Until Wednesday afternoon, Scott Jarvis had a mystery on his hands, one of many that envelop the crash of Alaska Airlines Flight 261.
But what was a mystery to Jarvis is a signal for Tracy Knizek of Suquamish, Wash.
It is all about a gold Masonic ring with the letter G raised against a ruby-like background. The ring is worn, indicating the wearer treasured it and rarely took it off his finger. Any inscription would have rubbed off long ago.
Jarvis, 37, and his nephew, Kevin Marquiss, 21, discovered the ring tucked into a small hatch recess on their 32-foot fishing boat Tuesday morning. It was an accidental leftover from the debris Marquiss hauled aboard at the crash site Monday night. Marquiss had turned over that sad collection to a boat designated by the Coast Guard before heading for port early Tuesday.
Immediately, Jarvis, the boat owner, wanted to return the ring to the family of the victim. But he did not know the dead man's identity.
Then, tipped by a story in the Star that one of the 88 victims was the past master of a Masonic lodge in Poulsbo, Wash., Jarvis began making phone calls to the Poulsbo area.
What he learned was that two men traveling with their wives were past masters of the Warren G. Harding Masonic Lodge 260 in Poulsbo.
One was Bob Williams, 65, the other Bob Thorgrimson, 63. Williams was described as a person quick to reach out to people in the community who needed help. Thorgrimson was a man who enjoyed working with students who have learning disabilities or severe behavioral problems.
On Wednesday afternoon, Jarvis connected with Joe Finate of the Poulsbo Lodge, a man who was familiar with the men's rings. He said the ornate ring in Jarvis's possession belonged to Williams, that Thorgrimson owned a plain gold ring.
His mystery now solved, Jarvis received a long-distance call from Williams' daughter, Tracy Knizek, 37.
"She was very emotional, very sweet," Jarvis said. "She told me that she had had a recent conversation with her dad, that if either one died they would send a signal to the other. She believes the ring is her signal. To her, it's a treasured item."
Knizek told Jarvis no date had been set for the family to come to Ventura County. Nonetheless, he is looking forward to delivering the ring to them.
"I could have given it to the Coast Guard, but I was told it might be months before the family would get the ring," Jarvis said. "I'd like to get it to them sooner. I'm sure it will be a comfort to them."
The ring also has become a source of wonderment to Marquiss and Jarvis because of a connection they have to Poulsbo, which has a population of 6,590. Marquiss lived in Poulsbo for a while and his parents still live there.