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Ray Duckler
Chris Spannweitz cleans off a roof on Hall Street Monday. He started cleaning off roofs with his parents' broom and with the cold weather, business is booming.
(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

Ray Duckler: Around here, some like the snow, while some like it hot

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

For Chris Spannweitz, the snow means cash in his pocket. For Jim Bashios, it means a pain in his tush. One is a private contractor who shovels roofs in a business he started last month. The other is a landlord and well-known convenience store owner whose tenants might need his help before the sun even rises. Welcome to 2015, with its North Pole-like storms and snow totals and temperatures, which lead to all sorts of stories, subplots about hardship and business and grit and humor. And to think, through the holiday season things were relatively calm around here, with flakes connected more to dandruff than …

Ray Duckler: A Porsche, a truck, a snowmobile? What would you buy?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The salesman quoted me a price for the Porsche Boxster, a two-door silver convertible with a sound system that could reach Vermont. “Around $70,000,” he told me. “$69,712 actually.” “That’s it?” I said. I reached into my winter coat, for my checkbook stored in the inner pocket, and smirked. “Got a pen?” If …

Ray Duckler: Kendall wins, on the mat and everywhere else, too

Thursday, February 12, 2015

He could have been a ringmaster or the lead in a Broadway show or a rock star on stage. And, in a sense, Concord High wrestler Kendall Thompson was all three last night, illuminated on the school’s basketball court by a single spotlight above in the darkened gymnasium. Kendall, who has Down syndrome, …

Ray Duckler: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

The latest forecast calls for more snow Thursday, and you know what I say? Snow what? If you can take it, snow can I. That’s my new outlook, after seeing the enthusiasm at the Super Bowl parade during …

Ray Duckler: The Eggman cometh, decade after decade

Sunday, February 8, 2015

I think Norman Rockwell would have painted Bert Southwick. In fact, I’m sure of it. Southwick grew up in Northfield and stayed there until he died one week ago at age 91. He lived at the same place, …

Ray Duckler: The Butler did what? Here’s hoping he brought spring

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

For me, Malcolm Butler, a household name by now, represents the spring equinox. Butler’s interception saved the Patriots on Sunday, helping them beat the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, and it also ushered in the end of winter. At least I hope it did. Okay, it’s a …

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 …

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 …

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 …

Ray Duckler: Mounsey skates again, and people notice - again

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Her name wasn’t on the back of her jersey during the Black Ice Hockey Championship yesterday at White Park. Neither was the No. 2 Tara Mounsey wore during two Olympics, in 1998 and four years later. But the …

Ray Duckler: Is the Patriots controversy a lot of hot air? Coaches weigh in

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sean McDonnell, one of the most successful college football coaches in the country, a man respected for his integrity and honor, wants to know what all the fuss is about. Deflated balls? So? “Let me put it this way,” the University of New Hampshire football coach told me …

Ray Duckler : The passing of a man who changed a campus

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

More than 30 years ago, the rector at St. Paul’s School, a man with sharper vision than a bald eagle, spoke in front of his students and fought back tears. Bill Oates explained why he had expelled a …

Ray Duckler: If you’ve never heard of Jonathan Daniels, read this

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Jonathan Daniels, answering a call from God and Martin Luther King Jr., went to Alabama in the spring of 1965 and died there five months later. He was killed by a shotgun blast from a man named Thomas …

Ray Duckler: In this case, silence is the golden rule

Friday, January 16, 2015

Sometimes, a half-hour of silence says a lot. Take yesterday, for example, in front of the New Hampshire Supreme Court. No one said a word from 8:45 to 9:15 a.m., yet the voices were loud and clear, varied …

Ray Duckler: A stroke of genius outweighs sour grapes

Monday, January 12, 2015

Bill Belichick, head coach of the New England Patriots, is a super genius, and that’s from someone, me, who hates the Patriots. Belichick pulled a fast one Saturday in a playoff game against the Baltimore Ravens, leaving football …