Category Archives: Local Life

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

Retro 80s RFH Class Stand

Sometimes half a high school class just has to take a stand … or a seat … in its football stadium.

In this case, the class, or half of it, was the RFH Class of ’82. And somehow the class ended up all together at the high school’s Borden Stadium as posers rather than sports spectators.

That’s OK. It didn’t matter why they were there or how they ended up in such a collective group pose. What mattered more was that the photo ended up being a classic testament to RFH times decades ago.

First of all, let’s check out the fashion. This was a preppy picture perfect snapshot of those back-in-the-day popular wide-striped rugby shirts, plaid blazers, button down Oxford shirts and crew neck sweaters. The smiles and clowny antics? Oh, that was all RFH spirit and pure joy over taking that stand or seat in their cozy RFH class niche.

Soon there will be games to watch from that stadium for yet another football season. The spectators? They’re forever cheering from the same place for the same place — home turf.

Now, exactly what is this half of a class up to? Can you find the best group photo bomber? There are a couple of doozies in there. We know our favorite. Yours? Your favorite preppy outfit of. the era? Do the stripes get it? How about those sweaters and button downs? Hmmmmm …

There are an awful lot of stripes on these RFH stars! Ponder the take-a-Borden-stand moment of 40 years ago.

Retro 60s Back to School: Fair Haven Kindergarten Posers

Fair Haven kindergarten a.m. class of 1965

School’s back in session and it’s just about time for students and teachers to rise, shine and show off a little at Back to School Night.

And kindergarten is the first and best of what was formerly called Open House for kids and parents. First of all, the parents don’t need to tear up and down stairs and speed through hallways to make it to the next class when that bell rings. A little 5K training should be a prerequisite for middle- and high school Open House nights.

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Retro 1950s Fair Haven Kindergarten Class Act

A classic reprise originally posted in 2017 and now reprised every year in celebration of that ever so priceless school picture day. This one takes us back to a Fair Haven kindergarten class of 1955 at Knollwood School. At one time or another, three different schools housed kindergarten classes in Fair Haven. The pictures? Well, there was always that group shot, no matter where, that captured some priceless looks, fashion and hairdos.  

School bells are ringing. Class is in session. Back-to-school mode is still kicking in. Back-to-school nights have welcomed parents back to the school halls. And, for some, it’s about taking a walk back to their own school days in the same place — like Knollwood School.

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Focus: Sea Bright Sunrise on Locals’ Summer

A Sea Bright beach stroll at sunrise
Photo/Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca

That new day has dawned. It’s officially locals’ summertime in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

Call it that back-to-school nap time respite for the Jersey Shore kid in all. Pull out the mat and hit the beach time. Inhale the scene’s solace. Exhale the power in its beauty.

The return of some solitude and quiet savoring of the sunrise on a pristine beach in Sea Bright encapsulates the mood. After a flurry of a Labor Day weekend, down came the rain and washed the bustle away.

Up came the sun … and dried up all the crowd overload. Ahhhhh …

Welcome, locals’ summer!

The sun has risen for the inaugural locals’ weekend. Here’s the weather forecast for the Rumson-Fair Haven area from the National Weather Service …

** Thanks to RFHer and Rumson-raised Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca for this glimpse into a mesmerizing sunrise in Sea Bright. Oh, and that’s her husband in the solo walk shot. **

Sunrise in Sea Bright
Photo/Jo Ann Slocum Mazzucca

Retro First Day of School: Walking the Rope

Our annual back-to-school Fair Haven rope walk reprise …

“But I don’t wanna walk on the rope next to her!” I cried from under my fresh-cut kindergarten bangs. “I wanna walk on the rope next to Pam!”

Pam was my neighbor. She was my best buddy.

It was 1965. It was the 60s. The memories are there, but fuzzy. I can sill see it — with my reading glasses, of course. One thing’s for sure: Our Fair Haven kindergarten class was the last to have its first year of school at what was called the Youth Center, now the Fair Haven Police Station and Community Center on Fisk Street.

We kindergarteners were also the last to be tugged down the street on a rope, yes a rope, headed by an official-looking police-type lady.

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Retro Rumson School Time Scowlers

Kindergarten class of 1964-65 at Deane-Porter School Rumson
School photo

Something went awry when the photographer gave the “Cheese!” cue to this motley crew of 1960s Rumson kindergarteners. It looks like they got a whiff of Limburger rather than Nufatchel to fuel their scowling little grimaces.

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Retro Back-to-School Neighborhood Line-Up

First day of kindergarten in Fair Haven 1965
Photo/Sally Van Develde

A back-to-school reprise dedicated to everyone’s first friend on that first day of school as a kindergartener. My first friend and neighbor in Fair Haven was Pam Young (second from right), who passed away in July of 2020 … Everyone can relate. Go back with us. Remember your first day of school and that first friend …

Knock-kneed, nervous and all dressed up with somewhere to go, this gaggle Fair Haven neighborhood girls of 1965 lined up so their moms could get that classic first-day-of-kindergarten shot. And there wasn’t a smile among them.

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Fair Remembrance: All’s Fair in the Middle

Our annual reprise about what it really means to be a “fair” Fair Haven kid …

There are a lot of significant beginnings and endings this time of the year. The end of summer. The beginning of locals’ summer. The start of school — new chapters and first days.

But, what about the middle? The end of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair has always brought me, and many a “fair” kid, back to that middle haven. It’s home.

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Focus: Fair Reunions, Faces & Places

Well, that’s a wrap for the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair 2022.

The tradition holds strong. The fair was, as always, a midway full of fun, food, festivities, reunions and camaraderie, holding true to the sentiment that all’s fair and always has been, for more than a century in Fair Haven at fair time.

Take a look at the photo gallery below for a glimpse into those moments — the reunions, faces and places — that make the Fair Haven Fireman’s Fair a microcosm of the fairest of all in Fair Haven those eight days signaling the end of summer. (Be sure to CLICK on one photo in the photo mosaic below to enlarge and scroll. Enjoy!)

Retro Fair Sweets Queens

Millie Felsmann making cotton candy at the Fair Haven Firemen's Fair circa early 1990s Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Millie Felsmann making cotton candy at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair circa early 1990s
Photo/Elaine Van Develde
Millie Felsmann and her candy apples back in the 1960s Photo/courtesy of Monica Felsmann
Millie Felsmann and her candy apples back in the 1960s
Photo/courtesy of Monica Felsmann

This Retro Pic(s) of the Day story was originally published on Aug. 25, 2015. It is being run again in honor of the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair and the Felsmann family to honor them in light of their recent loss of Millie Felsmann’s son, John, or “Smokey,” husband to Trudy and dad to his fair-raised children. He didn’t like getting his picture taken, so we will respect that and honor him via his family. This is how they concoct and serve up those sweets at the fair … 

When it came to cotton candy — that fluffy spun light blue and pink sugar on a cone that melts in your mouth, on your mouth and many times on your hands, too — Millie Felsmann was the pro at the Fair Haven Firemen’s Fair.

Don’t get us wrong, here. We know that Millie also commandeered the candy apple making. Yes, Candy Bennett was there, too — for many hours a day, making and selling those candy apples, apropos name and all.

Well, she was, after all, Candy, the candy apple lady. Yes, Candy had a lot do do with those candy apples — but Millie was the boss. She, along with her troupe of kids and Candy, Betty Acker and Mrs. Frank, started work on those apples as early as 6 a.m.. And, even further back, to 1965 or 66, Mrs. Topfer made those apples, too.

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