You may have seen this man sitting on the side of the road, his name is Fredrick Reed. He is from Murfreesboro, but currently lives in his small Ford Ranger in an industrial area of Nashville. He served in the U.S. Air Force during the 1960’s. He was a Flight Engineer on a 124 Globemaster airplane.
In the 1950’s and 60’s the Globemaster was nicknamed “Old Shaky” due to its massive size that shook more often than not when loaded with tanks or bulldozers that could fit inside the plane without being disassembled first. The planes were retired in 1974.
As I was talking to Mr. Reed, a Metro Police car drove by with sirens blaring and lights flashing. He stopped in mid-sentence, “Do you mind if we pause, I say a prayer every time I see a first responder.” He then prayed for the officer’s safety. When he was finished he said, “I wish everyone would pray for first responders when they see them headed to a call.”
I asked Reed, “How long have you been sober,” while pointing at his sign? He told me that he has been sober for 7-months, I got to where I HATED alcohol and hated drinking." . “Do you have any kids,” I asked? “I sure do - two daughters,” he told me with a smile. However, Reed said he has not talked to them in about two years suggesting that he has not been the best dad. He told me he would like to mend the relationship, but thinks his daughters don’t really know him anymore.
"To be helpful is our only aim." AA, 2001, p. 89