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Ray Duckler
Edith Carr reminisces about her life and what it means to get the Hopkinton Boston Post cane at her home.
(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: Walking me through history, with the help of a cane

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Boston Post Cane, lying on the mantelpiece in Edith Carr’s Contoocook living room, can be used for a walk in the park, or a stroll down memory lane. So lean on it and take a walk with me, because Carr, who’s 99 years old, is a walking history lesson. The cane she possesses is a shiny piece of ebony with a gold-plated knob. It’s given to the oldest resident in 700 New England towns, and it’s a staple that some natives know about, while others do not. Eleanor Roosevelt, I’m sure, would be proud of Carr. So would David Niven and Robert Frost. Carr …

Ray Duckler: Judy Smith was a horse of a different color

Saturday, October 11, 2014

The disciples of Judy Smith, who died from cancer Oct. 1 at age 72, walk through horse manure like it was shag carpeting. In years past, they’ve delivered baby horses in their pajamas at 3 in the morning. Nowadays, they flex their muscles, literally and figuratively, to show their strength and independence. And …

Ray Duckler: Leave the rest behind and come over here

Friday, October 10, 2014

‘I have to show you,” Deborah Ramsey said, with the enthusiasm of a child. “I have some in the trailer.” Ramsey rushed inside, dressed in khaki shorts, a pink top and sandals, as though she had something precious to show. And she did. They were in a large brown envelope, protected by bubble …

Ray Duckler: Labor of love as Market Basket employees celebrate holiday

Monday, September 1, 2014

Today is Labor Day, celebrated the first Monday each September. And thanks to a New England-based grocery store chain, the last Wednesday each August should also be declared Labor Day, a different one of sorts. At least around …

Ray Duckler: ‘A long battle’ for treatment

Sunday, August 31, 2014

To Katherine Drouin and her supporters, none of this makes sense. Forget the drawn-out process of getting lab work and a psychiatric evaluation, tests needed before Drouin could receive treatment for her eating disorder. Forget the lack of …

Ray Duckler: Time to pay back Beanie for all she’s done

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Things got done on a recent afternoon on Clinton Street in Concord. All in the name of Beanie. “Melanie and Paul will be cooking hot dogs and hamburgers.” “Don’t worry about posts for the fencing.” “Saturday night I’ll …

Ray Duckler: Birth of a legend, while patrolling the streets

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Charles Lapierre’s strong-yet-gentle hands touched many lives around here. And that included the lives of newborn babies. That’s one of the stories you’ll hear about Lapierre, who died earlier this month at the age of 100. It’s the …

Ray Duckler: A meeting of the minds for Pembroke? Maybe

Thursday, August 7, 2014

With the speed of a poorly run half-court offense, it appears that, finally, a dispute involving the Pembroke Academy boys’ basketball team might be nearing an end. Optimism emerged from a meeting held yesterday at Southern New Hampshire …

Ray Duckler: Witnessing a mother’s sorrow at a very private moment

Monday, August 4, 2014

The car rolled downhill on the narrow cemetery road in Concord, an innocuous part of a peaceful landscape. Debbie Sargent had no reason to think someone, a Jehovah’s Witness, had targeted her on a visit to see her …

Ray Duckler: Burned out after being burned out, couple try to cope

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Once all their possessions had burned to a crisp last month, John and Lisa Masse really got hot. Since that day June 10, when their home in Boscawen went up like charcoal-soaked lighter fluid, the path to normalcy …

Ray Duckler: Wright knew what was right when it came to fire fighting

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Dick Wright, modest and gentle, is 81 years old and lives alone in Loudon. His house, though, is filled with muffled voices, high-pitched beeps and static that crackles, just as it has for decades. The sounds are from …

Ray Duckler: Bond forged years ago draws NYC man back to his 'other' family in Concord

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Read the text, from a man who once raced down a dangerous road in life faster than a New York City cabbie, and you begin to understand. “If I ever become rich beyond my wildest dreams I’ll be …

Ray Duckler: Destigmatizing mental illness is no easy task

Friday, July 18, 2014

Debbie Dion’s ringtone – the song “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” – interrupted Thursday’s calm outside the New Hampshire State Hospital. So did the voice on the other end. Officials at the hospital had relayed concerns …

Ray Duckler: A family affair, exciting at the start, fades to sadness

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

At 3-0, Pedro Godoi, born and raised in Brazil, got off the couch, dragged aside the screen door and disappeared outside. At 6-0, Pedro’s 13-year-old son, Joao, pulled aside the other screen door, across the living room, and …

Ray Duckler: Conflict in Korean? Police action? It was war

Saturday, July 5, 2014

George Delorey’s eyes said more than the labels attached to the carnage in Korea during the 1950s. A conflict? A police action? Let’s stop the nonsense and identify truthfully what happened on that peninsula from 1950 to ’53: …