Retro Locals’ Summer Beach Babies

Ahoy! Ship Ahoy, to locals beaching it, that is.

Yes, it’s locals’ summertime. Yet, the locals’ summer spots have always been a place of respite from the out-of-towner beach crowd in the Rumson-Fair Haven area. They call them beach clubs.

The clubs are pretty pricey these days, yet many locals still belong. Always have. And, back in 1963, pretty much everyone in the area belonged to one beach club or another. One of those more modest, less frill clubs was Ship Ahoy.

Every summer day, pretty much, moms would pack up and tote the kids, snacks and toys to the beach club. There, they’d dump everything into the cabana and set up camp on the sand. The kids, usually there with neighbors who also belonged, would dig into their giant sandbox on the shore, moms nearby, and play until sunset. Then it was, more often than not, time for dinner on the beach. Or not. Sunrise. Sunset. Swiftly goes the time … together.

You get the picture. As in the one above of the Fair Haven neighborhood toddler pals of the Apy and Drake clans. “I had an amazing childhood!” Robin Drake Fitch said.

Yes. Fair Haven kids were always either at the Navesink River’s banks or on the beach in Sea Bright. And most still know one another. The Fair Haven neighborhood family roots were always strong ones. These kids in the sand line-up still do know one another.

The snapshot was taken by mom Helen Apy.

Childhood friends starting a history of sandbox to school and adulthood milestones — that’s how it goes in a Rumson-Fair Haven raising.

Cheers to locals’ summer among childhood friends still hitting the beach together!

— Photo/Helen Apy