WTOC Senior Active: David Gross - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

WTOC Senior Active: David Gross

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SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) -

David Gross is in no hurry to use the purchase he made during the second of his three successful fights with cancer, but he considers it a destination.

"Pooler's my home," Gross said while standing next to the plot in Newton Cemetery he bought when very ill in 2009. "That's where I want to be."

And getting where you're going has been at the heart of Gross' hobby for nearly seven decades.

Gross is a pigeon man. Has been since he discovered the hobby while living on 33rd Street in 1948.

"Let's see, I was 12 years old," Gross said. "Three or four kids on the block had birds, every block in old Savannah."

He taught himself the art of racing pigeons, mostly out of British magazines when he was still a teenager.

"All the big champions from England would write an article and they'd tell you exactly how they handled birds," said Gross. "They wrote about what they did and how they trained them. That's how I started learning. Then I started beating those guys."

Gross's birds have won hundreds of races over the years, ranging from 100 to 700 miles.

Two of his birds recently flew from Illinois back to Savannah in one day.

"They'll just start flapping around the yard when they're babies, then after a while, they get to going up and flying like the Blue Angels," said Gross. "It's a great hobby. I wish more young people would get in it."

Gross still isn't sure how his birds find their way home from hundreds of miles away. He usually tells people it has something to do with them having "internal radar."

"I read in one book that they can hear the wind blowing over the Rockies from 1,000 miles away," said Gross. "So, they must have some kind of hearing."

But he says he knows his other lifelong activity, which he still practices, by exercising five days a week at the Pooler YMCA, contributed to his overcoming cancer three times.

"I do think," he said, "working out has helped me tremendously."

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