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Ray Duckler
Hands free sign on I-93 south near exit 15 in Concord.

(GEOFF FORESTER / Monitor staff)

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 allowed under the state’s new hands-free statute. I never heard anything connected to the color blue, nothing about my bluetooth, no blue …

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 queers. Then picture the front collar, glowing white against his charcoal-colored suit, telling you this …

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, waiting,” I told Ginny. “Like we’d planned.” “Dang disease,” Timmons said. Then she laughed, heartily. …

Ray Duckler: Ronnie Berlack, Franconia skiing star, killed in avalanche

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

The news broke like the avalanche itself, quick, powerful, unforgiving. Ronnie Berlack, a 20-year-old skier from Franconia, a prospect on the U.S. ski team, a young talent who nearly competed on the World Cup circuit, died yesterday, the …

Ray Duckler: A couple of dedicated women honored in big ways

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Check the photos used for today’s column and you’ll notice two local people, each shown in a 15-minutes-of-fame snapshot that grew from their personal stories. On Dec. 3, Dottie Spofford, an 80-year-old Concord farm girl with the wisdom …

Ray Duckler: He sure proved me wrong. How about you?

Monday, December 29, 2014

Forget leftovers from the holidays, the turkey, the ham, the Christmas goose. For me, pass the crow. I deserve it. Three months ago, before he donned a cape on his back and an “S” on his chest, I …

Ray Duckler: Concord High student shows plenty of class

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Alyssa Pellegrini doesn’t care what you think about her. Not anymore. Once, when a digestive disorder made her throw up in the school bathroom and leak stuff from a tube during class and miss weeks of school, causing …

Stories of the Year #10. With heroin use surging, state looks across its borders

Friday, December 26, 2014

Opioid abuse, specifically heroin, emerged as a major threat in 2014, forcing the state’s safety, medical and political leaders to scramble in search of a solution. According to data released in a recent report, 911 calls for drug …

Ray Duckler: In her perfect world, her sister fits right in

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

She says her artwork is perfectly imperfect, meaning there’s a human element in everything she creates. So maybe this is a case of art imitating life. After all, nothing has been perfect for Katie Johnson, and that’s just …

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 …

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, …

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 …

Ray Duckler: A great aunt and great nurse leads on Day of Infamy

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Lucy Gentilhomme picks up one of the four books displayed in her office at Beaver Meadow School. She flips open to one of several pages, marked with a slip of paper, that documents the role her great-aunt, G.B. …

Ray Duckler: Officers touch on an issue that’s divisive – and hard to discuss

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Some say the police-related killings in Ferguson and New York City are a black and white issue. Others aren’t so sure. The protesters have spoken, blocking traffic on major New York City roadways and bridges, and demonstrating across the country. But what do local cops say? Did the …

Ray Duckler: Half-baked idea? Not to Concord dogs

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

From her kitchen in Concord, Abigail Tremblay is spreading happiness like the peanut butter she uses to bake biscuits. A pair of struggling local kids are happy – or will be happy – because of Abigail’s contribution to …