Milt Gross moved to Maine after graduation and was first employed as a minister before becoming a teacher, a principal and an adult-ed director. He later became a journalist and after retiring from the weekly 'Ellsworth American' he continued publishing his "Down the Road a Piece" articles, which he had begun in 1984 at the Norway Advertiser, the first newspaper for which he wrote.
For several years now Milt Gross has been publishing his Down the Road A Piece articles at Magic City Morning Star News in Main USA. In 2011 we are proud to welcome Mr. Gross to "The Morning Star Writers Journal Kingscalendar". (The 'Writers Journal' was originally created as a stop gap during a period of publishing difficulties at Magic City)
Milt Gross Email Address:email@example.com He owns the Copyright on all his articles.
Stories From Maine by Milton Gross - At Kingscalendar
Now I was sure I was in Maine. Go out of state and find somebody to tell you you don't owe anything. Just as I was finishing a sly little chuckle over all those guys jeans and boots, in came a couple more pairs of jeans and boots. These jeans and boots were under a bill hat that let me know the wearer was a Maine game warden. That's those guys who spoil other Maineiacs' hunting, when said hunting isn't precisely legal -- such as two deer in your pickup.
Russell's book states that it wasn't our fearless forefathers that set the tone for our democratic republic (national leaders following the populace's wishes) but the rabble in the streets. Or, in some cases, just plain non-rabble-rousing folk like you and me. What first leaped off the page for me was Russell's statements that, while slavery was an awful institution, it represented a period in which the blacks were at least minimally cared for and did not need to be out there every day trying to earn a living. As must most Americans today.
But Thomas Jefferson, the then Secretary of State authenticated the Second Amendment as, "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." Okay, it's the same type of "right" as mine to drive. It shall not be "infringed."
"Think of the story of Jesus walking on the water, found in Matthew 14:22-33 and Mark 6:45-52," Strobel writes, quoting a scholar he was interviewing. "Most English translations hide the Greek by quoting Jesus as saying, 'Fear not, it is I.' Actually, the Greek literally says, 'Fear not, I am.' Those last two words are identical to what Jesus said in John 8:58, when he took upon himself the divine name 'I AM,' which is the way God revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. So Jesus is revealing himself as the one who has the same divine power over nature as Yahweh, the God of the Old Testament."
A man way up in Danforth, actually who was known in those long-ago days when you could describe him such as the town drunk, said to me while we were in the general store, "I touched a moose and nobody believes me." He explained that he had canoed down the river, landed on a small island, and seen a moose standing still, just standing there. The man had walked up to the moose and touched its nose. It still stood there.I knew that in those days there was a nerve disease circulating through moose herds, which rendered them fairly helpless. They would just stand still, even if you didn't touch their noses.
Before leaving the dock, the Elizabeth Ann's captain, held up a lifejacket for us to see and even strapped it around himself. He explained that should we tip over -- maybe diesel-powered vessels don't tip over like our canoe doesn't because we're careful and cowardly about being in Maine's cold, cold water -- those life jackets would save our lives. I wondered why you just wouldn't hold onto the vessel as we would our canoe in the event it ever tipped over. Probably some Coast Guard rule.
The approximately 150 miles of trails are as varied and scenic as ever, and the Island Explorer buses allow circle hikes. Up one trail and down another. Not yet succumbing to GPS except to find corridor-boundary markers and recording their GPS settings along the Appalachian Trail (150 miles north of Acadia) as a Maine Appalachian Trail Club volunteer, I recommend a map that shows Acadia National Park's trails. The long southern part of Cadillac mountain, which the 3.5-mile South Ridge Trail follows from Route 3 to the summit.
So I poked though our little library and came up with the perfect book about green, Adventures in Contentment, by David Grayson. A fellow employee gave me this book back in the year 2,000. I remember the year only because we were working on the U.S. census together, that is, until I realized how ridiculous it was to be starting the census in rural, woodsy, lakeside Maine in mud season.
I believe in wind power, just not where it's not appropriate, such as scenic areas where folks have been vacationing and living in for a century, the great forests, mountains, and lakes of Maine. For about ten years, we purchased hydropower -- the kind that Belfast is thinking of developing from a couple of hydroelectric dams built by the late Larry Gleason in the 1970s. The city is thinking of buying those dams. Now we don't buy pure hydropower, because the company that was selling it to us, 'First Wind', suddenly and without any notice to us, the customers, stopped selling it.
Turkeys were introduced into southern Maine in 1978 and Waldo County in 1984 -- guess our DIFW speaker-biologist didn't know about Waldo County and forgot to tell us they were brought once more into the Pine Tree State by biologists. Being a semi-believer in evolution within a species, I just assumed they evolved from big chicken hens or turkeys that escaped from farms. Also, I learned from a website that their numbers diminished in places where farms were turned into other uses, because, I guess wild turkeys also may have evolved from farmers.
