Tag Archives: feature

Iconic Spot: Farewell, Fromagerie; Hello, Rumson House

Fromagerie transforming under new ownership in 2016
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

So, what’s in a name? An awful lot sometimes. When it comes to iconic spots in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, sometimes its all about a name — and the place behind that name and its power. The power of place. It’s mighty in small towns. It defines us and fills our hearts — that slew of memories all anchored in one small place that holds the power to invoke them.

There’s a lot of power in an iconic place like Rumson’s Fromagerie. It’s been a locals’ anchor for decades, since it opened in 1972, under the ownership of Hubert and Markus Peter. Through the many years of the swanky restaurant’s staple existence, management, ownership and menu shifts, the name of the landmark has always been the same — until now.

Continue reading Iconic Spot: Farewell, Fromagerie; Hello, Rumson House

Retro Blizzard of ’96 Among RFH Friends

Weathering a real storm in 1996 with RFH grad Steph DeSesa.
Weathering a real storm in 1996 with RFH grad Steph DeSesa.

It’s that classic rescue story worth repeating …

Our Retro Pic of the Day takes us back to a blizzard that was true to its word.

What was dubbed The Blizzard of ’96 hit the Rumson-Fair Haven area with full force in early January of 1996. This one lived up to its promise to render everyone in the area immobile.

Continue reading Retro Blizzard of ’96 Among RFH Friends

Focus: Power of People 2018

People. People put the power of place into perspective. They pull us back into places we remember, milestones. They set us soaring toward our dreams, reaching for our own stars. They bring us down to Earth. They anchor us, our memories, our life journeys.

So, in honor of bringing the people in our lives, our communities, all into focus on the journey of one year in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, we offer a glimpse at the people around us in 20018. Relive. Remember. Treasure.

Happy New Year! Be sure to stop, take a look at the faces around you and embrace the memories created in 2019 …

Take a look back (and don’t forget to CLICK to ENLARGE!)

— Elaine Van Develde

Focus: Power of Place 2018

There’s a lot to be said about the importance of place in people’s lives. It defines us in many ways. It brings us comfort. It triggers memories. It is a bookmark in our hearts. Oftentimes that important place is home.

So, to pay homage to the profound power of place in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, home, we offer a glimpse back to significant places of 2018 and many decades preceding it.

Happy New Year! Take a look and let the photos give a tug at your heartstrings. Remember.

(Oh, and don’t forget to click on each photo to enlarge and get the full view!)

— Elaine Van Develde

A First Fair Haven Christmas

Merry Christmas, Rumson and Fair Havenites! Cherish your day, make those memories and hold on tight to them. One day they will be your best Christmas present.

Our Retro Pic of the Day takes you back to 1964 and a first Christmas in Fair Haven for the R-FH Retro publisher and her family.

What could be better than a first Christmas in Fair Haven? How about another generation raised there and 53 more Christmases? It doesn’t get better than that, does it? Until it doesn’t and all a native Fair Havenite has are magical memories of growing up on the street where she lived and all she wants for Christmas is to go home.

So, to those who have left home, close your eyes. Remember. Go back home for that first Christmas. Smile.

On our first Fair Haven Christmas, we asked Santa at the firehouse to grant our modest gift wishes and he did. I got that “doll with a wind” whose retail name is forgotten and sister got a Pebbles doll.

Yes, and the blow-up Santa is a bit freaky looking, but all the rage in the 1960s.

Did you get what you wanted from Santa? Send us your photos at evd@rfhretro.com and we’ll post them. Keep making those memories. Happy holidays, hometown friends.

Memorial Set for Fair Haven Fire Department 30-Year Member, Chris Bertell, 88

You didn’t have to know lifetime Rumson and Fair Havenite Chris Bertell for him to have touched your life and put a smile on your face, if only for a moment, especially at holiday time. That’s because he was the guy who, year after year, set a festive, antique Santa-driven Ford Model T on his River Road lawn. It was a traffic stopper. It was also a heart warmer.

And when people think back on holiday time in Fair Haven, most remember that guy, Chris Bertell, who set out to spread a little joy with a car, some lights and good ol’ Saint Nick. They also remember him as the guy in town who loved antique cars and dalmatians and shared that love with many.

Bertell also saw many through emergencies as a 30-year life member of the Fair Haven Fire Department many-time president and ex-captain of the department’s Fire Police. He was also that go-to guy in the community for electrical repairs with his longtime business, Chris’ Electric.  

Bertell, also a U.S. Coast Guard veteran and member of the Masons, passed away on Saturday, Dec. 15, at Riverview Medical Center. He was 88.

A memorial is set for Bertell from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. on Saturday, Dec.22. There will be a fire company service at 11. And The avid volunteer and lover of antique cars and dalmatians 

Chris is survived by: his wife of 60 years Frieda “Ruth” (Dudley); and his cousin, Vincent Domidion, of Morganville. 

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial donations be made in Chris’ name to the ASPCA, 260 Wall Street, PO Box 93, Eatontown, NJ 07724.

RIP, Chris Bertell. You are remembered.


Retro Winter Warmth with RFH Clowns on the Beach

It may be winter, but the warm memories of good times with old RFH classmates keeps things cozy no matter what. And all warm, fuzzy, beachy thoughts surface when those RFH classmates plan a post-reunion holiday get-together.

Yes, the RFH Class of ’78 is spreading cheer to one another again with a few cheers at Murphy’s on Friday. All friends and classmates are welcome to suit up (or not) and join in the merriment.

All the talk of reuniting and the warmth that memories inspire reminded us of a moment back in time when some RFH girls (we think they’re girls) took to some spectacular sort of sunbathing on the high school stage in their own special (Oh, it was special alright!) rendition of The Beach Boys’ Girls on the Beach in the Freshmen Follies.

The year was 1974 and this little ditty was done with a little lip syncing and sunbathing gear that was telling of what was in some moms’ closets in that era. Sorry, moms, it was a bit scary.

In honor of it all, the triple-dose Retro Pic(s) of the (George) Day are dedicated to this special crew of stunners.

Recognize any of these sun worshippers? Who’s that behind those Foster Grants or Acme specials? Who in this photo was on the RFH Class of ’78 reunion committee?

Somehow, I doubt anyone would be up to some beach blanket bingo with these gals.

Thanks, once again, to RFH alum George Day for this photo collage treat!

— Elaine Van Develde

RFH Football Champs Sign College Letters of Intent

Five Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) State Championship football players have made their college choices official. 

The athletes signed letters of intent on Thursday, sealing their college deals. 

The athletes and their college choices are:

• Evan Davis — University at Buffalo

• Alex Maldjian — Middlebury College

• Ryan McCann — Yale University

• Ian O’Connor — Lehigh University

• Henry Sullivan — Colgate University

Coach Robert Orrok, Coach Christopher Quinn,
Head Coach Jerry Schulte,
Coach Jeremy Schulte 
Ian O’Connor (Lehigh), Evan Davis (Buffalo), Henry Sullivan (Colgate), Ryan McCann (Yale), Alex Maldjian (Middlebury). 

This is the first signing day of the school year for football. Additional commitments will be made in February. 

— Press release from RFH