In 2016, Harlem native Spencer Sleyon was a 22-year-old aspiring rapper and producer.
Around 17 hours southwest of Sleyon, 81-year-old Rosalind Guttman was enjoying her retirement in sunny Florida.
Though initially absolute strangers, a chance pairing on a popular online crossword game and a mutual love of puzzles and competition brought these two together. In time, they even considered themselves close friends, eventually leading to a face-to-face meeting that became a viral news story.
so last summer i randomly met this 80 y/o woman on words with friends. we played 300+ games together and she actually ended up becoming a good friend of mine. today i got to go to florida and meet her in person?pic.twitter.com/VXDbNS4eUo
— half-empty (@half___empty) December 1, 2017
Words With Friends is a popular game app that matches you with your social media friends or with random opponents in a game of good ol’ fashioned Scrabble.
If you’re a fan of the board game, we probably don’t have to tell you how tough it can be to find a good partner sometimes. Words With Friends allows you to locate fans of wordplay all over the country so you can find your perfect match and have a fun, challenging game.
It was on this app that Sleyon met Guttman. Because the app displays information from your Facebook profile, they were able to see each other. But while they knew they were two very different people, their similar play-style and competitive nature made for a great gaming match-up. After their first game together, they played again and again.
During their games, they shared friendly chats, eventually sharing their lives with each other and building a close friendship.
One day while Sleyon was visiting a friend, a chance discussion about best friends led Sleyon to reveal one of his closest friends was an 81-year-old lady living in Florida with whom he’d been playing online games. His friend’s mother, pastor Amy Butler, was immediately surprised and interested—in her sermons at church, she loved talking about people of all walks coming together in friendship.
Having been touched by Sleyon’s story, Butler arranged for Sleyon to make the trip to Florida and finally meet the woman with whom he’d spent so much time.
The two hit it off like old friends, proving yet again that despite how divisive society gets and how great our differences may seem, you can find a great friend in almost anyone with a little openness and a positive attitude.
In some cases, a good command of words containing a Q not followed by a U might also help.