Two pen pals with a long relationship on paper have elevated their friendship to real life after 42 years of correspondence.
George Ghossn, 56, of Long Island, headed to the San Diego home of Lori Gertz, 54, for a visit four decades in the making.
When she was 12 and he was 14, they first became pen pals through a chain letter.
“I think you write to six people and you're supposed to get hundreds back and I got one,” she said.
From then on, they wrote each other about one letter a month for the next 42 years.
During his visit to her home, Ghossn showed her the first letter she wrote him.
It said: “Hi George. How old are ya? I'm 12 1/2. Do you have any brothers or sisters?”
The mom of two saved all the letters she got from George, a treasure trove of their special occasions and timeline of their lives apart.
She told Inside Edition that it took so long to meet because “George is really superstitious. He thought we would have bad luck if we met.”
“I didn't think she was going to like me,” he said.
During the visit, he meets her husband.
“It’s like the long-lost family member,” her husband explained of Ghossn.
Also during his visit, they were honored at a local high school where they told a generation that knows only emails and text message about their 42 years of friendship, which was achieved the old-fashioned way — through pen and paper.
“I feel like we grew up together,” she said.
The duo met for the first time on April 11, when she flew to Long Island to take her 18-year-old son to check out Hofstra University. He met them at a local hotel and both broke down in tears.