“We will be okay,” two signs of hope in troubled times

We Will Be OkayBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City paper 11/2017

“We will be okay.”

It’s Sunday; I’m driving around Foxboro Common and I pass the Universalist Church and these four words on their little announcement sign jump out at me. “We will be okay.”

As I’m inspired. I really am. That’s my next column, I say to myself. There is hope. I happen to notice another sign across the street, which I will get to in a moment.

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Las Vegas Mass Shooting – nothing has changed since Sandy Hook, is this the new America?

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 10/2017

These are my words:

For the next few weeks, the news magazines will run pictures of vigils and lit candles. “Experts” from all sides will debate every aspect of what happened. We will get to know the children, the adults, and the shooter and his family. People from all walks of life will get into a war of words about gun control. There will be hearings, investigations.

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Your kind words can make a difference — and maybe even save a life

05 Ogunquit Beach - Umbrella and Two Aderondack Chairs by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 8/2017

Checking into FaceBook on my lunch break and I see that a few friends are going through rough times and some, just by the tone of their posts, are hurting…

And I get to thinking: Our words matter and we can make a difference.

True story, a month or so ago, a Facebook friend posted a video and explained she was actually contemplating suicide the night before — thankfully for all of us and for her, she made the calls, talked to people, reached out, realized she was not alone, got the help she needed — thank God — she is still with us and feeling better.

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NanaGillisBook has a new web site!

You can now access the full “Nana” web site right here!

http://nanagillisbook.robertxgillis.com

“For anyone who has ever loved a senior citizen, this book will touch your heart.”

“For anyone who has ever loved a senior citizen, this book will touch your heart.”

“In the 1930’s, being a single mother was not only shocking, it was a challenge overcome by only the strongest of women. Anne Gillis was such a woman, and with her stubborn determination she managed to take care of her and her son’s financial needs, and went on to leave an indelible imprint on the next generation as well.

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Why Local Newspapers Are So Important

Foxboro Reporter

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 8/2017

“The truly literate and involved American should be reading the local newspaper. Weekly newspapers and the internet are also vital to maintaining an educated citizenry. We must ensure that they continue to flourish because they are all important resources for maintaining a healthy democracy.” — John W. Whitehead, “Why Local Newspapers Are the Basis of Democracy,” Huffington Post, 5/14/2009

In this digital age, it is very likely you are following everything that’s going on in Washington right now.

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Finding joy in the spirit of America, Independence Day 2017

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 7/2017

In June, I decided I wanted to run a column for Independence Day and started working on it two weeks out. Then, the writer’s block set in. The problem – balancing a “feel-good” piece about the celebration of our independence at a time when it seems disingenuous to be celebrating anything.

This Independence Day feels different, doesn’t it? Sure, the country changes every day — and has since the start — but the changes this past year have been dramatic, blindsiding, and seem to fly in the face of what America is SUPPOSED to be all about.

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Foxborough Founders day Saturday June 10, 2017: Come to the Birthday Party!

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 6/2017

If you have lived in Foxborough for any amount of time, you are probably familiar with the Founders Day schedule. Founders Day begins at 10 AM as the first blasts of the fire engine trucks announce the start of the parade. About an hour later, the parade has made its way to Booth Field, and for the next four hours or so Foxborough-based community service organizations, churches, fraternal organizations, schools, the scouts, and all Foxborough-based groups who help make Foxborough a better place run games, contests, make incredible food, and offer fun for everyone.

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Finding a balance between CONSTANT bad political news, being vigilant, and the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper, 4/2017

In a recent Saturday Night Live sketch, the President of the United States (played by Alec Baldwin) faces off against the three judges who stopped his executive order travel ban – in, of all places, “The People’s Court” TV show. It’s an over-the-top, silly skit, but also topical. Cecily Strong, who played the TV judge, said these words which were not only hilarious, they RESONATED:

“I want one day without a CNN alert that scares the hell out of me.”

And suddenly, a political comedy sketch became real.

