Sometimes, I feel as old as Abraham Lincoln, which may be in part because we share a birthday. And, no, it is not today, and today is not “Presidents Day.” That was Richard Nixon’s executive order one year.
I think he created it because he knew there probably wouldn’t be a Nixon Birthday like there was a Washington’s Birthday and a Lincoln’s Day. Washington and Lincoln deserved their own national recognition. Still do.
A friend reminded me that it has been 50 years since Nixon won the New Hampshire Presidential Primary that led him to the White House. Another age reminder. Old Abe himself campaigned in New Hampshire a few years earlier.
But I also feel as old as Abe sometimes because of what I read in the paper or the mail. Last week, I read of the loss of two gentlemen who gave much to New Hampshire in their time. Jim Connor, former Hillsborough County attorney and longtime civically-engaged gentleman, was one. Francis Gros Louis was another.
Jim was the shirt-off-his-back type and always nice to a young reporter making his way in the world.
Gros Louis was part of the Huron nation. He held many government positions, from Wilton selectman to HUD executive, and also found time to give back to his community. He was the first recipient of the Carl Lundholm Award. It is bestowed each year at our Parade of Champions sports event ,and it goes to someone who has exemplified those give-back qualities that Mr. Lundholm, late of UNH athletics, did.
I also felt old reading that Joe Byron had been named this year’s recipient of the Maurice McQuillen Award for service to military veterans from New Hampshire. Mr. Byron started the Honor Flights that fly veterans to Washington to see the sites, including the World War II monument.
Maurice was the first editor of our weekly Veterans Page, which may be the only such newspaper feature in the country. I worked with “Mack.” What made me feel old was that his kids are all grown up and helping to select the award winner.
Pretty cool, don’t you think?
Write to Joe McQuaid at Publisher@unionleader.com or on Twitter at @deucecrew.