Tag Archives: graduation

Retro RFH Grad Moments

It’s half past pandemic graduation time. The RFH Class of 2020 had its drive-by celebration last night. A virtual ceremony is to come and still more.

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Retro Forever Fair Haven Eighth Grade Friendship Snapshot

Knollwood Class of ’74 graduation fashionistas Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde and Wanda Becker.
Photo/Sally Van Develde

Eighth graders in the Rumson-Fair Haven area are going through graduation rites of passage of a different kind right now — the COVID-19 pandemic era kind.

And what’s different about it is that there are no photos of friends clustered together, arms wrapped around one another or stiff shoulder-to-shoulder stances, signaling the end of a grade school era and beginnings. It’s definitely a missed moment or several this year.

Those ends and beginnings always involve childhood friends, some who stay with us throughout each milestone in our lives. They’re always there, if not in physical presence, in our hearts and on our minds. Those friends were markers in the milestones that are rooted in all that’s home. Our history.

So, while those friendship poses won’t be struck in the isolated pandemic Class of 2020 photos, the kinships inherent in them remain a hallmark of homegrown, hometown life.

Even if you were one of those kids that just didn’t like school all that much, the awkward, trying and exhilarating moments marked with those childhood friends are the ones that stay forever etched in minds and hearts. It’s the stuff that makes you who you are. The stuff that keeps you grounded, or up in the air — always home.

Those questionable fashion pics and fumbling adolescent moments also comprise great friendship blackmail material. Who else would have such epic fashion failure photos to go along with a string of clumsy, trouble-making memories up for grabs?

Your oldest friends. That’s who. And when the time comes to say your final goodbye, a standard eulogy by the most stable adult in the bunch just can’t compete with the memories of childhood, adolescence, teen years and adulthood and all of its ugliness, awkwardness and beauty with best friends.

Crews of grade school cronies, regardless of fashion or common sense, have something special — dating back to the beginning of graduating times.

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Retro Eighth Grade Grad Close Encounter

Knollwood School Class of 2002
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

The Fair Haven Knollwood School grads have always been a styling, close-knit crew — a crew of cohorts that’s always shared many Kodak moments, in pairs, trios, cliques and all together.

Just as photography has evolved from Brownie camera to Instamatic to Polaroid, to phone camera, to full-on professional photo shoots, graduation photo ops have devolved back to single inspired family front lawn shots. That’s where the photo blitz usually began. Now it’s where it ends, too. So, some things never really change — much.

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Retro RFH Grads’ Dive into Summer

Class of ’76 seniors dive into summer
Photo/RFH Yearbook 1976

Summer is officially here and RFHers have graduated. That means that it’s a last summer hurrah for those RFH seniors, many of whom will be headed in different directions after the summer’s over. It’s another milestone time — one that almost always brings with it a treasure trove of memories that evoke forever smiles.

It’s a time when those graduated seniors who are headed off to college and life’s new path in the fall dive into that goodbye summer with gusto.

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Retro Fair Haven Graduating

Fair Haven eighth grade graduation from Willow Street School (Sickles) circa 1946 Photo/courtesy of Jane Croft

Well, all the graduates in the Rumson-Fair Haven area have officially walked that walk.

One of those walks was the one of tradition in which Fair Haven eighth grade graduation tradition of grads take a walk back in time down Third Street from Knollwood School, where it all ended, to Viola L. Sickles School, where their Fair Haven schooling all began.

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Retro Knollwood Grad Girls Stylin’

Knollwood Class of ’74 graduation fashionistas Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde and Wanda Becker.
Photo/Sally Van Develde

Eighth graders in the Rumson-Fair Haven area have graduated. They’ve walked their walks. They’ve struck their grad poses. And, they’ve dressed the part. Quite well.

Photos are popping up all over social media. And these crews of grade school cronies seem to have a panache we eighth graders of the 1970s lacked. There they all are … posing, arms wrapped around one another, sporting stylish clothes, tans and toothy grins.

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Retro Stylin’ Knollwood Grads

Knollwood School Class of 2002 Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Knollwood School Class of 2002
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

The Fair Haven Knollwood School grads were styling last night. And, the truth is that the eighth grade graduation attire has improved to the point of even parents turning wannabes of that mini-fashion world.

You’d have to admit, though, that fad dress-up attire has been kinder to the male gender over the years — except for the leisure suit. That was an unforgiving polyester fashion fail.

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Retro RFH Graduation Daisy Chain

RFH 1978 graduation, replete with daisy chain Photo/Daryl Cooper Ley
RFH 1978 graduation, replete with daisy chain
Photo/Daryl Cooper Ley

The following was originally posted in May of 2017. It is being re-run in honor of the RFH Daisy Chain girl who passed away recently — Daryl Cooper Ley. In high school social circles, it was considered a popularity status symbol to be chosen for the chain. Daryl wasn’t all too thrilled about it at the time. It had confirmed what her closest friends knew. That she was cool. It was often repeated to her. “I didn’t think so,” was always her answer. Sorry, Dar. We win. Got the last word. You were. RIP, Dar. You are remembered … in our hearts, souls and print, like it or not! 

It was considered a privilege and honor. They were chosen from the junior class at RFH to serve as the debutante-like ushers for the graduating class. All dressed in white and supposedly gracefully toting a chain of daisies, the Daisy Chain girls were a fixture of high school finery at graduations in the 1970s.

The origins of the somewhat upper-crust tradition date back to the 1900s, but this Retro Pic of the Day was snapped in 1978.

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