Milt Gross ‘Down the Road a Piece Column’


Milt Gross has been publishing his “Down the Road a Piece” articles since 1984 and whilst a number of his articles have been published at KingsCalendar over the years it has only been since the New KingsCalendar website commenced in February 2016 that Milt has been publishing regularly at KingsCalendar.

Milt Gross’ Weekly Book Reviews are listed on a separate page.
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He owns the Copyright on all his articles.

2016 Stories From Maine by Milton Gross – At Kingscalendar

Our new operating system : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Dec 18, 2016

Something happened to our old computer, meaning the operating system, a few days ago. Something red covered the screen, so I called Apple Support for the beginning of lots of fun — of which none of it was fun. First, they did away with our old operating system and began the long process of giving us a new one. After a day or so — translate, a year or so, “year or so” it seemed, we have a new operating system.

Kicking the bucket Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Dec 4, 2016

And life moved on. Until now, when I’m old enough to kick the bucket any day now. I think about that sometimes in the morning when I awake and look over to see Dolores sleeping next to me. It will likely be a shock for her, that morning she wakes up and discovers I’ve gone ahead to the next set of trails.

Darn cats : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Nov 27, 2016

But she got up on a raised wooden garden placed there for tenants, about three feet high. She stood with her back to me, while I quietly came up from behind and grabbed her around her middle. She didn’t fight, and I picked her up and huddled her close to my heavy jacket. She might have been cold — or something — because she stayed quietly against my jacket.

Paths : Down the Road a Piece
By Milt Gross
Nov 20, 2016

I’ve followed paths in Pennsylvania, where they were squeezed in between housing developments and alongside military units containing rockets to fire at the Soviet Union, should that occasion develop. Other paths were just through fairly open woods, past a cabin built for Boy Scouts, along a brook just the right size to jump over, and along other places where I have met a deer or a fox or even other people.

Why aren’t there more crows Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Nov 13, 2016

I got to pondering this great out-the-window dilemma. Stick to the crows a minute. It is fairly obvious that 30 crows would be way too much for this little woods. Imagine the noise they’d make. More important, would there be enough food for them all? How much food would 30 crows need? I don’t know. Probably more than is out there.

Close call Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Nov 6, 2016

The Appalachian Trail crosses the Carrabasset River along that road. There have been brave hikers that have nearly drowned wading across the river because somewhere north of that crossing someone allowed the river water to pick up volume and speed. (The Maine Appalachian Trail Club hires a canoeist to carry hikers across the river there so the hikers won’t drown.)

Huntin’ season : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Oct 30, 2016

I recall sitting at the top of a small cliff in western Maine, watching a half-dozen deer wander along in the woods below. It would be fun to shoot one, I thought, but it was even more fun just watching them wander past. Besides, it wasn’t hunting season, and I didn’t have my gun with me.

Fun of Fall Down the Road a Piece
By Milt Gross
Oct 23, 2016

I recall climbing Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park, after plenty of leaves had fallen. Enough that once again I slipped. But got up again unhurt. The nice part about fall walking in yonder woods is how the leaves rustle as you walk through them. I’ll always appreciate that fall woods walking sound.

Background from the suburbs Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Oct 16, 2016

I’ve been in Maine ever since with less than three weeks out of Maine in all these years since 1965. I have lived in Bethel, Paris, Swanville, Danforth, and Bridgton. These homes followed my careers as a minister, a teacher, a newspaper reporter, and now retirement here in Searsport.

The Little River Trail: Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Oct. 9, 2016

I won’t say these Little River Trail volunteers didn’t know what they were doing. I’d rather say they haven’t yet finished their volunteer task, to build a trail from which those aren’t-as-skillful-as-us guys or gals can’t slip down a steep bank into a brook.

The dock: Down the Road a Piece
By Milt Gross
Oct 2, 2016

The dock seems to attract a fair number of people, some of whom are actually working there as fisherman or boat captains — mighty few fisherman or boat captains for that matter. A lot of the dock visitors are just that, visitors, like me, who enjoy sitting on a picnic table and watching or staring at the ocean from their vehicles. I watch the few boats that are left this time of year resting in the harbor.

Paths Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Sept 25, 2016

The Hunt Trail up Katahdin has places that are steep enough for hand-and-foot going. A path around Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park was so easy, I walked it instead of climbing it.

Fall is nice, and the leaves rustle : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Sept 18, 2016

I’ve never seen a bear when I was not in the car. They scared me even with the car around me. When I was driving a tourist bus in Acadia, tourists would ask me about bears as they looked out the window. I most often said that yes, there were bears in the woods, but they were hiding behind a tree or boulder as the tourist walked by.

