Tag Archives: feature

Scene Around: Beached for Locals’ Summer

Starting a locals’ summer weekend with the sun and a beach stroll was the way a couple of Rumson-Fair Haven area folks and four-legged friends got their jump start on Friday.

It’s the only way for locals when the sun, sand and surf beckon for a big shoreline hug. They walk, even romp with it — the rejuvenating solace of it all.

Fair Haven Councilwoman Susan Sorensen and Rumsonite Sue Hill Spakowski (and friends) were there in Sea Bright and Monmouth Beach to capture the moments and relish the start to, by all fair weather accounts, the perfect locals summer weekend. Sorensen caught the sunrise in Sea Bright and Spakowski’s best buddies (her dogs) caught the best of times “digging” the beach at Little Monmouth.

From the National Weather Service …

Skies will be clear and sunny with temperatures in the high 70s during the day and high 60s in the evenings all weekend.

Thanks to Sue and Susan for sharing the start of their day and a little beach motivation with all!

Have a locals’ summer moment you’d like to share? Send us your photos at evd@rfhretro.com … Enjoy the weekend!

Retro FH Tigers Cheer!

Fair Haven Tigers cheerleaders circa 1973 or '74 Photo/courtesy of Karen Memmot Hooten
Fair Haven Tigers cheerleaders circa 1973 or ’74
Photo/courtesy of Karen Memmot Hooten

A reprise of a cheery Retro Pic of the Day, originally posted in September of 2016, in honor of the spirit of football for the pint-and-a-half sized of the Rumson-Fair Haven area … 

Can we have a retro cheer for the football season ahead?

Continue reading Retro FH Tigers Cheer!

Retro RFH Football Players

Call them players. It’s all about keeping in step with the high school game. And the RFH Football Team played on …

So did the band. Both players of a different kind. Playing to the same tune — the game. But school spirit and team player strength doesn’t always come in numbers. With high school football season on the horizon, memories come to mind of the old days when the RFH Band played on and in step with many more field-marching members than these days. The football team the band was playing about? Not so much. There was a time when the RFH football team was small — smaller than the band that trumpeted the team.

Band was big and so was a big band era decades ago, for that matter. In fact, going back more than half a century, like back to the 1930s, when RFH was Rumson High School, the football team was minuscule by comparison. There was no regional in the high school name. And the population was, well, low. There were sprawling estates, farms (with a lot of asparagus growing wild) and berries aplenty for picking.

Continue reading Retro RFH Football Players

Focus: Fair Haven Oktoberfest Fete

There was no rain on the September Oktoberfest parade of festivities on Saturday in Fair Haven. Despite iffy forecasts, the good weather odds won out and so did the fun for the now annual event. There were no lederhosen in sight, but spirits were high.

Take a look for a glimpse into the event … (And don’t forget to click to enlarge each photo in the lower gallery and advance to the next!) Enjoy!

— Elaine Van Develde


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In Memorium: Longtime Rumsonite Pat Martin, 80

Longtime Rumsonite Patience “Pat” Martin passed away on Sept. 7 surrounded by her five loving children. She was 80.

Pat Martin
Photo/courtesy of Thompson Memorial Home

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Pat’s family moved to Rumson at a young age. There, she lived most other life, having spent much time in Manchester, VT, skiing with family. She retired to Vero Beach, FL with her husband, Donal. Pat moved to Rumson, where she lived most of her life.  She spent a fair amount of time in Manchester, VT, skiing with her family and retired to Vero Beach, FL with her husband, Donal. She returned home to Rumson for her final journey, her loved ones said in her obituary.

Having graduated from Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School as a valedictorian, Pat attended Dickinson College in Pennsylvania and and studied Shakespeare at Brookdale Community College. 

Continue reading In Memorium: Longtime Rumsonite Pat Martin, 80

the R-FH Area Weekend: Oktoberfest, Clean Ocean Action Rally & Clearwater

With weather looking a bit iffy for the weekend, forecasts are not putting a halt on either event that’s set for Saturday.

First, starting at 10:30 a.m. on the banks of the Navesink at Marine Park in Red Bank, Clean Ocean Action in concert with area environmental groups, is hosting a rally on the Navesink to fight a fracking project.

