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After 56 Years, Life-Long Pen Pals Meet For The First Time

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Back in 1959, a little girl from Queens, N.Y, sent an airmail letter to another little girl in Sefton, New Zealand. The New Zealander wrote back. And the two began a correspondence that has lasted for 56 years. The two lifelong pen pals never met until last week. When Carole Lechan and Jane Anderson spotted each other at Logan Airport in Boston, they each smiled and locked arms in a huge embrace. Five decades after they first began writing, Anderson had finally come to find Lechan, who now lives in Massachusetts.

The old friends told The Boston Globe that they wrote each other five or six times a year, sending letters written in longhand that could take weeks to reach their destination. Carole Lechan said, quote, "when someone writes you a letter, you are bound by responsibility and courtesy to respond. So we just kept writing."

The two had updated their correspondence to email in recent years. But as strange as it may seem, they had never even spoken on the phone. I was just really surprised she would make this investment to come see me, Lechan says. But we're not getting any younger. And this is the time to do it. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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