Lifelong letters

After writing letters to each other for 51 years, two pen pals recently cemented their friendship in person.

Kathy Drake of Pascack Valley, NJ, and Christine Dalton of Brighton, England, met for the first time this month.

The cross-Atlantic friendship began when Dalton sent a letter to Drake in 1964. “I should very much like to be your pen pal. You will be my first friend overseas,” she wrote.

The two connected on the topics of music, school and television.

“As a girl, I was excited to have found a pen pal from England,” Drake told last week. She remembers writing, “That’s where the Beatles are from!”

Dalton also enjoyed putting the stamps from Drake’s letters in her stamp album.

Over time, their handwritten exchanges turned to their careers, marriage, husbands, children and religion.

“We share important, meaningful stuff,” Dalton said. “There’s nothing to ever fall out about.”