It’s just one of those days — an everybody-in-the-pool kinda day.
It’s the kind of day when a Rumson-Fair Haven area person wishes he or she could take a swim, sit on a poolside porch overlooking the ocean and rock. Really rock … in a rocking chair at the old iconic Peninsula House.
It’s been gone for years, but the memories of the giant old hotel-turned-beach club are definitely not. It’s a pretty sure bet that anyone who grew up in the area has at least one story tucked away in the memory and ready to tell about the place that was a beach club by day (and a reasonable one at that) and seaside club by night.
Most locals met up at P House for socializing one way or another, be it at a swim meet, to take a little non-competitive dip, lounging by the ocean in the summer, or rocking in those rocking chairs on that wrap-around porch or to the tunes of one of the bands at night.
So, the Retro Pic(s) of the Day take us back to the spot with some shots of Rumson’s well-known longtime mayor, John Ekdahl, poolside and megaphone in hand for a meet, the entrance to the grand place, some familiar area ladies on the porch and the swim team of yesteryear.
Take a gander and tell us your favorite P House memory.
It’s as if it was still there. Sometimes, if you close your eyes, like any good memory, you can see it. It all comes back — blankets you in a Tsunami of heart smiles.
The bitter chill is in the blustery winter air; and our Retro Pic of the (George) Day hones in on a chilly snow-capped view with warm summer memories of a favorite historic beach club turned bar/restaurant by the sea at night.
It was called Peninsula House, or P House for short, and it was the Rumson-Fair Haven area go-to hangout — especially for RFH grads.
It was huge and magnificent. The old historic hotel in Sea Bright used old hotel rooms as cabanas. Its wrap-around porch with rocking chairs was an outdoor lounging area seemingly perfectly tailored to locals catching up. There was a backgammon room, a formal dining room. Outside, bands played in a tent near the pool, the beach only a dance step away. It was always bustling, brimming with good vibes.
And in some parts of the Rumson-Fair Haven area, like Sea Bright, the precipitation and high tides were forecasted to bring the usual coastal flooding to Sea Bright — or pools of water taken to the street, at least.
So, in keeping with wishes for voluntary swimming (rather than doggie paddling across the street) and sunnier days, the Retro Pic of the Day takes us back to the mid-1970s a different kind of team — not teaming rain, but swim team(ing).
This is the old Peninsula House Swim Team. Check out those freestyle tans, toothy grins and suits. Remember Peninsula House, commonly dubbed P-House? It was a popular, affordable beach club to team up with RFH buds and join back in the day. Recognize any of the RFHers win this pic?
Call it retro summer daze with many different messages.
With the coming of the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day, our thoughts are not only of the warm summer kind, but all about patriotism and community public service.
So, the Retro Pic of the Day, courtesy of former longtime Rumsonite Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca, is a snapshot of all those things. The picture, taken in 1937 on Sea Bright Public Beach, is of her great, great grandfather, Elisha Slocum, the great, great, great, great grandson of Revolutionary War patriot Lt. John Eaton.
Set with the iconic Peninsula House in the background, Slocum is properly dressed, not quite for summer weather, in front of a rowboat. Elisha was the father of Alfred (JoAnn’s grandfather), who was a former Sea Bright councilman and fire chief, Jo Ann said in her Facebook description of the photo.
Now, that’s a lot of retro in one beachy patriotic community photo!
If Peninsula House were still standing, which patriot of the past would you like to have a cocktail with and in which room?
Yup. Summer’s coming soon. The spring weather lately (finally) has been cooperatively nice.
So, that in mind, we look back to the days of summer in the 1970s and a classic beach club — when, honestly, beach clubs were affordable for all.
Peninsula House in Sea Bright was more than a beach club. It was a bar and lounge by the sea with several rooms and porches dedicated to different interests. No place will ever be the same. Rumson-Fair Haven area people called it P-House.
It was a classic.
So, with our Retro Pic of the (George) Day, tell us about your favorite P-House memories.
And, thanks, once again, to the great George Day, for yet another great memory on film!