Skip to content

A town square for an unsquare town

redbankgreen

Standing for the vitality of Red Bank, its community, and the fun we have together.


Our community pillars help us carry out our 100-Year Vision

Check it out

Non-profit Organization

Red Bank River Center

The Red Bank River Center promotes local merchants, recruits new businesses, stages vibrant downtown events, and beautifies our streetscapes.

Learn More
organization-banner
organization-banner

SECURITY BARD KEEPS EYES ON THE PRIZE

Hardy_2

By LISA M. McLAUGHLIN

…with voices shouting out how much times
have changed,
I hear echoes from the past
saying much is still the same.

From A.D. 19 of 41 by Trebor

In Robert Hardy’s Red Bank apartment, a framed poster of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the text of his “I Have a Dream” speech hang above a large fish tank that is eerily without fish. Neatly piled boxes containing copies of Hardy’s recent self-published book “Images” sit in one corner of his living room.

The book is Hardy’s third, following “A Voice in You” in 1987, and “A Soul Exposed” in 2000, all written under the the pseudonym “Trebor.”

Quite an output for someone who says that he doesn’t like to write. So why do it?

“It’s like someone is dictating to me,” Hardy says. “Whatever comes, I just put it down.”

Hardy’s compulsion is born of, and steeped in, the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950s and ’60s.

A 49-year-old native of Trenton, Hardy moved to Selma, Alabama, and then spent the first ten years of his life commuting between Selma and Red Bank.

In Selma, he would stay with an aunt or his beloved grandmother, Bama Cherry. There, one night he “heard talk about a march,” he says.

“I equated that to ‘parade.’ You know — marching bands and everything,” he says.

He snuck out of the house near Edmund Pettus Bridge and witnessed marchers being beaten by police on what became to be known as Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965.

It was the first in a series of three marches culminating in the historic one from Selma to Montgomery led by King. The Voting Rights Act of 1965, ending some discriminatory voting practices, was a product of the inequities that the marches called attention to.

Hardy also saw King and his wife, Coretta Scott King, at a church in Selma later that month.

In 1977, while stationed with the Army in Alaska as a fire control crewman for the Nike-Hercules air defense missile system, Hardy began writing in earnest as a way to distill the African-American history that he devoured through reading during that period of his life.

Hardybook_2

Hardy now works full-time as a security guard at Riverview Medical Center, where he’s been employed for 14 years. Talented colleagues at Riverview have provided illustrations for his books.

His inspiration comes primarily from people and events, he says, including the memories of relatives, some still alive, who participated in the freedom march Montgomery. These relatives, and the shared family history, serve as a constant reminder of that powerful event. (A cousin from Newark recently saw a photograph of the march in Jet magazine and easily recognized himself in the photo — he was wearing a Hawaiian shirt on the day of the march, Hardy says.)

Hardy writes at least one poem a year commemorating King; some of these works have informed projects for committees on which he serves at Riverview: the Community Advisory Committee, the Employee Campaign, and the Cultural Diversity Committee.

In 1998, Coretta Scott King attended a Wellness Conference at the hospital; Hardy was invited to read some of his work and got to meet Mrs. King and tell her he had seen her in Selma when he was a child.

Hardy never knows when his is going to write; he has “written on the bus, written in the supermarket,” he says. He finds he writes the most when he has “the least to think about” in terms of distractions.

A divorced father of three daughters — Yolonda, Natosha, and Nyrie — and grandfather of five, Hardy writes in longhand and never edits his work. “Basically, five or ten minutes and I’m done,” he says. He keeps a log of each piece he writes.

“What I enjoy most is the different connections that are made by actions that one takes,” he says. “I mean, who would have ever thought I would stand on stage with Coretta Scott King one day from writing a poem? That’s something I try to tell my girls — you never know what can happen.”

Now if you listen closely
You still can hear their plea.
Along with Cinque from the Armistad,
in perfect harmony,
Give Us Free.

From Give Us Free by Trebor

Email this story

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
Partyline
HEARTY FAREWELL FOR HARDY
RED BANK: Council to honor DPU supervisor Rich Hardy, who retired recently after almost 39 years of keeping things running.
HOMEBOUND? READ ON…
RED BANK: Can't get to the public library? It's now offering free delivery and pickups for homebound borough residents.
TAMING A BEAST OF A WEEK
RED BANK: After the second snowfall of the week, a borough family finds the perfect use for it – a Godzilla snow sculpture.
RED BANK: LIBRARY CLOSED, BUT THE HILL’S OPEN
RED BANK: Though the library was closed by a snowstorm, kids got to enjoy the riverfront property's steep slope Tuesday.
LIGHT(HOUSE) MAKEOVER
This year, getting ready for spring means a midwinter makeover for Strollo's Lighthouse in Red Bank.
TODAY: LOCAL PUPPY COMPETES ON ANIMAL PLANET’S “PUPPY BOWL”
Red Bank’s very own rescue puppy, Biscuit, is set to compete in Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl this Sunday, February 11, at 2 PM. Th ...
WHAT? NO redbankgreen NEWSLETTER?
Apologies to redbankgreen newsletter subscribers: the daily email hasn’t gone out for two days because of technical issues.
RED BANK: TIRED OF SKEETERS?
RED BANK: Tired of mosquito bites every summer? Monmouth County has a free program to help eliminate skeeter breeding grounds.
SEA BRIGHT: POLAR PLUNGE FOR ST. JAMES, OTHERS
Hundreds braved the wind and sea on Sunday at 1PM in support of St. James Elementary School, and other Catholic schools in the area. The eve ...
RED BANK: RBR CLAIMS TITLE
RED BANK: Watch pure joy as the RBR boys basketball team celebrates its first B North championship in 17 years.
RED BANK: FORGET-IT FRIDAY
RED BANK: Train Station can be a lonely place Friday mornings, especially with cold rain in the forecast.
RED BANK: CROONING YOUR LOVE
RED BANK: Imagine a quartet of impeccably dressed gentlemen showing up at your beloved's workplace, singing of your love.
RED BANK: BLACK RIVER ROLLS ON
RED BANK: A 68-year-old rail freight engine can still be counted on to draw a trainspotting fan or two when it rolls through town.
RED BANK: ‘MONDAY SWEAT’ MEETS
RED BANK: Joined by the Hazlet Running Club, members of the Red Bank Run Club met for their "Monday Sweat" at Count Basie Field.
RED BANK: CARD SALE BOOSTS GYM DRIVE
RED BANK: Charter School Foundation offers student-deisgned Valentines cards to help raise funds for a gymnasium.
RED BANK: LOVE IS IN THE… WINDOW
RED BANK: Up next: Valentine's Day, and Partyline finds the Red Bank Chocolate Shoppe getting ready for a surge of love and craving.
CLOSING THE BOOK ON A GREAT CAREER
The Red Bank mayor and council honored with a resolution Linda Hewitt (in red) on her retirement from the Red Bank Public Library at Thursda ...
RED BANK: RAIL COMMUTER’S VIEW
A commuter's view of the Route 35 Cooper's Bridge over the Navesink River, as seen from North Jersey Coast Line train 3320 out of Red Bank F ...
RED BANK: PROMISING PROMS
RED BANK: Prom season approaches, and Lunch Break once again steps up with its 8th annual Prom Giveaway of donated dresses.
RED BANK: DOWN BY THE RIVER
RED BANK: Partyline contributor Karly Swaim captured a gloomy mood in Riverside Gardens Park Wednesday evening.