This Is Carolina: Longtime international pen pals meet for the first time

Published: Sep. 28, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2023 at 10:11 PM EDT
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CONWAY, S.C. (WMBF) - Best friends together at last. It only took 68 years and a flight across the pond for them to meet for the first time.

“It was totally overwhelming when they told me that we were finally going to meet,” said Patsy Gregory. “After missing so many instances where we said, ‘If we can we will,’ or whatever and we never really quite managed to be on the same continent at the same time.”

But thanks to Gregory’s daughter, she flew from Lancashire, England to Conway so she could meet pen pal Carol Krause. The two got a surprise of a lifetime by getting to reminisce in real-time.

“We just met through friends in Girl Scouts and this is what happened,” Krause said.

The women were born exactly one month apart and were 12 years old when they started writing to each other in 1955. They’ve been collecting troves of holiday cards, pictures and letters throughout the years that documented every major milestone.

“We got married fairly close to one another. We both have three children and we just gone through life with all the trials and tribulations and shared it. And we’re both still here. Amen to that!” laughed Gregory.

Their friendship evolved as seamlessly as the forms of communication they used.

“When we first started writing, it was in pencil. A little later on we progressed to pen. From pen it was to our typing ability,” said Gregory.

“When we all got computers and email addresses and everything like that and now we’re on Facebook. Now it can be instant messenger and stuff like that,” said Krause.

The tech-savvy 80-year-olds caught up on what they’ve been doing lately.

“I am still singing. It’s good for you. Keeps you going. Makes you think. Uses your mind,” said Gregory.

“We do Sudoku puzzles,” said Krause.

And reveled in the much anticipated and joyous experience.

“It didn’t feel strange coming in to meet you because we already knew you,” said Gregory.

“Just that we had not met in person,” said Krause.

“It even amazes me that it’s been so long,” quipped Gregory.

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