Tag Archives: RFH

Taking RFH Tower Players’ Spring Show Outside

Small group virtual dance rehearsal takes place in March with choreographer Casey Stolowski and male cast members. Pictured are Casey Stolowski, Aidan Herman, Matt Reulbach, Evan Callas, Chris Stypa.

Of the mindset that in spite of the pandemic, the show must go on, the Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Tower Players are taking the spring musical off the auditorium stage and to the outdoors.

The musical they’re taking to the outdoor stage is Emma! A Pop Musical.

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Retro RFH Baseball Tackle Time

In an effort to continue to pay homage to baseball season, these RFH baseball of a more casual kind retro pics, originally posted on April 10, 2019 are being reprised. Have you ever had a tackle strategy like this in your ball game?

Isn’t football the tackle sport? Well, that may be, but by the looks of things in this 1970s home run classic in the outfield, these RFH baseball players paid no mind to standard sports protocol. It was really all about the fun and laughs for them.

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Getting In Step with an RFH Icon

George Giffin moving feet to the beat with RFH Drill team girls
Photo/RFH Yearbook

“OK, pick your dance partners,” RFH’s iconic George Giffin said at a 70s ballroom dance class.

The cool guys scurried to get the most popular girls as the tune countdown ticked away. I was the last girl left. Left footed, Lainey. Yep. Giff chuckled a little, looked at the two boys left as they backed into the wall like frightened wallflower turtles.

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Retro RFH Baseball

Baseball at RFH in the 1970s Photo/George Day
Baseball at RFH in the 1970s
Photo/George Day

Play ball! Well, spring has arrived and RFH Baseball season is set to start soon — on April 9 with a home JV game at Meadow Ridge. Time will tell whether or not vaccines will hit COVID-19 out of the park, but the game is on and the RFH players are set for a home run season.

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Mark F. Hughes Jr.: Legacy of a Rumson Dad

“He was a great man, and a humble man … His hearty laughter at a good story or joke, his warm-hearted and frequent expressions of love and support for all of us, his kindness to people from all walks of life, and his keen intellect and insight will be missed, while memories of him live on.”

Nan Hughes Poole, Mark Hughes Jr.’s daughter

Memories. Moments. They’re what live on after we’re gone — what takes on a life of its own, indelibly etched in the minds of future generations. Legacy. There are so very many of those moments, those memories that many could call to mind as they put on their best bowtie and tip their hat to all that comprise the legacy left by longtime Rumsonite Mark F. Hughes Jr..

The husband, dad, grandfather, lawyer and rarest of gems among gentleman died on March 10, just four days shy of his 90th birthday. He and his wife, Marie H. “Mimi” Hughes, a longtime Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) English teacher, lived in Rumson for more than 55 years. They raised their four children there, in their home right across the street from the high school. They welcomed many into the Hughes home, like family, with open hearts and a voracious interest in the passions of all they met and cared to know better.

Anyone who has crossed the Hughes home threshold or been on stage with one or many has a story to tell. One of patriarch Mark, always the gentile Mr. Hughes to me, stands out in my mind. It tells his legacy tale in a mind’s snapshot. It’s a little lost-and-found snippet of a dad and grandfather steeped in a moment that had become tradition — a generational one to be carried on for lifetimes.

In my mind’s eye, a locked frame-freeze cache, it remains …

“Somehow, we’ve lost Dad,” said a content, grinning Paul Hughes, Mark’s son and my longtime friend, at closing day of an RFH show. Decades before, it was we who were at the RFH auditorium, mingling, crying over the ending, collecting accolades and bouquets. “He got caught up chatting with people and he’s still at the high school somewhere. Somehow, he got left behind. Gotta go find him.”

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Retro Spring Chillin’ RFH Style

RFH students of the 1970s take some free time outside in the nice weather. Photo/George Day
RFH students of the 1970s take some free time outside in the nice weather.
Photo/George Day

A reprise of a very popular Retro Pic of the (George) Day that pays homage to spring — RFH style … Now where were these RFHers? Word has it that they were far off campus … 

Spring has finally sprung. In fact it’s bloomin’ bouncing into seasonal warmth lately, save for a few bad days.

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Honoring an RFH Icon: George Giffin Memorial Fund Created

Dancing George Giffiin in May of 2012 at Fairwinds Deli, Fair Haven
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

“When you get that beat, you gotta
move your feet!”

