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.
The administrator only said in the announcement at about 1 p.m. that the administration wanted to “thank him for his accomplishments” during his mayoral tenure and “wish him luck.”
R-FH Retro has reached out to Lucarelli with no immediate response.
Of the limited information surrounding the resignation, Fair Haven Borough Council President Christopher Rodriguez, alluding to a bit of an explosive moment at last night’s council meeting, said late Tuesday afternoon, “I am still digesting the past ten hours of it all. I am still coming to grips with it all … I have not spoke to the council or mayor yet.”
The governing body’s political composition has shifted in the past few years. It has been either all Republican or majority Republican over the past couple of decades at least. Lucarelli is a Republican. Last year’s election turned the majority to Democrat, 4-2.
Lucarelli, who grew up in Rumson, moved to Fair Haven to raise his family. He served on borough council and when former Mayor Mike Halfacre, an attorney, resigned in 2012 to accept a position with the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control division under the Gov. Chris Christie administration, as holding office would have posed a conflict. Lucarelli was chosen from three nominees to fill his unexpired term and then ran for full terms.
In Fair Haven’s form of government, weak mayor, strong council, the mayor is elected separately for four-year terms as opposed to borough council members’ three-year tenure. The mayor only has a vote in council matters if he is needed to break a tie. He presides over meetings and has veto power.
According to state statute, a replacement must be named from a pool of three nominees of the same party as Lucarelli. Council will then vote on who gets the appointment to fill Lucarelli’s term, which ends at the end of 2022.
This is a breaking story. As soon as Lucarelli responds, there will be a follow-up.
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.
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.
The Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair came back to town after a forced pandemic respite last year.
And it came back with gusto, even though the seafood was sorely missed by many. The Grab Bag Booth a/k/a Balloon Booth made its exit, fair grounds left, this year, too. It’s gone for good. No more buying prizes to compensate for losses at the games of chance. Waaaaaa! But, all was very well with the fair’s return.
Save for the twister threat that banished Firemen’s Night on Wednesday, thousands flocked to the fair just about every night.
Many of the sights have already been seen. But, here’s R-FH Retro’s glimpse into fairing well at the fair … (Click on one photo to enlarge and scroll! Enjoy!)