Cloudy
65°
Cloudy
Hi 84° | Lo 68°
Ray Duckler
Hands free sign on I-93 south near exit 15 in Concord.

(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: Are you driving and talking hands free yet?

Saturday, July 4, 2015

With apologies to the Concord Police Department, I broke the law three days ago and got away with it. No one pulled me over for talking on my cell phone, held to my ear, which is no longer allowed under the state’s new hands-free statute. I never heard anything connected to the color blue, nothing about my bluetooth, no blue …

Ray Duckler: Fifty years ago, Robert Wood, a gay reverend, marched for those who would not

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Picture the man protesting 50 years ago, first in Washington, D.C., then a week later in Philadelphia. Picture him carrying a sign promoting equal rights for gay people, at the time openly referred to as fairies, fags and queers. Then picture the front collar, glowing white against his charcoal-colored suit, telling you this …

Ray Duckler: For Ginny Timmons, laughter is the best medicine

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Ginny Timmons got her days mixed up last week, missing our scheduled interview. That happens when you suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease. Nothing strange there. What seemed unusual, though, was Timmons’s reaction when reached by phone. “I’m at Wendy’s, waiting,” I told Ginny. “Like we’d planned.” “Dang disease,” Timmons said. Then she laughed, heartily. …

Ray Duckler: Once, boxers didn’t merely take the money and run

Friday, May 8, 2015

Check the photo above this column. That’s Joe Frazier hitting Muhammad Ali with a left hook during their 1971 heavyweight title bout. That snapshot, that fight, will last forever in our minds, as will others. The bout between …

Ray Duckler: An earthquake, far away, is felt close to home

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Not many world events could resonate with Bom Rai while he tries to build a new life in a new country. It took an earthquake to do that. That’s why Bom, a Nepalese refugee, attended a vigil last …

Greg Grappone, a father and survivor, dies at 35

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Greg Grappone, whose family began selling cars in the region nearly 100 year ago and now owns dealerships that line Route 3A in Bow, died yesterday from complications related to a rare form of cancer. He was 35. …

Ray Duckler: Finding the good in something very bad

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Finding the positives here isn’t easy. Tomorrow night, though, starting at Merrimack Valley High School, you’re invited to participate in something good that came from something awful. This is the 10th edition of the Angels 5K Road Race, …

Ray Duckler: A great trip for the Greatest Generation

Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Navy veteran blamed his tears on pollen. Pollen, Roger Hamel of Claremont said, caused his eyes to mist like the wind-blown spray from the memorial’s two fountains. Not the 1,000 gold stars, each representing 100 Americans killed …

Ray Duckler: Clinton comes to town, spin cycle and all

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Jeff Zeleny, CNN’s senior Washington correspondent, got in close yesterday and threw his best punch. Hillary Clinton, as she often does, ducked, then left the ring without a scratch. It’s a tactic that’s worked for Clinton during the …

Ray Duckler: She’s as strong as ever

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Want to get on Pat Pelletier’s bad side? Suggest she use a wheelchair, or a cane, or a walker. That’ll do it. She doesn’t care that she lost the lower portion of both legs when a trolley ran …

Ray Duckler: Two years to the day, the doctor is in

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Today is David Hirsch’s anniversary. It’s been two years since the Concord doctor ran the wrong way on Boylston Street, toward the chaos and blood and death, near perhaps the most recognizable yellow stripe in the country. Two …

Ray Duckler: 30 years ago, a CHS student took hostages and was killed by the police

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Pat Lena wondered if the gun was real. Scot Hayes did, too. So Louis Cartier showed them the cartridges inside, cracking open his double-barreled shotgun into the shape of a jackknifed truck, then snapping it shut with a …

Ray Duckler: Married at 18, divorced at . . . never?

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Ten years ago, shortly after her wedding, Heather Leary was the subject of an installment of the Monitor series called “Teen Life,” masterminded by former photo editor Dan Habib. The feature included all things teen, like dating, studying, …

Ray Duckler: Refugee family takes first uncertain, yet hopeful, steps

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Loudon Road on the Heights symbolized the boundary, between disorder and order, chaos and comfort. Outside their home, in a church classroom down the road, Bom and Devi Rai, formerly from Nepal, sat at a table with other …

Ray Duckler: Why don’t we test for Krabbe? Inquiring minds want to know

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

She sat nervously in the waiting area, outside Room 205 at the Legislative Office Building, facts in her folder, friend by her side. She thought about her late son, Freddie, who’d be in high school by now, driving, …