Category Archives: Foxboro

Re-Elect Bob Hickey for Foxboro Selectman


By Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 4/2008

I’ve known Bob Hickey for 15 years, both as member of the Foxboro Jaycees and also as a friend.

When he was president of the chapter, I was struck by his attention to detail, his command of seemingly every area of governing our organization, and his good nature and sense of humor, both which served him well to keep things running smoothly and to resolve problems. His enthusiasm at Jaycee events was contagious.

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Birthday cards for Jesus


by Robert Gillis
Published as a Letter to the Editor in the Foxboro Reporter 1/2008

On New Year’s Eve I took a ride up to Foxboro Common to get some new pictures of the Nativity Set.

As I approached the beautiful display, I noticed that there seemed to be some papers in the baby Jesus’ crèche. On closer inspection, I saw that the papers were three hand-drawn birthday cards from three different children, drawn in crayon.

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Chance encounter on Foxboro Common

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 11/2007 and updated here 7/11/2008

A few weeks ago, I completed work at the haunted house and left the Orpheum a little after midnight. The night was unseasonably warm, and I had my camera with me, so I decided to try some experimental night photography on the Common: the flag, the lit signs and lanterns, and the monuments. I’m still getting the hang of my first SLR camera, and being a male, have never read the instruction manual.

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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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Sign overkill spoils beauty of Foxboro Common

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 4/2006

In June 2007, the theme of our Founders Day celebration will be the 150th anniversary of the Foxboro common.

This beautiful, grassy oasis in the center of town serves many
purposes: The names of those who served our nation and town are remembered in beautifully lit memorials. The bandstand, built by the Foxboro Jaycees, displays the Nativity scene at Christmas, concerts throughout the summer, and occasional Ecumenical services.

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Community Service another “Best” in Foxboro

Foxboro - Sign - Springby Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter 2/2007

Recently, the new editor of the Foxboro Reporter asked the community: What are the “bests” in Foxboro? I would like to submit for consideration that one of the best things about Foxboro is how alive community service is in our town.

Foxboro is blessed with a large number of fraternal organizations. None are more important than the other, none are better than the other, but as a veteran member of the local Jaycee chapter, I have seen firsthand what a difference helping the community can make.

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Thank you New England Patriots!

by Robert Gillis
Published in the Foxboro Reporter and the Boston City Paper, 1/2007

After weeks of almost spring-like conditions, winter had returned with a vengeance, and most of us were already used to the change to more seasonal weather.

But the morning of Monday January 22 felt particularly bitter. Yes, it was another winter Monday with grey skies and unforgiving cold, but this was different.

The commuter station was so quiet — the train even more so.

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In loving memory of Mary Cicciu


by Robert Gillis; Foxboro Reporter December 2006

Mary Cicciu passed away November 10, and Foxboro has lost another of its rare gems.

I met Mary on Founders Day in 1995, at the senior’s tent on Booth playground, where her friends were celebrating her 84th birthday. I was immediately taken with her — she was special, and although I saw her infrequently, I just adored her.

Oh my Lord, what a feisty woman. She was short; very petite, but that small body held a fire and passion for life that people half her age have trouble finding.

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Celebrating the priesthood

StAnthonyby Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 6/2005 and the Boston City Paper 2006

The evil actions of a very small percentage of priests have cast a shadow of suspicion, fear, and hostility toward the entire vocation, and that’s a tragedy, and an insult to the huge number of good men who have devoted their entire lives in the service of God.

As a Roman Catholic, I have a great respect and love for the priesthood.

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New England Patriots make us proud during winter of our discontent

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 1/2004

In “City Streets” Carole King sings, “River wind is icy / Chills run through my bones / Tides of life are ebbing out / between the cobblestones … winter colored morning / Gray and dirty brown / Reflecting the mood I’m in / Despair is all around.”

King’s song seems sadly applicable to the artic tundra our town has become this month. The temperature in Foxboro fell to around minus thirteen a week ago.

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Foxboro Senior Center Christmas Faire

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 11/2003

Recently, I had the pleasure of attending and pitching in a bit at the annual Senior Christmas faire at Council on Aging (COA). It’s always a joyful time for me, to get to see the seniors and enjoy some great food and see old friends. I had some impressions from the senior fair that I’d like to share:

First, I just adore Mary Cicciu. At 91, this feisty, sweet, amazing senior still works full time at COA, walks without a cane, is sharp as a tack and is an inspiration to people half her age.

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An interview with Joanna Levesque, aka “JoJo”

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter 11/2002 and the Boston City Paper 7/2007

Before she achieved well-deserved fame as, “JoJo,” Joanna Levesque grew up here in Foxboro. This is an interview I conducted with Jo Jo in 2002.

It’s early August and today I’m heading to my favorite Foxboro café with that rare taste of excellence for a meeting/interview with Joanna Levesque, Foxboro’s 11-year-old singing sensation, and her mother, Diana. My wife Sue keeps the pastries and goodies coming.

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(2002) Save the Orpheum Theater Foxboro: Keep the Curtain Rising

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter April 2002

I’m not a regular theatergoer. I enjoy live shows, but the hassle of driving the 55 miles to the North Shore in Beverly to see my favorite, “A Christmas Carol” is thankfully a once a year chore, and Boston is simply too far, loud, expensive, and further hampered by the Big Dig.

So I was more than happy in February when my wife Sue told me she was taking me to a play right here in Foxboro at the Orpheum.

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London Calling – and interview with Shannon Leary

by Robert Gillis
Published in The Foxboro Reporter March 2002

I learned recently that my friend Shannon Leary of Foxboro would be going to college overseas – in England. I thought it might be interesting to talk to this local resident and have her relate some of her experiences as a new student in a foreign land.

Shannon and I first met four years ago at the Jaycees haunted house. At that time Shannon, all of 15, was performing in one of our scares, “The dorm room,” with a few other kids.

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