A reprise in honor of the Sea Bright icon known as Dizzy Dave on his 70th birthday … There’s a birthday fundraiser going on for Dizzy Dave with a goal set for $4,000 to help him out. So far, $1,175 has been raised. Click here to contribute to making Dave’s 70th monumental. “Dave turns 70 on July 5th and it would be really nice for him to feel the love of all the people who know him in our wonderful town that takes care of its own,” said David Van Vliet, the organizer.
Nothing says local and summer quite like a glimpse into the past of a Sea Bright icon in his local beach element, albeit a likely polar bear plunge scenario here.
Longtime Fair Havenite Larry Curchin’s loved ones summed up the sentiment of his passing on April 10 by ending his obituary with a thought to remember him by: “When you see a motorcycle go by one day, with the rider loving every minute of it, you will still know that Larry’s wonderful, passionate spirit lives on.”
“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.” ~ L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
A lot of heart is what the Rumson girl everyone knew as Kit Rowett had. A lot of people loved her — some who even only knew her for a moment. I guess you could say that this impish-grinned, twinkly-eyed Wizard gave her heart to the Tin Man.
And, boy, did he cry. He smiled a lot, too. This Tin Man, embodied as the many loved ones who had a piece of Kit’s heart, smiled a wide, collective, rust-proof smile on Saturday as a celebratory goodbye was bid to the Jersey girl loved and lost on Sept. 19 after a valiant battle with cancer.
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.
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?
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 …