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Joe McQuaid's Publisher's Notebook: A few 'ouches' aside, week went pretty well


March 23. 2014 3:46PM

Other than announcing out of order two of our 40 Under Forty honorees; letting a Frenchman and a Brit use four-leaf clovers instead of shamrocks in our Find the Shamrocks contest; and repeatedly referring to Manchester's Lake Ave. as "Lake Street," things went pretty well here last week. How about you?

I was no sooner in the door on St. Patrick's Day morn when the phone calls and emails began arriving about shamrocks.

Was I daft? Folks asked. Didn't a McQuaid, of all people, know that the shamrock is the three-leafed plant that Patrick himself used to teach the Holy Trinity to the Irish heathens?

Well, actually, I hadn't thought much about it. But I did look it up after the communiques and, while there are some who contend that the Irish word "seamrog" is related to the Irish word for clover, "seamair," and clover can certainly be four-leafed as well as three, I'm not about to argue the point.

But I will excuse my Irish ignorance on the fact that the McQuaids were actually Scots who, my father told me, were sent over to Northern Ireland to subjugate the Catholics but got the orders wrong and ended up Catholic themselves.

Which doesn't explain why I couldn't follow the alphabet in presiding at the Union Leader's 2014 40 Under Forty event in Concord last Wednesday evening.

Perhaps I was just rattled by being in the presence of so many young people who, despite busy lives with their work and families, have found the time to step up and do even more to enrich their town, city, or New Hampshire as a whole.

Gov. Maggie Hassan, who was there to congratulate the honorees, made the point that New Hampshire needs to attract and keep young people. Well, what better example of what we have to offer young people than the stories of peers such as these? Their stories remain online at where you will also find a nomination form for next year's class.

We are looking for people who have made significant contributions to their field, their community, or the state as a whole and we are interested in their professional and volunteer accomplishments. So far, so good.

As for "Lake Street," I am still working on a reason for that one. Coming from the little town of Candia, (where one of the shortest roads in town is aptly named Stump Street), I have always been impressed by big city ManchVegas with its avenues. And since I once resided on Lake Ave., I wince when we get it wrong.

Write to Joe McQuaid at or on Twitter at @Deucecrew

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