Maine Walk for Peace & A Sustainable Future Underway
by Dud Hendrick, Maine Veterans for Peace
The Maine Walk for Peace & A Sustainable Future is underway and winding its
way along the glorious autumn roads of central Maine. Beginning in Rangeley
last Saturday, the group will pass through Phillips, Farmington, Livermore
Falls, Lewiston, Gray, Portland, and Saco before the scheduled arrival in North
Berwick on Monday, October 20th.
It is the goal of the walk, sponsored by Maine Veterans for Peace, to connect
various communities that have become reliant on military production for jobs.
“We hope to accelerate a statewide discussion about the need to diversify
Maine’s growing dependence on military production,” explained lead organizer,
Bruce Gagnon, at the introductory meeting.
The 15 walkers would begin the trek to Phillips, 22 miles to the south,
Sunday morning. In Rangeley on Saturday evening, they were guests at a
community dinner hosted by the Congregational Church and had an opportunity to
share their hopes and motivations for the walk with local residents. Much of
the conversation revolved around the possibility that Rangeley will be selected
as the site of a “missile defense” interceptor base. Walker Mary Beth Sullivan,
a social worker from Bath expressed a common sentiment. Referencing a study
conducted by the Political Economy Research Institute at UMASS-Amherst which
showed that military spending creates the fewest jobs—while spending on solar,
rail, education, health care, or fixing roads and bridges creates more jobs with
the same amount of money, Sullivan said, “Disadvantaged people in our society
are paying the price for our reliance on military production. We should be
looking at society’s real needs.”
One participant, Mike Gibson, a student from Augusta, who will be walking the
distance, when asked what motivated him to make this commitment, simply stated,
“I have a conscience, that says I don’t want to be a part of an economy that is
The walkers will be distributing flyers and sharing information along the
roads and in the hosting communities each evening. The core group though small,
15-20, will be joined by scores more for a day or two, including students and
residents of Farmington. They urge others to join and refer them to
http://vfpmaine.org/Peace Walk Route Maps for Maine2014.pdf for schedule
and contact information.
Gagnon closed his inaugural meeting with a rhetorical question. “America and
Maine’s economies are increasingly addicted to the military. What does that say
about the soul of our nation and state?”
The walk will conclude with a demonstration at the Pratt-Whitney plant in
North Berwick which has a $2 billion contract to build F-35 fighter engines.
Jason Rawn of Hope, Maine takes the lead as the Walk for Peace
and & Sustainable Future approaches Farmington. (Photo by Peter Woodruff)
Day One: Saturday,
October 11, 2014
Bath to Rangeley
Leave Addams Melman House (212 Centre St) in Bath at 9:00 am and drive
hours to Rangeley
Walk to Rangeley lake for lunch & hold walk orientation
Supper and sleep at Rangeley UCC Church (corner of Hwy 4 & High St)
Host: Bruce Gagnon
Great Start in Rangeley
Photo by Dud Hendrick
Made it to Rangeley, Maine to start our Walk for Peace & A
Sustainable Future...... invited to a turkey supper with more than a
hundred people at the local UCC church where we are sleeping on the
floor - they just had Br. Senji Kanaeda sing an old Negro spiritual
to the assembled ....beautiful start to our peace walk!
The reception has been fantastic.
Day Two: Sunday, October 12
Begin at Rangeley UCC Church (corner of Hwy 4 & High St)
Head southeast on Hwy 4
1.2 miles Scenic overlook on right
3.4 Yamaha Sports & Laundromat on left
6.4 Raymond Rd pull over spot on right
Stop & shuttle walkers to 16.9 mile mark
15.5 Old Mobil station on left
16.2 Phillips town sign on right
16.9 Abandoned Bear Hill variety on left (good lunch spot)
Resume walking into Phillips (reset odometer)
3.9 Abandoned wooden house on left
5.6 Left at Midway Function Hall
Pass yellow storage building
Pass Community Roots daycare
Path just to right of white fence
Left to Phillips Area Community Center
Pot luck supper and sleep at center
Host: Dick Matthews
Second Day of Peace Walk
Stretching overly tight
Photo by Peter Woodruff
Our second day of the peace walk took us from Rangeley to
Phillips where local hosts have organized a three-soup pot luck for us. It is
more than amazing to see the beauty of the Rangeley lakes area and I can't wait
to come back to enjoy the nature in this place.
