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Ray Duckler
Seven-year-old Luc Gautreaux, who has diabetes, poses for a portrait with his service dog, Shadow, outside Gilmanton Elementary School in Gilmanton on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015.

(ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

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 it onto a strip inserted into what looked like an old cell phone. His sister, Mellie Gautreaux, then took over, reading the …

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., New York City is undoubtedly the No. 1 target in the minds of terrorists. So …

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 did you think about? The Twin Towers falling, perhaps? Christina Smith, daughter of the shop’s …

Ray Duckler: Carrying on, and spitting a cancer diagnosis in its face

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Michelle Tanguay taught her fitness class in Boscawen two months ago, on the day she learned her cancer had returned. Get your weights, she told her students, in her nonthreatening yet authoritative manner. Work. Stretch. Lift. Sweat. If …

Ray Duckler: For local Episcopal pastors, the Scouts are nearly there

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The leaders of a local church, known for rolling out a red carpet of inclusion, applauded the recent policy change implemented by the Boy Scouts of America. But the pastors of St. Paul’s Church, the Revs. Kate Atkinson and Keith Patterson, would prefer to give a standing ovation, …

Ray Duckler: Rock Hudson told the world he had AIDS, and everyone listened

Sunday, July 26, 2015

A press conference 30 years ago Saturday pushed fear and hope onto the same stage, at the same time. Rock Hudson’s publicist told the world that one of Hollywood’s greatest leading men, gaunt and unrecognizable from the days when his stunning good looks jumped off the screen, had …

Ray Duckler: Furor over the Confederate flag comes to NASCAR

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Race cars backfire now and then. So does public relations strategy. I saw it, felt it and lived it Saturday along Route 106, near New Hampshire Motor Speedway, home of Sunday’s 5-Hour Energy 301. NASCAR, the governing body …

Ray Duckler: A daughter binges and purges, and a father feels helpless

Thursday, July 16, 2015

They sat in the waiting area outside the courtroom, a father trying to save his bulimic daughter before it’s too late. “A big part of it, dad, is I don’t want to give it up,” Katherine Drouin told …

Ray Duckler: Does Harper Lee’s sequel kill a man’s image?

Monday, July 13, 2015

Sarah May Schultz swiped her thumb along the smart phone screen, moving deeper into the newspaper article about Harper Lee’s new book. It didn’t take long to notice sadness in her blue eyes, wide and hopeful just moments …

Ray Duckler: The Donald: real contender or merely a pretender?

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Every time the Donald opens his mouth, someone somewhere feels something. The state’s leading pundits and political minds roll their eyes or laugh. Voters pound their chests, believing, for now, that they’ve found someone who speaks for, and …

Ray Duckler: For Jorma and Hot Tuna, the long and winding road leads to Plymouth

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Jorma Kaukonen’s tour bus, already having logged more miles than a space shuttle, is ready to go. “Do me a big favor,” the former counterculture icon tells me by phone. “This is a fun conversation, so you can …

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 …

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 …

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, …

Ray Duckler: Comedian Dave Attell lands at the Flying Monkey

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Funny man Dave Attell is walking through Times Square in Midtown Manhattan, desperate for a pair of pants that don’t make him look fat. He’s on the phone with a writer from New Hampshire, looking for some press …