A reprise, originally posted in 2017, in honor of back-to-school time …
Back-to-school time has arrived. Students have settled back into the hallowed halls of good ol’ RFH.
And with back-to-school thoughts come hopes of a good teacher or two and memories of the ones who we thought were the coolest. Then there were those administrators who weren’t just a Charlie Brown teacher voice cawing over the ol’ daydreaming student’s non-thought process. Some, or one in particular, are remembered as a real education innovators.
We’re talking class action; and, it’s not about a lawsuit — more like suiting up for a class picture.
That’s what they did back in the early 1970s. Well, at least one in this shot suited up in the literal sense. Figuratively speaking, though, this Sickles School sixth grade shot of Gary Verwilt’s class encapsulates that picture day mindset of the past.
With the start of the school year and a rev-up of the RFH Surf Team beaching it and catching waves, we’re taking another a close-up and personal reprise look at that ’70s RFH crew of surfer boys catching cool waves (or beaching it) and sitting on top o’ the Sea Bright world. Most of these guys are actually still friends.
It was the very first day of school — for kindergarteners. It was also a finale year. That class was the last of all that walked on a rope to the Youth Center (now Fair Haven Community Center downstairs and the police station upstairs).
While classmates were remembered, the identity of the official lady tugging that rope was not.
So, as an ode to that woman, who was eventually remembered as Mary McDaniel, the Retro Pic of the Day is another look, from the archives of the Red Bank Register, of that kindergarten class walk, headed by Mc Daniel.
The following piece, with a few changes as time goes on, is published annually on 9/11 as a testament to never forgetting …
It was a beautiful Tuesday. The sun was smiling with a crisp warmth. The air was a snappy fresh. The coffee even tasted especially good.
I remember. Most of us remember where we were on Sept. 11, 2001 at 8:46 a.m.. I know I do. I also remember how everything went from bright, crisp, fragrant and optimistic to dark, dank, acrid and fearful in one second. I remember how it wasn’t about us observers, storytellers. It was about them — the victims, their loved ones, their message.
For me, a professional observer, a professional storyteller, thankfully close enough, yet far enough, yes, it was so very much about them — painfully so. I wasn’t one of them. I was lucky. I was grateful. I watched. I listened intently. They shared.
I was a reporter living in Fair Haven and covering Middletown. On what started out as a typical day, they ended up unwittingly, graciously, lighting a less traveled path for me. For many.