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50-year pen pals finally meet



Published: Tue, July 1, 2014 @ 12:00 a.m.

Associated Press

KENT

Two longtime pen pals have met face to face for the first time in a 50-year friendship that began when they were girls.

Wendy Teeter of Staunton, Virginia, got teary Sunday as she visited Suzan LaMancusa’s Northeast Ohio home in Brimfield Township, the Akron Beacon Journal reported. After decades of exchanging letters about school, marriage, kids, divorces and other ups and downs, they finally shared a hug.

LaMancusa said anticipation of the meeting stirred some trepidation for the women, both 60.

“Are you going to like each other and lose the mysticism?” LaMancusa said. “What happens if she doesn’t like me?”

That part made them laugh.

Two friends had connected them as pen pals in 1964, when they were fourth-graders. Teeter was living in Islip, N.Y., and sent the first few letters, eventually including a plea: “PLEASE WRITE BACK!”

“I was really shy,” said LaMancusa, who was living in Tallmadge, Ohio. “I didn’t know what to write.”

She finally responded, and it turned into a lifelong friendship with Teeter.

“She was my psychiatrist,” LaMancusa said.

After a few years, they occasionally had short phone conversations, but they kept in touch mostly through writing. These days, they’ve started texting one another.

They planned to meet up eventually, but it never worked out previously. Now they hope to meet up annually. “We get to see who we are now,” Teeter said.


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