September 7, 2006

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Concord Publisher's Note: Of diners and destinies
By Dan Szczesny

It’s a small world, but it’s even a smaller state.

I’m not a New Hampshire native, so I sometimes find myself astonished at how many connections exist among long-time residents of the Concord area.

I witnessed another one of those moments this past week, brought on by the unfortunate passing of iconic Concord restaurateur Louisa Timbas, long-time co-proprietor of Louis Diner out on Manchester Street.

See if you can follow this: there’s a bail enforcement agent named Lance Wilkinson who writes about crime for the Manchester Daily Express, a free daily paper also published by this company.

Lance mentioned recently that his sister, Kathleen Timbas, had been taken to Concord Hospital because she was seriously ill. As things turned out, she passed away this past Sunday, Sept. 3 at the age of 48.

Kathleen’s husband Peter Timbas had to break the news to his mother Louisa, who has been in frail health. Unfortunately, she also took it hard, as Lance would say, and also died shortly afterwards.

First, my heart goes out to Peter Timbas. Imagine losing your wife and mother in the same day!

But as happens so often in New Hampshire, there’s an interconnected that takes a tragedy such as this to a personal level, even to a relative stranger like me.

Here’s the thing: Last week, while discussing restaurants in Concord, my colleague Jeff Rapsis happened to mention the old Louis Diner.

It’s been gone from Concord for some years now, pulled off its oddly-shaped lot at the corner of Manchester and Airport roads when the property was bought by a car dealership.

In its heyday, though, it was open until the wee hours. When Jeff worked for the Concord Monitor, he used to stop in after the paper’s 1 a.m. deadline. And yes, many times he was served by Louisa Timbas.

He had no idea she was related to one of our columnists until this week’s unfortunate events, but he felt a loss, and so did I.

Again, our hearts go out to the Timbas family at this difficult time. I hope the realization that these two women are in the thoughts of so many people—including me—is some comfort to those who knew her better than I had a chance to.


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