Feb 3, 2010 10:58 AM by Bea Karnes, News First 5
It was their way. A real guy's way of saying goodbye to their friend.
He was Bob Dubcich. He died in 2007, just days shy of his 60th birthday.
"Quiet, gentle guy, a wonderful human being. Good to people," remembers Bob's friend John Hannegan
He was a friend to John Hannegan and Brian Kariya.
And half a dozen others who for years have been making regular hunting and fishing trips together.
It was on one such fishing trip out of San Diego, just after Bob's death that the group decided to remember their missing friend.
They took a wine bottle, one they had just polished off and placed in it a letter and a picture of Bob they had all signed.
Then they tossed it overboard, never really believing they'd see it again.
Well the bottle avoided the rocks, ships, and every other hazard for at least ten thousand miles, probably more until a fisherman two and a half years after the bottle was tossed, picked it up off the coast of the Philippines and sent its contents back.
Bob's friend Brian Kariya remembers his thoughts, "You gotta be kidding me-- that's unbelieveable. That's a long ways away from here."
The fisherman sent his picture as well.
"It kind of makes you think of the spirit of Bob is still alive," says Hannegan
Hannegan and Lariya know there is a logical, nautical, explanation as to how Bob's bottle got from here to there. They prefer, however, to believe in a mystical one.
Hannegan says, "I don't think you should ever negate the fact that there is a spirituality out there and things can happen to you and everything is possible. It's very nice."
A friend, gone but not forgotten, saying thanks for remembering me.
"I think Bob kept an eye on it all the way across there. I think he was having a fun time watching that bottle," says Kariya.