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Ray Duckler
Fitness instructor Michelle Tanguay leads her class in a kickboxing routine at her business Up 2 U Fitness in Boscawen on Friday, July 24, 2015. Tanguay continues to teach while battling a second cancer diagnosis.

(ELIZABETH FRANTZ / Monitor staff)

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 ever there was a day for someone to take off, that was it, yet Tanguay pushed ahead, to the surprise of members …

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, and that, it turns out, will have to wait. That’s because following decades of discrimination, …

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 something called Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, better known as AIDS. It was at that moment, …

Ray Duckler: A look at the life of a Yankee

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Judson Hale is not a hugger. Never has been, never will be. There are cracks in his stoic armor, however, certainly more than his father once showed decades ago in a rich Boston suburb. This, the editor-in-chief of …

Ray Duckler: Fallen officers honored, led by a little girl with an old hat

Friday, May 22, 2015

One person, more than any other, stood out yesterday, her eyes hidden beneath a piece of history. One person, sitting in the front row, looked like the relative of a fallen officer, in a sea of relatives of …

Ray Duckler: Bet on Betsy, founded by kids, rocks in race

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Betsy Segal arrived in the conference room yesterday at 5:05 p.m., about an hour before the race, and slipped on a T-shirt made especially for her. “I feel so official now,” said Segal, shortly before the Rock ‘N …

Ray Duckler: Patriots owner Robert Kraft caves, leaving a foul smell

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Inhale deeply. Do you smell it, the pungent odor of B.S. that’s worked its way from San Francisco to Concord? My eyes are watering, my betta fish went belly up and I saw a bunch of cows in …

Ray Duckler: Running the Rock ‘N Race for David, Brigit and Danica

Saturday, May 16, 2015

They’re called David’s Angels, but let’s add two people to the mix. Let’s add Brigit McKeough and Danica Gage. That tells the whole story, the one about the parents who died too young, the little girl who’s since …

Ray Duckler: Deflategate? Tom Brady? Patriots lineman won’t tackle topic during visit to Concord

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I went hunting yesterday, for the elephant in the room. Or in this case, in the Abbot-Downing School gym. Sure enough, there was Dumbo, or Mr. Snuffleupagus, or Horton, or whichever name you choose, camouflaged by a New …

Ray Duckler: For Greg Grappone, mild manners said it all

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

You could almost feel Greg Grappone cringing at the attention. He was unpretentious and unassuming, never seeking the spotlight, always looking to fly beneath the radar, despite a highly visible surname that stared back at him, everywhere in …

Ray Duckler: Students and parents congregate to speak one language

Saturday, May 9, 2015

The food tables at Rundlett Middle School’s Around the World day made me hungry. The kids there made me hopeful. Kids like Rebecca Bamidele, an eighth-grader at Rundlett and a volunteer for the school’s Student Ambassadors program. I …

Ray Duckler: Once, boxers didn’t merely take the money and run

Friday, May 8, 2015

Check the photo above this column. That’s Joe Frazier hitting Muhammad Ali with a left hook during their 1971 heavyweight title bout. That snapshot, that fight, will last forever in our minds, as will others. The bout between …

Ray Duckler: An earthquake, far away, is felt close to home

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Not many world events could resonate with Bom Rai while he tries to build a new life in a new country. It took an earthquake to do that. That’s why Bom, a Nepalese refugee, attended a vigil last …

Greg Grappone, a father and survivor, dies at 35

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Greg Grappone, whose family began selling cars in the region nearly 100 year ago and now owns dealerships that line Route 3A in Bow, died yesterday from complications related to a rare form of cancer. He was 35. …

Ray Duckler: Finding the good in something very bad

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Finding the positives here isn’t easy. Tomorrow night, though, starting at Merrimack Valley High School, you’re invited to participate in something good that came from something awful. This is the 10th edition of the Angels 5K Road Race, …