Call The Law:
Officer Kyle Roder of the Eau Claire Police Department received a voicemail threating IRS action, a typical scam; he returned that call, and it makes for interesting viewing
It’s Not All Bad News:
Taped inside Courtney Connolly’s wallet is a message from a fortune cookie forecasting that she will soon receive pleasant news. Courtney needed $141 to enter a powerlifting competition, but being a full time nursing student means that money is tight. She unexpectedly received that exact amount in a very surprising way.
The wallet with the taped prediction, also contained the $141, and was her wallet that she had reported stolen eight years ago; it was taken out of her car while she was a summer intern, and she had long ago given up on getting it back. Someone handed the wallet to a Boston Police Officer, inside was an old pay stub with an address, which led the officer to her sister-in-law, whom he gave it to. Courtney was amazed and said, “The cash was never used! The credit cards were never used! My social security number was never used!”
When reflecting on the whole incident she says, “I really hope if anyone can take anything from this: is not to lose hope in the good things that life has to offer.”
Moment In Time:
12:55 AM, February 3, 1943
North Atlantic 150 miles from Greenland
The United States Army Transport Dorchester, packed with as many men as it can hold, coated with ice, and making less than 10 knots is plodding its way through Torpedo Junction as part of the six ship Convoy SG-19, along with two freighters and three Coast Guard cutters. Torpedo Junction is so named because this is a major hunting ground for German U-boats. One of the three cutters escorting them had detected a submarine earlier, but has not been able to locate its position. Because of the danger, the Captain has ordered all to sleep in their clothes and life jackets.
First Lieutenants George L. Fox, Alexander D. Goode, John P. Washington, and Clark V. Poling are still up. They have been circulating among the troops, chatting, easing tensions, calming fears, and passing out soda crackers to alleviate seasickness. They are all chaplains, one a Jewish rabbi, one a catholic priest, and two ministers from different protestant sects, but are all close friends, having met each other at Chaplain’s school at Harvard.
Suddenly, one torpedo from a fan of three, fired from the U-223 strikes the converted luxury liner on the starboard side, below the waterline at the boiler room, cutting off all power and steam. Panic ensues as soldiers and crewmen are plunged into darkness and disoriented among the overcrowded decks. Three minutes later, Captain Hans Danielson gives the order to abandon ship.
The four chaplains move among the men, organizing them, urging them on and directing them to lifeboats. Due to the heat of the cramped quarters, many of them are not wearing their life jackets, some are not wearing their clothes; the chaplains locate a supply of life jackets in a deck locker and begin handing them out and helping guide the men to a safe place to jump from the ship. When the supply runs out, they remove their own life jackets, and give them to others.
Petty Officer John J. Mahoney was going to return to his cabin to retrieve his gloves to defend against the Arctic wind and was asked by Rabbi Goode where he was going; upon telling him the Rabbi offered him his pair. Mahoney replied, “I can’t take those gloves.” The Rabbi responded, “I have two pairs.” It was only later that Mahoney realized that he only had one.
At the very end, when the ship was about to slip beneath the icy waves, the four chaplains were arm in arm, braced against the railing, praying, singing, and giving men courage with their final display of faith. In the words of one survivor, “It was the finest thing I have ever seen this side of heaven.”
The WaterCooler is an open thread, so ease on up, wet your whistle, and speak your piece.