These two 80-year-old pen pals were stationary for 68 years but finally found a way to meet.
Patsy Gregory of England and Carol-Ann Krause of New York, both 80, have been writing letters from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean since they were 12 in 1955.
They discovered each other around the time Gregory was involved with the UK Girl Guides and Krause was with the Girl Scouts in the US.
“I happened upon Carol-Ann’s name in the Girl Guides,” Gregory told the South West News Service. “We started writing and never stopped. As simple as that.”
“We always remembered each other on our wedding anniversaries, at Christmas and so on. And we’re still corresponding now,” said Krause.
They would write at least one letter every two months, Gregory said, talking about school, who they were dating and what was new in their lives.
Over the past 68 years, the two women have never stopped writing — they estimate they exchanged more than 800 letters between them — and have even gone through similar life stages at the same time, including marrying just a year apart and giving birth to each three children children.
“It was just things like that,” Gregory explained. “It was like I’d known her my entire life, but we just never met.”
But as her 80th birthday approached on June 6, Gregory confessed to her daughter Steph Calam that she had always wanted to visit Krause, who now lives in Conway, South Carolina.
Her daughter went looking for Krause’s family on social media and asked if they were interested in meeting – which of course they said yes.
“I gladly accepted the offer. “Our birthdays are only a month apart,” said Krause.
After hearing about it, Gregory’s family surprised her with a ticket to South Carolina on her 80th birthday so she could finally meet her pen pal on July 14th.
“It was quite emotional — it was beautiful,” Gregory said of meeting Krause. “I recognized her immediately; She looked just like her photo.
“It was like I saw her last week because we’ve known each other for so long,” she added.
Krause admitted she was a little nervous about finally meeting her pen pal in person.
“It was emotional,” she said. “I was a bundle of nerves.”
During the visit, the two chatted for hours about their friendship and enjoyed sightseeing and dining out locally.
“We’ve talked a lot. “We went out for a variety of different meals in places that Carol-Ann and her husband liked to go to,” Gregory gushed.
But oddly enough, Gregory and Krause aren’t the only pen pals who have stayed in touch for years.
Last December, Celesta Byrne, who lives in the US, and Geoff Banks, from the UK, celebrated their 100th birthday together with their first video call after almost 84 years of writing each other.
The two began communicating in 1938 when they were just 16, sending their first letters 5,000 miles as part of an educational program designed to bring US and British students together.