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Banner Pals Celebrate 50 years

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Banner pals Carol Smith from Modesto, Calif., and Sandy Santjer from Rapid City, South Dakota, are still handwriting letters to each other like they’ve done for 50 years.

It was a young Sandy who put her name in The Banner, hoping to find a pen pal through the former “Banner Pals” section. Carol replied and a 50-year friendship was born.

The two have shared many joys and sorrows over the years. They both became Licensed Practical Nurses and saw each other through marriage, births of children, and deaths of parents.

In October 2008, Smith and Santjer met for a 50-year celebration of their correspondence. “We had not seen each other in some 20 years,” said Santjer. “We both have a strong mutual faith in God; it has kept us close across the miles.”

And now Santjer and Smith have granddaughters near the same age who are continuing the long-distance tradition—by e-mail. 

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