Pen pals meet for first time in 70 years

Pen pals who have exchanged hundreds of letters over nearly 70 years have realized their “lifelong wish” to meet in person.

Pen pals meet for first time in 70 years
Pen pals meet for first time in 70 years

Patsy Gregory, 80, of Hoghton, Lancashire, traveled over 4,000 miles to Conway, South Carolina, to meet Carol-Ann Krause.

Patsy described Carol-Ann as “exactly as she imagined,” and their encounter as “very natural.”

They started writing to one other when they were 12 years old, in 1955.

Patsy was a Girl Guide at the time, and Carol-Ann was a Girl Scout.

“We’re both around the same age [and] got married around the same time,” Patsy explained.

“[We] both had three children and we’ve gone through life – all the trials and tribulations – and shared it,” she added.

“It’s absolutely lovely, and we’re both still here.”
“We hadn’t met in person before, but it feels like we’ve known each other forever,”
Carol-Ann explained.

“We started in pencil, then ink, then typing, and now we can email and stay in touch on social media,” she continued. “We’ve come a long way.”

Patsy’s trip was organized as a special gift for her 80th birthday by her three daughters, and her daughter Steph Calam accompanied her on the expedition.

“Mum had always wanted to meet her American penfriend; it was on her bucket list and one of her lifelong regrets that they hadn’t met,” she explained.

“When they met, it was very emotional; I got quite choked up when they hugged for the first time.”

“They clicked right away and have a lot in common; they’ve been talking nonstop.”

Patsy and Stephanie spent nine days in South Carolina, spending much of their time with Carol-Ann and her family.

The friends stated that they intended to stay in touch through letters and cards but did not know when they would be able to meet again.

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