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Opinion >  Column

The Slice: Some pen-pal friendships stand the test of time

The Slice asked if anyone around here still kept in touch with a childhood pen pal.

The answer is “Yes.”

Moscow’s Suzanne Vreeland has been corresponding with her Scottish pen pal, Linda, since they were 13. That’s 49 years.

They still exchange hand-written letters. “No emails or texting for us,” said Vreeland.

They have met in person three times.

Susan Black, of Sagle, Idaho, has been long-distance friends with her pen pal in England since 1954, when Black was a 14-year-old in Flagstaff, Ariz. The families have met and the two women still talk at least once a week. “I consider her my very best friend in the whole world.”

Kathy Weinman connected with her British pen pal back in 1956. “Our families first met in 2000 in York, England, and she and her husband attended our daughter’s wedding in Edmonds, Wash., two years ago.”

Spokane Valley’s Dan Conrad was in the seventh grade in Virginia in the mid-1960s when his social studies teacher asked students to write to someone in another country as part of a class project.

“I chose from a list of names a same-aged student by the name of Georgina Holmes who lived and attended school near Sydney, Australia.”

“Georgy” wrote back and they kept it up long after the class project was a distant memory.

Both went on to careers in the military, Georgina in the Royal Australian Navy and Dan in the U.S. Air Force. Their families have met several times and the pen pals still keep one another up to date on big family news.

I also heard from Coeur d’Alene’s Cathy Kraus, who reminded me that this is not the first time I have addressed this subject.

“I still correspond with my fourth grade pen pal, Sonja from New Zealand. You might remember years ago the SR did a story on us meeting here in 2001 – that after it got a mention in The Slice.”

Warm-up question: Do you prejudge women on the basis of their taking/not taking their husband’s last name?

Today’s Slice question: What crackpot allergy cures have friends or family members recommended to you over the years?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email You knew you were not cut out for working in sales when …

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