Nixon Vogelman Slawsky Simoneau September 2018

77 Central Street, Manchester, NH 03101 • • 603.669.7070 • September 2018

W hen summer turns into fall, I think back to my childhood. I’m reminded of my grandfather and the business he built here in New Hampshire. Alex was a very successful businessman — he started in the coke and coal business first. Coke was actually the product of burning coal in mass heaps to prevent air from getting into the middle. It’s a fuel with very little impurities and a high carbon content. From that, he switched to the oil business and supplied major hospitals in the area. I remember sitting next to him and asking when he had started his business, and he told me his story. HOW GRANDPA ALEX BECAME SUCCESSFUL Alex approached a construction site and asked the guys working if he could have a job. He was lucky that they spoke French, because he didn’t speak much English. In French, they asked my grandfather if he had ever worked in construction before. Well, the truth was that he hadn’t, but he told the guy, “Sure, I’ve worked on a lot of things.” Then they asked him, “You must have your own tools, then?” And Alex told them, “Yes, I do.” Then he told them he’d go and get them and return the next day. He headed back to the flophouse he’d been staying at and gathered up what was left of his money and all the things he owned, then sold it all to buy his own tools. Alex set about working in construction until the snow got up to his eyes and it was too cold to work. After the site closed, he headed down to the Nashua area. After working in construction, he realized that he wanted to save up and start his own business — a coal delivery business. So, with his savings, he bought a Ford Model T automobile to use in his

deliveries. But because he didn’t speak English well, he didn’t understand at the time that the industry was COD, or cash on delivery — Alex thought that he could pay as he went. He didn’t understand he had to pay for everything upfront before selling it. When Alex finally did realize he had to pay for all the coal at once, he sold his truck to cover the costs. With no way to transport the massive mound of coal, my grandfather got himself a stool and sat down right next to the pile. The nice man who ran the train station let him keep the coal there while he pondered what to do. That was something my grandfather always told me, “You never turn away from a problem. You sit there with it and figure it out.” He probably sat there for days before an idea finally occurred to him.

Grandpa Alex was an orphan and lived on a farm in Canada until he was 21. His older brothers, who were much older than him, ran the farm after their parents died and insisted that Alex stay and work there. Once he turned 21, they told him, “If you want to go, then go.” So he came the United States. He

That was something my grandfather always told me, ‘You never turn away from a problem. You sit there with it and figure it out.’

calculated how much he would need for a train to get him into the States and saved up $35. This was during the late 1800s, and $35 was worth a lot more than it is today. However, once he was at the train station and was reaching into his pocket to pay for the trip, he realized that it would be cheaper if he just walked. He ended up walking all the way down to New Hampshire, where he started looking for work. He was running low on money and needed to start saving again, so he decided to try his hand at construction.

Alex loaded up a wheelbarrow with 100 or more pounds of coal and then went door to door, saying in French, “My name is Alex. Would you like to try my coal?” If they bought it, he would go back and forth from the train station 15–20 times to deliver it, because people would buy coal by the ton at the time. It had to be shoveled into a furnace under their homes to keep them warm. He took it upon himself to deliver every piece of coal they purchased.

His hard work paid off, and his business boomed. Even though things were rough in the beginning, he worked through the problems he faced. It’s no wonder that my grandfather was so successful.

–Kirk Simoneau

603.669.7070 • 1

Guiding you through life’s trials


A good night’s sleep is one of the most important things you can do for your mind and body. One study published in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research found that the quality of your sleep is much more important than the quantity — that is, if you want to feel rested. And we all want to feel rested. So, what can you do to improve the quality of your sleep and get the rest you need? Listen to your body. This, above all else, is crucial to a good night’s sleep. Your body knows when it’s time for bed. Generally, you want to go to bed when you feel tired, whether that’s at 8 p.m. or 1 a.m. Whenever your body tells you it needs rest, you should make a habit of going to bed then. The more consistent you are, the better your sleep will be. Wake up naturally. Jolting yourself awake with an alarm or radio isn’t doing your brain and body any favors (it can be stressful on the body and even elevate blood pressure, which is not good first thing in the morning).

If you do need an alarm, consider a wake-up light. Wake-up lights mimic the sunrise, slowly brightening the room, waking your body in a natural, gentle way. Kick the screen habit. You’ve heard it before, and you’ll hear it again: Looking at an electronic screen — a TV, computer, tablet, or smartphone — before bed is detrimental to sleep quality. Light from these devices is disruptive to your brain’s suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), which helps regulate your circadian rhythm, and screen time before bed can throw off normal SCN function. Put your excuses for staying up too late to bed. Say no to “one more episode.” And all those emails? They can wait until tomorrow. Not getting enough quality sleep is harmful to your mental and physical health. When you get into the habit of following these three tips, you’ll find yourself feeling rested and refreshed in no time.

