New Hampshire Right to Life surprised and delighted me mightily at the annual RTL dinner last evening with the Guy Granger Award. Someone later asked me what the award was for. “Longevity,” I replied.
In all seriousness, though, what honors me most is even a passing association with the memory of the man whose name is on the award. I knew Guy Granger briefly before his untimely death more than two decades ago. He was a neighbor to me and a state representative for our town.
He was also on the board of New Hampshire Right to Life, which is how I first met him. He was dedicated to defending life long before the Supreme Court forced the issue.
Guy was a Vietnam vet. Some years after his death, I attended a Memorial Day ceremony at the town cemetery. Afterward I walked over to Guy’s grave to say a prayer. One of the vets from the ceremony saw me there, and his face brightened as he approached me. “You knew Guy?” he asked, very pleased when I said yes. “Way too young,” he remarked, noting the date of Guy’s death. Then he reminisced fondly for a few minutes about this neighbor and fellow vet.
Whether I saw Guy at the State House or at a meeting, he was in jacket and tie. If I ever saw him in informal attire, the memory escapes me. He brought a businesslike yet pleasant attitude to what he did. He really liked people and didn’t take himself too seriously.
And there’s this: when it came to policy, he knew his stuff. He did the town proud up in Concord.
So, I’m feeling very grateful today to the team at New Hampshire Right to Life. Thanks for the encouragement. Thanks for keeping fresh the memory of a good man.
I was far from being the most distinguished honoree at the NHRTL dinner.
What a pleasure it was to see Braunda Butt get some of the recognition she deserves as she retires from decades of service as executive director of Manchester’s Care Net. She built a strong, thriving team that has helped more people than I can count.
Other award winners, each bringing a particular gift to pro-life work, included veteran activists Anne Hieronymous, Francis Hynes, and Beth Scaer; students Maria Turner and Stephanie Goelzhauser; and Pastor Don Colageo.
They got well-deserved applause from the more than four hundred people at the dinner. This was the largest NHRTL banquet ever, despite some competition down the road from a presidential candidate’s town hall. Right to Life’s keynote speaker Fr. Frank Pavone had by far the bigger audience.