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Triumph over tragedy in store for next year and beyond at the Boston Marathon

16 Apr

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

In what now seems like a lifetime ago, I was a sportswriter.  Long before becoming a 9-to-5 businessman, I covered sporting events for newspapers from Albany, NY, to Framingham, MA.  I not only wrote about high school sports and Little League championship games, but also about the Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots.

But one event always stood out.  It made my job rewarding, even in the face of long hours and weekend shifts.

baaYou see, over the course of several Boston Marathons in the mid-1990s, my favorite assignment always included being at the finish line of the world’s most-famous foot race.  But I was never there very often as elite runners broke the tape in Copley Square.

My editors wanted me out there as this event evolved from a world-class competition, into an exhibition of determination, accomplishment, personal achievement, and … love.

The best stories at the Marathon truly do happen beyond the 4-hour mark. When I covered the Marathon finish area in the day, I interviewed and wrote about people who were always so happy to tell me, from their hearts, why they subjected themselves to four-plus hours of pain on race day, and untold hours training beforehand in all kinds of terrible weather.

It was all about personal triumphs over serious health issues, to honor a deceased loved one, or to simply give themselves one major life accomplishment that no one could ever take away. Listening to them, it was as if they were telling me how each step, from Hopkinton to Boston, washed away the bad times and put them on top of the world.

Long after my deadline had passed, and what I had written ended up lining the bottom of some birdcage, the memory of watching these runners embrace loved ones, who waited hours for them to arrive on Boylston Street, left me with my own little “life is good” feeling.

Terrorism, wherever it happens, is an abomination against innocent people, and it causes us to react not only with sadness, but intense anger. What happened at the finish line of yesterday’s Boston Marathon should unite the good people in the world – and there are way more of us good people than there are of them — in hoping that the perpetrators soon feel the full brunt of justice.

But after that, we know that we will all pull together to ensure that people are out there again next year, trying for that one shining moment.

Here’s praying that what returns beyond the 4-hour mark in future Boston Marathons is again all about personal triumph, step-by-step healing of mind and body, and … love.

A message from the publisher

22 Mar

Dear readers,

It has been a busy month for me with work travel, and the process of beginning my campaign for Ward 5 City Councilor, so I apologize for not posting very often lately.

As my campaign goes into high gear, it’s likely I will be posting less frequently, but I will also try to keep up with it the best that I can. Since starting this blog back in November, we’ve had almost 50,000 site visits, and I’m honored that so many people have found the content here interesting enough to visit.

Going forward my goal is to continue to bring you the best in hometown news and commentary. I just might not be able to post as often because of my personal time constraints.

But with that I’d like to offer all of our readers the opportunity to write and post as well. If you are a candidate who would like to get your message out, please feel free to submit a candidate statement.

But you do not have to be a candidate. I will consider submissions from everyone. All you need to do is email me at, and I’ll consider it for publication. The only thing I can’t do in the main content area is use anonymously written content.

Thanks again for reading.


Bob Croce, Publisher, Eye On Peabody

All is calm, all is bright: Watch these and feel better

16 Dec

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Nice tribute from the Pats today

Nice tribute from the Pats today

OK, Peabody. I’m calling an audible on this NFL Sunday, and bringing you something a little different.

Here a few videos from social media that are bound to make you feel better at the end of a very sad week. Enjoy these happy videos by clicking through on the links below:

 This dog loves Gronk: Louie the dog, who belongs to the niece of one of my Facebook friends, posted this to show everyone that Tom Brady isn’t always dog’s best friend.

Baby, baby, stick your head in gravy: This one is a classic. I challenge you to keep from laughing along with this video.

And finally today …

All is calm, all is bright: Nice job here by these talented youngsters, and hats off to the producers of Saturday Night Live.

Merry Christmas. Happy Hanukkah and Happy New Year!

Hug your kids today and pray for the families of Newtown

14 Dec

Superintendent Mastrocola tells the Patch Peabody will re-evaluate safety following CT tragedy


By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

Today I take a break from Peabody issues to send out my sincere condolences to the people and the families of Newtown, CT, following the unthinkable tragedy that took place in their town this morning.

As a citizen journalist, I also ask those journalists in the mainstream media to start showing a little more discretion today. It sickens me that CNN  has been interviewing 9-and-10-year olds to ask them what they saw, what they heard, and how they feel about it. Shame on any parent, who under these circumstances would allow their little ones to be interviewed on national TV.

Our family will be praying for those families. I know all of our readers will be sending their prayers too.

Hey Peabody parents, make sure you immediately hug your kids when they get home from school today.

Also, be thinking too about those first responders, police, fire, EMTs, who had to respond to this horror. The post-traumatic stress on these brave men and women must be enormous right now.

New ‘You Make The Call’ show tonight on PAT Ch. 99

12 Dec

phoneJoin us tonight for a new live “You Make the Call Show.”

