Category Archives: Local Life

A look, in photos, of latest area events, local everyday people and places.

Focus: Sunset River Walk Reflection

As the sun sets over the Navesink River, a walk on the Fair Haven Dock sheds light on river time that saw its season, its sunshine — river time that stays within and keeps us warm with a vivid picture of where we were, where we are.

And when you’re lucky enough to go back in river time with a first childhood friend, the winter walk gets warmer with each step. Each step forward brings you back to the same place, together, half a century later, where the sun shines bright, searing the power of one place into your forever inner child’s mind. The sear is an intricate lightning caress. A tidy, stinging storm of light.

It hits hard, bloated with love, and courses through all that you are, all that you were. It knows the two are the same deep inside. The searing light pens the picture pristine, the detail intricate, embeds it in each smile line on your face. It etches, never turning the picture to ash, only refining it.

You can see it all … in that river walk back with that childhood friend. It’s clear — so clear that you can hear it. You can hear the splash as you turn to the girl who dared to jump with the cool kids all those years ago. She smiles at the girl who stood and watched, still anchored, never wanting loose her footing on that piece of home. She’s docked there, forever reminding her friend that she is, too.

They pluck oyster shells from the shore to mark the splash made, the picture emblazoned. The sun sinks into the horizon. Its light stays within. The shells once held a pearl. The river remembers it all. It holds on tight as the friends walk away … clasping their pearly shells.

— Elaine Van Develde

Any time is river walk time. The sun is another story for the rest of this week and through the weekend. Here’s the forecast from the National Weather Service …

Retro Just Ducky Times at McCarter Pond

Three Fair Haven kids and the ducks at McCarter Pond circa 1950s
Photo/Kathy Robbins

Duck, duck … goose? Nope. This is more like the “Duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck, duck … kid, kid, kid … and a pond” game. Yeah, that’s it. Whatever way you look at it, it’s a pretty simple concept, just like that old Duck Duck Goose game.

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Retro RFH Foul Weather Funning

The RFH boys of the Class of 1978 lounge and play backgammon
Photo/George Day

Did someone say backgammon? Originally posted on Dec. 3, 2019, we’re bringing this RFH Senior Commons Retro Pic of the (George) Day back, because that conversation pit pic got those ’70s RFHers talking about the oh, so trendiness of backgammon and games in the pits and on the tabletops of that Senior Commons. We’re not so sure these guys were actually playing, but … the foul weather brings out those RFH Senior Commons memories and everything gets a bit more fair-weathered again. Go back again with us …

Snow day, anyone? Nope. Not this year. Dank days certainly are a bit too plentiful, though. Really, what’s an RFH student to do when the studying mood hasn’t struck, the weather stinks and a little peppering of now is not quite snow day worthy? Hang out in the Senior Lounge and play backgammon, of course. Or something like that. We stress “something like that.”

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Retro Fair Haven Folk Singer Parading

Fair Haven Folk Singers in a Fair Haven parade circa early 1970s
Photo/Jack Croft via Mary Croft

They had the “whole world” in their hands. The whole wide world. And they didn’t even know it.

It was a song the Fair Haven Folk Singers used to strum, sing and march to in parades. It encapsulated some happy insular times in one tiny niche in the world aptly called Fair Haven. The mission of the Fair Haven Folk Singers was a simple one — learn to play the guitar, all three chords, strum, sing, smile and spread the joy of music.

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Old News: A ‘Cheers’ to Iconic Places & People

There’s a reason why the 1970s and ’80s TV show Cheers was so popular.

The title song said it all in one sentence “You wanna go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.” It resonated with millions. Everyone wanted that place to go to where they knew they belonged. A nose-to-the-screen-free environment. Face-to-face social interaction with a family of another kind that, good or bad, always showed up. Regulars. A place like Cheers — with parents.

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Retro RFH Rainy Day Senior Lounge Groove

RFH seniors of 1974 lounge in the Senior Commons
Photo/RFH Yearbook

The year was 1974 and the top hits were The Way We Were and Seasons in the Sun. Ironic …

Rainy days and Tuesdays, Wednesdays and maybe Thursdays never got RFH seniors down. After all, they had the Senior Commons.

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Retro RFH Presidential Spirit of ’76

Well, with Presidents Day kicking off the week, it seemed only appropriate to continue in that theme with retro RFH photos — class presidents, their teams and even the top administrator.

Why not? If the day fits … And, lest we forget that back in the 1970s, there was a bicentennial for the U.S.A. going on. And there was much making of the year in the theme of RFH festivities and the yearbook.

The RFH Class of ’76, in fact, reprised its own ode to our first president, George Washington, with a mock crossing of, shall we say, McCarter Pond?

While the intent of Presidents Day was originally to commemorate the birthday of the first U.S. president, George Washington, it ended up being moved from Washington’s birthday of Feb. 22 to the third Monday of February as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act in 1971.

The purpose for that was twofold: to create a three-day weekend for federal and state employees (and sometimes municipal and private sector employees) and to celebrate all presidents.

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Retro RFH Twirling Halftime

With all the usual buzz about the Super Bowl halftime still swirling all over social media, thoughts go back to a time at RFH when twirling made for a dazzling halftime show — on the basketball court. That’s one way to celebrate RFH Basketball season.

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