Monday, April 28, 2014

How A GMT Pepsi Helped Save My Life by John Baker III

How A GMT Pepsi Helped Save My Life
by John Baker III

"Dear Friends:

This is going to take a while, so grab an extra cup of coffee and get comfortable.

The "incident" took place on Oct 22nd and 23rd 2009. Here is a link to an interview I did with Harry Smith over at CBS; it covers the basic details and verifies that I'm not as crazy as some people say I am!

Five minutes isn't nearly enough to cover all the details; it surely isn't enough to talk about all the things that went through my mind as I paddled those 10 hours to get to the rig (14 miles offshore).

Anyway, to kill time as I stroked my way to safety, I must have sung the theme song to Gilligans Island 20 times. I even started to imagine that Tina Louise would meet me on the beach (didn't happen).

But the biggest thing I did was to remember the episode of Magnum P.I. (circa 1983) where Thomas got swept out into the Molokai Channel one July 4th. He was knocked off his paddleboard by a stupid speedboat and couldn't catch up to it as it drifted away. 

As he is treading water for almost 24 hours, he flashes back to the time he was about 10 years old and his dad taught him to survive in the family pool. As an incentive, he promised him a GMT Pepsi if he could survive a 12 hour ordeal. I think it took him 2 tries, but he finally managed to pull it off and he got the watch! That memory somehow helped him survive being adrift off Oahu! Sometime later, TC and the boys spotted him from the famous multi-colored helicopter and flew him to safety.

Flash forward to 2009. As I am struggling to reach the oil rig, I dream that if I make it to safety, I will get to wear a GMT Pepsi of my own someday. I thought about it again the next morning as the helicopter flew me back to the beach.

It must have worked, because today, I'm sitting here typing up this little episode of my own. And, back in February of this year, I located a 1981 GMT Master (with the obligatory Pepsi bezel) and wired the funds. I wear it proudly on special occasions and boast to everyone on why I have it:

I EARNED it !"

Tom Selleck wore a Pepsi Rolex GMT Master on his 1980s hit TV show, Magnum PI, and you can learn much more about Tom Selleck's life with wearing Rolex on Jake's Rolex World.