We’ll be talking about the State Rep special election, the city council’s decision to ban pot shops, and more!

Show is on PAT Channel 99. 8-9 p.m.

Special Mass to honor Pearl Harbor Vets at St. Adelaide Church on Sunday

7 Dec


By Eye on Peabody

Please say a prayer today and think about what the men and women who served in World War II did to save freedom around the world. The “Greatest Generation” is leaving us as the years go by, so it’s always nice to see events like this one, which was posted today in the Peabody Patch.

St. Adelaide Catholic Church on Lowell Street in West Peabody will be holding a special Mass of remembrance on Sunday in honor of the Pearl Harbor Veterans.

Today is Pearl Harbor Day. The world changed forever 71 years ago, and we owe a debt of gratitude to those who sacrificed so much so that we could have everything we have today.

Want to run for State Rep? Here’s your chance

6 Dec

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

I’m beginning to hear some things around town and through my social media channels that lead me to believe that this special election to fill the State Rep seat vacated by our friend Joyce Spilliotis, is going to be like no other election in recent memory here in our sometimes politically apathetic burg.

stateAlthough we’re hearing interest from several people with electoral pedigree,  I’m also hearing from some unknowns and political neophytes, who tell me they would like to run.

That’s right. You might actually see some totally grassroots candidates on the final ballot.

The requirements for making it to the final ballot are not that daunting. Essentially, you need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a registered voter
  • Must be a US citizen
  • Must be a resident of the district for one year preceding the date of the election
  • Must get at least 150 certified signatures from registered voters.

If you live in Wards 1-4 and part of Ward 5 (the city hall clerk’s office can let you know if you qualify here), that’s ALL you need to do to get on the final ballot as an independent candidate.  If you want to run as a Democrat, you definitely need to win a primary against some better known, better financed candidates. But not if want to run as “unenrolled.”

This could set up some interesting scenarios on the final ballot. Conceivably, we could end up with one Democrat, one Republican, and several “independents.”

So … if you have always wanted to run for office, here’s your chance. City Clerk Tim Spanos says it’s up to the State Legislature to decide on the election dates, and that hasn’t happened yet. When it does, though, we’ll be sure to let everyone know when nomination papers will be available.

By the way, if you’d like to announce your candidacy here on EOP, just let me know.

Services announced for Representative Spilliotis

29 Nov

Joyce Spilliotis during her days as a Peabody City Councilor

Services for State Rep. Joyce Spilliotis, who passed away early this morning, will be held on Sunday and Monday.

Joyce’s husband, Dick Jarvis, told Eye on Peabody that visiting hours will be on Sunday, Dec. 2, 2-to-6 p.m., at the O’Donnell Funeral Home, 46 Washington Square, Salem.  Prayer services will take place at Saint Thomas the Apostle Church, 1 Margin Street, Peabody on Monday at 10 a.m.

We’ll publish more details as they become available, but Dick would like to thank everyone for their outpouring of sympathy and respect for Joyce. He says it has been a very difficult time for he and his family, but it’s “wonderful” to know how much Joyce’s public service meant to the citizens of Peabody.

We then smiled over the thought  of Joyce right now asking God when nomination papers will be available for her to run for a spot on Heaven’s City Council.

– Bob Croce

RIP Representative Joyce Splillotis

29 Nov

Please note: If you would like to offer a remembrance of Joyce or your condolences in the comments section below, I’m positive Dick and her family would appreciate it. You may also post anonymously, if you like. It asks for an email field, but your email is not required.)

By Bob Croce, EOP Publisher

The “Peoples’ Joyce

It is with deep sorrow that I announce the passing of Joyce Spilliotis-Jarvis, who served the people of Peabody so well over the years in her roles as State Representative, City Councilor, and Library Trustee.

Joyce died, at age 65,  early this morning  with her family by her side, including her husband, Dick Jarvis.

The “Peoples’ Joyce” will be greatly missed not only as an outstanding public servant, but also as a terrific wife, mother, and friend.  Information on her services can be found here.

For now, my deepest sympathies to Dick and Joyce’s entire family.

This is a very sad day for Peabody.  We have lost a legendary public servant. And, good friend.

Here are some early articles in the Peabody Patch and Salem News announcing Joyce’s passing.

Here is an article from, with reaction from some of Joyce’s State House colleagues and friends.

Here is an article from the Patch with reaction from Mayor Ted Bettencourt.

No live ‘You Make The Call’ show tonight on PAT

28 Nov

Because of a personal family issue for one of the co-hosts, the  “You Make the Call,”  TV show will not air live tonight on PAT Channel 99. PAT will be airing re-run tonight, 8-9 p.m.

Please join us again live on Dec. 12 when we ask you … to “make the call.”


Dick Jarvis and Bob Croce, co-hosts, “You Make the Call”