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Ray Duckler
Skydive New England

(SUSAN DOUCET/ Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: Jumping into a new phase in life

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Spencer Reed, emotionally guarded most of his life, landed Friday with the eyes of a child who’d just gotten a puppy. He turned 90 on Thursday, but his seven children are enjoying his rebirth lately, a face-lift of the soul. He jumped from a plane 13,500 feet in the air and says, “I’d do it again tomorrow. Out of this … 0

Ray Duckler: Remembering how we got here, and where we might be going

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mike Pelletier gave the Iraqi children backpacks filled with chalk, pencils and paper. The children, in turn, gave Pelletier hope. He said yesterday he could see the appreciation in their eyes 10 years ago while serving in the National Guard. He said those snapshots of innocence have stuck with him, a comforting thought … 0

Ray Duckler: Revisiting the past will shape the future

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The war on terror is back. Back in our minds. The voters’ minds. It’s no longer just jobs and the economy and immigration. Not since a group of Sunni extremists, once known as ISIS, now widely referred to as the Islamic State, began killing people in Syria. Not since that same group branched over to Iraq, turning a country we’ve tried to stabilize … 0

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 … 0

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: … 0

Lake Escapes: A short walk up Rattlesnake Mountain offers a high payoff

Monday, June 30, 2014

Normally, a great panoramic view involves a long, steep hike. Not so in Holderness, where a 2-mile walk on the Old Bridle Path leads to a rocky plateau atop West Rattlesnake Mountain. And down below, spread out like … 0

Ray Duckler: A quiet man creates a lot of noise

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Matt DeWitt is a man of few words, in a noisy world of war and patriotism. He lost both arms because of an improvised explosive device in Iraq 11 years ago, shortly after the first U.S. troops entered … 2

Ray Duckler: Sending a message, right to the end

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The bone in her foot, sore and needing surgery after walking the equivalent of 15 times across the country, never slowed Julie Richtarik down yesterday. Instead, the slender 54-year-old letter carrier with sandy blond hair and a smile … 0

Ray Duckler: Looking for a party with some kick? Tonight’s the night

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Have you gotten your invitation to tonight’s party, the biggest in the world? I know you’re invited. We all are. Appetizers are around 5:30 p.m., and the main course, the United States vs. Portugal, at 6. Delicious. Many of you are not hungry for the World Cup, even … 0

Ray Duckler: A walk, a stolen base and three championship trophies

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Boston’s three recent World Series trophies, displayed under a tent yesterday at Grappone Park in Concord, all looked the same. Upon closer inspection, however, the one on the left had “2004” inscribed on the bottom, and that represented … 2

Ray Duckler: Bike Week: A tamer time, sprinkled with yesteryear

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Bike Week in Laconia, once edgy, weatherbeaten and rated R, features a softer, gentler side these days. Walk along Lakeside Avenue, into the teeth of the chrome and exhaust and leather, and you’ll find order, with heavy police … 1

Ray Duckler: Ken Braiterman, laid to rest, fought until the end

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ken Braiterman, who taught half of the state’s police about patience while dealing with the mentally ill, always seemed to be fighting, up through the day he died. He fought leaders at a Jewish summer camp, fought his … 1

Ray Duckler: Administrators weigh in on a smoking topic

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

They might have felt like Red Auerbach, the late Celtics legend, while puffing on those cigars. In the end, though, they were more red-faced than anything else. I’m talking about the two high school lacrosse players in Massachusetts … 0

Ray Duckler: Looking for something to do this summer? Don’t get boxed in

Sunday, June 8, 2014

About 45 years ago, a skinny kid from Salisbury drew a box with chalk on an outside wall of his grade school and threw a ball at it till the cows came home. “I wasn’t so structured about … 0

Ray Duckler: Tis the season to have fun, stay safe

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Andrew Beauregard admits that 10 years ago, when he crashed his scooter while drunk and nearly died, he thought he had a big red “S” on his chest and a red cape on his back. He was captain … 1