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Play the TV News Snow Game! (Global Warming #alternativefacts means more snow!)

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 2/2016

The Great Blizzard of 2017. Never forget. We will rebuild.
The Great Blizzard of 2017. Never forget. We will rebuild.

 

To provide a welcome break from all those pesky (and constant) political news stories that either upset us, confuse us, or make us really mad, welcome to slow news day, snowstorm edition!

After the horrific snow apocalypse winter of 2014-2015 (Actual record 105” of snow in Boston and constant Nor’easters that winter) these past two years have been relatively calm.

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2016: Embracing the spirit of Christmas Past, Present and Future, and finding the key to the childhood joy

My desk all decorated for Christmas, 1981

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 12/2016

It’s early December and I am wondering in a store or two, looking at the rows of decorations, wrap, candy and Christmas merchandise lining the shelves. I find myself lost in nostalgia this evening, recalling a time, as a kid, when I would race to the stores and just window shop for hours, looking at all the Christmas decorations and then excitedly continue preparation for Christmas at home.

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Election 2016: Time To Look In The Mirror

Image of the United States from space -- (nasa.gov)
Image of the United States from space — (nasa.gov)

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 11/2016

No matter who you voted for, no matter whether you’re happy or not with the result, consider this – The United States is a country horrifically divided. This is not a new situation, but made abundantly clear in the 2016 election season.

On Election Night, about 100 million people voted, about 50 million or so for each candidate.

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Election 2016: My Public Service Announcement about Write-Ins for President in Massachusetts

PLEASE do not write-in cartoon characters, ineligible names, or protest statements in the write in field in Massachsuetts
PLEASE do not write-in cartoon characters, ineligible names, or protest statements in the write in field in Massachusetts.

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 10/2016

November 8 is Election Day – and I’d like to talk write-in ballots, specifically for Massachusetts.

First, a disclaimer: I am not endorsing any candidate here; when a real name is mentioned it is NOT an endorsement or statement about that person – I am using familiar names for example purposes only.

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More Superman Silver Age Physics!

by Robert Gillis, who had nothing better to do
9/2016

What was so special about the silver age of comic books? Read about it HERE
(Click any image to enlarge)

In a recent podcast of “From Crisis to Crisis, A Superman Podcast,” Mike and Jeffrey called our attention to this Silver Age Gem: From Superman #145, May, 1961. Another example of Superman being a little too powerful in the Silver Age   Since SUNLIGHT powers  one of the members of an interplanetary circus that is causing a kerfuffle in Metroplolis, Superman cancels out the green guy’s power by {wait for it}  pushing the MOON out of its of its orbit (thank God that the moon’s gravitation pull has absolutely NO effect on Earth whatsoever) so he can create an eclipse that will {wait for it} cut off all sunlight from the Earth.  {Um, anyone else remember that the Moon isn’t big enough to cut off ALL sunlight across the entire planet Earth?}  Thank goodness that twenty five years later they didn’t have Superman doing the exact same thing in Superman IV: The Quest For Peace in 1987!  Oh, um, wait.    Superman later apologized to the former residents of every coastal area on Earth.

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End of Summer 2016: Thoughts on a variety of topics

Entering Foxboro SignBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 9/2016

This past March was the 20th anniversary of the date I started writing for this newspaper. Then, and now, I consider it a privilege and one I do not take for granted and something I hope I will be doing for a long time to come.

Sometimes, an idea for a column is so strong that I will literally race home to write it. Other times, a piece may take days or even weeks to organize and compose my thoughts in the way I want to present them.

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Saying goodbye to Aubuchon Hardware in Foxboro

Aubuchon Hardware Foxboro
Aubuchon Hardware Foxboro

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 7/2016

Last Friday, July 22, Aubuchon Hardware Corporate came to the Foxboro store and told everyone it was their last day and the store was closed.

The town of Foxboro is poorer because of it.

It is a fact that businesses come and go. No matter where you live, we all have seen businesses last for generations, and some last only a year or two.

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