TRUE Story, a must read!

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 Ted came strolling along the beach to his favourite
pier. Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ted 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, Ted 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. Ted 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 Ted 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 Ted quietly
makes his way down to the end of the beach and on towards home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the
water, Ted 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 Ted off, down
there in Florida . That’s too bad. They’d do well to know him
better.

His full name: Teddie 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.

The men adrift needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple
devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap.
Teddie 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, Teddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was
a seagull! Old Ted 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 small meal for eight men. Then they used the intestines for
bait. With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more
bait… and so the cycle continued. With that simple survival
technique, they were able to endure the rigours of the sea until
they were found and rescued after 24 days at sea…

Teddie 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: Teddie Rickenbacker was the founder of Eastern Airlines. Before
WWI he was a racing 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. Teddie
Rickenbacker is a true hero. Now you know another story about the
trials and sacrifices that brave men have endured for our freedom!

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…

Blogger Barry: Thanks for your time. Hope you enjoyed. Please
use the comment and follow buttons.

Barry Blomkamp Nd. Bsc (UL)
Professional Public Speaker, Trainer and Corporate Entertainer,
Motivational speaker, Guest & Key note speaker, Seminar &
Conference speaker, Team Builder, Comedian, Master of Ceremonies,

For your Strategic Planning sessions, Management or Sales meetings,
Conferences and/or Seminars, Award functions, Year end parties,
Christmas parties,

Cape Town, South Africa.

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