Back to School & Walking the Rope

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.

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Focus: River Time; Locals’ Summer Welcome

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 …

In Memoriam: ‘Red Bank Charlie’, Face of HobbyMasters, Charles Horowitz

Longtime Red Bank resident, known as Red Bank Charlie and the face of HobbyMasters, Charles Horowitz, passed away peacefully on Sept. 12 “after a short and well-fought battle with cancer.”

Born in Brooklyn, NY in 1942, Charlie lived in New York until he moved to Red Bank, NJ in 1978.

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9/11: Day’s End Reflection, 20 Years Later

The following piece, with a few changes as time goes on, is published annually on 9/11 as a testament to never forgetting … 
 
It was a beautiful Tuesday. The sun was shining. The air was crisp. The coffee even tasted especially good.
 
I remember. Most of us remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m.. I know I do. I also remember how everything went from bright, crisp, fragrant and optimistic to dark, dank, acrid and fearful in one second. I remember how it wasn’t about us observers, storytellers. It was about them — the victims, their loved ones, their message.
 
For me, a professional observer, a professional storyteller, thankfully close enough, yet far enough, yes, it was so very much about them — painfully so. I wasn’t one of them. I was lucky. I was grateful. I watched. I listened intently. They shared.
 
I was a reporter living in Fair Haven and covering Middletown. On what started out as a typical day, they ended up unwittingly, graciously, lighting a less traveled path for me. For many.
 
It’s this one storyteller’s perspective.
 
Through this one fortunate observer’s eyes and heart, it went like this …
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Prosecutor: Shrewsbury Man Charged with Embezzling $750K From Employer

A Shrewsbury man has been charged with embezzling more than $750,000 from the Colts Neck-based company he once worked for as an accountant, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey said on Wednesday.

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Prosecutor: Five-Hour Police Standoff Resolved

A near five-hour standoff in Aberdeen between police and an armed man on Saturday ended peacefully when the man was taken into custody, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Lori Linskey said.

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Prosecutor: Tinton Falls Woman Convicted of Girlfriend’s 2015 Murder

A Tinton Falls woman has been found guilty of first-degree murder and related charges stemming from incidents six years ago, Acting Prosecutor Lori Linskey said on Friday.

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Retro Youth Center P.M. Kindergarten Class Act

Our annual back-to-school reprise all about those first days of school along with some who, what, when and boogeyman parts … Take this little trip back in time with us to remember a different, but same Fair Haven and those school days …

It was a real first and last class act of 1965 — the kindergarten class that was the last to get its first lessons learned in school at what was the Youth Center in Fair Haven. You know. It’s the police station now.

Back in the day — OK, waaaaay back in the day — there was a third school in Fair Haven for kindergarten, you see. It was the Youth Center. That was also way before preschool. People now know it better as the Fair Haven Police Station and by its newly adopted name that hasn’t quite caught on yet, and may never for “older” folks still in town — Fair Haven Community Center. Phooey to that. Some things just need to keep a name for nostalgic purposes alone. Besides, the youth part soothes us old codgers.

That and it’s just a matter of what sounds like home to you. For instance, my very nice grandmother, a Matawan native, was pretty hostile about the “new” Aberdeen split and name. Paid it no mind. And if forced, said it with “blah, blah, blah” contempt. Back to the Community Center … There, I said it.

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