The Singer Whose Voice Gives Her a Voice

Listen. It’s what you don’t hear that makes the biggest sound. There’s no background music playing in Laura Dadap‘s apartment. This is something to take note of because Laura’s life, even before she made her grand entrance squeezed between a bass clef and a treble clef, is centered on music. Laura’s parents are classical musicians, and her dad was conducting an …

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The Clown Who Laughs Through Life’s Tears

It’s time for Jose Morales to put on his happy face. He pulls up two straight-back chairs and sets them in front of a 4-foot-high dime store mirror in the living room/kitchen of his thimble-sized apartment. He places a plastic fishing tackle box on one of them. He opens it, revealing an accordion of shelves that are filled with makeup. Even without the greasepaint and powder, Jose smiles. He can’t help himself because in the circus of life, he’s a clown. Photo by Nancy A. Ruhling Jose in a serious mood. It’ll take him 20 to 40 …

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The Green Farmer

First things first. The chickens need to be fed. Rob McGrath heads past his crops to the chain-link coop he just built in his back yard. When he scatters the feed on the ground, the six clucking hens — four Red Stars, two Leghorns — huddle around him like football players. “I just love being with the chickens,” he says, gathering one of the Red Stars in his arms and cradling it like a newborn. “I can watch them for hours.” Rob’s new at this farming stuff, and he’s green in every sense of the word. This is the first&…

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The Coach Who Plays the Subways

There are lots of empty seats on the N train, but Coach Lloyd doesn’t take one. Instead, he walks down the center of the car. In a big, round voice that bounces around like a basketball looking to hook a hoop, he peddles the down-pat pitch that has been his subway-series mantra for nearly three decades: “Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. I’m all about coaching basketball and keeping kids out of trouble. I’m not sponsored, and I thank God for people who help me out. I don’t care if …

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The Guy Stuck on Skateboards

Raffie Gordon slides on his shades, the ones that make him look cooler than a Fourth of July Popsicle. It’s a short walk from his shop, Belief, to Astoria Park. But it’s torture for him. He’d rather be riding the skateboard he has tucked under his arm. Skateboarding has been Raffie’s main mode of transportation since he …

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