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This is me with Roberto, his wife Cecilia, and their son, Jose. The story goes back to about 1960 when my sister sent away for a Spanish pen pal. We had been studying Spanish, off and on, for awhile. My mother had started us with Spanish lessons when I was about 7 years old. My sister, of course, was hoping for a girl pen pal, but instead was given Roberto, from Costa Rica.

Soon my mother was corresponding with Roberto’s mother (Julia) and sending her silk stocking in the mail. They were looking for a good American boarding school for Roberto and it just so happened that there was an excellent boys school in our town (St. Joe Prep, run by the Xavarian Brothers). It wasn’t long until Roberto and his father came to Bardstown to check the school out and then for his mother to drop him off.

So, Roberto became part of the family. Roberto graduated and went on his way, but stayed in touch. In 1967 my sister and I were invited to Costa Rica. We were showed around in grand style. Being just teenagers, this was quite the trip for us, which included a side trip to Panama. It was (and is) a highlight of my life that I will never forget.

Roberto and I have always stayed in touch (he’s a Facebook friend), but I had never met his wife and son. Well, this past Tuesday, they came by for lunch! What a delightful visit it was, tying again the threads that run through our lives. We had chicken pot pies, pears, salad, noodles, and then went for a walk at Grassy Waters.

Forever friends.

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