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.

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The horror as school shootings become “routine”

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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.

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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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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.

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

 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Top 10 reasons to come to Foxborough Founders Day!

Founders Day Montage - Rick Haddad Photo
Founders Day Montage – Rick Haddad Photo

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 6/2015

From the home office in Foxborough Massachusetts, and with grateful appreciation to David Letterman, here are the top 10 reasons Foxborough Founders Day is awesome and how you can make a difference!

  • NUMBER 10: THE PARADE! The Foxborough Founders day parade is an exceptionally impressive spectacle. Yes, we have all been to parades in our lives, but this one is uniquely OURS because Foxborough-based organizations and businesses are encouraged to participate – and they do!
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Read or Buy my first published book: “Nana”


My first book, “Nana, my grandmother Anne Gillis,” was published in 2005 and I invite you to read this heartwarming story!


“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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A challenge to the voters of Foxboro: READ your local newspaper, speak up, and VOTE on election day!

The Foxboro Reporter
The Foxboro Reporter

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 4/2015

Greetings friends. Before I begin this op Ed, I need to make the usual disclosure:

First, I am not an employee of the Foxboro Reporter, or the Sun Chronicle. I am what is called a contributor or stringer – I have been writing columns in this space since 1997, then and now I consider it a great privilege to share my words with such a large audience; it is a partnership I cherish and one that I hope continues for many years to come.

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Silver Age Superman Fun: STOP THE PRESSES! Somebody sent Superman… A LETTER!!!!!!!

by Robert Gillis, who didn’t have anything better to do. (3/2015)

From Action Comics #202 (May 1955): Just two pages from the story but enough to provide lots to um… Think about…

Action Comics V1 204 000002

So a letter is delivered to the Daily Planet for Superman. We’ve seen this before and it even happens on the Superman TV shows and in the movies. Superman gets lots of mail addressed to the Daily Planet. No big deal there. But for some reason Perry is all over this letter – he’s acting like Superman never gets any mail.

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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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Father Steve Madden leaving Saint Mary’s Foxboro in 2015

Rev. Stephen J. Madden, pastor of St. Mary's Church in Foxboro.   (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman, Foxboro Reporter)
Rev. Stephen J. Madden, pastor of St. Mary’s Church in Foxboro.  (Photo by Christine Igo Freeman, Foxboro Reporter)

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper 1/2015

And also sent, along with a personal letter, to His Eminence Seán Patrick O’Malley OFM


“Preach the Gospel at all times, and when necessary, use words” – Father Steve Madden, quoting Saint Francis of Assisi.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.” — Meister Eckhart

Today I need to use words to convey my feelings because I know of no action that can get my message across in a better way — my heart is broken, and I am not alone.

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Train line extension, Olympics… What’s happening in Foxboro?

Foxboro Commuter Rail Station, January 2014. Photo by Robert Gillis
Foxboro Commuter Rail Station, January 2014. Photo by Robert Gillis

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 1/2015

Before I begin this OP/ED, I think it appropriate to make the following statements: number one, I am NOT implying or accusing anyone of any wrongdoing. Number two, I have every respect for the Kraft organization, and believe that our number one tax payer is an enormous benefit to the town of Foxboro. Number three, I am NOT implying or saying that our selectmen have done anything wrong.

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