Three peace women from Farmington found us mid-day and walked the remaining
distance to Phillips. We walked a total of 12 miles today. It's 19 miles to
Farmington from Phillips but we will only walk 16 miles tomorrow - got to break
ourselves in easy as we go.
The weather today more than fantastic. Lots of honks from cars, people eager to
take our walk flyers, and my favorite moment today was when a car stopped on the
highway and took our flyer.
For Mainers who will understand this - lots of LePage signs up this way. (For
others he is our terrible right-wing governor who is up for reelection and
presently tied for the lead in the polls in a three-way race.)
More Walk Photos
Photos by Peter Woodruff
Quite a great walk from Rangeley to Phillips (the smell of the
pines trees was enchanting) and when we arrived were hosted to a great feed at
the local community center that back in late 1800's to early 1990's was part of
the local rail station that served as a stop for tourists who took the train to
I am getting Internet connection this cold morning outside the old station house
window - hands freezing.
Day 3: Monday, October 13
Phillips to Farmngton
Resume walking on Hwy 4 southeast at Midway
4 miles Sunoco on left
3.0 School of Masonry on left
6.1 Country Delight Dairy Bar on right
7.3 Pullover area on left
9.0 White house farm on left
12.0 Rt 4 Raceway on left
15.0 Wood barn on right
17.0 IBEC Electric on right
18.8 Downtown Farmington
19.0 Old South First Congregation Church on right for pot luck supper
Host: Doug Rawlings
Arrived in Farmington
Lunch on the road on way to Farmington
Our blister bus and gear car for the walk
Photo by Peter Woodruff
We made good time to start the day doing three miles in 45
minutes rather than the usual hour - the early morning cold might have had alot
to do with it. All together we walked about 15 miles.
The part of Maine we've been walking through is a conservative Republican
bastion. We made 1,000 half-page flyers about the walk and hand them to any one
we see along the road. Sometimes we have to run a bit to a nearby house when we
see someone stick their head out the door because they heard the drumming by the
Buddhist monk and the others who drum along with him. We also put flyers in the
newspaper boxes along the side of the road but few people subscribe to local
papers anymore so they are few and far in between.
We got lots of food donated to us last night from the pot luck supper in
Phillips so our lunch today was quite abundant. It becomes a challenge to find
ways to carry all the gifts of food and drink people donate to us.
A Veterans for Peace (VFP) member from the Boston area arrived in Farmington
today just after we arrived. He'll walk with us tomorrow. Our dear friend
Starr Gilmartin arrives tomorrow for the rest of the way. She walked with us
last year on our Maine Drone walk from Limestone to Bath. A Buddhist nun and
another monk are coming on Wednesday.
Tonight we will be hosted by Maine VFP co-founder Doug Rawlings in Farmington at
the UCC church and then we'll be taken to different homes for showers and a
bed. After a couple of nights of floor sleeping a bed will feel good.
Day 4: Tuesday, October 14, 2014
Farmington to Livermore Falls
Resume walking on Hwy 4 south
2.5 miles Irving station on right
3.1 Burger King on right
5.8 Antique store on left
6.2 First Apostolic Church on right
8.4 Left on Hwy 4 south
9.5 Kawasaki on right
12.4 Jay town dump on right
13.1 Jay historical society on left
14.0 McDonalds on left
15.0 Otis Credit Union on right
16.4 St Rose Catholic on right
16.8 Public library on right
Continue past food city
Left on Richardson St
17.6 Left to 41 Knapp St on corner of Searles St
Host: Fran Szostek
The Magic of the Peace walk in Livermore Falls
The group this morning as we
began walking from Farmington to Livermore Falls - an 18 mile day
During our lunch break this local old
timer, a WW II vet, came over and talked with us about the insanity of war
During a break just outside of Livermore
Falls Veterans For Peace founding member Doug Rawlings rests and holds the VFP
Students from University of
Photos by Peter Woodruff and Nate Goldshlag
We made it to Livermore Falls by about 4:00 pm - after our 8:30
am start this morning in Farmington. Several students from the University of
Maine-Farmington Amnesty International club joined us for the first nine miles.
