The passing of two men last week are worthy of note here. One began a valuable news career in Manchester. The other, a national figure and role model, came to many Manchester events.
Gary LaPierre’s name remains well-known and respected through New England. His work for WBZ Radio was first-rate. He reported the facts, just the facts, in clear and understandable words.
To this day, we could not tell you what were LaPierre’s personal politics, even though he covered many national elections, including our First in the Nation Primary.
We do know that he began his career at WTSN in Dover and moved to WKBR-AM in Manchester. It was in a time when KBR, WFEA, and WGIR all fielded their own news reporters. It was thus a time of more news coverage, which is a good thing. We like to think that LaPierre, now in the Mass. Radio Hall of Fame, learned the ropes in New Hampshire.
With all the news and views about “blackface’’ of late, it strikes us that Frank and Brooks Robinson showed America the better side of race relations when they teamed up on the Baltimore Orioles baseball team decades ago.
Frank, who died last week, was black. Brooks is white. It did not matter one bit to their friendship or team spirit. Frank became the first black to manage in the major leagues. Years later, he bemoaned the fact that fewer blacks are in baseball these days. They are missing out on a wonderful sport and a wonderful life, he said. Jackie Robinson, whose centennial is celebrated this year, would no doubt say the same.
Both Brooks and Frank Robinson (no, they were not related) were occasional guest stars at the Union Leader Baseball Dinner of another era. Those who saw them there saw two men with a common trait: They were colorblind.