It was considered a privilege and honor. They were chosen from the junior class at RFH to serve as the debutante-like ushers for the graduating class. All dressed in white and supposedly gracefully toting a chain of daisies, the Daisy Chain girls were a fixture of high school finery at graduations in the 1970s.
The origins of the somewhat upper-crust tradition date back to the 1900s, but this Retro Pic of the Day was snapped in 1978.
It’s just one of those days — an everybody-in-the-pool kinda day.
It’s the kind of day when a Rumson-Fair Haven area person wishes he or she could take a swim, sit on a poolside porch overlooking the ocean and rock. Really rock … in a rocking chair at the old iconic Peninsula House.
It’s been gone for years, but the memories of the giant old hotel-turned-beach club are definitely not. It’s a pretty sure bet that anyone who grew up in the area has at least one story tucked away in the memory and ready to tell about the place that was a beach club by day (and a reasonable one at that) and seaside club by night.
Most locals met up at P House for socializing one way or another, be it at a swim meet, to take a little non-competitive dip, lounging by the ocean in the summer, or rocking in those rocking chairs on that wrap-around porch or to the tunes of one of the bands at night.
So, the Retro Pic(s) of the Day take us back to the spot with some shots of Rumson’s well-known longtime mayor, John Ekdahl, poolside and megaphone in hand for a meet, the entrance to the grand place, some familiar area ladies on the porch and the swim team of yesteryear.
Take a gander and tell us your favorite P House memory.
Heat’s on. Top’s down. Spirits are riding high. Summer’s coming. So is RFH graduation. So are those last summer days with high school buds before college.
That last summer before college is a pivotal, cherished milestone. It’s all about making memories that last a lifetime. Even one ride, top down, top 10 hits blasting on an AM radio, belly laughs, pranks and soaring spirits makes an indelible mark in the heart. It’s a mark that always conjures up a smile and an exhale of content.
So, the Retro Pic of the Day is dedicated to that time with a look back to the summer of 1978, best of friends from RFH, a 1965 powder blue Mustang convertible and, well, a big ol’ grimace of good times’ remembrance.
Yes, your esteemed editor is one of these alligator shirt-clad cronies. Another is gone. And one is still a best bud.
The memories … they’re a best friend, too. Smile.
What kind of car did you cruise in back in those summer days? Favorite spots? Pranks?
This crew spent an inordinate amount of time egging unwitting young lovers on the beach, ordering a Ham Dinger (they had them at 7-11) and dancing with the top down just to annoy people making out on Scenic Drive.
It may look like it, but, no, it’s not a Jets rumble … And it’s not a musical, either. It could be the west side of the field. But a west side story? Eh, could be. Only the players on this stage know for sure.
With the thaw of the cranky and closed-in mindset imposed by a heavy dose of spring fever, people tend to get in the mood for a little carefree joy ride to let their hair down, or at least mess it up a bit.
So, the Retro Pics of the (George) Day are dedicated to the good old days of hitting that spring fever pitch with a good ol’ ride in a classic kind of ride, be it a dirt bike, a classic car or a go cart.
In the featured pic, these guys of the 1970s are hanging outside by what was the Junior Lounge at the high school and they’re looking a little restless.
While we’re not certain, it certainly seems like they are a little antsy and looking to break out of the confines of the school, shed their coats and any inhibitions they actually have left and do the “happy days are here again” dance … or ride … ride into some spring fever-like antics.
The other dude and team of monsters are cruising for something. What? No one is exactly sure.
George Day, the RFH yearbook photographer of the time is taking a spin in a go cart.
And whoever those ghouls are … Well, they’re not getting far on that dirt bike in the sunken floor of the RFH Senior Commons.
Know who the monsters are? How about that car in the featured pic? Whose is it? And what are these guys really up to? Anyone know what the most popular car or bike was in the 1970s?
Baby, they were born to ride at RFH — or something like that.
— Elaine Van Develde
Oh, and thanks, once again, to the fabulous George Day for this photographic gem!
OK, so the spring weather outside has not been so consistently delightful lately.
So, take a look back to the 1970s when spring fever kicked in enough to get a couple of RFH guys in the mood to put those gloves on and take a little kangaroo hop outside the Junior Lounge, probably on a “free.” They were barely clad in those stylish 70s gym shorts and ready to duke it out — or at least dance around the notion.
Some moments are meant for just lounging … like this persistent foul weather. Yes, lounging, even if those snippets of indoor time at RFH are inside a far less cozy, yet exclusive, special high school nook like the junior, as opposed to upper crust senior, lounge.