They were strong walkers and helped carry our lead banner and signs. It was
good to have some fresh walkers as the regulars are all getting tired. Lots of
sore feet and blisters are now appearing.
Last night we were all divided up to go to various homes for a shower and a
bed. Mary Beth and I went to a log cabin in the woods. Very wonderful hosts and
a lovely old cabin.
Livermore Falls was the hardest town to find a place for us to stay. As of just
days ago we had nothing then thanks to an email out of the blue we heard from
someone 'who knew someone in Livermore Falls' and I called them and asked if
they could help us. Just like that they agreed to host us in their big house
and so here we are. We've taken over the entire second floor and miraculously
they have mattresses for each of us that have filled up three otherwise empty
bedrooms. Once again, the magic of the peace walk.
Our hosts made a huge salad for us and we've ordered five pizzas to round out
In the morning we head to Lewiston where we will stay at an Episcopal Church for
the night. Some time tomorrow we will be joined by another Buddhist monk and a
nun. People come and go each day but as of right now we have 13 of us here in
here and see below good walk coverage in popular Farmington media outlet.
October 14 - Farmington to Livermore
Daily Bulldog - by Bobbie Hansten
Peter Cook of Starks carries the "Walk for Peace
and Sustainable Future" sign followed by more than a dozen
participants as they cross Center Bridge in Farmington on their way
eventually to end in North Berwick.
Rev. Senji Kanaeda of the
Nipponzan Myohoji Temple of Seattle, leads the peace walk on
Tuesday from Farmington.
FARMINGTON - Led by a Buddhist monk beating a drum, the group of a
dozen or more were greeted by the honking horns of passing motorists as they
crossed Center Bridge on Tuesday morning.
Acknowledgement from the walkers carrying signs that said, "Bring our war $$
home," and "Fix broken Maine-no more war $" came with a wave as they continued
along busy Wilton Road on their way south to eventually arrive in North Berwick.
This is the fourth year the Veterans For Peace members have organized a peace
walk through Maine as a way to highlight the idea that an enormous amount of
money is spent on military defense in the U.S., while basic infrastructure needs
such as schools, roads, bridges and buildings, along with social services that
help people continue to be under-funded. The group, which will grow in numbers
to as many as 100 as it nears Portland, will walk between 15 and 30 miles a day.
The war-based economy creates fewer jobs than infrastructure fixes and
largely "benefits weapons companies and we don't see an end to it," said Bruce
Gagnon of Bath, a member of Veterans For Peace who has organized the annual
Maine Walk for Peace and a Sustainable Future each year.
Using different routes through the state each time, Gagnon said this year's
goal of the walk is to connect various communities that have become reliant on
military production for jobs.
The group began their trek by gathering in Bath, where Bath Iron Works builds
U.S. Navy destroyers. About 15 people, led by Rev. Senji Kanaeda of the
Nipponzan Myohoji Temple Buddhist Order in Seattle, then traveled to Rangeley on
Saturday where they were invited to a community supper with 150 people attending
at the Rangeley UCC Church.
"There was a good discussion and singing. Senji sings beautiful spirituals,"
Gagnon said and added, "The reception was very good." The walkers spent the
night at the church, as they often do as they reach other towns on their way
Peace walk participants cross Center Bridge in
Farmington on their way to Livermore Falls for the night. The
estimated 165-mile walk, with much community discussion along the
way, will end in North Berwick.
Rangeley was chosen as a stop as part of the estimated 165-mile
walk, after it was announced this summer that it was one of four
sites under consideration for construction of a $4 billion missile
defense interceptor base. Also on the route is Saco, where General
Dynamics Ordnance & Tactical Systems was awarded a multimillion
dollar contract to build gun barrel kits for the Army. The end point
in North Berwick scheduled for Oct. 20, is home to Pratt Whitney,
which has a $2 billion contract to build F-35 strike fighter
According to the group's website. Those military contracts taken
together make up almost 10 percent of Maine’s gross domestic
Sunday night, the group stayed at the Phillips Area Community Center. A
community supper and program was held that included music, with several local
residents attending to participate in the discussion. Last night, a potluck
supper was held at the Old South Church in Farmington and then the walkers
stayed at area homes for the night.