During a solo Maine Appalachian Trail Club maintenance trip up Moody Mountain, I had been reaching up to remove a fairly large branch that had been hanging just above the trail. Should that five-incher have chosen to fall while a hiker was beneath it, the hiker would at least have ended with a sore shoulder or sore head. As I was cutting at it, the branch let go, swung, and banged me on the side of my head. Things went around and around for a number of seconds until the branch lay at my feet.
A model of Ecovillage community on display at a Sunday-afternoon open house at the Belfast site on an old farm. Disclaimer: the chocolate brownies are not part of the proposed community. One of the Belfast Cohousing & Ecovillage housing units under construction in December. Milt Gross photo.
Being licked by a St. Bernard is a never-to-be-forgotten experience, especially on an empty trail on July Fourth in a park loaded with July Fourth-celebrating tourists. There was no one to rescue us, certainly not the thin woman, so we were licked and slobbered on, a fascinating experience on a hot July Fourth. I have since thought that the Colonists -- more correctly, new states residents -- might have been able to win the Revolution a lot quicker had they been armed with slobbering St. Bernards instead of muskets that only fired once in awhile when they felt like it. Imagine a whole army of red-jacketed British troops going down beneath a host of St. Bernard slobbers.
These photos show what is supposed to be a century-old trail reopened in Acadia National Park. I know it's not actually the old trail, because I walked the old trail eight or nine years ago, two or three times. The old trail circled around the end of Canada Cliffs well away from the cliffs. The "reopened" trail is closer in with lots of newly built stone steps to protect the trail from modern hiking boots. The old trail didn't have as many boots -- and they weren't hiking boots -- tramp it. Milt Gross photo.
The sign in the unorganized township of Blanchard calls it the Taylor Road. Whatever its real name, it's smoother than it was the first year I drove it to find the access into the AT and corridor. I suspect the large amount of rain last spring damaged the rocky road, and Piscataquis County sent a guy -- or gal -- on a road grader over it. Because this year I didn't scrape the bottom of Ellie Echo at all, just her front bumper a little when she climbed out of a bit of a gully where a logger's bridge carried us across a brook.
Just getting the canoe into the water had taken three weeks, a good chunk of time since the pond we put her in is less than an hour from home. We bought the used 14-foot Old Town fiberglass because the ancient aluminum 18-footer, "AB" for Aluminum Battleship, was too long for either 13-foot Toyota and too heavy for us to keep hefting it on and off the pickups we had to rent to carry her.
Ducky Wucky tried to be polite, as one brand of our Washington gang seems to try usually in vain. I won't say which brand is polite, like Ducky Wucky, or which likes to gobble and hog the feed trough because this is not a political column. A good politician knows how to get to that voter-sponsored feed trough not just once but as many times as he or she can to grab all he or she can grab.
This doe may or not have been Gracie, when she visited us last winter. If she was Gracie, she has grown a fair amount between then and now this summer when she "chats" with us from our dooryard. Milt Gross photo.
"Back in the day," which was for me in the 1970s, our family and sometimes groups of students I brought to Camden Hills State Park ambled down this stone-step trail from the "south" parking lot to the seaside path and a picnic table where an unremembered amount of goodies were gobbled by us. When we walked it the other day, I had to be a bit more careful not to catch my walking stick in some small cracks among rocks and roots. Times do change. Milt Gross photo.
I've seen a number of owls do rather unowl-like antics, but I've told you about them already, way back in ancient history about a year ago. I'll tell you about them again, when I do a rerun column. While you're waiting, maybe you'd be so kind as to e-mail me some of your tales of the birds you know. Did you ever watch our noble national symbol, the bald eagle, eat? We did, and he was so close we got good pictures -- before CDs so those photos are not with this column -- of the clumsy big critter, kind of humped over, almost upside down as he chowed down -- or up.
On her return flight, she brought Philippine "goodies" to nibble and share with those she'd left at home. However airport security personnel relieved her of that for security reasons. Who knows, she may have had a bomb in those "goodies." Or, the airport security personnel may have been hungry. At any rate, she arrived back in Maine "goodiless." Exhausted and frustrated, Nicki asked how they could do this to her, since her flight had been booked a couple of months in advance. "Because we're allowed to," came the answer.
Train Travel in Maine: The Belfast and Moosehead Lake consisted of a diesel switcher, a caboose in which passengers could ride for a higher fare than we humble coach passengers paid ($11 for senior citizens and $!2 for adults who were not yet senior even though they probably had graduated from somewhere), and our 1926 coach complete with that prickly cloth material on the seats.
