Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Holiday story and update.

My sailplane racing plans for 2016 again include the Seniors, 18 Meter and Sports. Am also signed up for Region 5N, Region 2, 15 Meter and Region 11, but need to see if I get in after early entry closes.
2015 started out at the Seniors, but due to this "unplanned problem" had to leave on a short notice. . Then missed numerous contests because "the plan" had changes which weren't seen occurring(RV parts, travel weather with high winds, snow and a friends passing).
I left Hobbs and the 18's a day early as  more unseen stuff happened and ended up in Ely in time for a fantastic July 4th party with  soaring friends from around the world. Weather in Ely was good, but not the booming weather we had seen over the last years.
For 2016 my plans are again to keep this blog updated, along with pictures, of the contests I attend.
I posted the below story on my Facebook page several years ago. Just thought I would bring it over to this blog for those who might have missed it.

Best for your Holidays, #711!!!!

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