Doug Rawlings of Chesterville, a founding member of Veterans For Peace, which
now has chapters in every state and a few countries, said they hand out flyers
to those along the route who ask why they're walking.
"Many are curious and ask, 'what is this,'" Rawlings said, especially when a
yellow-robed monk beating a drum is leading the way. "For the most part, we've
received very positive responses."
At about 8:30 a.m. the group representing a range of ages was joined by four
University of Maine at Farmington students who are members of the Amnesty Club
on campus. Signs were passed out and in single file they headed across Main
Street and south towards tonight's goal of Livermore Falls.
Continue south on Hwy 4 with immediate right onto Hwy 4
3.1 miles Baptist church on right
7.2 Window Outlet on left
Stop walking and shuttle to 21.9 mile mark
7.7 Beach on right
9.3 Tri-County Auto on right
11.9 Goodwin Well on right
15.4 Murrays Trucks on right
17.7 Hannaford’s on right
19.8 Auto Deal on right
21.9 Citgo on right (Lunch stop)
Resume walking here
25.0 Bridge/lake on right (Auburn city line)
25.6 Auburn lake wayside
27.5 Cross under overpass
29.1 Turn left on E
202 (Downtown Auburn) Key Bank on left
29.2 Cross bridge
29.6 Right on Park St
30.0 Left on Spruce St
30.1 Trinity Episcopal Church on right
Pot luck supper and sleep at church
Host: Nancy Chandler
Truckin into Lewiston
We arrived in Lewiston about 4:30 pm today - a hard 18 miles.
The first half was through the rural rolling hills and was lovely walking. Many
truckers flying by waved or blasted their horns. It seemed like today we had
more responses from truckers than usual. The last half of the walk was city with
much traffic, noise, impatient drivers and all that goes with it. A man on a
motorcyle had an accident right by us at one point and seemed to have been quite
injured. A traffic jam caused many cars to stop and he tried to change lanes
and clipped another car and then crashed onto the sidewalk just behind me. I'm
actually lucky I didn't get hit.
At lunch we were joined by another Buddhist monk from Massachusetts and Jun-san
the Japanese nun based in New York. Then a bit later we saw a man walking down
the opposite side of the road toward us and he joined the walk. He had seen the
front page coverage about the walk in the weekly newspaper in Gray about a week
ago. He's going to walk with us for a couple of days. Then a bit later two
more people unexpected popped up and joined in. So by the time we got into
Lewiston we had a nice sized group.
Lewiston has many African immigrants and as we neared the beautiful Kennedy Park
in the downtown area we were given much support by the many people in the park.
Maine is such a white state so it was a wonderful thing to see all these people
of color giving us such good feedback. A really wonderful experience.
We are being hosted by the Episcopal Church and will have a supper here and
sleep on the floor. In the morning we head to Gray for a Methodist Church and
another hard floor.
While at our lunch spot today I was interviewed by WERU radio and have already
had a phone call from a friend who heard the program and was pleased with it.
