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.

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Practicing Skiing at the Old Mountain Home

Winter---Foxboro-Treesby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 2/2010 and Boston City Paper 3/2007

He’s about seventeen years old, awkward as hell, and trying his best to look cool while standing on a pair of skis for the first time. Beautiful girls swoosh by, making the skiing look easy. Little kids — some as young as five — also whoosh down the difficult trails, looking like Olympic material.

The teenager remembers the words of his friend John: “You don’t need to take lessons.

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Remembering the Old Man of the Mountains

Old Man of Mountains
After the fall; Old Man of Mountains

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 5/2003

Franconia Notch State Park is located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest, a spectacular New Hampshire mountain pass traversed by parkway. The weather can be brutal; but the scenery here is staggering and breathtaking.

For ten millennia, someone has been watching. By the lake, if you were to stand in just the right place, and look up at the shoulder of the mountain, some 1200 feet above, you would see jutting out into space a rock formation that appeared to be that of a regal-looking man with a sharp nose and pointed beard.

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