Tag Archives: Knollwood School

Retro Schooling: 1950s Knollwood Kindergarten

School bells are ringing. Class is in session. Back-to-school mode is still kicking in. Back-to-school nights have welcomed parents back to the school halls. And, for some, it’s about taking a walk back to their own school days in the same place — like Knollwood School.

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Scene Around: A 70s Knollwood Teaching Moment

Fair Haven’s Knollwood School teachers of the 1970s reunite over breakfast
Photo/courtesy of Eileen Kubaitis/Facebook screenshot

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.

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Retro Back to School of 50 Years Ago

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

 

 

Simple Summer’s End: Beaching it with a Retired Knollwood Teacher & Friend

Jenifer Weber-Zeller and retired Knollwood School teacher, Pat Egan, enjoy a summer moment together.
Photo/Jenifer Weber-Zeller

It’s pretty simple. The sun is out. The beach is beckoning. Old friends of different generations decide to take it all in together.

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Retro Having a Field Day at Knollwood

A field day for Knollwood kids in the late 1990s
Photo/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.

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Retro Fair Haven Kindergarten School Daze

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

Well, summer vacation is in full swing and school’s been out for a couple of weeks.

Before you know it, students will be finding out who their teachers are for the new school year and some will be going to school for the first time.

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Retro Knollwood Grad Fashion

Knollwood Class of '74 graduation fashionistas Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde (yours truly) and Wanda Becker. Photo/Sally Van Develde
Knollwood Class of ’74 graduation fashionistas Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde (yours truly) and Wanda Becker.
Photo/Sally Van Develde

Eighth graders in the Rumson-Fair Haven area have graduated.

Photos are popping up all over social media. And these crews of grade school cronies seem to have a panache we eighth graders of the 1970s lacked. There they all are … posing, arms wrapped around one another, sporting stylish clothes, tans and toothy grins.

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Scene Around: A Knollwood Grad Gathering

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 evd@rfhretro.com.

Congrats to the Knollwood Class of 2017! 

The Stokes Connection

Half a century of Stokes! Today marks the milestone for Fair Haven students, parents and Knollwood School staff.

They’re homeward bound, satiated with 50 years of it all.

Some stalwart traditions have changed in the evolution of the trip, but one thing has remained the same — lifetime connections forged and pranks aplenty pulled.

One such classic story is that of Knollwood teacher and Stokes organizer Andy Dougherty and Jenny Jones Costello.

The two grew up as Fair Haven neighbors whose parents were best buds. They, of course, went to Stokes in the 80s. They forged a friendship, as their siblings also did, from the time they were babies. And they were mighty cute babies, as only their babysitter would know for sure (ahem). Call it another kind of family tie. Best of neighbors and second string siblings. It all started more than 40 years ago.

They both graduated from RFH. Still on the block. They spread their wings and flew the neighborhood coop for a bit. Eventually Andy ended up becoming a teacher at the very same school, though not on the block where his parents stayed until they passed away. Jenny and her family ended up back on the same block.

She ended up volunteering year after year to be a parent counselor at the camp. And, two of her children have already been indoctrinated into the Stokes tradition. Andy has become an anchor in the annual trip.

This year, Jenny was back for the 50th with her son Nick, like Mom, a pretty happy camper.

The kids have their own little pranks going on at Stokes. Hey, it’s a tradition. We’ll just pretend for now that such things no longer happen with the young ones. But, since the statute of limitations is up for the “elders,” or something like that, they got right back to it.

In the interest of keeping with tradition, Andy and Jenny revisited an old prank. It all has something to do with a swim suit and a case of botched identity … or not, Doug Herty. And laughs. Lots of laughs.

Hey, that’s what friends and Stokes are for!

So, raise some frozen underwear up the flagpole, put some itching powder in a sleeping bag (well, maybe not) and remember the good ol’ days.  Tradition!

What was your Stokes prank?