Pen Pals Finally Get to Meet in Person — 68 Years After They Began Exchanging Letters

Patsy Gregory (above left) and Carol-Ann Krause (above right) have been swapping letters since 1955 when they became Girl Scouts on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The 80-year-olds went on to send and receive more than 800 letters and cards, always remembering each other’s birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and Christmas. They never met in person until Patsy, from Lancashire, England, told her daughter Steph that she had always wanted to visit Carol-Ann, now living in Conway, South Carolina. So, Patsy's family surprised her with a ticket to the U.S. on her birthday in June, which allowed her to fly 4,000 miles for the overdue get-together. Patsy, who shared a heartwarming embrace with Carol-Ann on July 14th, said she recognized her as soon as she opened her door. “It was quite emotional, it was lovely,” said Patsy. “It was just as though I’d seen her last week because we’ve known of each other for so long.” Carol-Ann, who was approached by Steph about the visit before Patsy’s birthday, said she was a little more anxious about their first meeting in person. Patsy was just 12 when she began writing to Carol-Ann, with the pair discussing their day-to-day experiences. Carol-Ann was living in Buffalo, New York, at the time, and Patsy admitted that she had been particularly intrigued about the teen’s life in America. The women said they wrote about what happened in school, where they were going, who they went out with, whatever was going on. As their lives changed, so did the content of their letters. During the visit, the pair chatted for hours about their friendship while also taking in the local sights and going out for meals at places Carol-Ann and her husband frequented — all as if they had only been separated by a few years, such was the strength of their friendship.