….I’m making this post today as I remember my grandfather, Richard “Dick” Taylor, on what would have been his 93rd birthday (February 19th) He was born two months before the great flood of 1927. When the levees broke, and with his parent’s home inundated, they joined thousands of others in search of high ground.
There are too many memories, life-lessons, words of wisdom, and special moments to count when it comes to my grandfather. The story below is one that still tugs at my heart, as I think about the flashpoint reflections he experienced as he struggled to stay alive all those years later, in a battle once again, with the Mississippi River. There is rarely a day that passes, that I do not think about him.
Happy Birthday “Papa Dick”
Man Stranded In River Waters Thankful For Life (2008)
BY ADAM KOOB, THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT, Saturday, April 19, 2008
NATCHEZ — After spending seven hours in the cold waters of Old River, Richard Taylor thought he was near the end of his life.
“I had already begun to shake from hypothermia,” he said.
Taylor and his son, Randal, were the two men Herman Nettles rescued from Old River two weeks ago after their boat capsized….
….“I really think the Lord Jesus sent him to us,” he said.
Taylor said after making a trip to Glasscock Island to retrieve two ATVs, their boat took on water and capsized on the return trip. Taylor said he and his son floated in the current, resting on the hull of the capsized boat until they found a tree to climb into.
Before they found that tree, Taylor’s son Randal, swam to another tree with a rope, but was too weak to tow his father and the boat to the tree. The two men continued to drift for hours. They were periodically rained on and constantly chilled by strong gusts of wind. Taylor said during his time in the water he began to contemplate his life.
“I thought about things I shouldn’t have done, I thought about things I didn’t do that I should have,” he said. “I thought a lot about my wife.”
When the two men were finally in sight of the fishing camps in Fairview they began to shout for help. Taylor said a north wind was blowing them in the direction of a tree, they used a sheet of wood as a sail to direct the boat.
“It looked like it was made for us,” he said. “I believe the Lord knew what he was doing.”
Taylor said he and his son sat in the tree for a long time before they were found. Taylor later learned his son was contemplating swimming to a nearby camp before dark. Taylor said he was looking for a strong branch to tie himself to, so his body could be found. Then they heard the sound of Nettles’ boat motor. After calling for help they were able to direct Nettles to their location.
“It looked like the Lord Jesus was sitting on his shoulders telling him which way to go,” he said.
Nettles took the two men back to his camp where they were warmed, clothed, fed and returned to their vehicle. Taylor, in his 80s, said the experience was life-altering.
“The Lord gave me an attitude adjustment,” he said. “And he sent that man to save our lives.”BY ADAM KOOB, THE NATCHEZ DEMOCRAT, Saturday, April 19, 2008