Dear North Salem readers,
For more than a year I have had the honor and privilege of writing a column in Halston Media’s North Salem News. I am very grateful that I am allowed to express my opinions and my personal stories in our community newspaper. I always thank and continue to thank Brett Freeman, the publisher; Sue Guzman, my former editor, and Faith Butcher, the former production manager, for publishing my weekly column.
As I mentioned in my columns, I was born in December 1921 and raised in New York City, mostly in the Bronx but sometimes in the Washington Heights area of Manhattan. My father, Samuel Geller, served 12 years as a New York City police officer and later became a real estate broker and building owner. My mother, May Friedman Geller, worked as a secretary and saleswoman.
I attended elementary school and high school in the Bronx and Manhattn. I served in the U.S. Army Signal Corps for 3-1/2 years in the United States and in England, France and Germany. I attended Long Island University after my discharge and summer school for two terms at the University of Wisconsin and graduated in 1950 with a degree in jurnalism and English.
I married Gloria Feldman, a New Jersey resident, in 1956, We have three daughters, Jeri Ann, Sharon and Nisa, and seven grandchildren. Gloria was a bookkeeper and was the manager of the property we inherited from my father at 50 W. 47th Street in Manhattan. Gloria passed away in March 2015.
I became a practicing journalist soon after my discharge from the Army and graduation from college. My first journalism job was serving as an assistant editor for publications at Raritan Arsenal in Metuchen, N.J. I moved back to Westchester after Gloria and I were married. I was hired as a reporter and assistant editor for the Patent Trader, a new twice-a-week suburban newspaper of which Carll Tucker Jr. was the publisher.
I worked for the Patent Trader for about 10 years until Carll’s death. During that time I received several New York State journalism awards for excellent feature writing and editing. I also was promoted to editor of the Patent Trader’s Putnam County newspaper with my own staff of two people serving as assistant editors and reporters.
After Carll Tucker passed away, I was hired by the Bridgeport Connecticut Post to serve as editor and reporter for the Western Connecticut edition of that newspaper. I again won many awards for excellent news stories, including the prestigious New England Newspaper Award. My biggest achievement in Connecticut was compiling, editing and writing a series of feature articles about almost 20 ethnic groups living in Western Connecticut.
I wrote and produced a musical play based on this series titled “Who Built the World,” which was performed at Sacred Heart University Theater in Bridgeport. My play had more than 20 cast members and many songs performed by the cast. The play had about 10 episodes which told the story of the Irish immigrants who settled in Bridgeport in the 19th century.
Now in the year 2017, when I’m 95 years old, I guess I am retired or not so retired.
I still write a weekly column for the North Salem News. I still serve as co-chair of the North Salem Democratic Commitee with co-chair Nancy Falls Aronchick. And I am still active as the commander of North Salem American Legion Post 1866. I participate in all of the patriotic parades and ceremonies, riding on a golf cart.
You be the judge.
In the 95th year, it is a very good year...
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