December 21, 2006

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Nashua Publisher's Note: Not a curse, a blessing
By Jeff Rapsis

“Local media” was the theme of this year’s annual Salvation Army fundraising breakfast, held this past Tuesday at the Nashua Country Club. So I went, as did my Hippo colleague jaQ Andrews, though as newspaper guys we didn’t quite fit the sub-theme of “Radio Memories.”

Once there, I was struck by the number of people in the room who have somehow played a part in my life, going right back to the beginning.

How? For openers, the event was organized by Meri Goyette, whose husband Charlie was my mother’s obstetrician. Charlie was there, still going strong 43 years after our first encounter at St. Joseph Hospital.

And there was Ed Lecius, whom I grew up listening to on WSMN-AM 1590, and who is part of a family that was very close to my own in prior generations.

And there was Don Davidson, the city’s former mayor but also a pilot and as such a good friend of my father, and whose son Don was an altar boy with me at St. Stanislaus Church.

And there was Roberta Wrobleski, who survived the local school system with me and now takes pictures for the Broadcaster.

And there was Don Marquis, social studies head at Nashua High School when I was pretending to be a student there. He’s retired and now working as a consulting for the Los Angeles School District.

And there was Claudette Durocher, editorial writer at the Telegraph, with whom I worked there on what was my first job out of college and who knows more about Nashua than anyone.

And there was Barry Palmer, a former colleague from the Union Leader, now retired but still the Gate City’s best country western songwriter.

And there was Arnie Arnesen, Democratic spitfire who played a key role in introducing me to my two business partners and thus causing HippoPress to get started.

And so on. At one point, I got a chance to chat on-air with talk show host Woody Woodland, who was broadcasting his WSMN morning program live from the event.

It being the holidays, and with me wearing my special “Whoville” necktie and all, I asked Woody if I could say a few words to the listening audience, which I will now paraphrase.

I look around, and I feel a sense of wonder at how my life has been enriched in so many ways by all the people around me. Yes, they may have seen me do dumb things in years past, and will in years to come, no doubt. To me, that’s not a curse, but a blessing. My lack of anonymity compels me to want to be a better person, and for that I am grateful.

So this holiday season, make new friends, but cherish the old.

Merry Christmas!