It is a trans-Atlantic friendship that began with the stroke of a pen — and has lasted for decades! 71 year later, two pen pals are getting the chance to spend some time together!
“I was born in England at a place called Darwin.”
They are words written in the darkness of World War II by the girl on the left in Great Britain to the girl on the right — her new American pen pal.
“It’s 71 years since we started writing,” Mille Rice said.
Millie Rice was that American girl, and Frankie Gentry the Brit. The two began communicating when Gentry was 11 and Rice was 12.
71 years later, they’re still best of friends.
Recently, the two were able to get together in person. Gentry is paying a three-week visit to Rice’s St. Cloud, Minnesota home.
“This is one I sent — ‘to Armilla with lots of love — from Francis,'” Gentry said.
Over the decades, the two have shared photographs and news clippings, and even locks to compare their hair colors. All of these items made their way across the Atlantic ocean in the days before things like the internet, Skype, cell phones and texting.
When Rice traveled to England in 1979 for their first face-to-face meeting, people mistook them for sisters.
“We’re probably better than sisters in a way, because sisters fall out,” Gentry said.
They’ve visited one another several times since, but they still continue to write back and forth. Today, however, they use email.
So there’s not so much use of pens anymore — but these two are still very much pals.
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