Day 6: Thursday, October 16, 2014
Lewiston to Gray
Start at church on Spruce St past Park St
Right on Lisbon St
.6 miles Left onto Hwy 202 west (Main Street)
.8 Over bridge to Auburn
.9 Right on Turner (at Key Bank)
1.2 Under rusty bridge
1.3 Sharp Left on Union (west on Hwy 202/4 south) Irving station on right
2.7 Left on Hwy 202/4 (Washington – bear right)
3.0 Connectivity Point on right
6.3 Michaud Trailers on right
7.0 Irving station on right
8.8 New Gloucester welcome sign on right
10.1 AmVets Post on left
12.2 Farm stand on right
15.1 Will & Laney’s Firewood & greenhouse on right
15.9 Gray town line
18.1 Crossroads church on left
American Legion on right
18.3 City hall on left
18.7 Main & Shaker St traffic light
Start out going southwest on Yarmouth Rd/ME-4/ME-115 toward W Gray
Rd/US-202 W. Continue to follow ME-4/ME-115. (1.5 miles)
Good Shepherd United Methodist Church for supper and stay at 151 W. Gray
Host: Allison & Simon Hartman Adam
Rain, Bears & Doughnuts
Today we walked through rain for most of our 13 miles from
Lewiston to Gray. We shuttled about five miles in the middle to avoid a bunch
of road construction and a huge downpour. Since we arrived early in Gray our
folks are chillin at the local McDonald's, Dunkin Doughnuts or the small town
library for a couple of hours. I'm in the McCafe which has free Internet but no
electric outlet so my time is limited. (The motto here appears to be keep the
folks moving in and out - electrical plugs keep the seats filled for too long.)
There is a big bear hunting referendum in Maine on November 4 that if passed
would not allow 'hunters' to use bait, traps and hound dogs to hunt for bears.
One of the primary items used to bait the bears are barrels of doughnuts that
are put in the woods and when the bears come to eat them they step in traps and
tourist hunters then come and shoot them.
The Maine state wildlife department biologists support the present system and
maintain that in order to keep the bear population at manageable levels we must
allow baiting and such. All along our walk we've seen a flurry of signs
opposing the referendum which would ban bear baiting. Amazingly there is a
whole big business that has sprung up trucking day old doughnuts from
Massachusetts to Maine for the operation. Bears and doughnuts are big biz!
You can imagine that when a group of walkers get tired they make jokes to keep
from getting grumpy. So the bear-doughnut story has been our constant joke
during the walk. Our friend and photographer Peter Woodruff keeps buying 'bear
bait' when we stop at some local truck stop for a break. This morning Maine
Veterans For Peace member Peggy Akers came to the church in Lewiston where we
slept last night and unsuspectingly brought us a box of bear bait.
If one was to judge just by the campaign signs the bear bait ban referendum will
be rejected overwhelmingly.
If you were similarly judging the race for governor then incumbent Tea Party
Republican Paul LePage would also win by a landslide. As one friend pointed out
earlier this week the Republicans have won the sign wars this year.
Day 7: Friday, October 17, 2014
Gray to Portland
Begin at Maine & Shaker Streets traffic light
Bear left on Hwy 26/100 to Portland
3.0 miles Bush Bee cabins on right
6.0 Church on left
7.0 White barn on left
9.0 Green sign homestead on right
10.2 Marmin’s lunch
11.2 Portland north business park on right
11.7 Portland city limits
12.3 North Deering Vet hospital on right
13.3 Northgate Plaza on left
13.5 Left at Allen Ave /Washington intersection
13.9 Allen Avenue Unitraian Church on left for pot luck supper
Home stays for two nights
Host: Bruce Gagnon
Video from the Peace Walk
Video by Vietnam veteran Eric Herter from Brunswick. Day
six of the walk from Rangeley to North Berwick. This day was from Lewiston
Cars, Oil & Endless War
Walking along the road slows everything down. Today I noticed a bird at the
top of a tree on the other side of the road singing as we passed by. We heard a
big pack of dogs at a 'doggie daycare' howling as we went by - they were
pleading to come along with us but the chain link fence prevented their act of
solidarity. Four graceful and powerful horses moved in unison as they intently
watched us pass them by. We were hosted for lunch by an organic farm family
that gave us fresh tomatoes, peppers, lettuce, melons and a comfortable place to
relax under a warm sunny sky.
But the overwhelming thing we have experienced during the walk is the car
culture. Cars and trucks zoom by us and rarely slow down even though we have
our red flag waving ahead of the walk. Everyone is in a hurry and god forbid
they have to slow down for fifteen seconds because of this unusual band of
people walking along the highway.
Today as I walked I made a point of looking for signs of this dominant car
culture that so completely engulfs us. Here we are in the US with 5% of the
world population using 25% of the planet's resources. We like our cars and we
like them big!
