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Woman Finds Bottle Washed Up on Beach with Man's Ashes, Note and Two $1 Bills Inside

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Judi Glunz Sidney, co-owner of Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel & Resort in Key Colony Beach, Florida, was trolling the beach in July 2013, using her remaining time to clean up the litter that the sea washed up. One piece of rubbish in particular caught her eye.

It was a plastic bottle containing what looked like sand and some paper. The lid was stuck though, so the top had to be cut off so Sidney could really look at the contents.

“Oh. My. God,” she said, according to USA Today. “It’s a man!”

Love What Matters shared the story recently, giving it a new life and crediting a woman named Terri Dufrene.

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“Once we get it open and read the notes, we find out that it is in fact NOT sand,” the post read. “It is the ashes of this woman’s husband … named Gordon. She writes that He loved to travel so she sent him traveling in a bottle with a note and money for someone to call home and tell her where he landed.”

There were two notes inside the bottle. The first was from his wife, Beverly, and said “My husband Gordon Scott ‘Skinny’ Smith loved to travel. Call and tell me where he is … and let him travel on.”

The other note was from a gentleman named Ross, who’d found the bottle earlier and wanted to know where it had traveled to.

“Please if you find him call Gordon’s loving wife and please call me and let us know where Gordon ended up … put a new note in with him and let him travel on,” Ross wrote.

Gordon and his wife loved to travel, so when he died in early 2012 at the age of 57, right before their 25th wedding anniversary, Beverly knew she wanted to keep part of him doing what he loved: traveling.

“He started at Big Pine Key in March of 2012 and then went to Islamorada where someone found him,” the Love What Matters post continued. “They added a note and sent him traveling again and he landed on our beach in Key Colony.”

“Judi called the wife in Tennessee who was excited to know of Gordon’s travels! Judi added her note, we put him in a rum bottle (you know added a little fun to his trip) with the three notes.

“We added another dollar in case Gordon travels far and a long-distance call is needed. We will be having a memorial service or celebration of his life on our beach later today before sending him on his way again.”

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And they kept their word. Everyone on the beach participated in honoring a man they’d never met, and they all wrote their names on the dollar bill they added to cover future phone calls to Beverly.

The Glunz Ocean Beach Hotel & Resort posted that Gordon has been traveling in a variety of bottles since his ashes and the handwritten note were first released.

“So far he has traveled in a plastic whiskey bottle, plastic water bottle (you know to rehydrate) and a plastic Rum bottle,” the post reads. “Who knows where he will visit next!”

“You don’t ever get over a person like him,” Beverly said, according to USA Today. “He brought out the best in people and he gave his best.”

“I’ve had a rough time losing my best friend. You can’t change it but you can lift your head up and be thankful … that people can still appreciate love stories — real love stories.”

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking