THEY have known each other for almost half a century, through hundreds of trans-Atlantic letters.
They have grown up, married, had children and grandchildren.
And now, Fartown woman Hazel Chaney has finally got to meet the American penpal to whom she has written for 45 years.
Mrs Chaney, 58, of Knaresborough Drive, flew for the first time to meet penpal Renee Bain in Freehold, New Jersey, in July.
"We were shaking when we met, we were so excited," she said.
"We chattered and giggled like schoolgirls. It was a very emotional first meeting."
It was a double celebration for Mrs Chaney, as her trans-Atlantic trip also included the wedding of her son Douglas in Manhattan.
Douglas, 32, a website designer, and former pupil of Fartown High School, married his sweetheart Claudine in New York on July 23.
And the couple invited Renee to their big day.
"We'd never had the chance to meet up before," said Mrs Chaney, who works as a lunchtime supervisor at Birkby Junior School.
"I've never flown and I don't think Renee has been out of the state, so it was an ideal opportunity to meet at my son's wedding."
Mrs Chaney flew out with her daughter Nicola, 36, and her daughters Annalea, eight, and Jodie, three.
Mrs Chaney was just 13 years old and a pupil at Primrose Hill Secondary Modern School in Pudsey when a teacher suggested the link-up with Renee.
Since then both women have shared their lives through hundreds of letters: getting married, having children and even becoming grandmothers for the first time.
But after all the years of never having met, Hazel and Renee are to have a second meeting this year.
Renee and her husband Terry are to visit Hazel and her husband Michael at their home in October.