Well, we said goodbye to … summer, local and all. And with that goodbye, we take a look back at two Rumson girls of the 1950s who took the plunge into and out of summers together — suited up, off the Rumson Dock and into a longtime friendship.
Both spent a lot of time not only at the Rumson Dock, but as residents of both Rumson and Fair Haven. Mansfield has been in Oceanport for some time. Feeny, Linda Zerr in the 50s, is still in Fair Haven. She’s been there for quite some time. And the two are still friends. Call it dock days bonding. It’s like epoxy for riverfront-raised, dock dwelling kids.
With the recent publication of Mansfield’s story as that girl from the Rumson Dock on its old post card, Feeny piped up on social media with a “This is my good friend Alice. We spent many hours on the Rumson dock. Ken Card took most of these dock pictures. Good times and long lasting friendships.” Feeny didn’t end up on the post card, but, for a minute, Mansfield thought initially it had to be Feeny lying down next to her, because they were always together.
So, as a testament to time-honored friendship, the best summers of locals’ lives and saying goodbye to summertime, we take you back to a shot on a dock piling of these two girlfriends. Call them the girls of Rumson summer.
Now that’s an easy livin’ story of the best of summertimes and friendships that endure. We’re thinking that since Feeny didn’t make it on the Rumson Dock post card, maybe there’ll be a Fair Haven one coming out in the summer of 2022?
A reunion story down at the dock may just be in order … Your best dock buddy? Fondest adventure or misadventure?
A back-to-school reprise dedicated to my first friend, Pam (second from right), who passed away in July of 2020, and everyone’s first friend on that first day …
Knock-kneed, nervous and all dressed up with somewhere to go, this gaggle Fair Haven neighborhood girls of 1965 lined up so their moms could get that classic first-day-of-kindergarten shot. And there wasn’t a smile among them.
A reprise, originally posted in 2017, in honor of back-to-school time …
Back-to-school time has arrived.
And with back-to-school thoughts come hopes of a good teacher or two and memories of the ones who we thought were the coolest. Then there were those administrators who weren’t just a Charlie Brown teacher voice cawing over the ol’ daydreaming student’s non-thought process. Some, or one in particular, are remembered as a real education innovators.
Our annual reprise of back-to-school memories and walking the rope in Fair Haven …
“But I don’t wanna walk on the rope next to her!” I cried from under my freshly-cut kindergarten bangs. “I wanna walk on the rope next to Pam!”
Pam was my neighbor. She was my best buddy.
It was 1965. Or was it ’64? It was the 60s. One thing’s for sure: Our Fair Haven kindergarten class was the last to have its first year of school at what was called the Youth Center, now the Fair Haven Police Station and Community Center on Fisk Street.
We kindergarteners were also the last to be tugged down the street on a rope, yes a rope, headed by an official-looking police-type lady.
It’s locals’ summertime in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, where the livin’ is always easier down by the river.
Welcomed is how most any local wrapped up in the Navesink and Shrewsbury rivers’ shoreline embrace feels. It’s a local’s terminal rite of passage. And when summer’s crowded rush of soaking it all up cools down, the deep inhale of the rivers’ endless solace warms — a reminder that home is where the river beckons. A roaring, quiet reminder. It hollers with the tide … until it soothes.
Can you hear it now?
— Photos/Elaine Van Develde (Click on one to enlarge and scroll. Enjoy!)
Locals’ summer days ahead are looking seasonably good. Check out the forecast for this week from the National Weather Service and head to your favorite locals’ summer river spot …