Scene Around: Donovan’s Opening Day Icon Sighting

Photo/Grace Cangemi Ryan

What would a Donovan’s Reef reopening be without a spotting of its unofficial, or official, mascot — the iconic guy about town everyone knows as Dizzy Dave?

Well, lots of area folks were there for Sunday’s (delayed from Saturday) grand reopening. And, while it was pretty packed and running into Dave was tantamount to playing a giant game of Where’s Waldo, one devout Donovan’s fan, Gerry Ryan, found him and struck the classic pose.

Ryan’s wife, former Red Bank Councilwoman Grace Cangemi Ryan, grabbed the photo op and shared it with Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect.

Rumson Mayor John Ekdahl told us he was there as well, but, no roving photographers seemed to capture him, either. He said he did not see Dizzy. “It’s surprising that I didn’t,” Ekdahl said on Memorial Day. “He’s pretty hard to miss!”

The new place got a thumbs up from the mayor. The Ryans and all other locals and fans we spoke with gave the new Donovan’s rave reviews.

Now, where’s Dizzy Dave?


Focus: Signs of Memorial Day Remembrance in Fair Haven

The rain may have stopped the Memorial Day parade, but Fair Haven folks still paid homage to those who lost their lives in war defending America.

Rumson-Fair Haven Retrospect could not make the ceremony at Knollwood School on Monday, but signs of remembrance remained all over the borough on the drizzly day.

Take a look … (Click to enlarge.)

— Elaine Van Develde

Retro Donovan’s Devastation, Memories

It was like a scene out of The Wizard of Oz, with a wicked witch of a storm dropping a house on the spirits of Rumson-Fair Haven area locals. It was the scene of what many might call the Superstorm Sandy crime that devastated the Sea Bright peninsula and wiped out a decades-long iconic spot — Donovan’s Reef.

When the coast was literally clear of the storm’s wrath, locals flocked to the site to see what Sandy had spit out and left behind. They cried, reminisced, meditated on the jetty and gathered tiny scraps of memories made at the longtime RFHers’ hang-out.

The Retro Pic(s) of the Day take us back to Donovan’s in the aftermath of Sandy.

Laying on the ground were decades worth of remnants from a hut by the sea where many milestone memories were made. On the cusp  of the iconic spot’s reopening, people wonder if the new and expanded hut by the sea will be a place to DO it again? Time will tell. Locals are poised for the fresh start. But, they always seem to look back on the good ol Donovan’s days.

What is your favorite Donovan’s memory from years gone by?

— Elaine Van Develde

— Photos/Elaine Van Develde

Resurrection: Donovan’s Debut

It’s day that many Rumson-Fair Haven area locals have been anticipating since the ravaging dawn of 2012’s Superstorm Sandy — the reopening of the devastated iconic Donovan’s Reef in Sea Bright.

After many fits and starts, that day, save for any unforeseen issues, now appears to be set. It’s Saturday, a Twitter post confirmed, though with a praying hands emoji.

“4+ years ago we were washed away ? thanks Sandy,” a post on the Donovan’s Facebook page says. “NOW, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can sit at the inside bar & take in this amazing view! Can’t wait to see you! Hope for no delays and we open MDW!”

Take a look at the progression since Sandy in the below photos …

— Photos/Elaine Van Develde

RFH Takes Home Two Basie Awards

“The envelope, please …” as the saying at any awards ceremony usually goes. Last night it was the 12th annual Basie Awards and the winner was …

Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School’s (RFH) Jake Rallo in the Best Supporting Actor in a Musical category for his role in Tarzan and Joe Esposito for Outstanding Lighting Design in a Musical.

RFH was nominated for 17 awards this year.


Congrats to Jake and Joe! Keep breakin’ those legs! 

— Photos/Elaine Van Develde

A Fair Haven PD Promotion: Sgt. Stephen Schneider

He now has three stripes on the arm of his uniform. It’s the official sign that Fair Haven Police Department’s Stephen Schneider is now a sergeant.

He joins the ranks of current sergeants Jesse Dykstra and Sherri Lambert in the department. The 38-year-old Howell resident took oath of office for his new rank — his promotion — at Monday night’s Borough Council meeting.

Schneider, who has been working as a Fair Haven officer since Jan. 1, 2006, has been assigned to many areas within the department, he said  on Thursday, but most recently, he has served for the past five years as its detective. He said he feels proud and lucky to work as an officer and be a part of the Fair Haven community in that capacity.

“I am glad to have been hired and to be able to serve the residents of Fair Haven,” Schneider said. “This is truly a wonderful community to be a part of, and to have the opportunity to work with the finest officers is just simply a  huge bonus.”

Prior to his work in Fair Haven, Schneider served in the Brookdale Community College Police Department, where he served for four years, from 2001 to 2005.

Congrats to Sgt. Schneider! You can call him sergeant.

— Elaine Van Develde

— Photo/courtesy of FHPD

Break a Leg at the Basie Awards, RFH!

Tonight’s the night. It’s the 12th annual Basie Awards, celebrating the talent of area high school students and their mentors.

This year, Rumson-Fair Haven Regional High School (RFH) actors, singers, musicians, directors, producers and tech crew have netted 17 nominations.

They are:

• Outstanding drama production, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight;

• Outstanding lead actor in a drama, Calvin Bruno, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight;

• Outstanding direction in a drama, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Suzanne Sweeney;

• Outstanding set design in a drama, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Matthew Leddin;

• Outstanding lighting design in a drama, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Matthew Leddin;

Musical Productions

• Outstanding musical production, Tarzan;

• Outstanding lead actress in a musical, Rachel Makstein, Tarzan

• Outstanding supporting actor in a musical, Jake Rallo, Tarzan;

• Outstanding chorus, Tarzan;

• Outstanding featured ensemble group, Tarzan, The Gorillas;

• Outstanding featured ensemble group, Tarzan,  Island Spirits;

• Outstanding student/adult orchestra, Tarzan, Amy Fredericks;

• Outstanding direction in a musical, Tarzan, Suzanne Sweeney;

• Outstanding choreography, Tarzan, Jen Costa;

• Outstanding set design in a musical, Tarzan, Matthew Leddin;

• Outstanding lighting design in a musical, Tarzan, Matthew Leddin;

• Outstanding musical direction, Tarzan, Amy Fredericks.

Scene Around: Classic Car Coolness

Classic car moment in Sea Bright
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Call it a classic moment at the convenience store. It’s not every day that you pull into the 7-Eleven parking lot in Sea Bright and get a close-up gander of an old classic — car, that is.

Or, maybe it is. Could be that this car belongs to a local.

There have been quite a few classic sightings in the area intermittently. This one, though, we’ve never seen before.

Being slightly car illiterate, we’re not sure of the make and model of this one.

Anyone know? Know its owner?

Yes, we forgot to just look on the bumper or hood.


Scene Around: Decent Victory Park Proposal

Prom proposal for a birthday girl at Victory Park in Rumson on Sunday.
Photo/Maeve Bradley

It’s a place where many a Rumsonite has spent many a simple, reflective or milestone moment and racked up many a vivid memory, from childhood through adulthood — the Navesink riverfront Victory Park.

Continue reading Scene Around: Decent Victory Park Proposal