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RIP Don Gillis

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by uconn98, Apr 24, 2008.

  1. uconn98

    uconn98 New Member

    If you grew up in New England, specifically Massachusetts, you knew who Don Gillis was.

    When I was a kid, from 11 a.m. to noon every Saturday, my ass was in front of Ch. 5 watching candlepin bowling, with their Apple II+ graphics and catchy names for pinfalls (Four Horseman, left side; Half-Worcester). He was a true New England sportscaster, through and through.

    Don Gillis, dean of Boston TV sportscasting, dies at 85
    Eds: ADDS funeral arrangements. Moving on general news and sports services.
    BOSTON (AP) — Don Gillis, a broadcaster who helped pioneer the evening television sportscast in Boston and was the longtime TV host of Candlepin Bowling, has died at age 85, his son said Thursday.
    Gillis died Wednesday at his home in Falmouth after suffering a series of strokes three weeks ago, Gary Gillis said.
    The elder Gillis began a career in radio broadcasting at New Bedford’s WBSM-AM after serving in the Navy during World War II. He later joined WHDH-AM, then the flagship station of the Boston Red Sox.
    Gillis began sportscasting on WHDH-TV in October 1962, on the night Johnny Carson debuted as host of “The Tonight Show.”
    He later became the station’s sports director, before joining the new WCVB-TV in March 1972 in the same position. He retired in 1983, but continued hosting the popular candlepin bowling show until 1995, Gillis said.
    “We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of our former colleague, the dean of Boston television sports, Don Gillis and extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family,” according to a statement released by WCVB-TV. “Generations of local viewers grew up watching Don as both a sports anchor and host of the popular Candlepin Bowling program.”
    The station described Gillis as “a true Boston legend,” adding: “He leaves a legacy of warmth, humor and mentorship to the many who followed in his footsteps.”
    The wake is set for Sunday, between 4-7 p.m., at the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home in Falmouth, Gillis said.
    The funeral will be on Tuesday at the St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Falmouth, he said.
  2. forever_town

    forever_town Well-Known Member

    I didn't grow up in New England, and I wasn't privy to his work when I lived there.

    RIP nonetheless.
  3. Smallpotatoes

    Smallpotatoes Well-Known Member

    Every Saturday I'd watch cartoons, then candlepin bowling.

  4. Gold

    Gold Active Member

    To the New England types: Is candlepin bowling still popular in the area?

    There was another type of bowling wich was popular in Maryland.
  5. spaceman

    spaceman Active Member

    that would be duckpins
  6. OTD

    OTD Active Member

    Back in the days before ESPN was on 24 hours a day, the bar (nowhere near New England, btw) where we hung out after work put NESN on the big screen. That was the first time I'd heard of candlepin bowling.

    I didn't know who Don Gillis was, but RIP.
  7. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Me too. RIP.
  8. uconn98

    uconn98 New Member

    It is. Duckpin, too. In fact, I went duckpin bowling recently at an alley that hadn't seen an update to anything inside since around 1965.
  9. BYH

    BYH Active Member

    Holy crap, duckpin bowling. When I was in junior high school, there was a duckpin alley within walking distance. Once or twice a year, we'd have gym class there. You haven't seen fun until you've seen 13- and 14-year-old kids throwing those little balls (huh huh huh) as hard as they can...across two lanes. Oh yeah good times.
  10. Beaker

    Beaker Active Member

    There's a duckpin lane still in operation a few mins from my house. Haven't been there in years, but I still remember it fondly.
  11. terrier

    terrier Well-Known Member

    This weekend, I will dig out the Impossible to Forget DVD and catch the Channel 5 special Gillis and Ken Coleman co-hosted prior to the '67 Series. Miraculously, this locally produced show was preserved and unearthed for a DVD extra.
    The sports editor at my old shop, who is also now deceased, actually made several appearances on those old Saturday morning candlepin bowling shows.
  12. Full of Shit

    Full of Shit Member

    To use the cliche, Gillis was the "consummate professional." No schtick, just facts and highlights. The kind of guy, in other words, who wouldn't even get a job interview today.

    Anyone know if Stacia Czernicki is still alive?
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