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Rifle found after being "cast upon the waters".

"Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days," goes the famous saying from the eleventh chapter of the biblical book of Ecclesiastes. It is unlikely that eight-year-old Terry Jackson would have had this verse in mind when he generously gave up one of his prized possessions in order to get a gift for his grandmother, but he nonetheless experienced the scripture ring true nearly 50 years after his sacrifice.

The Associated Press reported on September 26 that, "at age 8, Terry Jackson gave up his prized .22-caliber Winchester short-barrel rifle to get his grandmother a washer." Recently, the now 57-year-old Idaho resident "got the gun back through a series of chance encounters and conversations."

"As a boy," AP noted, "Jackson felt bad that his grandmother was too poor to have a washer. So he took the rifle he had earned money for by mowing lawns and doing other chores to a pawn shop.... The pawn shop owner agreed to trade a wringer washer for the rifle." Recounting the story, Jackson told The Lewiston Tribune that the rifle "was the only thing I had that was worth anything."

The pawn shop owner never sold the rifle, but decades later, in the 1980s, he gave it to family friend James Grow, telling him the story accompanying the rifle. "He told me the story but I never thought anything about it," Grow said. But because the pawn shop owner had told Grow that "the gun might be worth something someday," instead of using the rifle, Grow stored it away.

Eventually, Grow became an attorney in Lewiston, Idaho, and Jackson hired him for some legal work. During a business lunch, Becky Brotnov, Jackson's companion, happened to tell Grow the story of the rifle-for-washer trade. "'All of a sudden it dawned on me, I own the gun,' Grow said."

"That was a really nice thing he did for his grandma," Grow said. After hearing the story, he knew he did not want to keep the gun, so he went to Jackson's home and gave it back to him. Though grateful, Jackson said, "I didn't even have much reaction, I was so dumbfounded."

The truth of the admonition from Ecclesiastes has been proven now that Jackson has found the rifle he "cast upon the waters" so many years ago.
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Title Annotation:THE GOODNESS OF AMERICA; Terry Jackson
Publication:The New American
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 30, 2006
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