Never go hiking alone is the age-old wisdom -- for everybody else. I seldom have gone with others, and on an AT work trip on Moody Mountain I may have wished I had. I was sawing away at a large limb that was hanging hazardously from a tree about six feet above the trail. The limb, which was about five inches in diameter, for some reason swung suddenly and whacked me on the head.
It may have been that he also saw my passenger, a genuine city slicker from Lewiston, who I don't think had ever seen a real out-in-the-wilds -- or along-the-road bull moose before. Moosie may have wanted to duly impress said passenger. He impressed both of us in different ways. While my friend's eyes kind of boggled, and he was trying to find the word "moose" to stammer it, I was a bit irritated. Mr. Moose didn't nobly trot out of the way of the car. He trotted, playfully it seemed, up the road right in front of the car.
An Island Explorer passenger told me she and her husband lived in a tiny Vermont town, to which they had moved from New York to begin a bed-and-breakfast. The town was also way back in the country, generally known as "the sticks." Although it was so remote, the passenger told me, there was a sign at the town line to let motorists know they had arrived. The sign read, "If you can read this, you're not from here."
Now comes the Appalachian Trail. Geez, you say, he writes about that every week! Yup, I finally learned to spell it, so it gets the treatment. Anyhow, before being rudely interrupted with your thoughts, I was about to say I want to measure the walking distance on an abandoned woods road to my new corridor-monitoring section of AT.
Bald Peak in Acadia National Park viewed over Upper Hadlock Pond. (Milt Gross photo.) You don't need a heavy pack -- or, in my case, any pack. I'm kind of lazy, and since the entire walk is.9 mile from Route 198, why load myself down with stuff I don't need.
I did tell the guy -- I thought he may have been the guy -- who banged on the door something to discourage his ever coming back to stay there and annoy us in the future. The B&B owner had gone off to pick up some hikers at the Height of Land and told us our breakfast -- some kind of egg thingy -- was in the oven anytime we were ready. And she added, "Would you watch the coffee?" What's there to watch? It sits there in its little pot, ready to go.
We didn't kiss the ground in Bangor, as tradition I've heard says you should. I'm not sure why we didn't. My very first flight was in a little one-engine Cessna or Piper Cub -- hard to recall after about 90 years or so. I was a teenager then. The pilot explained to me he had to keep the nose of the aircraft even with the horizon. Good thing it wasn't over the Longfellow Mountains of Maine. As we approached the West Chester, PA airport to land, the pilot said, "Okay, now you can land it."
A bus passenger, who travels a lot, told me she went via Amtrak to Mississippi. The train got there by way of Chicago, she said, although she wasn't sure why Amtrak had picked such an unstraight route. The route wasn't the problem, however, she said. The problem was that either the train to Chicago from wherever, Boston or New York, was six hours late arriving. Or the Mississippi train was six hours late departing Chicago.
We observed these two deer as well as three or four more each day from the dining room and living room windows in an apartment we rented in Bar Harbor several years ago. Understand, an apartment in Maine may not be just like your typical Boston or New York apartment. This one had a window that overlooked Great Hill in Acadia National Park.
The manager, an import from the Midwest, thought western Maine should become an industrial zone which in his mind would save the region economically. The federal government wanted to use the region to bury low-level nuclear waste. I hadn't moved to Maine to live in an industrial area -- especially a nuclear waste dumping ground, and, having been here some 20 years, knew this manager's idea was totally out of the ballpark for this part of Maine with her mountains, lakes, and forests. Most of the area's residents fought against the proposal -- and won.
Not looking convinced, the teenager walked with us to a quiet spot under some trees. I said a prayer aloud, asking God to give the girl back her dental appliance. Like the teenager, I was not convinced that this prayer was anything but a formality. In my mind, I pictured the girls' parents' reaction to the news that their daughter's expensive bridge was at the bottom of the lake.
In Maine, where the snow has yet to whack me on the head, I remember a favorite tree along a snowmobile trail in West Paris where I cross-country skied often. The snowmobilers were generally fellow members of the Norway-Paris Fish and Game Club and were prepared for Mr. Strange to appear just off the trail as they drove past on their motorized sleds. That group generally snowmobiled at a reasonable rate of speed, so avoiding their fun-to-laugh-at-news-reporter member was easy.
Remember Hansel and Gretel's bread crumbs? I barely did, but their trick turned out to work for the skunk. I laid a long board down the bulkhead, guessing that most skunks were more familiar with tiptoeing along logs in the woods than climbing stairs in those same woods. I then managed to get down there without being sprayed and left a trail of bread crumbs along the floor and right up the board.
