Pulse massacre in Orlando – another senseless shooting, and more tweets of thoughts and prayers – It’s time to DO something.

13445359_10153880600878547_1697480610352181283_nBy Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City paper 7/2016

Brace yourselves, this one isn’t summer fluff, I’ll be funnier next time. Also, as much as I have been working on this one, it’s still a little all over the place, so apologies in advance that this piece is not as tight as usual and more “stream of consciousness.”

After the Pulse Nightclub Orlando massacre, there were many images of folks lined around the block giving blood in Orlando.

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Remembering Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy -- image from Star Trek.com
Leonard Nimoy — image from Star Trek.com

 

by Robert Gillis 2/2015

I am deeply saddened by the passing of Leonard Nimoy. The man from Boston who did so well for himself as an actor, poet, writer, director, photographer, has passed on. He was a role model and inspiration for so many.

Although not recently, I attended MANY Star Trek conventions in the 1980s and early 1990s and saw him speak twice. He was always a gentlemen, always graceful, always so engaging, so grateful, always had so much to say.

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Musings on the latest blizzard of the 2014-2015 snowpocalypse season

WHDH-TV (Channel 7 Boston) snowfall total graphic for 2/15/2015
WHDH-TV (Channel 7 Boston) snowfall total graphic for 2/15/2015

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 2/2015

This past Valentine’s Day weekend, depending on where you live, yet another blizzard dropped anywhere between 8 to 20 inches of snow on the already impossibly high snow banks in your neighborhood.

As I write this, it’s Sunday afternoon, around 230 or so, and I am taking a break from the second round of snow shoveling, snow blowing, snow cursing, to share some observations on the latest blizzard.

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Robin Williams, 1951-2014

RobinWilliams.com
Image Credit: RobinWilliams.com

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 8/2014

In September 1978, at one of the most depressing and lonely times in my life, a new actor burst onto the scene in a hilarious show called “Mork and Mindy.”

Robin Williams weekly comedic insanity was a gift to a very sad and lonely boy — he helped me find my joy again. Every Thursday night, I knew I’d be laughing.

Back in those pre-VCR, pre-DVR days, I used my cassette recorder and audio-taped episodes of Mork & Mindy every week.

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“Open on Thanksgiving!”

KMart image from blackfriday.com
KMart image from blackfriday.com

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 11/2013

T’was a few days before Christmas, some years back, when a company called Blockbuster still rented what we used to call video tapes. I’d picked up a few choice movies for holiday viewing and asked what the late fee would be for returning the films after Christmas, since they’d be closed. The young teen behind the counter replied, “Oh, you can return then on Christmas, we’re open all day.”

And that was when I expressed my sincere condolences to him that he had to work at a VIDEO STORE on Christmas day.

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Boston Red Sox prove we are BOSTON STRONG with World Series win at Fenway

Red Sox Win the World Series - Boston Globe Photo
Red Sox Win the World Series – Boston Globe Photo

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.

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Celebrating the remarkable clergy of Saint Mary’s Foxboro

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper, 5/2013

Father Steve Madden (right) with Father Jay (left) and Cardinal Sean O'Malley in 2009 at the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Saint Mary's Church
Father Steve Madden (right) with Father Jay Makos (left) and Cardinal Sean O’Malley in 2009 at the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Saint Mary’s Church.  Foxboro Reporter Photo

Each year around this time, I’ve made it a tradition to write a piece about spirituality, about faith, religion, or clergy who have made a difference in my life. While this column is not “church chat” and is intended toward folks of all faiths (or none), I’d like to talk today about three members of the clergy who make a difference, and encourage you, if you are so inclined, to thank your clergy or spiritual leaders as well.

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A Christmas prayer for the victims of Sandy Hook

Dick Kulpa, Captain Cartoon.com
Dick Kulpa, Captain Cartoon.com

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and Boston City Paper 12/2012

All I want to write this week is a goofy op/ed piece making fun of the 12/21/2012 Apocalypse that wasn’t. I want to be funny and have a little Christmas cheer.