They’ve all gone home: Down the Road A Piece
by Milt Gross
Sept 11, 2016

Summer has basically gone and they have all gone home. “They” are those relatives and friends who came to Maine to see how the poor relatives are doing. Or just tourists from wherever home was, the suburbs of Boston, or of New York City, or of Philadelphia. The only question I have is why they want to go home to those suburbs. I realize that Maine is my home. And I am probably seen by those traveling suburbanites as one of those funny strangers, who live in Maine.

Three-Day Weekends: Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
September 7, 2016

One of the thoughts I disliked about any weekend was the thought that right after that weekend I would be back at work. Sometimes that mean sitting in a teachers’ lounge with a bunch of quiet fellow teachers — quiet because their fun for that weekend was now behind them. Quiet because not far down the hall they’d soon have to face a bunch of rowdy students — not students because they liked to study but students because they didn’t like school and were just waiting to give their teacher a hard time.

Flannel shirts: Down the Road A Piece
by Milt Gross
August 21, 2016

Let me see, now. Many Augusts ago, when I with my parents was visiting Great Aunt Amy over in Belgrade, we were parked along some paved though rocky road and a truck driver stopped. He ambled over, wearing a flannel shirt and long pants of course, and asked if we were all right. I think we were, although I don’t remember exactly why we had stopped. It was nice of him to ask about our alrightness, but I remember as a kid and long before I started to write this column of question, wondering why he was wearing a long-sleeve flannel shirt and long pants.

Trail on an old railroad bed : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
August 28, 2016

The Belfast area seems to have a number of scenic trails and walks, and this spot was a high spot of all those places. No, there are no mountain views and for most of the two miles it is just a smooth walk through the woods. Occasionally a path from a nearby property, none of which are visible from the path, crosses the trail and meanders down to the Passagassawakeag River’s shore.

Summer in Maine: Down the Road A Piece
by Milt Gross
August 14, 2016

Now its hot. So hot I seldom go out walking in the daytime for fear of melting. Well, maybe not really melting, but its hard to tell the difference between melting and melting when you’re melting. Its been in the eighties each day, which is way too hot in Maine. The other day I was down at the town park, right on the ocean. It was hot walking across the mowed field to a bench. It was even hot sitting on a bench, about 30 feet from the bank that drops down to the beach.

Short Trails : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
August 7, 2016

The Little River Hiking Trail runs from the parking lot of the Belfast Water District on Route 1 to its other end hear the beginning of Route 52. On our first day of discovery, we accidentally walked about a mile and a half of it. It is level, following the Little River and the Belfast Reservoir. It is pleasantly easy, primarily level, and follows the bank of the river and reservoir beyond which it continues through the woods. Another day, we accidentally followed another half-mile of it.

Short Hot Summer: Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
July 31, 2016

I feel sorry for all those tourists, who are frantically trying to get to Bar Harbor. I know Acadia National Park is there too and celebrating its hundredth year. But those tourists really just want to spend their money in expensive restaurants and stay in motels or campgrounds. (Their parents were doing that years ago, when we used to sit in a parking lot along Route 1 and watch them drive past.)

John and I : Down the road a Piece
by Milt Gross
July 24, 2016

My love affair with land began when I was about ten. I say “about” because I can’t recall for sure, as I was only about ten. We came to Maine by Pullman train, got off in Augusta (try that nowadays), and ended on my Great Amy’s farms out in Belgrade. Where I fell in love with the quiet, the fields, the woods, the old barn, and a distant view of hills and valleys off to the northeast.

Out our window : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
July 10, 2016

I recall, when I was a school teacher, having a discussion or debate with a science teacher down the hall, who believed in total evolution. I didn’t. I believed that what I had seen in yonder woods was born and raised by critters of the same variety at itself. At one point in our debate, the other teacher said, “I’ve never heard anyone make that statement before.”

That log truck : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
July 3, 2016

We were both standing more or less beneath one log as it dangled from the “rig.” All of a sudden both of us lunged out of the way. The log had somehow escaped the “rig” and was falling — right toward us. I guess we both saw it slip loose, which is why we moved so fast. (Or we just decided to jump at the same time. Something for psychologists to ponder.)

Living by the Seashore: Down the Road A Piece
by Milt Gross
June 26, 2016

But now we live within sight of the Searsport, Maine dock. We can see it and the ocean out our study window. We can drive or walk down there and enjoy the quiet, beauty, and boats. It is peaceful when we drive or walk to the dock. We are peaceful too, because we live by the same ocean that still brings all those tourists to Maine.

Let’s go for a walk Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
June 23, 2016

I remember walks around Eagle Lake in Acadia National Park, up Tumbledown Mountain in western Maine, up Katahdin in more northern Maine — where the Appalachian Trail climbs its final five (I think 5.2 is what I recently read.) miles, along a country road near that egg farm in Turner that is still apparently sinning in the way it treats chickens, up Singepole Mountain in South Paris, and up a bunch of higher Maine mountains on and off the Appalachian Trail.

