Category Archives: Foxboro

Support the new Foxboro Senior Center

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 8/1997

Pay attention, folks; this one’s important. You might see the “Seniors” page in this paper each week and think, “I’m not a senior” or you might say, “Oh, another column about the seniors,” and turn the page.

Stop. Read this. It’s important.

If you’ve lived in this town for more than a day you know all about the Foxboro seniors’ search for a new home. You know about the impressive Council on Aging (COA) providing dozens of services, as well as the enthusiasm and determination of its director, Lorraine Garland.

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My first Foxboro town meeting – and the senior center vote

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 5/1997

In the six years I’ve lived in Foxboro, last week was the first time I’ve attended a town meeting. My main reason for attending was my great interest in seeing question six, the senior center funding issue, approved. But as I sat and watched people debate various topics and budget issues, I kept looking around the crowded auditorium and saw the same things on everyone’s faces: Pride.

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Celebrating vocations


by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 4/1997 and the Boston City Paper, 2006

We are now nearly through the Catholic season of Lent, a time of fasting, prayer and preparation for Easter Sunday, and that got me thinking about those in religious service. We live, unfortunately, in an age where priests and nuns don’t command the respect they once did (say, in my father’s generation) and the entire concept of religious vocation seems suspect to some people.

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Reflections on the April Fool’s Blizzard of 1997

April Fools 1997 Blizzardby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 4/97

Some random thoughts and observations on the Great Blizzard of 1997:

Any snowstorm with even mild accumulation brings the inevitable comparison to the Great Blizzard of 1978, but this was one of the rare instances where the comparison was warranted. The April 1 blizzard was the third largest snowstorm in Boston history, and certainly had many of the same elements as the unforgettable ‘78 storm: Newscasters describing roads as “treacherous” and “impassable.” The National Guard called in.

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We’ll all be a senior someday – support the new Foxboro senior center

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 3/1997

“Dismiss that notion of the ancient senior in a wheelchair with nothing to offer the world anymore. Foxboro’s seniors are a lively, important group, and they WILL be heard.”

Those words were mine; I wrote them in my very first full length column for this newspaper back in March of last year. The column’s subject was one I am very passionate about: Seniors, and them having a place to call their own here in Foxboro.

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1997 – Keep the Patriots in Foxboro — the open letter I wrote to Mr. Kraft

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 1/1997

Note: I’d  been writing for the Reporter for only a year or so when I wrote this one — keeping the New England Patriots in Foxboro was BIG news back then. And this, my open letter to Mr. Bob Kraft, was very well received by folks in town. To this day (2014) I am so grateful that the Patriots call Foxboro home, and all that the Kraft family has done for our town. 

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Gun Show! (The Gun Show Loophole)

10 Boston Other - Close the Gun Show Loopholeby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 11/1996 and the Boston City Paper in revised format 11/2006

“…A DANGEROUS “gun show loophole” continues to allow criminals and terrorists to legally buy and sell guns in the United States on a cash-and-carry, no-questions-asked basis.

At approximately 5,000 gun shows each year in 32 states, criminals and terrorists are allowed to purchase firearms from private gun dealers without an ID or background check. Although many gun dealers are federally licensed and therefore legally required to contact the National Instant Criminal Background Check System to ensure that a prospective purchaser is not prohibited from possessing firearms, private sellers have no such requirement.” — Boston Globe, August 16, 2008

In the same year that a very loved couple was brutally slain in their Foxboro Home, and in the same week that one Foxboro youth was killed at a party and another was left fighting for his life, and in the very same day that an eight year old boy accidentally shot his little brother with a gun he found in their home, and on the same day that the news reported more and more aggressive people are using knives and guns on highways, and on the same day that a man was convicted of beating his wife to death and cutting out her internal organs, and on the day a Stoughton man was charged with shooting a 19 year old Everett youth, this little gem ran in this very paper:

“Firearm and Custom Knife Show/Sale!” Against a silhouette of a gun were the words, “350 Tables!

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Seniors can show you secrets of eternal youth

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter,7/1996

It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I have a great affection for seniors. Taking care of Nana for so many years and listening to her talk about her amazing life made a positive difference in my life. Nearly 3 years after her death, I find myself thinking about her often, and missing our talks.

Many other seniors – my mom’s mother, aunt’s and friends – have touched my life and made it a happier place to be.

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Push cart cuts the mustard — “The Common Dog” on Foxboro Common

By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 6/27/1996

One of the nicer aspects of taking a vacation and staying home to work on the new house is that I have the opportunity to spend a little more time in Foxboro during the day. These summer days bring many pleasant traditions back to Foxboro joggers, power walkers, Founders Day, Frisbees, kids out of school, concerts, outdoor sports, and on the common, Susan Zakhary’s “Common Dog” hot dog stand.

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Despite problems, Foxboro’s got a lot to offer (my very first op/ed as a regular contributor to the Foxboro Reporter, 4/1996)

Historians note, 2015: after I wrote my first full-length piece about the Foxboro senior center in early 1996, this piece was my very first “regular” op Ed for the Foxboro reporter. The editor at the time suggested I submit three pieces and we would see how it goes. Nearly 20 years later, I am still a regular contributor for the reporter.

For my very first op-ed, I wanted to talk about Foxboro and how much I love the town.

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My very first Reporter Column; Support your seniors!

(After many letters to the editor, I submitted this, my first full-length column to the Reporter.  After it ran, I approached editor Jeff Peterson about a regular, bi-weekly column, and he agreed we’d start with three, the first which ran a month later on April 25, 1996.  I’ve been writing for the paper ever since!)


by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter, 3/7/1996

Nearly sixty of Foxboro’s seniors crammed the tight quarters of the town hall meeting room last Tuesday for the Advisory Board meeting on the town budget.

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