CHICAGO (CBS) — It took 28 years, but a Glenview woman finally got an answer to her postcard to Germany, looking for a pen pal.
Carlye Fallon had forgotten all about writing a postcard to Chancellor Helmut Kohl for a German class at Washington Junior High School in Naperville, asking him to help her find a pen pal.
On Saturday, her parents gave her a letter they received at their Naperville home, addressed to Fallon’s maiden name.
Inside were pictures of the postcard she had sent, along with a letter explaining where it has been.
Fallon, now married and living in Glenview, said the hand-written letter from a woman named Adrian Williams explained how a man named Filip had found the postcard on a sidewalk in Berlin.
It was not clear for how long, but he kept the postcard safe, and shared it with Williams after they had a conversation about messages in bottles.
“It’s just really fascinating just to think how this person across the pond found this letter, and now wants to engage in a pen pal sort of relationship, and I think it’s fantastic,” Fallon said.
Williams’ letter notes the “massive political shifts” in both Germany and the United States since Fallon sent her letter in the 1980s.
Fallon, a public relations executive, said she was captivated by the writing, and how Williams weaved in tidbits of American pop culture – such as the movie Beaches, the band Milli Vanilli, and former President George W. Bush’s recent paintings.
She not only plans to write back – as her pen pal said, “preferably with less delay” than the first letter – but Fallon also would love to meet her new pan pal.
“Whether it’s in Chicago, whether it’s in Germany, whether it’s in New York, whether it’s somewhere; because I just feel such a connection with a person that took the time to do this,” Fallon said.
Fallon said she’s not sure what she’ll say in her letter back to Williams, but she has a couple ideas.
“Thank her for taking the time to reach out, to write such a beautiful hand-written letter, and to thank her friend Filip; because she says Filip is the one who quote, ‘has kept and guarded this postcard like the precious keepsake it most certainly is,’” Fallon said.