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Ray Duckler
Protesters from the American Friends Service Commitee walk in front of Ted Cruz supporters at his event at the Village Trestle in Goffstown earlier this week.

(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: The biggest political issue of our times, and few care

Saturday, February 6, 2016

The voter waiting in line to hear Hillary Clinton held the pamphlet crumpled in her hand, unread, destined for the trash. I asked the woman, Melissa Umpierrez of Manchester, for comment on the material given to her by Arnie Alpert outside the middle school, in a cold rain, moments before. Somewhat embarrassed, Umpierrez began to pull apart the pamphlet’s edges, …

Ray Duckler: Looking for the Democratic nod for president? Let me introduce Mary Louise Hancock

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Hillary Clinton wasted no time naming someone who reflects New Hampshire’s grace and grit: Mary Louise Hancock of Concord. Speaking to former governor John Lynch during a rally at Dartmouth College in November, the potential Democratic nominee for president is glad to have this 95-year-old political sparkplug as an ally. “She watches everything …

Ray Duckler: Concord, a hockey town, shows why at White Park

Sunday, January 31, 2016

The rich history in the big tent, serving as a makeshift locker room for the sixth Black Ice Pond Hockey Championships, hit me like a barrage of slapshots. Look, there’s Bruce Gillies, the goaltender who once faced pucks fired by The Great One, Wayne Gretzky. And look, there’s Lee Blossom, a college star …

Ray Duckler: A dying woman’s wish: Let me rest with my son

Sunday, December 20, 2015

A few days before she died, Helen Arlington dragged her tired body into her friend’s SUV, agreeing to make the 30-mile trip to the New Hampshire State Veterans Cemetery in Boscawen. It didn’t matter that she was diagnosed …

Ray Duckler: Small achievements adding up for Rai family

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Bom Rai is a quiet, gentle man who, like his wife, Devi, barely speaks any English. But the Bhutanese refugee from Nepal, who came to Concord with his family nearly 10 months ago, is working full time, and …

Ray Duckler: Under the old fireplace, time stood still

Thursday, December 10, 2015

‘Second Atom Bomb Dropped; Reds Attack Manchukuo,” the Manchester Union, the state’s largest daily, reported Aug. 9, 1945. “MacArthur Will Accept Formal Tokyo Surrender,” the Union told the state Aug. 15, 1945. “Jap Surrender Signed in Dramatic Ceremony,” …

Ray Duckler: Rochester’s Roland Dagon returns to Pearl Harbor. . . sort of

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Try as he might to downplay things, Roland Dagon was defined 74 years ago today while walking to church on a beautiful Sunday morning. When Japanese planes had finished destroying much of the Pacific fleet at Pearl Harbor, …

Lost at Pearl Harbor, Edmunds lives on in Epsom

Sunday, December 6, 2015

His undated file photo at the Epsom Legion Hall, Post 112, shows a pre-war smile, bright and natural, as though he doesn’t have a care in the world. His sailor’s hat and uniform, though, foreshadow armed conflict, and …

Ray Duckler: An uncle, a brother, a nephew and a date which will live in infamy

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Search the internet and you’ll find information about Edward Cloues. Not a lot, mind you, but it’s there, tidbits like his birthdate (Dec. 25, 1917), his hometown (Warner), his wartime honors (Purple Heart), his final resting place (the …

Ray Duckler: The highs and lows of a diabetic grade school boy

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Luc Gautreaux, 7, pulled off the top like a pen cap, exposing a pinpoint sharp enough to pop a balloon. He pricked the end of his index finger and squeezed, creating a tiny pool of blood, then smeared …

Ray Duckler: In New York City, tis the season to be worried

Saturday, November 21, 2015

I worry about my family. They live near New York City, a 25-minute train ride from Grand Central Station. The site of the World Trade Center has been labeled Ground Zero for 14 years, and, beyond Washington, D.C., …

Ray Duckler: On Main Street USA, towers are a state of mind

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Eiffel Tower, shiny, silver and blinking, faced Main Street on Monday, giving reason to pause. If you saw it, in the window of Depot Antiques and Toys, how did it make you feel? Angry? Sad? Scared? What …

Ray Duckler: When it comes to raising money through Making Strides, we’re No. 1

Sunday, November 15, 2015

The volunteers for Making Strides Against Breast Cancer welcomed me downtown Thursday night for what they called an “appreciation reception.” They served shrimp cocktail, veggies and dip, and a heaping portion of praise, for both those who donated …

Ray Duckler: When celebrating bravery, always be on guard

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Lt. Col. Greg Heilshorn, the New Hampshire National Guard’s public information officer, was fooled, just like the rest of us. Those tributes to our veterans that Heilshorn had been watching during Boston-area sporting events? The feel-good ceremonies about …

Ray Duckler: Gilmore speaks, but is anyone listening?

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Jim Gilmore, the invisible man among Republicans running for president, can thank Hillary Clinton for his sardine-can like press conference Monday. Ask Gilmore, however, about the attention he received in the State House, and he’ll tell you just …