Weslaco resident stays in contact with pen pal for nearly seven decades

Weslaco resident stays in contact with pen pal for nearly seven decades
3 months 1 week 1 day ago Monday, February 19 2024 Feb 19, 2024 February 19, 2024 1:55 PM February 19, 2024 in News - Local

Some experts say the art of writing is dying, but a Weslaco woman is proving otherwise. 'Snail mail' is keeping a friendship alive that's lasted nearly seven decades.

At 80 years old, Weslaco resident Maureen Keppy has written letters to her longtime pen-pal who lives more than 6,000 miles away. She keeps the tradition going year after year as a way to honor their unique friendship.

Keppy was a fourth grade student in Iowa when her teacher passed out names of kids who lived overseas.

"I started writing to the ones in Germany and England. It just, it just didn't click. So, I quit. But Chihoko and I kept writing. And writing. And writing," Keppy said.

Chihoko, from Japan, and Keppy have been writing to each other since 1955. They would write about school, their love for flowers and their plans for summer vacation.

When the girls became teens, they started writing about boys. As the years passed, their letters talked about marriages, birthdays and anniversaries.

In 2002, Keppy got the surprise of her life.

Chihoko wrote saying she was coming to the United States and wanted to meet her longtime best friend and pen pal.

"So, we coordinated through letters when we would be at the airport at the same time and it worked. Can you believe that? We got to be in the same terminal, we got to see each other for about ten minutes," Keppy said.

She says she'll never forget the first time they met. There were big hugs and tears of joy. They reunited for a second time during a trip to Japan in 2010.

Keppy and her husband are hoping to plan another trip to Japan soon. She says Chihoko is like the sister she never had and would like to see her one last time.

Watch the video above for the full story.

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