Get it Right: Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
June 17, 2016

This doesn’t means that all readers try to trick a reporter. I even gained unwanted friends from the practice by those who were out to do me in. I remember the girl in South Paris, who wanted to go with me while I got the “scoop.” She didn’t understand. I used a pen, a notebook, and later a laptop computer. I never used a scoop.

Memorial Day, a real holiday: Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
June 9, 2016

Memorial Day, it seems to me, has become the first real holiday of the year. People dig out from the winter and cold spring blues and whites (snow is still white in spring) and get started in enjoying the summer. The weather brings it on. For example, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club advises hikers and volunteer trail workers to wait for this holiday to get out there in the mud and a bit of snow. There is no real difference between May 27 and May 31, except that a three-day weekend separates them.

Trail memories : Down the Road A Piece
by Milt Gross
May 27 2016

A few low hills were interesting too, such as the time I slipped going down Mt. Misery in Valley Forge State Park in Pennsylvania. I had been helping my first wife along, when the slip took place. Funny how I remember that. That low hill also had a tower we climbed, which barely afforded views over the treetops. And the day I walked west from Valley Forge, passed the military missile sites, and eventually saw a nice looking girl in short shorts. No, it wasn’t the girl, it was definitely the….missile sites, yeah, the missile sites. To tell a not-quite-truth, missile sites were always more interesting than a nice looking girl wearing short shorts.

Walking soon – Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
May 20, 2016

I do remember the lady who phoned me from somewhere that was not Maine and told me her son was hiking into Maine on the AT. Her question; will anything hurt him. I told her as long as he kept inside the leantos at night, he’d be fine. When she asked why, I explained that the mosquitoes wouldn’t fit into the leantos. I’m not sure I believe many of the trail tales I tell people, who either ask or are within range of my trail tales.

Surviving the hospital – Down the Road A Piece
by Milt Gross
May 1st 20116

The staff wheeled me, bed and all, to another room, where my wife came to visit. After about a half hour, we learned I was going home. Good thing she came that day. The going-home-thing was a total surprise, which I’m glad happened. And it’s a fairly long walk home.

God was with me there too : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
March 20, 2016

But I did think about God when a car rear-ended me, cutting my forehead, not falling while climbing an old church steeple to help dismantle it, getting back to the car after dark following a long hike up Tumbledown, missing a teen-age girl who leaped in front of my car hollering, “Hit me, hit me!”

Is Spring Really here? – almost? : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
March 13, 2016

I recall flying in a helicopter above those woods and fields. More woods than fields. A lot of woods, in fact. That’s what Maine is a lot of…woods. When I taught school, I watched those little — junior high — students playing basketball. Why play basketball indoors when it’s so nice outdoors?

Spring can’t come too soon: Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
March 6, 2016

I think I remember from past years that spring eventually shows up for a few minutes. Plants rush to their leafiness, bugs get into circulation, we see critters in yonder woods such as deer and rabbits, and a few more things that mean spring.

Off we go — with a new hip : Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Feb 28, 2016

Dolores has never climbed the old Appalachian Trail up the steep, very steep northern slopes of 4180-feet-high Old Speck in Grafton Notch. I haven’t either for too many years. The rerouted Appalachian Trail follows a different and much easier route to the top. I’ve worked as a volunteer on part of that new trail but never climbed the whole thing.

Cold out there but warmer trails ahead – Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
Feb 21, 2016

Probably won’t get to Acadia National Park. Been there too many times in the past 15 years or so. Besides, it gets crowded sometimes with over two million tourists per year. Of course, most of them aren’t walking the forty plus miles of trail. Most are just driving around, killing time, while they wait to go to a restaurant to eat.

Getting through winter – Down the Road a Piece
by Milt Gross
20, Feb 2016

This year I’m looking forward to spring, when my other hip will have been replaced and both legs are feeling good again. We have made a few plans for those wonderful days ahead, such as visiting Fort Western in Augusta, going to the Maine State Museum in that same town, heading for Wolf Neck State Park for some walking on “new” legs, and visiting various places up and down Maine’s coast where I’ll be able to walk on those “new” legs.

Milt Gross Book Review: “Forlorn River” by the late Zane Grey
Feb 20, 2016 [color=Red” target=”_blank”>(New Site)[/b][/color]

Some books bore me. Some use language too difficult for my ‘umble brain to understand. But Grey uses language that catches my attention and moves me ahead. I also enjoy Grey’s giving his characters an accent, such as, “By golly! he’s heah in bed!’ from part of the tale.

Author: R.P. BenDedek

Born in 1953 in Brisbane City, Queensland, Australia, R.P. BenDedek (pseudonym) is a divorced father of five who has been living and working in The People's Republic of China (Mainland China) since 2003. He is currently (2016) working in Suzhou City, Jiangsu Province.

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