' ride into the summer of '78 ... Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde, Debbie Humbert and Daryl Cooper Ley Photo/Elaine Van Develde
RFH girls’ ride into the summer of ’78 … Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde, Debbie Humbert and Daryl Cooper Ley
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

There’s nothing quite like a summer drive in a classic car with the top down.

And the drive is all the better if it’s made with best friends. So, as a continuing ode to summer fun of the past at the hands of RFH teens, the Retro Pic of the Day encapsulates the whole idea — best friends, a cool ride and warm memories.

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Retro Night Out Dunking

Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli gets a dunking at Night Out 2012 Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Fair Haven Mayor Ben Lucarelli gets a dunking at Night Out 2012
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Every year there’s a Fair Haven National Night Out. It’s a night, celebrated on the national level, designed to familiarize residents, from kids to seniors, with police and other emergency responders in town. That Night Out was last night in the borough.

There are games, demonstrations, looks at emergency equipment, food, smiles and handshakes — and a dunk tank.

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Retro Simple Fair Haven Buddy Times

A bunch of boys. A bag of Cheetos. Dirt-eating grins. Pranks. Pull the ol’ finger. The little things are what made these guys smile — and wipe their pants with orange-stained Cheeto hands.

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Retro Rumson Summer Sunning

Summer sunning in Rumson with the Slocum family. Photo/courtesy of Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca
Summer sunning in Rumson with the Slocum family.
Photo/courtesy of Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca

Back in the day, Rumson summers weren’t all about going to the beach club from dawn ’til dusk.

For some, it was as simple skipping the packing up of the family, not to mention the cost, and just laying a blanket out on the lawn and catching some rays while the kids played.

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Retro RFH Batty Gym Suits … and Baseball

It’s major league baseball season. And while school may be out, looking back at some RFH 1970s games, you have to wonder when or why, exactly was there ever a season of the ol’ gym suit.

Really. Ponder it. Those things that made girls look like Stay Puff marshmallows, or, worse, a big baby with a onesie that had enough space for a diaper or, well … you get the picture.

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Retro RFH Toga Party Time

RFH Class of 1979 guys toga partying Photo/George Day
RFH Class of 1979 guys toga partying
Photo/George Day

Oh, the weekend has arrived … and what better way to celebrate than raising a glass to memories of an old toga party.  Remember those?

So, it stands to reason that people in the spirit of summer partying and, well, spirits, may have been of the mind that thoughts of a cool summer meant donning a sheet, a festive wreath and, of course, raising a goblet of something or other to warm times with cool friends … or cool times with warm friends. Whatever way you look at it, this was definitely a classic party moment.

It features a gaggle of RFH Class of 1979 guys.

As the saying goes, “When in Rome …” or Rumson … or Fair Haven … or someone’s basement … or somewhere … get your toga and party on to cool, albeit flush-faced, thoughts.

So, the Retro Pic of the (George) Day is a little toast to these toasty guys with a little retro “Cheers!” worked in.

Hey, it could have been soda they were drinking. Only the goblet knows for sure … and the guys. After all, in all fairness, it was the age of an 18-year-old drinking age. But, of course, that was soda, pop, uh, Kool Aid?

Recognize any of these guys? Know where they were?

— Thanks to George Day for another fabulous moment in RFH time captured!