It’s not every day that a bunch of longtime Fair Haven Knollwood School teachers from the 1970s era get together. It’s one day — for the first time in decades.
Students were back to school in the Rumson-Fair Haven area this week. Those classic first day of school shots were plastered all over Facebook.
And 50 years ago, or 51, to be exact, in September of 1966, while 91,000 students and 4,700 teachers headed back to public school classrooms in Monmouth County (13,014 to parochial), according to a Red Bank Register story of Sept. 6, 1966, the anticipation of the photo taken with that Brownie camera mounted as that picture of the day developed — taking weeks at times.
And those photos were classics … Mom-styled hair gone awry, buck-toothed and missing tooth grins, shiny Mary Jane shoes, Buster Brown penny loafers and, well, cheesy fashion in which to pose and say, “Cheese!”
At Knollwood School in 1966, half a century ago, there was a first-grade class, headed by Mrs. Ginny Kamin (deceased Red Bank Register editor Art Kamin’s wife) and filled with some area kids who ended up becoming entrenched in the community. One of those kids was me.
Some are no longer with us. Others have moved away, but keep in touch. Others, still, have stuck around and raised their children here, too. One common thread is that none of them have forgotten their hometown and likely that walk to the first day of school so many decades ago.
For me, the memory of the badly side-combed bangs kinda sticks like the Dippity-doo that was in them. Sorry, Mom. So do those little faces that seemed to loom like the Man in the Moon back in that slightly nerve-wracked elementary school daze. And it seems like yesterday. Yes, that’s scary. It’s especially scary since it wasn’t, in fact, yesterday.
Back in those days, we walked to school with a buddy. For me, those buddies were my best friend and neighbor Pam Young and Jeff Lang. Pam and I met up with Jeff at the corner and the three of us walked the rest of the way together. Yes, Jeff occasionally would carry my books. I remember that vividly. He is gone now, but that memory is a vivid and enduring one. So is the memory of Mrs. Lang waving to us from the front porch and reminding him to do just that.
The first day of school photos were taken on the front porch, in the front yard or on the sidewalk before the first stroll back then. There was that wait for the film development. Remember that? Then there was the wait for the annual class photo, like the one above, when the picture people grabbed a comb from a tub and gave all the kids a really bad comb through before that elementary school grimace moment. Not a good hair day for most of us little kids subject to Mom’s fashion whims.
It’s all a walk down a Fair Haven memory lane with a stumble or two for good measure.
What’s your first day memory? Stumble? Who did you walk with?
— Elaine Van Develde
Once upon a time, in those school days right before summer, when Knollwood School kids gathered on Sportsman’s Field for, well, some Field Day fun, let’s just say it was a bit hard to keep them focused.
Well, the rain didn’t hold out for Fair Haven’s Knollwood School Class of 2017, but, by the looks of things, it didn’t dampen the graduates’ spirits Monday night.
The graduation is and always has been indoors. But, a gaggle of guys and girls from the class gathered after the ceremony for a traditional photo down at Fair Haven Dock and a few others at the ol’ homesteads of grads, captured by mom Jenny Costello.
She said it was raining on the dock, but the grads persevered all in the name of that classic milestone snapshot … and a few more.
Take a look … and if you have any photos you’d like us to add to our gallery, please send them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Congrats to the Knollwood Class of 2017!
It’s that time of the year when Fair Haven schools tradition takes hold and all good Knollwood sixth graders go on their trip to Stokes State Forrest. And this year marks the 50th anniversary of the most wonderful time of the year for those sixth graders. Wow.
A “tale as old as time” came to Fair Haven’s Knollwood School’s stage when 40 young middle school students performed a production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Jr. a few weeks ago.
Knollwood School students recently got a lesson in leadership, courtesy of a U.S. Air Force vet and former teacher.
Recent talk about kids moving on up to full-day school and into middle school from elementary prompted a look back to what Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect thought was the first kindergarten class in Fair Haven at Knollwood School.
It turns out that we were wrong. Many people responded saying that they had attended kindergarten at Knollwood and what was Willow Street School in those earlier years.
We’re not sure if it was that things got switched around a lot back in the late 1950s and into the mid- to late-60s or if, perhaps, it was the morning classes that attended Knollwood and Willow Street or the kids were just split among classes due to that Baby Boom, but we do know that there was a rope and kids were walked to kindergarten at the Youth Center in the borough in 1965-66.
So, the Retro Pic of the Day is a look back at that afternoon kindergarten class to which yours truly, your editor, was toted daily at the tender young age of 5. Yikes.
There are a few familiar faces in this photo. Some are still in the area. One is a popular funeral director. Another just recently wrote a book and has a younger brother who is a popular landscaper/photographer.
Oh, and the teachers were Mrs. Oliverson and Mrs. Wikoff (sp?).
— Elaine Van Develde
In keeping with the celebration of eighth grade graduation fashion, let’s take a look at the boys’ style.
You’d have to admit that fad dress-up attire has been kinder to the male gender over the years — except for the leisure suit. That was an unforgiving polyester fashion fail.
And, while girls, from the dawn of time, have fallen prey to either their mother’s loving fashion misdeeds or a really bad fad, like Gunne Sax (actually owned by Jessica McClintock, go figure), gingham maxis or just plain bad frills in the wrong places and in awful colors, boys have gotten away with wearing, at worst, really bad plaid sear sucker suits and bowties.
The annual Knollwood School Spring Concert, featuring a selection of classical to rock music played by fourth- through eighth-grade vocal and instrumental musicians, was a hit, judging by the audience’s reaction.
They called it Peter Panic.
The sixth, seventh and eighth grade Performing Arts Troupe of Knollwood School in Fair Haven recently presented a production story of an age-old struggle — athletics versus performing arts — about a fictional drama club and the football program vying for the limited space provided by their high school dubbed Peter Panic.
The 26-member cast acted, sang and danced its way through the Feb. 25 production.
The story: The Drama Club, led by Pam (Nora Doonan), is in desperate need of funds and performers. The Drama Club members (Aaron Bernstein, Sarah Dolan, Sabrina Marshall, Ceci Newman, and Nora Phillips) turn to the school’s two members of the Economics Club (Hannah Bates and Marie Mohen) for help. They decide that they can sell more tickets to the upcoming production of Peter Pan if popular athletes agree to perform.
Two star football players, Lefty (Jacob Gerbman) and Tinkerman (Caitlin Carr), audition and are given key roles as Captain Hook and Tinkerbell. The cheerleaders (Brett Cetnar-Garrett, Addie Cope, Avery Fratto, Elizabeth Harby, Clancy McCann, and Bea Zaleski) are cast as mermaids.
Everyone is doing their best to work together. Even the Detention Girls (Kira Fleischer, Sarah Neczesny, and Grace Tambaro) accept roles as the lost girls. But when conniving football coach Rook (Michael Mazzucca) gets wind of what’s happening, he plots to halt production and bring down the drama club.
Musical numbers in the show included: “All the World’s a Stage,” “Here in Neverland,” “Audition,” “Dreams Don’t Die Hard,” and “The Show Must Go On.”
The production was directed by seventh grade social studies teacher Alison Dooley and eighth grade literary teacher Gabrielle Illiano, with choreography by Sickles School third grade teacher Morgan Bufano. Art teacher Jessica Data was the set designer, and computer tech support provider Brian Ericson directed sound and lighting. Music teacher Karen Hauge was music/choral director.
— Edited press release from the Fair Haven School District