Taking time to appreciate the American Flag and reflect on its promise

American Flagsby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 5/2016

It’s Saturday morning, and like so many others around town I am running errands. Driving on Mechanic Street I spot them – the American flags all along the sidewalk, encircling the common, and also running down parts of Mechanic and Central Street.

The flag’s “magical” appearance several times a year – Memorial Day, founders day, Independence Day, Veterans Day, Labor Day and when needed – don’t happen by magic – the flags are carefully and respectfully placed by a nameless benefactor or benefactors – one of the many people who do something for this town behind the scenes.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

More fun with Superman and Wonder Woman comics: “Hi there, something wrong with the elevator?”

by Robert Gillis
4/2016

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

Wonder Woman V1 246 000002a
The super-heroes of the bronze and silver age seemed to do a lot of unnecessary damage while performing their rescues – even back on the “Adventures of Superman” TV show, Superman was also smashing through windows and walls because it was much more dramatic than, say, opening a door.

I found these gems from the Bronze Age; all three involve elevator rescues that could have been done with far less property damage:

From Wonder Woman #246, Diana Prince is doing some laundry when the power goes out – suddenly, she realizes people are trapped in the elevator.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Foxboro 2016: The dog park is back!

Sun Chronicle Photograph of the dog park; Satchel Pooch ('Get Fuzzy' Character by Darby Conley) added by the author who had WAYYY too much time on his hands.
Sun Chronicle Photograph of the dog park; Satchel Pooch (‘Get Fuzzy’ Character copyright by Darby Conley) added by Bob who had WAYYY too much time on his hands.

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 4/2016

It’s not often that “PLAY NICE” is the core of two consecutive op/eds, but here we are.

If you’re new to Foxboro, the collective groan you just heard is the announcement that the dog park is back in the news.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Thoughts on the upcoming Foxboro Town Election, 2016 and the lost art of conversation

ballotby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 3/2016

At this writing, it has been just a few hours since the deadline for candidates to submit their papers to Town Hall to be part of the election that will be held on May 2.

While the presidential election has already drained me, I care deeply about the annual Foxboro election. While there IS an argument to be made that one vote really doesn’t count in a presidential election due to the Electoral College, EVERY vote cast in the local election can make a difference.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

A River runs through Boston: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band at TD Garden, February 4, 2016

View from my seat: No such thing as a BAD seat at a Bruce Springsteen concert!
View from my seat: No such thing as a BAD seat at a Bruce Springsteen concert!

 

Bruce Springsteen and the E Street band at TD Garden, The River Tour, February 4, 2016
Concert Review and Fan Rave
by Robert Gillis, 2/2016


“THE RIVER! The River was my coming of age record. It was the record where I was trying to figure out where I fit in … By the time I got to “The River,” I’d taking notice of the things that bond people together, that bond people to their lives: work, commitments, families.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

We Are All Patriots — Thank you Pats for an amazing 2015-2016 season!

IMG_1857

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

A year ago, in 2015, before the AFC game, I wrote a column in this space saying thank you to the New England Patriots and their organization for a great season and for all they do for us.

I deliberately published the piece BEFORE the game – I wanted to emphasize that regardless of that outcome, we are so proud of our Patriots.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Where Are You Christmas? The Christmas Season Doesn’t Start in September

Store Display - Christmas Lights. Robert Gillis Photo
Store Display – Christmas Lights. Robert Gillis Photo

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper 1/2016

My grandmother – God rest her soul – had a holiday tradition that was not exactly beloved. EVERY Christmas – without exception – at some point on Christmas Day, she would say, “Well, Christmas is as far away as it ever is.” As I recall, one year she said it while we were still opening presents early in the morning.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Fun with Facebook: Christmas 2015 edition!

Christmas Still Life - Red And Green Christmas Bulbsby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper December, 2015

Welcome to Christmas fun with Facebook, 2015 edition!

