Tag Archives: Knollwood School

Retro Cheesy Class Pic Posers

It’s time to say “Cheese!” for those cheesy class pictures.

The era, along with its hair and clothing styles, may be bygone, aas are some since dumped picture day prep traditions, but the freeze framed sentiment is the same — straighten up and smile right, even if your bangs and teeth are both crooked. Never mind the sudden blemish pop-up, scratch or missing tooth. It all amounts to classic picture day pomp and circumstance. Classic.

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Retro Knollwood Cool Kids’ Hangout Daze

The cool kids of Fair Haven’s Knollwood School in 1974
Photo/courtesy of Debra Giffin Schluter

A picture is worth a thousand awkwardly cool moments in memory of a middle school kid.

To a Fair Haven eighth grader of the 1970s, there was nothing cooler than being asked to hang out, before the bell rang, on the side of Knollwood School by the bushes with the clique of the coolest kids.

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Retro Cool Dudes’ Summer Class Trippin’

School’s out alright. And the heat is always on to seek out a good time among class friends. So, there’s nothing quite like a final class trip to — with class clowns, friends, foes and teachers. Yes, teachers.

This particular trip was taken in 1974 to a dude ranch somewhere with Fair Haven’s Knollwood School soon-to-be grads and teachers. Where, none of the old folks in the pictures can remember. Hey, some of us don’t even remember the trip.

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Retro Having a Field Day at Knollwood

A field day for Knollwood kids in the late 1990s
Photo/Elaine Van Develde

Beating the heat with a cool memory … A reprise in honor of school days done and a traditional prequel to summertime for Fair Haven kids …

Once upon a time, in those school days right before summer, when Knollwood School kids gathered on Sportsman’s Field for, well, some Field Day fun, let’s just say it was a bit hard to keep them focused.

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Retro Knollwood Grad Fashionistas

Knollwood Class of '74 graduation fashionistas Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde (yours truly) and Wanda Becker. Photo/Sally Van Develde
Knollwood Class of ’74 graduation fashionistas Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde and Wanda Becker.
Photo/Sally Van Develde

In honor of eighth grade graduations, a reprise of that look back to Knollwood School Class of 1974 and best buds … 

It’s half past eighth grade graduation time in the Rumson-Fair Haven area.

Every year photos up all over social media. And these crews of grade school cronies seem to have a panache we eighth graders of the 1970s lacked. There they all are … posing, arms wrapped around one another, sporting stylish clothes, tans and toothy grins.

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Retro Stokes Hip to Be Square Dancing

Square dancing at Stokes in the 1970s
Photo/courtesy of Lisa Ericson

A reprise from 2019 in honor of the annual tradition of that trip to Stokes State Forrest that the pandemic took away temporarily. Here’s to next year. Dance on and dose doe, sixth graders!

It was truly terrifying. The mandatory square dance at the Fair Haven sixth graders’ Stokes State Forrest trip.

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Retro Picture Day Snapshot: 1950s Knollwood Kindergarten

A reprise from 2017 in celebration of that ever so classic 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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Clipped Perspective: A 60s R-FH Area Back-to-School Era

It’s a different kind of back-to-school week this pandemic-affected school year. That’s for sure. Students were back to school, part virtually and part in the classroom or outdoor class, in the Rumson-Fair Haven area this week. Those classic first day of school shots were plastered all over Facebook.

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Retro Eighth Grade Class Tripping

A reprise Retro Pic(s) of the Day from the Knollwood School Class of ’74 to the Class of 2020 …

There’s nothing quite like a final class trip — with class clowns, friends, foes and teachers. Yes, teachers. It was a tradition for Fair Haven schools back in the 1970s. And we’re not talking Stokes.

Of course, that wouldn’t be the last for Knollwood schoolers. We’re talking a final group trip. The last leisurely day trip disguised as a class trip. They had those back then.

This particular trip was taken in 1974 to a dude ranch somewhere with Fair Haven’s Knollwood School soon-to-be grads and teachers. Where? None of the old folks in the pictures can remember. Hey, some of us don’t even remember the trip. We know there were horses, perhaps some riding and some swimming. And, apparently, there was lots of lounging and sunning. Hmmmmm …

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Retro Forever Fair Haven Eighth Grade Friendship Snapshot

Knollwood Class of ’74 graduation fashionistas Stephanie DeSesa, Elaine Van Develde and Wanda Becker.
Photo/Sally Van Develde

Eighth graders in the Rumson-Fair Haven area are going through graduation rites of passage of a different kind right now — the COVID-19 pandemic era kind.

And what’s different about it is that there are no photos of friends clustered together, arms wrapped around one another or stiff shoulder-to-shoulder stances, signaling the end of a grade school era and beginnings. It’s definitely a missed moment or several this year.

Those ends and beginnings always involve childhood friends, some who stay with us throughout each milestone in our lives. They’re always there, if not in physical presence, in our hearts and on our minds. Those friends were markers in the milestones that are rooted in all that’s home. Our history.

So, while those friendship poses won’t be struck in the isolated pandemic Class of 2020 photos, the kinships inherent in them remain a hallmark of homegrown, hometown life.

Even if you were one of those kids that just didn’t like school all that much, the awkward, trying and exhilarating moments marked with those childhood friends are the ones that stay forever etched in minds and hearts. It’s the stuff that makes you who you are. The stuff that keeps you grounded, or up in the air — always home.

Those questionable fashion pics and fumbling adolescent moments also comprise great friendship blackmail material. Who else would have such epic fashion failure photos to go along with a string of clumsy, trouble-making memories up for grabs?

Your oldest friends. That’s who. And when the time comes to say your final goodbye, a standard eulogy by the most stable adult in the bunch just can’t compete with the memories of childhood, adolescence, teen years and adulthood and all of its ugliness, awkwardness and beauty with best friends.

Crews of grade school cronies, regardless of fashion or common sense, have something special — dating back to the beginning of graduating times.

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