NEWTON (CBS) — One man who has a very challenging job is the Department of Transportation worker who mows a very steep patch of grass – the incline next to the Massachusetts Turnpike inbound at Newton Corner.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

A Mass DOT lawn mower that shaves the grass on that absurdly slanted hill in Newton next to the pike is driven by Ed Gillen.

“First it takes a lot of guts, once you get used to it, I’ve been doing it for quite sometime,” Gillen told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens. “Once you get used to it, it’s just like mowing grass.”

Gillen says the hill plays a mind game with the person mowing.

“The longer you’re on it, it tends to flatten out,” he said.

Gillen, with a smile on his face, has developed a unique Zen-like relationship on that mower on that hill.

He is, in a way, a human bridge between machine and nature.

“I would guestimate, this hill is around 30 to 40 degrees,” Gillen said.

Gillen remembers when he first set eyes on it.

“It was scary,” Gillen said. “When I first started I was a kid, I didn’t realize what I was doing out here.”

But that has changed.

“Now that I’m older, more mature, you can kind of say, ‘what was I thinking?'”


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