Tag Archives: Victory Park

Focus: Reprise of a Rumson Locals’ Summer Down by the River

Rumor, or a National Weather Service report, has it that the sun will come out tomorrow. And we’re not talking about the old musical Annie. It’s locals’ summer weather wish come true from a good source and the telltale sign of rainbows sightings at dusk.

Continue reading Focus: Reprise of a Rumson Locals’ Summer Down by the River

Scene Around: Decent Victory Park Proposal

Prom proposal for a birthday girl at Victory Park in Rumson on Sunday.
Photo/Maeve Bradley

It’s a place where many a Rumsonite has spent many a simple, reflective or milestone moment and racked up many a vivid memory, from childhood through adulthood — the Navesink riverfront Victory Park.

Continue reading Scene Around: Decent Victory Park Proposal

Focus: Hunting for Easter Eggs in Rumson

Sunday was a great day for romp by the river and a little hunt for Easter eggs in Rumson.

Hundreds got set and went on the run for eggs at Victory Park where spring had clearly sprung in a celebratory way.

With the sound of the fire horn, kids in two different age groups hippy hopped to gather their goodies while gobbling up all the sun and fun they could.

Take a look … (And don’t forget to click on the photos to enlarge!)

— Elaine Van Develde

 

Retro Rumson Pier Sunny Daze

Sunning with the Oceanic Bridge as a backdrop
Photo/courtesy of Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca

Yes, dank days are dampening spirits lately. Warm, sunny memories can brighten them, though.

So, why not take a photo trip back to a simple day of sunning the old fashioned way on what was referred to as the Rumson Pier?

This look, in particular, offers a glimpse back to some very old time sun bathing — going back about 75 years. There was a lot of suiting up and little skin to show or sun, for that matter. But the bright smiles were bright by the Navesink River.

It’s the wishful thinking sunny days by the river Retro Pic of the Day, courtesy of Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca. It’s a rare shot of some folks hanging out on the old pier (or dock) at Victory Park in Rumson with what was the bridge that connected Rumson to Middletown — what became the Oceanic Bridge — in the background.

According to Slocum Mazzucca, “My grandmother Lillian Turnbull Slocum is the far left with her hands folded. The picture was taken on the old pier (dock) at Victory Park in Rumson. Picture is about 75 years ago.”

Anyone remember the old pier/dock at Victory Park? Is this where the Barnacle Bill’s dock is now? How about those swim suits and dresses?

Many thanks to Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca for this gem from her family photos!

Focus: Rumson Gulls on the River

Monday was a dank day on the banks of the Navesink River.

Yet, there were plenty of sea gulls setting up camp at Victory Park in Rumson.

They hung around, emitting a near-Hitchockesque aura. After soaking up some social interaction on the picket fence, they took flight, no doubt to return before long.

Take a look at snippets of the gulls’ scene.

— Elaine Van Develde

Retro Sunning on the Old Rumson Pier

Sunning with the Oceanic Bridge as a backdrop Photo/courtesy of Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca
Sunning with the Oceanic Bridge as a backdrop
Photo/courtesy of Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca

Yes, real summer’s on the horizon.

So, the Retro Pic of the Day, courtesy of Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca, is a rare shot of some folks hanging out on the old pier (or dock) at Victory Park in Rumson with what was the bridge that connected Rumson to Middletown  — what became the Oceanic Bridge — in the background.

According to Slocum Mazzucca, “My grandmother Lillian Turnbull Slocum is the far left with her hands folded. The picture was taken on the old pier (dock) at Victory Park in Rumson. Picture is about 75 years ago.”

Anyone remember the old pier/dock at Victory Park? Is this where the Barnacle Bill’s dock is now? How about those swim suits and dresses?

Many thanks to Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca for this gem from her family photos!

Retro RIP to Rumson’s Don Blesse

By Elaine Van Develde

Don Blesse lived in Rumson for nearly half a century.

The U.S. Navy World War II and Korean War veteran raised his family in Rumson. And every Memorial and Veterans Day service you’d see the tall, gentleman front-and-center at Victory Park paying ode to fallen fellow vets, hat to his heart.

In fact, it was not too long ago, in May, when we last saw Blesse in his usual spot at the Rumson Memorial Day service.

Now we know that he will be missing at the Veterans Day service in November. That’s because he passed away at 89 on Aug. 12.

We remember Mr. Blesse. We knew his kids. We went to RFH with them. And while we did not know their dad well, we knew he was a vet. We knew he was a father of three. We knew he was excited a couple of years ago, when we chatted with him after a Veteran’s Day service, to soon be on his way to a visit with them.

Sporting his signature veteran’s hat, he modestly talked about how he was an aviation electrician who worked on aircraft carriers in the Atlantic Ocean during the war.

He was proud, yet soft-spoken and modest. You could see his love of country and hometown. He wore it in his smile and demeanor, his bride, the mother of his children still by his side, also smiling contentedly.

He said nothing about working tirelessly to bring that veteran’s memorial to Victory Park that day. We read that in his obituary.

Don Blesse died on Aug. 12 at his relatively new home in Red Bank. He won’t be at the next memorial service in town. His simple legacy will.

We missed his own memorial service. But, we haven’t forgotten him.

People like him shouldn’t be forgotten — people living their lives, cognizant of and considerate of the people in them, serving their country and community in modest, meaningful ways, doing the right thing.

It was nice to have that brief chat with that dad and man behind the kids we knew that one day, a couple of years ago. It was good to get that glimpse — however fleeting — of yet another person who had passed through our lives, in an unobtrusive way, through his children, through his sometimes everyday, sometimes grander contributions to the community.

“Speak to people.” It’s what Fair Haven Police Chief Darryl Breckenridge told us was his mother’s best advice to him in life.

She was right. One hello, one day, brought a little insight into a life and a nice surprise. And every time we saw Don Blesse after that, we remembered a little something about him.

Now we say goodbye, never forgetting the hello.

RIP Mr. Blesse. Condolences to Carol, Paul, Donald and Ken — and your  many friends and extended family.

Don Blesse’s obituary from Thompson Memorial Home

Donald Edwin Blesse, 89, of Red Bank died at home on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015.

He was born in Weehawken and lived in Rumson and Little Silver before moving to Red Bank three years ago.

He was a tall, friendly and kind man who willingly served for many years in the communities in which he lived and his church. After earning a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Business Administration from Rutgers University, he worked for Bell Laboratories for 38 years before retiring in 1987.

He honorably served in the US Navy as an Aviation Electrician’s Mate aboard aircraft carriers during WWII and the Korean War.

Continually steadfast in his faith as a member of St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church for 53 years, he served as church school Superintendent for 28 years, Canterbury Fair treasurer, sang in the choir and was on the Vestry.

In Rumson, he was on the school board, active as a leader in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and in later years worked tirelessly to create a new veterans’ memorial in Victory Park.

He is survived by: his wife of 63 years, Carol Einbeck Blesse; three sons, Donald A. Blesse, of Lakewood, OH; Ken Blesse, of Fairview Park, OH; Paul Blesse, of Johns Creek, GA; five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, donations in his name would be welcome to the St. George’s Outreach or Memorial funds, 7 Lincoln Avenue, Rumson, NJ 07760; www.stgeorgesrumson.org. In the notes section, please identify which fund.