Pen pals for 50 years, now best friends for life in Columbus and Australia
It’s amazing to comprehend the power and the reach of one small bubble-gum card.
Elise Ligtvoet was just 10 in late 1964 when she jotted her name and address on the back of a Scanlens Metro Gum card offering to connect the Australian youth with a pen pal somewhere in the world. Little did she know that at the same time in Minnesota, another 10-year-old, Sally Tabor, was searching for the same thing from her home in Welch near Red Wing.
By chance, the Goodhue County Extension Department learned of the bubble-gum card promotion and notified 4-H members like Sally. Her name was submitted, and by early 1965 the pen pal link had been made.
That was 50 years ago. Earlier this year, Sally Wojtowicz, 60, of Columbus, and Elise Kisyma, 61, of Hoppers Crossing, a suburb of Melbourne in the state of Victoria, celebrated 50 years as pen pals.