But the world DID end last week for a lot of people in Newtown Connecticut.

And last Friday evening, in a Wal-Mart parking lot, I did something somewhat uncharacteristic for me: I burst into tears, listening to the news reports coming in from Sandy Hook Elementary School.

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Review: Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band / Wrecking Ball Tour / Izod Center, Meadowlands, NJ / Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Credit: SpringssteenLiveInConcert

By Robert Gillis, 4/2012

The eponymous track of Bruce Springsteen’s new CD, “Wrecking Ball,” was written a few years back in response to the demolition of the old Giants Stadium right next door here in the Meadowlands. It’s a great song; although the line about, “The Giants played the game” got some good-natured boos here in New England.

It was there at the Old Giants Stadium, in 1985, that my best friend David told me his fiancée (now wife) had invited us to her parents place in New Jersey to see Bruce Springsteen for the first time.

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Congratulations to George Takei and Brad Altman, married 9/14/2008!

 

Photo Credit: Stan Honda, GeorgeTakei.com
Photo Credit: Stan Honda, GeorgeTakei.com

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Boston City Paper 10/2008

I met George Takei in 1990 [read here] and along with my best friend David and DC Comics’ Arne Starr, we had lunch at Quincy Market and took a trolley tour of Boston.

George is articulate, passionate about humanity and community, funny, a role model for what it means to be active in your community and for fighting for the oppressed and the forgotten.

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Breaking Dog Park News!

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 7/2008

Background: Here in Foxboro, a battle has raged — literally raged — over whether a dog park should be allowed to remain open. This is no joke (I wish it were) —
The dog park, which opened in September 2006, has become a legal battleground.

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Unruly Boston sports fans are a disgrace

 

Rowdy Boston fans - Boston Globe Photo
Rowdy Boston fans – Boston Globe Photo

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.

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Lynda Walsh for Foxboro Selectman


By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 4/2007

For many years, one of my personal, unwritten rules for this column was that I would not endorse candidates for political office.

I did this for several reasons. First, even as a 16 year resident of Foxboro, I would never endorse someone I didn’t know. I’ve never even met many of our town officials. Second, much of the inner workings of town politics and the who’s who, are still somewhat unknown to me.

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Remembering “Superman” star George Reeves, an all too human hero

Photo Credit: JimNolt.com, original photographer unknown.  JimNolt.com is the best site on the web devoted to all things George reeves and "Adventures of Superman."
Photo Credit: JimNolt.com, original photographer unknown. JimNolt.com is the best site on the web devoted to all things George Reeves and “Adventures of Superman.”

by Robert Gillis
Originally published in The Foxboro Reporter 6/1999 and revised for the Boston City Paper 11/2006

The recent release of the film “Hollywoodland” has cast new light and brought new interest in the unsolved death of George Reeves, star of the 1950s series, “Adventures of Superman.” He died before I was born, but I knew him well, and I regret his passing.

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Review: Jimmy Buffett at the Tweeter Center Mansfield, August 11, 2006

(orbitcast.com)
(orbitcast.com)

Review by Robert Gillis, published in the Boston City Paper 8/2006

Jimmy Buffett and the 2006 Coral Reefer Band

At the Tweeter Center (It will ALWAYS be Great Woods) Night One

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Set list: Singing in the Rain; Hot Hot Hot; Brown Eyed Girl; I Will Play for Gumbo; Pencil Thin Mustache; It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere (w/Mac); Grapefruit-Juicy Fruit; Come Monday; Floridays; Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes; Nothing But a Breeze; dedicated to friend in Quebec; Cheeseburger in Paradise; Why Don’t We Get Drunk; Party at the End of the World; One Particular Harbor; Peanut Butter Conspiracy; Star Spangled Banner (Jake and Robert Greenidge); The City (Mac); Knees of My Heart; Window on the World; Son of a Son of a Sailor; Coastal Confessions; Werewolves of London; Desperation Samba (Halloween in Tijuana); Dixie Chicken (Little Feat Cover); Volcano; Margaritaville

Video of tailgating in Mansfield that day.

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