Along the way I could see why we are in a constant state of war - because our
entire way of life - our economy - our entire identity and being is wrapped up
in the car culture. As I walked I scribbled down the following signs of this
addiction to the automobile:
Car insurance agencies
Auto detailing shops
Auto repair shops
Auto sales dealers
Auto body shops
Disabled van renovation shop
Auto parts stores
Road paving companies
Drive thru lanes at fast food outlets
Road crossing guards at schools
Expensive bridges over rivers
I know I must have missed some but you get the idea. There is no enterprise in
rural or urban Maine that is more pervasive than the automobile related
Most people say they want to end wars though we keep using our cars. We are all
responsible for endless war.
We are killing people all over the world because we 'love our cars' more than we
love our planet or the people living on it.
Update: WERU radio here in Maine covered the walk and you can listen
here. Also the Biddeford Courier ran a nice story here
Day 8: Saturday, October 18, 2014
Day 9: Sunday, October 19, 2014
Portland to Saco
Meet at Monument Square on Congress Street in downtown Portland at 8:30 am
0.3 Pass Congress & High Streets
0.5 Congress St to State St (Hwy 77 South) and turn left
0.7 Mercy Hospital on right
1.0 Over bridge into South Portland (walk on left side)
2.1 Right on Broadway
2.4 Laundromat on left
3.3 Amato’s on left
4.0 Left onto Hwy 1 by Uhaul (on left)
4.1 Dairy Queen on right
6.3 Elevation Center/Medical Clinic on right (road splits for short while)
8.6 Scarborough Downs on right
9.2 Irving station on right
9.6 Cross salt marsh
11.1 Cemetery on right
12.0 York County/Saco line
14.5 Funtown Splashtown on right
15.1 Silver Spring Camping on left
15.7 Green highway overpass
16.6 At road split, church on left corner at lights
First Parish Congregation Church on corner of Beech & Maine pot luck
Host: Tom Kircher
Peace Walk Arrives in Saco
We walked 17 miles today from downtown Portland to Saco where the
UCC church will host a pot luck supper and provide home stays for
all of us. Bob Klotz, a leader of Maine 350.org, did the first
three miles with us and took this photo. and some others that he
posted on Facebook.
Also this morning, just as we were starting from Monument Square in
Portland, a woman from Montana saw us and walked two miles with us.
She is in Maine on vacation. Surprisingly she just turned up at the
church here in Saco and is going to walk with us tomorrow.
We are expecting a large group of Veterans For Peace from the Boston
area to arrive here this evening. They plan to join the pot luck
supper tonight and walk with us tomorrow as well. Several others
who have walked with us earlier in the week will also come back for
the final day.
After the vigil at Pratt Whitney we will be hosted for dinner by our
friends Karen Wainberg and Brown Lathem who live in North Berwick.
Day 10: Monday,
October 19, 2014
Saco to North Berwick
Meet at church corner Beech & Main
Resume walking on Rt 9 south to Biddeford
.7 miles over bridge to Biddeford
1.2 Left at light (Junction Hwy 1)
2.3 Cemetery on left
3.1 Another cemetery on left
6.0 All Safe storage on left
8.4 Citgo on right
8.7 Kennebunk town line on right
9.0 Hannaford on left
Shuttle from here to20.1 mile mark
9.9 Bear right on Hwy 1
10.5 New School on left
12.1 Filtration plant
12.3 Wells town line
Full service gas sign on right
15.2 Turn right on Hwy 9 west at light
17.3 Left on Hwy 9 to North Berwick
20.1 Golf range on left
21.6 Richard’s restaurant on left (park cars here)
Resume walking from here
23.7 Pratt Whitney factory on right
3:00-5:00 pm vigil at gates
Dinner at local home at 5:30 pm
Continue past Pratt Whitney on Hwy 9
At Junction Hwy 9 & 4 take left at light
Go few blocks and take Hwy 9 split to right
Go approximately 5 miles
White house on left just beyond Alpaca farm
3 Mayberry Lane
Host: Karen Wainberg & Brown Lethem
Pratt-Whitney, North Berwick
Nipponzan Myohoji monks and nuns drumming
and chanting at Pratt-Whitney F-35 fighter engine facility. We learned that the
company moved to North Berwick in order to get rid of the union at their
previous location. There is still no union at the Berwick weapons plant
October 20, 2014 - Images of the People
The core walkers
One of our best lunch spots during the walk
Home now after our big finish at Pratt-Whitney in North Berwick. We
walked from the UCC church in Saco where we were hosted last night in a supper
of more than 50 people....music by church members, great food, words and music
from walkers. Then this morning the church minister and his staff (about 7 in
all) walked nine miles with us. Walking with us too were a good bunch of
Veterans For Peace (VFP) members from Massachusetts so our walking line was
impressive - particularly with the white VFP flags.
