By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper, 7/2018
“When I close my eyes, so I would not see / My Lord did trouble me / When I let things stand that should not be / My Lord did trouble me / Did trouble me / With a word or a sign / With a ring of a bell in the back of my mind / Did trouble me / Did stir my soul / For to make me human, to make me whole”
– “Did Trouble Me,” by Tom Jones
For the six years I worked in Boston, I encountered many homeless people.
The City of Boston is one of my favorite photographic subjects. This past week with a few welcome vacation days and the forecast of (finally!) blue skies and 60 degree temps, I made my plans to spend two days taking my walking tour of Boston, photographing what found me along the way. These are “Bobby” days, I go alone, I leave the smart phone in the car, I walk at a brisk clip, and it’s my time to decompress, unplug from the computer and World Wide Web, connect with humanity without a screen, and recharge my batteries.
By Robert Gillis Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 4/2014
This past week, less than one year after the Marathon bombing and its horrible aftermath, the city of Boston is grieving again.
As you all know, a nine alarm fire on Beacon Street in Boston claimed the lives of two firefighters. There have been memorials, tributes, and by the time this column runs, these two fallen heroes will be laid to rest. Their families and friends lives will never be the same.
by Robert Gillis Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 11/2013
“This is for you, Boston. You guys deserve it… We’ve been through a lot this year and this is for all of you and all those families who struggled.” — David Ortiz, MVP 2013 after the Red Sox World Series win.
The story goes that a few days after the September 11 attacks, singer/songwriter (and my personal hero) Bruce Springsteen walked along a bridge in New York City and stared where the twin towers had stood.
By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 12/2011
“I have always thought of Christmas time, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper, 7/2010
In my years of working in the great Metropolis of Boston, I have observed and experienced much, and I thought it might be useful (or at least illuminating) to provide you with his handy guide of things I can tell you about the Hub from an insider’s perspective. While hardly inclusive, it’s a nice start…
First and most importantly, look both ways before crossing the street, ESPECIALLY on one-way streets.
By Robert Gillis Published in the Boston City Paper 6/2008
Boston sports fans: What the hell is the matter with you people?
The Red Sox / Patriots / Your College Team / Celtics win a championship and you see that as a license to go out rioting, setting fires and doing malicious damage to property?
In the latest me lee, over 20 people were arrested after the Celtics win. The Celtics — a team you couldn’t GIVE AWAY tickets to a year ago — are suddenly on everyone’s mind and the unruly chaotic mob floods into the street.
by Robert Gillis Published in The Foxboro Reporter 11/2004
“I can’t believe it,” Sue said.
“I can’t believe it either,” I said.
The Boston Red Sox had just won the World Series.
Under a blood-red lunar eclipse, surely a sign of divine providence, the Red Sox had just swept the Cardinals in four straight games.
The announcer was reminiscing about all the famous Sox players who never saw the series win, and then wondered how many of us have lost family members who were lifelong Sox fans who wanted to see just one series win?
by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 7/2004 and the Boston City Paper 4/2007
KEYWORDS: Big Dig, Boston, Boston drivers, Boston traffic, City, Dorchester, driving in Boston, Massachusetts, new job, traffic drivers, career change, city drivers
The city of Boston and I have carried on a love/hate relationship for many years. The love began when I was kid and we’d make the annual Christmas shopping trip into the enchanted city. Those trips into Boston remain some of my nicest childhood memories.
My dad, God bless him — was the sports fanatic in my family and a true die hard Red Sox fan. While winter nights were often peppered with him shouting “SCORE!” whenever the Boston Bruins got a goal, it was the Red Sox that was his true sports passion and most dear to his heart.
Some of my earliest memories of Dad are him watching the Red Sox, the cool summer breeze blowing in, or the old exhaust fan desperately trying to stifle the blazing August heat.
by Robert Gillis
published in the Foxboro Reporter 2/2003 and the Boston City Paper 2/2013.
There are images that stay with you. Throughout your life, some remain indelible. Certain events that you know are unique even as you live through them: You know that these are the events you’ll never forget. Despite the years, the images remain; every detail still clear.
“Major blizzard. Hurricane force.” Twenty-five years after the storm of the century, twenty-five years after digging out of the worst blizzard the state had ever seen (and the one all future storms would be measured by), no superlative, no description can accurately describe what happened to Massachusetts on the afternoon of Monday, February 6, 1978, and during the amazing week afterward.