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Birthday Wish for Mom: Staying Home with My ‘Fair’ Lady

“If I ever go looking for my heart’s desire again, I won’t look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn’t there, I never really lost it to begin with! Is that right?” ~ Dorothy, The Wizard of Oz

For the love of home and a Fair Haven mom … that’s right.

Sometimes a birthday without her is about lighting the candles, making the wish, sustaining the simple legacy of going home, staying home with my mom, Sally Van Develde.

Yesterday would have been her 98th birthday. If she had lived to blow out all those candles on her cake, I wondered what she would have done. What her wish would have been.

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Retro Rumson Snowy Estate Magic

“I remember when my grandfather moved here way back when Rumson Road was considered one the ‘most beautiful’ in the country,” said RFH Class of ’78 grad Monica Sheehan of what many might call a picture perfect postcard of the snowy day shot of sleighing down the driveway on the estate of the historic mansion The Hermitage.

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Retro Ice Storm Chillin’

The 1973 ice storm in Fair Haven. Photo/Elaine Van Develde (age 12)
The 1973 ice storm in Fair Haven.
Photo/Elaine Van Develde (age 12)

Our Retro Pic of the Day is a sort of “gratitude journal” reprise from an original 2015 post in honor of the short-lived Valentine’s Day ice storm.

Chill out with thaw and the reminder that, though it is pretty cold outside, and it’s been a pretty snowy, icy February, it could be worse. 

This, albeit blurry, instamatic camera shot from December of 1973 takes us back to what we referred to as The Big Ice Storm of ’73.

Limbs of trees, coated in very pretty, but dangerous, icicles were snapping all over the place. So were electrical lines. So were adults’ nerves.

As kids, however, we thought it was pretty cool. We were unfazed. We went out with our instamatic cameras and posed for pics. In reality, it was pretty treacherous.

Take a look back to a Fair Haven ice storm scene. Remember?

Retro Fair Haven Snow Day Creation

Photo/Picture of Register photo clip by Dave Kingdon

A reprise from February, 2017 in honor of the next snowfall due today … 

With the onslaught of snow and pandemic cloistering lately there’s been a lot of chatter about snow days and how to get creative with the white stuff. Well, in the 1970s, a few R-FH area kids took their creativity farther than most would be allowed to these days. And that chatter could have well been the chattering of teeth in the freezing weather.

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Retro Fair Haven Snow Daze

Third Street snow days in Fair Haven … Photo/Kathy Robbins

Since the weather forecast is still calling for snow, here’s a retro reprise as a reminder that snow fun is a simple way to cure what ails your COVID-weary soul. And, in the days before the internet and cell phones, finding out about a snow day was half the fun of the day, albeit a bit daunting … Honk blast aaaaaand sleigh … Who remembers the fire horn signal? What was it?

Call it a blizzard of snow day signals. In Fair Haven back in the 1960s (through the 80s), it was common practice for kids to rear their sleepy little heads and crack a smile when they heard the fire horn’s coded blast. In a Morse code kinda way it would “buuuuuraaaamp” that there would be no school due to snow.

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