 

Mark Cohen: “December 24th, 9:00PM:   Benny wants ALL the RENT, and I’m starting a film documentary but I’m not sure how to begin because real life is so scary and sad.”

  • Bob Gillis: Well, let me write a funny Christmas column to take your mind off all that for a little while.
  • Mark Cohen: Cool, thanks.
Click here to read the rest of this post!

Be part of the LIGHT this holiday season in Foxboro

12274676_10153413171093547_1147151410462871176_nBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 11/2015

Recently, we had a special Diwali celebration at lunch time at work. Diwali, also known as the “festival of lights,” is an ancient Hindu festival. Among other things, it celebrates the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, and hope over despair.

I was very moved by the beauty of the celebration. Many people dressed in beautiful gowns and robes, and they explained the origins of the holiday, how they celebrate it, sang a song, and treated us to AMAZING Indian cuisine.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

The horror as school shootings become “routine”

candle
By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 10/2015

Once again, a school shooting.  This time, in Oregon.   The facts come in. This many dead. This many wounded. Shooter is dead. Details about the shooter come in. President speaks. Candlelight vigils held. Grief counselors sent to the school. Politicians tweet prayers (Wow. Just wow.) National dialogue is all about guns for a week or two.

And nothing changes. We move on.

Happens again and again and again.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

An historical quest fulfilled: Finding the Willey Family of Crawford Notch

After years of searching, Colin McNelley stands at the site of Willey Family grave in New Hampshire [photo by Robert Gillis]
After years of searching, Colin McNelley stands at the site of Willey Family grave in New Hampshire
By Robert Gillis
Published [full text] in the Boston City paper, 9/2015 and the Foxboro Reporter [Edited for print, full text on web site] 10/2015

Recently, my nephew Colin made me very proud when he successfully completed his own historical quest. By using research and deductive reasoning, and by his own cleverness and persistence, he solved a mystery of sorts.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Slow News Day, Random Thoughts, Summer 2015 Edition!

SlowNewsDayFullby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper 8/2015

In response to your literally thousands of cards, emails, and letters, and at the request of my 42,000 Twitter followers, I present you with a brand-new slow news day, random thoughts, end of summer edition!

Speaking of summer, every year in late August, we all realize the summer days are precious. That said, I JUST PUT AWAY MY SNOW THROWER FOUR MONTHS AGO.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Gillis Photos Galleries – My Professional Photography — Only $25 per download!

 

main.logo

I started Gillis Photos in 2005 to share my unique view of New England, particularly Boston, where I grew up, and work, across Massachusetts, a state with incredible history and vistas, and New Hampshire and Maine, places of peace and beauty that have become second homes.  I’m not another guy who slapped together a web site and uploaded a bunch of images shot on a camera phone. While I am not a career photographer, I love photography, and when people started buying them for books, calendars, and just to enjoy, I created this site.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Finding hope through the darkness of shootings — National Night Out (Rescheduled due to Thunderstorms)

03-Christmas-Still-Life---CandlesBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reorter 7/2015

Last week, for the first time in many years, I wrote a full column for this space, and then proceeded to, as they say in the newspaper business, “kill it.” – The reason? It was so dark, and so sad, that it was – uncharacteristically for me – completely bereft of hope.

The impetus for the column came when I was asked to add the announcement of the candlelight vigil — for the four Marines and one sailor who were murdered — to be held the following Sunday on Foxboro Common — to several Facebook pages.

Click here to read the rest of this post!

Foxboro Jaycees Concerts On The Common Offers Something for Everyone!

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 7/2015

JayceeConcerts

 

Before I begin, I want to be very clear – this is MY opinion and I am not speaking for the Foxboro Jaycees organization. I AM speaking as Bob (who also happens to be a very proud member of the group). But since this is a VERY Jaycee specific column I did check with our chapter president and told her what I wanted to write and she said go for it.

Click here to read the rest of this post!