RED BANK: REVISITING THE GOOD OLD DAYS

Elizabeth McDermott, Mary Faith Chmiel, Dan Dorn, Jr., and Harry Greenwood discuss life in Red Bank throughout the 20th century. Below, a circa 1935 meeting of the Red Bank Lions Club, with IDs by Greenwood. (Photo by Sarah Klepner. Click to enlarge)

By SARAH KLEPNER

Harry Greenwood moved to Red Bank in 1925, at the age of 5. He lived on Globe Court, where there’s now a parking garage. He and his friends used to play ball in open fields on Spring Street, and picked apples to bring home from a now-vanished orchard on Tower Hill.

Daniel Dorn, Jr., whose father started Dorn’s Photo – the unofficial photo historian of Red Bank – grew up in Shrewsbury. He and a young neighbor built a major-league-sized ballfield on Meadow Drive over the course of a summer.

Both had newspaper routes, going to door to door – no throwing papers! – delivering the now-defunct Red Bank Register. It was still the era when local farmers brought produce from farms west and north of town, horse-and-buggy races were held on Pinckney Road, ice was sold in blocks at West Front Street and Bridge Avenue, and the Strand Theater offered summer serials where a Merrill Lynch office now stands, at Broad Street and Linden Place.

Read More »

RED BANK: LIBRARIAN FINDS HER PLACE

New library Director Virginia Papandrea hopes to draw more teenagers to the facility, she says. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

Meet Virginia Papandrea, the newly installed director of the Red Bank Public Library. While she made many stops in her career before taking the helm of the borough’s literary and historical center, a desire to end up in a town like this one has always been in the back of her mind, she says.

“For my whole life, I’ve always wanted to work for a small-town, public library close to the ocean,” she said. “I guess you can say that I’ve fulfilled a dream by coming here.”

Read More »

RED BANK HEAD LIBRARIAN OUSTED

By JOHN T. WARD

After less than a year in the job, Red Bank Public Library director Mary Faith Chmiel has been forced out.

Chmiel, right, tells redbankgreen she was called to a meeting with borough Administrator Stanley Sickels and two members of the library’s board late last Friday afternoon and given a choice of resigning or being fired. She chose to resign, she said.

Chmiel referred questions about the reasons for her ouster to members of the library board, saying only that she was told she “was not respectful enough and deferential enough” to board members.

Read More »

LIBRARY HEAD ADDS NEW CHAPTER TO TALE

mary-faith-chmiel-3Eight-year-old Andrea John introduces herself to Mary Faith Chmiel at a meet-the-director event held at the library earlier this month. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD mary-faith-chmiel-2

Book-loving Red Bankers of a certain vintage may experience a bit of deja vu when visiting the public library these days: it seems the institution’s new director looks a lot like the woman who owned a long-departed downtown used bookstore, Twice Sold Tales.

That’s because, of course, the two women are one and the same: Mary Faith Chmiel.

Chmiel, 57, of Tinton Falls, returned to town after a dozen years absence, this time taking up working residence among the racks on West Front Street, her bookstore having given way to a Starbucks early in the days of the first Internet browser. She was hired as the library’s new director in October, replacing Deborah Griffin-Sadel, who departed under unexplained circumstances in January.

redbankgreen pulled Chmiel aside for a quickie interview during a meet-the-director event hosted by the Friends of the Red Bank Public Library earlier this month.

Read More »