Thank you Jarrod in Beaverton
Celesta Byrne and Geoff Banks have been international pen pals for nearly 84 years, and recently celebrated their 100th birthdays with their first video call.
Geoff is American from Texas and Celesta is from the UK. They began communicating in 1938 when they were just 16, sending their first letters across 5,000 miles as part of an educational program to connect US and British students.
A year after they started corresponding, Germany invaded Poland and World War II broke out. But Geoff and Celesta continued to communicate even as Geoff served as a mechanic on a British aircraft carrier in the Pacific.
As time went on, the two continued sharing stories of their lives with one another, casually checking in throughout the years.
However, the two are sure to clarify that there was no long-distance love connection…just a really great transatlantic friendship.
As technology and their ages have advanced, their letters have turned to emails and, most recently, to video calls and they have met twice: once in 2002 when Banks was visiting New York while Byrne was living in New Jersey and again in 2004 when Banks made his way to New Jersey.
But the two now keep their communication online via email or video calls and plan to maintain their friendship as long as possible with the help of their children.
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