Jill Davidsond

Our Hardworking Nurse Before starting at Nixon, Vogelman,

me, and everyone wants it yesterday.” When she’s not working in the office, she’s on call for medical issues that may arise in the office. “But I can do a lot of things from home,” she explains. “Most of it is research and writing. If something comes up and someone has a medical question, needs to talk to a doc, or they need a review, they’ll shoot me an email.” Knowing that Jill is there to support them helps our attorneys greatly. Because Jill understands and speaks the medical language so well, she can get through any medically related paperwork faster than our attorneys. She finds the important information they need, and she can discover if anything is missing as well. Relying on someone so knowledgeable in this field saves our attorneys’ time. When Jill isn’t hard at work in the office, she enjoys sewing, quilting, and baking. “I always bake,” she states fondly. “I always bring something baked into the office when I come in. You can tell I’m here because there’s usually a basket of goodies sitting on the counter.”

Slawsky, and Simoneau, Jill Davidson was working three jobs. At first, she worked per diem, and she was seen in the office only once or twice during the month. Then in 2009, she took a part-time position and has been with us ever since. “I’m still working two other jobs,” Jill admits. “I work as a per diem supervisor at North Region Hospital, and I also work at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.” On the days Jill is with us, she dives right into her work. “I do a lot of things around the office. I review the medical records for

our clients and summarize medical records for all of our cases.” She also helps our attorneys understand the complex medical world they may face while in court. “I do a lot of prep work with attorneys when they have to go to court.”

We at Nixon, Vogelman, Slawsky, and Simoneau are proud to have such a diligent nurse and superb baker working with us.

Jill’s worked as a nurse for 40 years and handles all our medical records, even the staff’s. “I work for everyone here,” she says. “So everyone gets a piece of

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What Nixon, Vogelman, Slawsky, & Simoneau Are All About HEARING FROM AN OLDER GENTLEMAN

I remembered the case he was referring to. It was a rear-ended car crash case, and the main injury, inflicted on my client, was a broken leg. The leg itself healed without a problem, and she returned to her everyday life. But the expenses of the accident were pretty steep, and she needed compensation so she wouldn’t have to worry about being in debt. My client was a minor, not even enrolled in college yet. She shouldn’t have to look into her future and see the expenses of this one bad moment on top of her college finances. We worked our tail off to give her the best representation we could and got $400,000 for her from that case. That one bad moment in her life, which turned into several bad months,

would end up paying for her college and even a business if she decided to start one. It worked out well for her. For me, the significant moment was when her grandfather came up to me and told me that it was the best he’d ever seen. We pride ourselves in the work we put into each case that comes through our doors — no exceptions! All the lawyers here at Nixon, Vogelman, Slawsky, & Simoneau put together the best cases we can to get the greatest results for our clients.

Kirk Simoneau talks about an experience influenced by a successful case years prior.

I was at church a few weeks ago, as I usually am on Sundays, when something amazing happened. At the end of mass, I was approached by an older gentleman whom I’ve never met before. He introduced himself as the grandfather of a client we had helped years before. He had been an insurance adjuster for 45 years and had gone through the paperwork that my team and I put together. He said that, while he was sorting through it all, never in all his 45 years as an insurance adjuster had he seen the demands we had laid out. “They were the best demands I ever saw,” he told me.

Be Inspired and

Have a Laugh

603.669.7070 • 3

Guiding you through life’s trials

77 Central Street Manchester, NH 03101 603.669.7070


INSIDE This Issue

The Hardworking Businessman


Sleep Better and Feel Great

Meet Our Medical Expert

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The Best Demands in 45 Years

Shadow: The Hang-Gliding Service Dog


MEET SHADOW The Amazing Hang-Gliding Service Dog

For his entire life, Utah resident Dan McManus has suffered from several mental health issues, including

I would be out here flying, and he would chase me and jump up at me and sometimes get my foot and hang on a little bit … It felt like he wanted to keep me safe,” he says. And when he left the dog at home, he’d often come home to a scratched-up floor and doors. It seemed that Shadow couldn’t bear to be away from his owner. So, about 12 years ago, McManus had a special harness made for Shadow, enabling the pup to join him while he took to the skies. They’ve been side-by-side on nearly every flight since. Some pet owners might balk at the idea of taking a dog on a hang glider, but it’s clear that, in this case, Shadow definitely wants to fly. Whenever they go out, Shadow wraps his paws around McManus’

generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, night terrors, and severe panic attacks. Over the years, he’s utilized numerous coping mechanisms to stave off the symptoms, but there are two things that calm him more than anything else: hang gliding across the Utah skies and the companionship of his service animal, an Australian cattle dog named Shadow. Over the course of 37 years, McManus went from being a hang-gliding hobbyist to an expert instructor in Salt Lake City, going out gliding as often as possible. But it seemed that his passion gave his pup a bit of anxiety of his own. Whenever McManus would take off, Shadow always wanted to chase him. “So

While we all struggle with our own obstacles in life, it’s nice to know that our canine pals will always be there to offer their furry support. As McManus and Shadow demonstrate, it’s a bond that remains strong even hundreds of feet above the ground.

arm, remaining stoic as they survey the landscape together from high above.

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