HEROES: In Newburyport

Three years ago, one Andrew J. ("Bossy") Gillis, red-headed retired Navy "gob," bought a choice corner in Newburyport, Mass., and set about erecting a gasoline station. Staid citizens invoked the town's zoning ordinance and stopped him. They were visited with red-headed revenge.

"Bossy" Gillis strewed his vacant lot with tombstones and household crockery labelled: "The Spirit of Newburyport." He called on Mayor Mike Cashman, punched his jaw and spent two months in jail denouncing "the fossils that run this burg."

Still denouncing fossils,...