Retro RFH Rite of Passage: Close Donovan’s Encounters

Close encounters at an iconic RFH alum hang-out may be a thing of the past these days, but old memories of Donovan’s Reef times die hard. So do close RFH classmate relationships.

So when the unofficial summer’s Memorial Day weekend in the Rumson-Fair Haven area kicked off on Friday morning with a bit of pandemonium outside of the iconic Donovan’s in Sea Bright, it symbolized a restart of old traditions mixed with a healthy fear of close encounters. Then there was the let-down and the space of another day away from the beach and buddies.

No sooner did Donovan’s management announce that it would be open and beach badges sold out in record time than it would be closed the day it was to open. Inclement weather was the culprit. Still, the not-so-distanced line-up prequel bred some skepticism about any thought reversion to reunion bonding in the flesh.

The whole ordeal, pandemic pandemonium mixed with a longing for tradition and summer rites of passage, has set minds back to the days of safe, very close encounters among reunited RFHers at Donovan’s.

It is, after all, safe to reflect. Reminiscing about RFHers’ Donovan’s reunion times, when there was no season badge for admittance and lots of lingering and love among classmates, is a healthy alternative right now.

It’s a bright spot on a dank pandemic day and a reminder that not only is this crew of RFH Class of ’78 comedians a hoot, the laughs and love are all in the heart. It just all stays there and grows — or festers with some contagious lunacy.

So, courtesy of RFH Class of ’78 friend Lisa Mazurek D’Amato, look back to a Donovan’s reunion with friends and fiends several years back.

Recognize these cohorts in close encountering?