I was an Activist

In the fall of 1983 I climbed the stairs at 89 North Main Street in Concord. I was fresh out of Plymouth State where my friends and I had founded the student action group Common Ground, and our advisor Gary McCool (the best faculty name ever) had given me Arnie's name. I was in my first job at a nonprofit arts center in Nashua, and looking to continue grassroots activism. I had decided to sign up to be a volunteer for Freeze Voter '84, a campaign to get presidential primary candidates on the record about supporting a nuclear weapons freeze.

At the top of the stairs to greet me, of course, was this guy with a big mustache and glasses, and an even bigger smile: "Hi, I'm Arnie. Come on in." I immediately felt welcomed and relevant and ready to do good stuff. I credit that encounter -- and what I would learn from Arnie in the next few months about passion, commitment, peaceful activism, and a focus on results -- as one of the moments that showed me that a lifetime spent in nonprofit service in New Hampshire would be one very well spent. Thank you, Arnie, for that lesson by example to an eager 23 year old way back when...