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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.
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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

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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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