Tag Archives: feature

In Memoriam: Josie Menna, Beloved Fair Haven Schools Lunch Aide

The Fair Haven schools community is in mourning over the loss of a treasured lunch aide — Josephine Menna.

Memorial services begin today at 3 p.m. at Thompson Memorial Home in Red Bank for the woman who began her career in the borough at 78, serving up students, teachers and the community a lot of love, a little bit of advice and some homemade gifts, a flood of social media comments conveyed.

Revered as a “beloved lunch aide and friend,” Josephine “Josie” Menna, a longtime Red Bank resident, “passed away peacefully” on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, aptly joining her husband Tommy to whom she was married for 32 years, her obituary said.

Josie Menna was aunt of Red Bank Mayor Pat Menna, who paid tribute to her on Facebook upon her death:

“Lent began this evening with the arrival in Heaven of my 90 something aunt, Josephine Figaro Menna, whom I affectionately called the honorary mayor of Garfield Place in Red Bank. She was the wonderful widow of my uncle Thomas Menna, co owner of the legendary West Bergen Market and the mother of Gregory and Gary Figaro. An extraordinary woman and person of boundless charity and good will still delivering meals to housebound ‘seniors’ at her age every week and bringing the eucharist to those who were immobile and could not attend Mass.”

Family was the center of Josie Menna’s life, according to her obituary. Though family, as many Fair Havenites saw it, extended for Josie to the kids and teachers in the lunchroom and beyond.

Continue reading In Memoriam: Josie Menna, Beloved Fair Haven Schools Lunch Aide

Retro RFH Tower Players’ Play Time

RFH’s “My Fair Lady”
Photo/Facebook screenshot

The RFH Tower Players are in rehearsal for their spring musical production of The Secret Garden. The spring musical at the high school is long standing tradition — and one that has come with much accolades for fine artistic work.

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Retro RFH Reunion Bridge Alert

A bridge RFH reunion invite
Photo/Doug Borden

Here we go again … The RFH Class of ’78 is gearing up for its 40th reunion on Aug. 8, 2018 (yes, that’s 8/8/18). There’s a major planning process that has begun, thanks to a fearless crew of volunteers, and lots of meetings and social media notifications, texts, cell phone calls … you name it. Yes, name it. Try. There are all sorts of modes of communication in effect, except one very important one — the bridge!

There was a time when communication was limited to landline phones, snail mail and, well, there was nothing better than getting the word out by just reverting to old school days and painting the bridge.

Continue reading Retro RFH Reunion Bridge Alert

Retro Whistle Stop Smiles; Timeless Celebration of a Fair Haven Icon’s Birthday

Frank Leslie Sr. and his gaggle of kids at the Whistle Stop in Fair Haven circa 1979 Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Frank Leslie Sr. and his gaggle of kids at the Whistle Stop in Fair Haven circa 1979
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Today would have marked the 89th birthday of Fair Haven’s Frank Leslie Sr., owner of the iconic Whistle Stop. In honor of that, we are sharing this piece originally posted on July 20, 2016. Happy Birthday, Mr. Leslie! Thanks for the many smiles and simple good times!

By Elaine Van Develde

Sometimes all it takes is a jawbreaker, a slice of Elio’s 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.

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Retro RFH Basketball Slam Dunk

A 1970s RFH basketball moment Photo/George Day
A 1970s RFH basketball moment
Photo/George Day

It’s basketball season at RFH. So, we’re bringing this up again …

It’s no secret that RFH has had some slam dunk success with the sport.

So, to honor the basketball season and victory scores, the Retro Pic of the (George) Day offers a look back at the RFH basketball sidelines and the young players, photographer and scorekeeper of an early 1970s high school game.

The uniforms are quite different now. They’re black, not purple, longer sleeved and, yes, the shorts are longer. Hey, that was the trend back in the day: purple, sleeveless and short (shorts).

Who wears short shorts? Wait, that was the iconic line in that Nair commercial.

Well, these guys wore short shorts. And they played a good game. Aside from the old uniforms, that may have us a bit captivated, all the guys in this photo are fixated on something.

All eyes are looking in one direction. And the scorekeeper is staring and poised to push that button and the photographer (Andy Koch?) is focused and ready to shoot.

Anyone remember this moment and what the focus was on? Come on, zoom! Anyone? Now, about those uniforms … black or purple? Preferences?

Thanks again, George Day, for this priceless score in RFH photography history!

RFH Student Athletes Sign Letters of Intent

“We are very proud of our student athletes, and wish them every success at the next level,” Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Director of Athletics Chris Lanzalotto said after 11 student athletes signed their National Letters of Intent on Wednesday.

The RFH students, their sports and colleges are:


• Robby Smith, Dickinson College


• Teddy Sourlis, Babson College


• Justin Johnson, Wesleyan University

• Jack Kelleher, Gettysburg College

• Peter Lucas, Lehigh University

• John McHeffey, Gettysburg College

• Gavin Pomphrey, Gettysburg College

• Alex Sloan, College of Holy Cross


• Margot Ridgeway, University of California, Davis


• Kylie McCabe, Clark University


• Olivia DeBonte, Ursinus College


Retro Clowning Around at RFH


The RFH clown in the class circa 1970s Photo/George Day
The RFH clown in the class circa 1970s
Photo/George Day

The weather has been downright dreary lately. And, on a dreary day, what better to do than clown around a bit. Not that we’re encouraging any antsy RFH students who may be a little bored and have the itch to engage in some mischievous antics …

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Prosecutor: Former Judge in Rumson & 8 Other Towns Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Records

A former Monmouth County Municipal Court judge, who was on the bench in Rumson among other area towns, has pleaded guilty to falsifying records in connection with a scheme of fixing municipal court dispositions to benefit several municipalities where he served as a judge, Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher J. Gramiccioni said on Friday. His plea forever disqualifies Thompson from being a municipal court judge or holding any other public employment.

Continue reading Prosecutor: Former Judge in Rumson & 8 Other Towns Pleads Guilty to Falsifying Records

Serving Up Some Food & Company for the Soul Saturday

It’s that time of the year to feast on a heaping helping of down home good food and company meant to soothe the soul in more ways than one in Fair Haven.

The Fisk AME Chapel Soul Food Dinner at the church (on Fisk Street) in Fair Haven is on Saturday. This year, it features fried chicken or barbecue ribs, sides of collard greens, potato salad, mac and cheese, cabbage, green beans, yams, corn bread, rolls. We hear there may be pig’s feet for the daring. And, of course, homemade dessert of pie, cake or cobbler to top it off.

The festivities start at 11:30 a.m. and end, well, when the food runs out and/or the company is worn out. These folks always advise that you get there early. It may be called a dinner, but the food just may be gone by the conventional dinner time!

Price is $15 for adults and $10 for kids under the age of 6. Oh, and if you can’t get out of the house, you can call for delivery — 609-781-0231. Yes, they deliver!

These folks deliver not only a great meal, but old time Fair Haven company that warms the soul. That’s because the hosts are some of the founding mothers and fathers of the borough.

The people of the church have been rooted in Fair Haven since the 19th century. The names and faces are comfortingly familiar ones. (Check out our Retro Pic of the Day a bit later.)

They usually sell out, so get over to the church on time! See you at the chapel!

— Elaine Van Develde