George Giffin in 2012 at 83 (or so, as he said)

Move their feet to the beat of a George Giffin Memorial Fund is exactly what Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) alumni, in partnership with high school’s Education Foundation, have done. The foundation was created to honor and advance the passions of the iconic longtime RFH biology and dance teacher.

George, or “Giff,” as his students affectionately called him, garnered iconic status in his 35 years, from 1956 to 1991, at RFH. The Class of 1991, the last class for which Giff taught, dedicated its senior yearbook to him.

For a stint during his RFH tenure, Giff served as chairman of the high school’s Science Department. He also taught an elective ballroom dance class at RFH that quickly became a must and was known to keep students on their toes, dancing with class in any social setting. Post high school, Giff showed up at many an RFH reunion or wedding to get the dance party started and going all night. If you saw him around the towns in his retired years, he’d gladly tell you all about the joy that dancing in and out of those high school years gave him. And he wasn’t alone. For RFH alumni, a dancing Giff appearance always made the celebration complete at any event.

For that reason, the money raised for the new George Giffin Memorial Fund will be used to support RFH programs for which Giff held a deep commitment — those with which he aimed to empower students at RFH to achieve their goals and develop a true love of learning and living.

Remembered by countless students for his quirky, enigmatic personality, Giff was known to pepper his lessons with a lot of laughter, cheer, soft-shoe steps and jokes in and out of the classroom.

In addition to teaching, Giff was, at different times, both the girls’ and boys’ basketball coach as well as the RFH Golf Team coach. Known as always the fearless pioneer, while looking for an opportunity decades ago for girls to be more involved in school activities, Giff created and directed the RFH Girls’ Drill Team.

The girls on the team practiced twirling rifles Giff-choreographed routines at football halftimes. At one time, the team was comprised of 100 girls; and, in addition to football game performances, marched, for years, in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade in NYC.

George Giffin at 83 (or so, as he said) in 2012
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Word among RFH alumni spread recently when members of the RFH Class of 1973 spearheaded the effort to create the memorial fund in Giff’s honor.  

“We had many outstanding teachers at RFH,” said Class of ’73 grad Bill Davidson. “Mr. Giffin was not only an outstanding teacher but an energetic, spirited, and talented individual who  was admired and remembered by so many.  

“Giff taught students over four decades which saw so much change but he never lost his ability to connect with students over those years!  He was a gift!”

Classmate Cindy Sherman elaborated, saying, “George Giffin saw something in me that I did not see in myself … for that, I am forever grateful.”

Along with Davidson and Sherman, Steve Farely and Ellen Spears comprise the four-member Steering Committee for the Fund.

“The Foundation is honored to help RFH alumni recognize Mr. Giffin through the establishment of the George Giffin Memorial Fund,” RFH Foundation Board President Mary Pat Moriarty said. “During Mr. Giffin’s years of service as an educator, he encouraged and supported countless RFH students. Today, thanks to the generosity of the alumni, family and friends he inspired, he will impact a new generation of RFH students for years to come by creating opportunities for academic enrichment through the grants funded
in his memory.”

The RFH Education Foundation, a charitable organization with the mission of enriching the high school curriculum by funding projects and grants that fall outside of the school system’s mainstream budget.

George Giffin died in 2014 at the age of 85. He was a longtime Fair Haven resident. His wife, Marcia, a former Knollwood School English teacher, still lives in Fair Haven. Prior to his time at RFH, he served as a captain with the U.S. Marine Corps during the Korean War. A 1951 graduate of Colby College in Waterville, ME, he earned a master’s degree from Colby as well as from the University of Vermont.

Outside of the RFH halls and grounds, Giff was an active member of various local religious, social and charitable groups. He was a founder of the Fair Haven Fields Committee and the director of the Fair Haven Recreation Commission for several years.

To donate to the fund campaign starting on April 1 (no joke), visit the RFH Education Foundations’ website.

— Elaine Van Develde & RFH press release information

Retro RFH Dudes’ Surf into Spring

The RFH surfing guys of the 1970s Photo/George Day
The RFH surfing guys of the 1970s
Photo/George Day

A classic reprise for some cheer, just because we’re warming up for spring fever … 

That winter chill is still in the air. The beach is pretty barren. But thoughts of catching a wave into some forecasted spring weather tomorrow are with many in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

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