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Ray Duckler
Wearing a traditional South Asian outfit called a salwar kameez, Poonam Kumari, 17, poses for a portrait in bedroom at her host family’s home in Bow on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015. As a Pakistani Hindu, Kumari doesn’t care much for politics but has taken on a roll as a cultural ambassador for her country to combat negative stereotypes.

(ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: For a Pakistani teenager, life is good

Sunday, February 1, 2015

I learned something this week, about a student from Pakistan who’s attending Bow High. I learned that senior Poonam Kumari is a teenager like any other teenager. Let her sing, dance and watch movies. Let her charm you with her laughter and wonderful smile, with her long, flowing purple and violet sari dress, and her long, flowing black hair. I …

Ray Duckler: A teacher, a student, a schooner, a film

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The schooner is the story. Or is it? Maybe it’s the people Keith King loved who have died, or the bumper sticker-like philosophies he espouses about life, or his unconventional method of teaching at Keene State College, or the award-winning documentary that tied it all together during last fall’s Somewhere North Of Boston, …

Ray Duckler: In Penacook, some work, some don’t as storm fails to deliver

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Darlene Junkins, who flexed both arms like Arnold Schwarzenegger to show off her New England toughness, sold hardware. George Blatsis sold salads and sandwiches. Mohammad Warraich sold convenience store stuff, mostly coffee and cigarettes. These merchants worked in Penacook yesterday morning, after a flurry of reports through Monday night had detailed a visit …

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: …

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 …

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 …