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Old Guy And A Bucket Of Shrimp

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Old 05-29-2013, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default Old Guy And A Bucket Of Shrimp

Can't be sure if it's true...but a nice story anyway.

Old Guy And A Bucket Of Shrimp

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

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

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.

“He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.”
― Alexander Hamilton

The comments made herein are those solely of this writer and in no way reflect the opinions of any other person, agency, or entity.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:22 PM   #2
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Cool story!

I am glad they weren't saved by a bear.

Dead Bears, the only good kind.
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Old 05-29-2013, 08:53 PM   #3
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Very cool story, theres alot of info on him in ww1 it seems he was an "ace"
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Old 05-29-2013, 09:09 PM   #4
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Cool story. He must be covered in seagull poop by the time he makes it off that pier.
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