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Ray Duckler
The Card family up in Jackson this past week. Greg is holding Lily, 4 along with his wife Amber and son Brayden.
Courtesy of the Card family)

Ray Duckler: War and sand replaced by magic and snow

Sunday, December 21, 2014

For Greg and Amber Card, neither place seemed real. Not the Middle East, with its enemy soldiers, blood and death. Not the North Pole, with its Santa Claus, elves and magic. Call them contrasting visions, fighting for a foothold in the couple’s minds. Earlier this month, they were invited to something called Christmas Can Cure, an annual five-day event in Jackson that honors those who have served in the military. Each December, a red carpet of train rides, sleigh rides, gifts, shopping and hot chocolate rolls out, this time for Greg, Amber and their two young children. Rewind, to nearly a decade ago, when Greg …

Ray Duckler: Katherine Drouin’s battle moves in front of the camera

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Katherine Drouin’s fight against an eating disorder, featured in a two-part Monitor series last August, will be one of three segments chronicled in a TV documentary Monday night. The hourlong show, called My Strange Criminal Addiction, will start at 10 on Investigation Discovery. Drouin compulsively eats and purges, and that addiction has in the past led to a long police record for shoplifting …

Ray Duckler: Alosa’s team a traveling show you won’t want to miss

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Bring a pressure gauge to the Pembroke Academy gym, and the needle might spin out of control. Pressure is part of the culture there these days. From the pressure of expectations, to the pressure to succeed at a higher level, to the pressure opposing teams will apply defensively, to the pressure of playing …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …