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Miracle happens!! (奇跡の話 後述)

A little long story, but it's worth reading because this is a wonderful story. A couple of days ago, Shinji received a message via SNS. It was from a grandson of the original owner of Lucy, Bonanza N9787Y. While Shinji was reading his message, he was in tears because it was absolutely the situation of "connecting our lives". Here is what he wrote- "I happened to Google the tail number “N9787Y” to see where the plane had gone. My grandfather bought the new plane in 1963. When he died my father then owned the plane after that. My father reluctantly sold the plane later and it then was moved to Fullerton, CA where it was parked. My dad would drive by it from time to time still wishing he would not have had to sell it. A few years back it was no longer parked at Fullerton and he always wondered what happened to it. I decided to try to see if I could figure out where it was and was so excited to see that it is not only still flying but has an amazing new adventure ahead of it with your earthrounder mission. “Lucy” looks incredible and when I showed my dad what you have done to it and what you are planning he was nearly brought to tears. He was just so happy it was still flying.

Your entire project is incredibly interesting and I am so excited for you and your family. I do not know if you will ever be in Southern California again but if you ever fly down this way I would love to be able to meet you but even more I would love to have my dad meet you and be able to see how amazing the plane he used to fly regularly is today. I have flown in that plane many times when I was younger, unfortunately we had to sell it before I was old enough to learn how to fly. My son is now 2 years old and is so excited anytime he sees planes and has taken a special interest in “Lucy” because he has seen the picture that hangs in my parents home office from when they owned it......."

Shinji was very, very honored to read this message and simultaneously reply to them and promised that he would visit southern California as soon as he can. We are very privileged to face this experience and special thanks to the Richmond family. Thank you for contacting me.

少し長いお話ですが、ルーシーにまつわる素晴らしい歴史をご報告させて頂きます。以下、前田宛に来たメールの内容です ’’初めまして。私は南カリフォルニアに住むリッチモンドと言います。先日インターネットで機体番号「N9787Y」の行方を検索しました。あなたがルーシーと名付けたその機体は実を言うと私の祖父が1963年に購入したものです。祖父が亡くなってからは父が数年所有したのち売却し、その後フラートン空港に移動して行きました。売却後も父は何度もフラートン空港に行き、駐機されたままの飛行機を見て、売却すべきでなかったと後悔していました。数年前から機体をフラートン空港で見なくなってから、父は「いったいどうしてしまったんだ?」と思っていた様子。そして息子である私がインターネットで検索してみることにしました。するとなんということでしょう、シンジ、あなたのプロジェクトを見つけたのです。いまだ現役で空を飛んでいるだけでなく、さらに世界一周ミッションフライトという素晴らしい冒険に出発しようとしていることを発見した時は、本当に興奮しました。父にこのことを伝えると、見違えるほど綺麗になったルーシーを見て涙を浮かべて喜んでいました。ぜひ南カリフォルニアに来られる際にはお会いしたいです。父がかつて日常的に乗っていた機体がこれほどまでに美しく生まれ変わって今飛んでいるのをぜひ見せてあげて欲しいのです。この写真は当時、祖父が父とともに飛んでいたもの、そして翼の上にいるこの小さい子供は僕で当時の2歳ぐらいのものです。私も父になり、今は2歳の息子がいます。ぜひ私の息子にもルーシーを見せてあげたい。もともと飛行機に関心のある息子ですが、私の両親の家の壁に飾ってある古い写真の機体と同じルーシーには特に興味がある様です” 人と人、ものともの。全てに魂が宿り、輪廻することを信じる日本文化ですが、今回の出来事は代表の前田が一番大切にしている「家族、友人、愛する人たちの絆」を象徴するものとなりました。

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