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Old Guy And A Bucket Of Shrimp

English: Eddie Rickenbacker, from http://raven...

English: Eddie Rickenbacker, from http://raven.cc.ukans.edu/~kansite/ww_one/photos/greatwar.htm nl:Afbeelding:Rickenbacker.jpg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

                                                                                            Old Guy And A Bucket Of  Shrimp

This  is a   true story    



It  happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun  resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue  ocean.


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. 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, ‘a guy who’s a sandwich shy of a picnic,’ as my kids  might say. To onlookers, he’s just another old codger, lost in  his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of  shrimp.   


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 Busters.    


Most  of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida .  That’s too bad. They’d do well to know him better.    


His  full name:   Eddie  Rickenbacker .  He was a famous hero back in World War II. 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. 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.    


They  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. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the  raft..   


Suddenly,  Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap.   It  was a seagull!   


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 – a very slight  meal for eight men – of it. 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 gratitude.    




(Max  Lucado, “In The Eye of the Storm”,pp..221, 225-226)  


PS:  Eddie started Eastern Airlines. Before WW1 he was race car  driver. In WW1 he was a pilot and America ‘s first ace.  

   As you see I    wanted     to  pass it on.
It was a great story  that I didn’t know. You got to be careful  with us old guys. You never know what we  have done. Thank you for your   time.
God Bless our Troops whoever they are and wherever they serve.


7 comments on “Old Guy And A Bucket Of Shrimp

  1. Carl D'Agostino
    May 29, 2013

    When I was 11 my father was injured when a piece of steel chipped off a hammer and shredded his eye. They did not let kids into the paitent rooms then and I spent that night n terror not knowing if my father would live. I grabbed a Readers Digest and read the story of this crash in your post. I then knew my father would make it because he worked for Eastern Airlines and saw Captain Rickenbacker all the time. It was certainly a sign from God to have faith.


    • Judy
      May 29, 2013

      That is a wonderful story and I am so glad your father made it those years ago. cheers Judy 🙂


  2. russtowne
    May 29, 2013

    A wonderful story of gratitude and paying it forward.


  3. renxkyoko
    May 29, 2013

    That’s a wonderful story.


  4. notsofancynancy
    May 29, 2013

    Love this story…. you just never know!


  5. dorannrule
    May 30, 2013

    This story means a lot to me as I was raised in Florida and I remember how important the Rickenbacker name was. There is even a causeway named after him.


    • Judy
      May 30, 2013

      I hadn’t ever heard of him before but I am so glad I know some of his story now. cheers Judy 🙂


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