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Focus: Remembering Superstorm Sandy’s Wrath

A reprise from 2017. Taking you back again after eight years … Remember?

It was the year that Halloween wasn’t, but was in a sense. People in the area woke up to a nightmare, if they slept at all the night before. It was 2012 and Superstorm Sandy had pummeled the Jersey Shore. It decimated Sea Bright and destroyed low lying parts of Rumson. Fair Haven was a bit war torn and powerless.

Continue reading Focus: Remembering Superstorm Sandy’s Wrath

Scene Around: Commandeering a Coffin

Fill ‘er up … with premium Halloween tricks and treats!

It’s not every day that you stop at a gas station and almost get run over by a masked Dracula-commandeered coffin. This ghoul guy was running on empty when he swung into the station in Highlands with flailing cape gusto and had a little topple at the pump.

“Did ya get that?” the masked marauder said as he picked himself up from the pavement and dusted off his cape. All gassed up and set in his coffin ride, he gave us a few waves and went on his way.

Just who was that masked Halloween treat of a man? No clue. Uber? No back seat. Can’t exactly commandeer that ride. But, hey, if the coffin fits, take a spin and a little spill.

— Photos/Elaine Van Develde

Focus: Rumson Gull Friends’ River Heaven

It’s often been viewed as a slice of heaven — solace time down by the Navesink River.

And on a sunny fall Sunday, the seagulls were basking in the scene on the banks of the river in Rumson. A gentle fluff of clouds embraced a blue sky and peering sun with warmth as the gulls manned heaven’s gate.

Swoop with the gulls into the slice of this utopia. They’ve called you home — to this heaven.

(Click to enlarge and scroll. Enjoy!)

— Photos/Elaine Van Develde

Focus: Freedom Festival Rockin’ in Sea Bright

A sunny Sunday made for a festival first in Sea Bright.

In a niche by the boardwalk, music played for a few hours as people gathered to soak up some seaside sun, listen to speakers, take part in activities, peruse booths and tents, mingle and gather resource information for addiction recovery as the First Annual Fall Freedom Festival got underway.

The aim of the festivals is to “offer free resources for freedom from addiction, fear and co-dependency,” a banner said. “Uniting Resources for the Courage to Change,” the subhead of the banner said.

Take at the photo gallery below for a glimpse into the event … (Click to enlarge!)

Focus: Rich Chandler’s Fair Haven Goodbye

The picture of his childhood friend caught his eye. Among the cozy chatter of old friends and family, he left the conversation at the table staring, transfixed for a brief moment. The sudden silence in his own head overcame him, welled up a bit in his eyes as he moved toward the picture of his old friend that seemed to call to him.

Continue reading Focus: Rich Chandler’s Fair Haven Goodbye

Scene Around: RFH Marching Band, Color Guard Show Goes On

The pandemic didn’t stop the show. The Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) Marching Band and Color Guard marched, twirled and played on at Friday night’s first RFH Football game. And the show was winning, by all accounts, just like the team.

Continue reading Scene Around: RFH Marching Band, Color Guard Show Goes On

Scene Around: Fisk Chapel’s Community Spirited Dress-Up

The call came for neighbors, friends, paint brushes, scrapers, masks and soaring helping spirits. That call was heeded over the weekend at the Fisk Chapel AME Church in Fair Haven as many showed to get the church with historic roots dressed up in its Sunday best.

Continue reading Scene Around: Fisk Chapel’s Community Spirited Dress-Up

Locals’ Summer: Fishy River Kid Reflection

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There’s something fragrantly fishy about quiet river time frolicking among childhood friends down by the Fair Haven Dock.

It’s a common, soothing sight to see — a gaggle of kids clamoring around a fishing net, exploring a good catch. Of course, they throw the little fish right back in as the tide rolls out. After all, it’s the bonding down by the river that counts most.

Home. The solace of the scene. This is it for them. For many. The bright sun dancing with a simple, happy time. The sound of lapping water peppered by giggles and gasps over a few fish wiggles, seaweed and shells. The sand between the toes. The home in the heart made to keep kid memories.

Take a look … Remember? (CLICK on one photo to enlarge and scroll. Enjoy!)

Fair Remembrance: A Firemen’s Night

They call it Family Night now. But, the Wednesday night of each Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair is forever Firemen’s Night to any kid who grew up hearing sirens blaring through the streets where they lived on that eve that welcomed and honored firefighters from near and far to the fair grounds.

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Simple Summer: Guarding a Sea Bright Dawn with a Friend

On Monday morning, I’m going away with my friend …

It may have been a Saturday in the Sandpipers’ famed song Come Saturday Morning, but it sure looks like this Monday captured at Sea Bright’s sunrise today by longtime Fair Havenite and Knollwood School teacher, Andy Dougherty.

When morning has broken on a final summer’s day, nothing compares to the serene veracity of the moment, especially when shared with a childhood friend.

The softness of the vivid colors, the loud silence, the magic in the clouds’ formations, the whole world inside each droplet of a wave’s crash. The hush frozen in time in a minute’s worth of snapshots.

The simplest of moments atop a lifeguard stand with a best friend. Saturday or Monday, the awakening calm of the dawn, the moment remains, many of them …

“Just I and my friend. We’ll travel for miles in our Saturday smiles. And then we’ll move on. But we will remember … long after Saturday’s gone.”

The simplest of summers. Remember the moments. Savor them. Exhale with a smile.

Fair Remembrance: Rides & Reunions

On the historic year without the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair, we offer a look back at some classic moments of the past five years, since R-FH Retro has been roving the grounds freezing snippets of time.

To anyone who has grown up in the Rumson-Fair Haven area, the fair is a reuniter, an end-of-summer community anchor, a generous memory giver. So, on the year without the fair, here’s a look back at the more recent past and best of moments among friends who became family in a place called home. Take the ride with us …

Continue reading Fair Remembrance: Rides & Reunions