Much of the insistence that evidence-free species-to-species evolution occurred because some guys didn't want to deal with a god. A god? How comforting is that? I want to be in control of my own life, not have some god tell me how to live. Teachers are intellectual, right? So are they going to mimic their Sunday School teacher about God and creation? Or are they going to fall in line with the cynical professors, who are shoving for their own reason -- wanting to be their own god -- the theory of total evolution as fact. I believe the latter is more prevalent.
Appalachian Trail volunteer work involves other skills besides creating beer trees. But corridor monitoring may be the only volunteer task that lends itself to the creation of beer trees. For example of other jobs, the Maine Youth Corps and volunteer groups, the volunteer groups being composed of Maine Appalachian Trail Club members, engage in maintenance work of the Trail itself and the lean-tos and privies about every ten miles along the Trail... This permanant boundary marker lies along the Appalachian Trail corridor about a dozen miles west of Monson. The numbers and letters indicate the tract, state, and individual marker.
The Rambler was "cool" in that she had those fold-down seats that would allow you to recline and sleep, hopefully when you weren't driving. Those seats weren't so "cool" the nights we camped over at Hastings Campground in the White Mountain National Forest. I had opened my window a crack and headed for dreamland, when I dreamed a doctor was stabbing me with a needle, then another, and another. I awoke to something I hadn't experienced in my short time in Maine, no-see-ums. The thing about no-see-ums is that they take all the fun out of camping in a Rambler with reclining seats.
Shortly after buying the VW, the fates delivered me from the private school to the Lewiston Sun Journal to write rather than teach. The VW, which ran great but was heat challenged on those dark, cold winter nights when I had to drive 40 miles one-way to cover meetings in Fryeburg for the Sun Journal.
"Come visit the Bangor and Ellsworth Mountains," our winter tourism advertising could read. Lots of other towns likely can also brag about their white tourist attractions. Snowmobiling may be a great sport, but there's nothing quite like admiring the Bangor or Ellsworth Mountains.
After I return from a more difficult hike on the Maine Appalachian Trail, in Acadia National Park, or elsewhere, I find myself yearning for a quiet, rural pathway or old road down which I can just amble. The peacefulness of such scenes at times overwhelms me, and when life brings stress my way I tend to close my eyes and picture myself on such a path.
This railroad snowplow rests on a siding in Thorndike alongside a former railroad station. During the late 19th and first half of the 20th century, standard-gauge and narrow-gauge -- four feet wide -- railroads, including passenger trains, traversed most of Maine. Milt Gross photo
Bats are great sport too, or at least a great nuisance when you're a little kid and you and your big brother have been ordered by that same no-nonsense mom to get the bat out of the cellar. A bat in the cellar? Come on, Mom, let's be real
The problem I have nowadays is that liquid stuff the Maine Department of Transportation in their insidious wisdom sprays on the roads to melt the ice. That's fine, and it works well on the roads while rusting out "Ellie" Echo's undercarriage parts. But it makes the roads look wet. So when it's 15 degrees above zero, am I driving on treated wet roads or glare ice?
Milt Gross moved to Maine after graduation and was first employed as a minister before becoming a teacher, a principal and an adult-ed director. He later became a journalist and after retiring from the Northwoods Sporting Journal he commenced publishing his "Down the Road a Piece" articles.
Grandma Brown's Home Baked Beans come in these cans. The company can be reached by snail mail and phone but not by e-mail. I phoned the Mexico, NY company, and a representative told me they want to keep the bean company old fashioned, so none of that new fangled online stuff.
But this guy I know wasn't wealthy at all and worked hard to get through college and launch a successful career in the "straight" world. He managed to be a municipal official all his working life, retired now with sufficient money to well educate two daughters in such unhippy institutions as Yale and Harvard. I imagine he has lots of time to sit around and think of his good old hippy days.
Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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About the KingsCalendar Publisher
R.P.BenDedek is the owner and Editor of KingsCalendar.com which was originally set up to publicize his research results into the Chronology of Ancient Israel. Those results were published under the title: 'The King's Calendar: The Secret of Qumran'.
Whilst there have been many attempts to solve the chronological riddle of the Bible's synchronisms of reigns of the kings of Israel and Judah and their synchronism with other Ancient Near Eastern Nations, no other research is based on a simple mathematical formula which could, if it is incorrect, be disproved easily. To date, no one has been able to dismiss the mathematical results of this research.
Free to air Academic articles set forth Apologetics for and results of his discovery of an "artificial chronological scheme" running through the Bible, Josephus, the Damascus Documents of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and Seder Olam Rabbah.