AN OLD GUY AND A BUCKET OF SHRIMP

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Hanzo, Nov 18, 2013.


  1. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++

    This is a wonderful story, and it is true. You will be pleased that you read it, and I believe you 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 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, 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 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.

    The men 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...

    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 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 gratitude.

    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 a 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.
     
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  2. Tevin

    Tevin Monkey+

    A few factual clarifications:
    Rickenbacker did not serve in WWII as active duty military. He would have been in his 50's by then. The plane crash that resulted in his being stranded in the ocean happened when he was traveling as a civilian passenger on a B17 in 1942. Rickenbacker was also in a near-fatal civilian plane crash in 1941. I realize this does not take away from Rickenbacker's courage, but it's important to keep the story straight.

    As for the "bucket of shrimp" tale, it is 100% pure make believe. Many of those who investigated this legend have traced it back to Max Lucado himself. There is no credible evidence that the "shrimp story" even existed prior to Lucado's book, and Rickenbacker never publicly spoke or wrote about it.

    The myth lives on, thanks to the internets and a best-selling author of religious books who has a earned a lucrative career writing weepy Hallmark card-esque stories of inspirational fiction.


    The bottom line: Yes, Rickenbacker is a real hero. Max Lucado is a hack who likes to make $hit up to sell books.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
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  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

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  4. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The e~glurge featured in the opening post is yet another example of half truths and creative fiction being used to co~opt dead notables in the service of religion.

    A seagull did land on rickenbacker's head, but the bucket of shrimp blarney is imaginative BS. As to life raft prayer meetings being responsible for a self sacrificial fish bait delivery, I guess that's out there with Jonah and whales and Albert Einstein giving snotty atheist philosophy professors their comeuppances.

    Eddie Richenbacker, Albert Einstein and others deserve better than the lies and half truths told about them.
     
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  5. Rabid

    Rabid Monkey

    Thanks for the story Hanzo. While maybe not being 100% accurate it is inspirational. It may be the very thing that convinces someone not to give up when it seems like it is all over. Rickenbacker is a true American hero but the story built him up, it added to his story (even though fanciful), it did not tear him down or make him less of a hero. I myself kinda wish the story were true.
     
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  6. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++


    Thanks for the clarifications. To me, the moral is still valid... Never judge a book by its cover. And we have heroes around us all the time that we have no clue what they have done.
     
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  7. Hanzo

    Hanzo Monkey+++


    When my friend sent it to me, I found it inspirational as well. That is why I shared it. I take everything coming from email and online with a grain of salt,even what I read on forums. ;) But I do take what value or lessons I see to heart, if not necessarily the facts behind it.
     
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  8. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    When a lilly is beautiful in its own right, gilding the lilly diminishes it, except for those fascinated and obsessed by gold.

    God warns about the sin of idolatry...gilding bulls and other such objects tends to lead to a spanking... ;)

    Eddie Richenbacker was a remarkable, inspiratioal man. Thereā€˜s no need to invent stuff to make a man more awesome than he is on his own account.
    Besides, if Eddie were alive to read the old man with a shrimp bucket hagiography, I think he'd more likely to be reaching for the puke bucket than the shrimp bucket!
     
  9. VHestin

    VHestin Farm Chick

    Hmmm...one of the video games I play, they have some of the secondary characters, they are in that situation, they are lost at sea and starving, until a seagull shows up and they now have food. Now I know where that came from.
     
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