IT WAS THE BEGINNING OF 1977 and the people of Palisades were concerned, some about one problem, others about another threat. One day we were informed that the Palisades School was to be closed and probably sold. A week later we heard of a plan for tractortrailers with even more sets of wheels to cruise down 9W. Oak Tree Road was being eyed as the truck route from New Jersey to upstate New York. Our sleepy hamlet was being threatened. It was a time when the people of Palisades needed to pull together. But while it was clear that issues affecting anyone in Palisades ultimately impacted upon everyone in the hamlet, there was not a sense of community cohesiveness, in part because two major roads split up our residential areas.

Maybe the fact that I was a writer led me to think that the way to unify effort toward common needs and goals was through the written word. But I really think that if I hadn’t been there at that time, living in your community, someone else would have done the same thing. At any rate, I spoke with my then spouse, Floyd, who was enthusiastic (and who himself began the Lamont newsletter about a year later). Then I called my close friend and neighbor Carol Elevitch to posit the idea. In her pathologically calm way, Carol weighed the pros and cons. I’ve always trusted her instincts but this time I was impatiently thonking the table with my nails awaiting the final word. “It’s brilliant,” was what she eventually allowed in her slow soft way, and we both hung up beaming.

The plan was to convince all sorts of folks involved in a variety of projects and concerned about different issues to write monthly pieces. But it also seemed sensible to get one issue out as a schmooze-vehicle, except of course no one said “schmooze” ten years ago. So that's what we did. Johanna Lo, who took over complete production, thought up the 10964 name while, if I recall correctly, she was on a ladder in the Community Center painting; Carol listed items she felt should appear and the people to contact about them. Eileen Larkin joined us early on as the classified editor and treasurer, I think, and I made calls, wrote the pieces and began to pop in to local stores asking for contributions.

I got to work on a masthead blurb: “This community newsletter is an attempt to centralize and publicize information, events, problems and concerns affecting the people of Palisades. We must present a unified effort as threats develop against our hamlet such as environmental and traffic concerns, school and post office closings. This first newsletter can grow into a valuable community publication but not without your support.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: We at 10964 still believe it is our mission to report on many of the same problems that plague our community today. We also still reach out to you for your support and encouragement