TAMPA — Michael Souvigny was hunting hogs in Green Cove Springs, just south of Jacksonville, when he noticed a green bottle on the banks of the St. John's River.
The welder, 25, saw paper inside. He broke the glass, wiped dirt from his hands and read a letter, dated August 2001, to his rifle-toting buddies:
"To whoever finds this bottle: may you be blessed as the two of us. May you find someone to love with as much compassion. May you find and keep someone who completes you."
It was signed Karl and Michele, with a P.O. Box in Attleboro, Mass.
"I was shocked, and kind of sad, because my own wedding would have been in four days if we hadn't called it off," said Souvigny, who made the discovery in February. "I rounded up the dogs and went home after that."
He mailed the letter north, but the P.O. box account had been closed and the envelope bounced back to his house in Middleburg, Fla.
A friend persuaded him to contact the Attleboro newspaper, which printed the bottle's message.
And on Tuesday, Souvigny got a phone call, area code 774: "Is this Michael? This is Karl and Michele Kimmell."
The couple had two kids, he learned, and planned to celebrate their 10-year anniversary on Friday.
After draining a bottle of champagne in Tampa the night they got engaged, the soon-to-be Kimmells penned the letter, corked the bottle and tossed it into the bay.
They were glad it reached him, a freshly single young man who may benefit from an uplifting message (and who lives in the same east Florida town as Karl's mom).
"I like to think about deeper meanings," Souvigny said, "so I take this all as a good sign."