James’ ashes are on their way to Cuba!

■ BY MARCY SHORTUSE

Every once in a while, things work out just as they should. Last week we ran a story about a mystery man named James D. Krahn who had a life-long dream to visit Cuba, and now he will get his wish … albeit posthumously.

James’ ashes washed ashore in a Coke bottle at the north end of the island on March 4, and island resident Gary Siler and his wife, Chris, were walking on the beach as he arrived. Chris picked the bottle up, thinking it was garbage, so they were more than surprised to find it contained a note … and a part of James.

The note read, “James D. Krahn, a committed Socialist, whose dream was to go to Cuba. If you find him, please send him off in hopes his dream comes true.” Gary brought the bottle to the Boca Beacon office with the hope someone might read James’ story and help him achieve this item on his post-bucket list.

As fate would have it, Boca Grande Limo driver Leslie Pines from Englewood was driving a client one day last week and telling them about her upcoming trip to Cuba. The client asked if she had read the story, then proceeded to tell her about James’ last wish. She immediately called the Beacon offices and offered her services. Then the story gets even more interesting.

The reason Leslie is going to Cuba – the place where her family is from – is to take her 97-year-old grandmother there one last time … and to scatter her aunt’s ashes. “I’ve never been there,” Leslie said.

“I’m going with my grandmother and my cousin, whose mother died a couple of years ago. It was one of my aunt’s final wishes for us to take my grandmother back there, and we’re going to spread some of my aunt’s ashes there as well. “So while there are only three of us going, there are actually five of us on the trip.”

Leslie will be flying out on March 19, and she will document James’ travels while she is there. We have researched James D. Krahn obituaries and have come up with no perfect matches, so there isn’t any way to let his family know one of his dreams is to be fulfilled, but that’s all right. James knows, and that’s what matters.