Nice Story and very ineteresting..
will pass it on. It is an important piece of American history.
It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun
resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue
Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier. Clutched in his
bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier,
where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun
is a golden bronze now.
Everybody's gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone
with his thoughts...and his bucket of shrimp.
Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come
screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame
standing there on the end of the pier.
Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping
wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does,
if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, 'Thank you.
In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn't leave.
He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.
When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the
pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away.
And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.
If you were sitting there on the pier with your
fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like 'a funny old duck,' as my
dad used to say. Or, to onlookers, he's just another old codger, lost in
his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of
To the onlooker, rituals can look either very
strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant ... maybe
even a lot of nonsense.
Old folks often do strange
things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and
Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down
there in Florida . That's too bad. They'd do well to know him
His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous
hero in World War I, and then he was in WWII. On one of his flying
missions across the Pacific, he and his seven-member crew went down.
Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and
climbed into a life raft.
Captain Rickenbacker and his crew
floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the
sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger and thirst. By
the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were
hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were or even if
they were alive. Every day across America millions wondered and prayed
that Eddie Rickenbacker might somehow be found alive.
adrift needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional
service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back
and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged on. All he
could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft.
Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a
Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly
still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk
from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck. He tore the
feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal of it - a very
slight meal for eight men. Then they used the intestines for bait. With
it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait . . . and the
cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to
endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued after 24
days at sea.
Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that
ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first life-saving
seagull... And he never stopped saying, 'Thank you.' That's why almost
every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a
bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of
[Reference: Max Lucado, "In The Eye of the
Storm", pp..221, 225-226]
PS: Eddie Rickenbacker was the founder
of Eastern Airlines. Before WWI he was race car driver. In WWI he was a
pilot and became America 's first ace. In WWII he was an
instructor and military adviser, and he flew missions with the combat
pilots. Eddie Rickenbacker is a true American hero.
And now you know another story about the trials and sacrifices that
brave men have endured for your freedom.
As you can see, I
chose to pass it on. It is a great story that many don't
know...You've got to be careful with old guys, You just never know what
they have done during their lifetime.