From Clean Ocean Action …

As a critical NJ Department of Environmental Protection deadline looms on the three-year battle to stop the Williams Transco Northeast Enhancement Supply (NESE) fracked natural gas project, Clean Ocean Action in encouraging citizens to attend a rally on the Navesink River on Saturday morning to send the message to Governor Murphy that the pending permits for the project must be denied. 

A coalition of environmental, fishing, business and community groups has united to fight the pipeline and is hosting a rally to urge Governor Murphy to deny the permits again, and this time to do so with provisions that prohibit reapplication.   

The rally will be held by the pier at Marine Park in Red Bank from 10:30 a.m. to noon. People are urged to attend and bring signs.

Right after that, in Marine Park, is the celebration of the 44th Annual Clearwater Festival.

And, starting at 4 p.m. in Fair Haven is the annual Oktoberfest at Fair Haven Fields.

The Oktoberfest will feature food, entertainment, craft beer and wine and more.

Food trucks to be featured are: Tony’s Sausage, Simply Sofrito, Pasta Amore (Umberto’s), You Scream for Ice Cream, The Zeppole Guys, Surf BBQ, Rheadies and The Philly Pretzel Factory.

Craft beer vendors are: Wet Ticket, Asbury Park Brewing, Carton, Jug Handle and Biravino.

The band line-up is: Rhyme & Reason (Dave Matthews Tribute Band) at 4 p.m., 10-Sting at 6 p.m., and the Moroccan Sheepherders at 8.

Organizers say that there is no rain date for the event so it WILL go on!

Retro Whistle Stop Kids’ Scene

Sept. 11 marked the 35th anniversary of the iconic Fair Haven Whistle Stop owner Frank Leslie’s death. So, in honor of Mr. Leslie and the wonderful memories he and his wife, Barbara, gave so many Fair Haven kids, we are reprising our piece on the Leslies and their oh, so sweet after-school stop. Thank you, Frank Leslie. You are remembered. Thirty-five years? Wow.

By Elaine Van Develde

Sometimes all it takes is a jawbreaker, a slice of Elio’s frozen pizza, pinball and friends all enveloped in a gingham-curtained room with a jovial giant of a dad host to make a bunch of kids smile.

Sometimes. Some simpler time back in time.

Continue reading Retro Whistle Stop Kids’ Scene

Hometown Gem: Sonia Reevey Gets Her Day

Sonia Reevey sings My Buddy at Fair Haven’s Memorial Day Service in 2015
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

She may live far away in Georgia now, but Fair Haven will always be home to Sonia Reevey. The matriarch of the Reevey family, roots set in the borough, has always honored her hometown by volunteering and just plain being a great neighbor, always with warmth for the love of Fair Haven and a smile.

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Retro Fair Haven Kindergarten Daze

A Knollwood School kindergarten class of 1956 or ’57
Photo/courtesy of George Martin

Well, school is back in session. Students are settling into the classroom routine. And for some, it’s a new experience. We’re talking kindergarten kids.

While many, or most, in this era have already been to some sort of pre-kindergarten class, that was not the case years ago. In fact, the first day of school really was a first day in a school for kindergarteners. And it could be traumatic for both parents and students.

Yes, it was only half a day of school, but it was all new: the drop-off (or rope walk), the first-day outfit and haircut, the new friends from the other side of town, the teachers, the classroom. All of it.

Then there was the school itself. There was a time when there were three school buildings in Fair Haven.

Continue reading Retro Fair Haven Kindergarten Daze

9/11: Day’s End Reflection, 18 Years Later

The following piece, with a few changes as time goes on, is published annually on 9/11 as a testament to never forgetting … 
It was a beautiful Tuesday. The sun was shining. The air was crisp. The coffee even tasted especially good.
I remember. Most of us remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m.. I know I do. I also remember how everything went from bright, crisp, fragrant and optimistic to dark, dank, acrid and fearful in one second. I remember how it wasn’t about us observers, storytellers. It was about them — the victims, their loved ones, their message.
For me, a professional observer, a professional storyteller, thankfully close enough, yet far enough, yes, it was so very much about them — painfully so. I wasn’t one of them. I was lucky. I was grateful. I watched. I listened intently. They shared.
I was a reporter living in Fair Haven and covering Middletown. On what started out as a typical day, they ended up unwittingly, graciously, lighting a less traveled path for me. For many.
It’s this one storyteller’s perspective.
Through this one fortunate observer’s eyes and heart, it went like this …
Continue reading 9/11: Day’s End Reflection, 18 Years Later