The Column Rule
Selections from 1981-2006, a book sold by The Historical Society of Rockland County, New York

(Note: An Internet radio interview on this subject may be found in the archives at

The Column Rule

Rockland People, Rockland Places

(Book now available at Barnes & Noble and Borders and via address at end of this piece.)

You define life by its moments, and as the years pass, you have many memories, enough for story telling and even chapters in a book of life — your book, yes, but more so thoughts, even essays on the many people, places and themes that an individual comes upon and relates to during our time on earth.
Some of us tell our life stories to children or grandchildren, friends and younger people who are building their own time line. A very few put the thoughts, observations, recollections, soap box stances, anecdotes, this and that, in a diary or journal or family book kept in a drawer somewhere. Even fewer move on to an actual published book — which is part ego trip, part strong feeling that some thoughts should be noted and part hope that anyone is interested.
The hope of such a book is that readers will have their own reactions to what the author notes, and in the reading there will be personal meaning.
For better or worse, I am headed down the book path courtesy of The Historical Society of Rockland, which has published a 100-piece, 260-page selection of my essays that have appeared in The Journal News under The Column Rule signature since 1981. They were culled from about 2,600 columns and represent a selection of Rockland people, places and history. Those are the themes explored in my 42-plus years with the newspaper.
There also some photographs since that is my second creative love, having been a staff lensman here for seven years and one who continues to click the shutter and to exhibit.
The book’s material has been approved for release by the owners of this newspaper, since the columns were written by their employee. I am most grateful for that, as I am to The Historical Society and its dedicated volunteers. Many hours are going into preparation for publication, orchestrated by the demanding genius of Albon Man, Jules Loh and Thomas F.X. Casey, county historian and president of the Society, whose idea was to publish this collection.
The book sells for the smallest amount, and any profit benefits the awfully good workings of the Historical Society. I take no personal profit, save the enormous satisfaction of being able to see a collection in print.

If you would like a copy of “The Column Rule/Rockland People, Rockland Places,” an attempt at defining life in this New York State county but also offering parallels to other people, times and places, you can order from The Historical Society of Rockland, 20 Zukor Road, New City, N.Y. 10956 (email:
Each hardcover copy is $29.28 (price with postage and sales tax) or $21.18 for the paperback edition. You can use a charge card, giving the usual details. If you pick up a copy at the Historical Society, the total prices will be $27.04 and $19.45, respectively.

3 thoughts on “Column Rule Book

  1. dorothy e rhodes

    I purchased a copy of a Column Rule for my( post war baby boomer) daughter.
    She likes it very much.

    I have your wall hanging from ROCA. Just realized afte reading Column Rule Book that you got your artistic idea by putting all the letters in random fashion.
    If that is so, it’s brilliant.

  2. Julie Gross

    Art..Gonna buy your book today.
    Looking forward to its arrival..
    and reading it. Hopefully I’ll be
    done reading my Walter Isaacson
    ‘Einstein’ biography, but I doubt it!

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