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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: From NH books to the national news


March 24. 2013 5:30PM

Today's column starts and ends with books.

The first is a rambling, first-person account of the life and times of a Pelham man, Dr. Titus Plomaritis by name.

How can you not be interested in the story of a man with that name?

He was a doctor of chiropracty for many years and, from what I gather, a good one. But I think he may have done as much for his patients with his sense of humor and zest for life.

If you are from the Salem area or Lowell, Mass., where he grew up and played high school footbal under the legendary Coach Ray Riddick, you will enjoy "Titus." If you remember the great Harry Agganis, with whom the author played at BU, you will like this read.

But be warned, it's a heavy book. I think Titus was trying to gin up business for his fellow chiropractors by making it so.

Proceeds from "Titus" go to a family foundation. Write to

Sticking with the reading theme, the mailbag last week included a letter from a state prison inmate who put me on notice that, unfortunately, he won't be taking or buying the Union Leader when he gets out.

I hate to lose a sale, but I can't make this one work. As he explained it, his beef was with an independent newspaper carrier who, he feels, did him wrong in a non-newspaper interaction years ago.

Not that I think the guy is carrying a grudge, but he says he has been behind bars for 15 years and hasn't read the paper in all that time. Come to think of it, the paper may have changed so much that he won't be able to resist us.

Of course, we change every day, too. Among our stories last week were two that made the national news media later on.

One was on the woman terribly burned because of her reaction to some medicine. The case made it to the U.S. Supreme Court, and network television, last Tuesday. We had it first.

The second, which should interest every energy consumer in New Hampshire, was business reporter Dave Solomon's report on the bottleneck in getting natural gas to the New England power grid. Natural gas is plentiful in America, and its price is very competitive. But the lack of pipeline capacity came close to forcing rolling electricity brownouts twice this winter.

Days after our story appeared, the head of the New England grid told Congress what our readers already knew.

We have been reporting New Hampshire's stories for our readers since the Manchester Union began as a weekly paper sometime during the 1840s. Records are incomplete for that era. But we trace our roots as an ongoing daily publication to March 31, 1863.

That makes this our 150th year. Plans are in the works for a couple of neat projects, one of which is a book that will look not just at the newspaper but at 150 years of New Hampshire history as seen through our pages. It should be a best-seller.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or via Twitter at @deucecrew.

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