As we walked the last two miles to Pratt-Whitney (where they are building the
expensive F-35 fighter jet engines) the many cars going by were more supportive
than I would have expected so close to a military industrial facility. One local
man rode up on his bicycle to join us - he lives next door to the weapons
The wayward boondoggle at Pratt-Whitney will cost the taxpayers more than $1
trillion (I can't imagine that sum.)
Overall I feel that Mainers are fed up with war. They just don't see any way
out - they don't trust that the politicians will do a damn thing about it.
I don't yet have photos from the last two days so pulled out these above from a
couple of days ago. The top picture is of our core walking group. Here are a
few other mental images from the walk:
Don from New Jersey drove a truck for a living and since he retired is
doing some peace walks. His best moments were when he carried our red warning
flag ahead of us on country roads and would bow to truckers with hat in hand.
He got us alot of honks.
We handed out 1,000 flyers along the walk. It was a working community -
people carried signs and helped with the extra walking it took to take flyers
to people we passed along the way. Morgana from Maine was an incredible help
in this distribution. She worked on her fear of rejection in the process and
got better at it as we went along.
Sally from Maine helped host us in Portland and then showed up today in
North Berwick for the protest at Pratt-Whitney. She has been fighting cancer
for several years and pushed her walker across the street in front of the
weapons plant several times - once stopping the guys in monster trucks as they
left work in a hurry during the 3:30 pm shift change. There is fierce love
and determination in this woman who originally hails from the lone star state
It was an honor to have several of the young vets from VFP in
Massachusetts who walked with us today. One read two poems last night at the
church in Saco. They say they want to come back next year.
Music every night helped unite us and inspire us.
Lots of donations of apples along the way. Our lunches were simple peanut
butter, bread, cheese, and any left overs from the night before.
Two little girls outside of Saco as we approached town yesterday inspired
me with their enthusiasm and love. It's like they were watching the circus
come into town and they were jumping for joy and cheering us on.
A woman tourist from Montana joined us for two days and threw in like she
was part of the family. She gave a massage to Jun-san the Buddhist nun,
handed out flyers on the opposite side of the street in Biddeford, and carried
the lead banner for a few miles. She kept saying, "If I'd only known....."
The former mayor of Biddeford heard the drumming this morning as we walked
past her house and came running out to cheer us on. A few years ago while
mayor she invited our whole walking group into her office to talk politics.
Many of the faces inside the cars, stopped at traffic lights, who refused
to take a flyer still appear in my mind. They watched us walk by and their
mental gears were turning. I wonder what they were thinking?
The many honks, cheers, thumbs up, waves, and peace signs from folks
driving by was always like a warm mug of cider on a cold night. The largest
percentage of them were younger folks.
If you want to have contact with the people of America trying walking
across the highways. They are in their cars.
The guys at a hard, dirty job site this morning that I approached as they
sat outside at picnic tables during their break time touched my heart. They
looked worn out, poor, forlorn, but took the flyers I offered them and said,
"Rangeley to Berwick....that's a long way." Many people said that to us and I
knew they would read the flyer and talk to each other about it....and they
Up and down the highway for 125 miles some folks took a ride with us -
even for a brief moment - they were swept away in the moving Occupy movement.
It was fun and satisfying. And I even gained one pound.
Photos by Peter Woodruff
October 21, 2014 - More Walk Photos
by Peter Woodruff