The Newfoundland Herald helped connect two young women through our ‘Pen Pals’ section in 1993 and their bond endures to this very day
Nicole Little and Amanda Garcia de Paredes became friends long before there was digital photos or selfies or (gasp!) even Facebook. Back when these two women became besties, you had to stay in touch the old fashioned way – through letters and the occasional phone call.
While life-long friendship stories are awesome in their own right, the coolest thing about this story is that these two women found their forever friendship in the pages of The Herald.
Little begins her touching tale; “It was 1993 and I was 13 and there used to be a section in The Herald if you were looking for a pen pal. I can even picture it in my head now. Just a little block at the bottom of the page in the kids section. I sent my letter in because I always loved writing and getting mail, I still do. When it was published in The Herald I was so excited. I actually have a copy of the letter that I sent in.”
Little received many responses, and while she wrote back and forth to many of her new-found friends, one remained constant.
“Amanda was the one. So that was when we were 13 and when I was 18 I moved to St. John’s. She lived in CBS. After five years of letters we finally met. The friendship just grew stronger.”
‘A good friend’
The two admit that they lost touch a little as they moved through their early 20s, but one or the other always reached out before too much time passed.
“You know when you’ve got a good friend because you might go a long time without talking but then you pick right up where you left off.”
Little moved to Australia and her friend came for a visit. The bond, like the years, kept going. As they married and had families, they were godmother to each other’s children.
“I actually planned my wedding around when she would be in Newfoundland. She lives in Barrie, Ontario right now. But I set my date knowing, based on when she would be home because I really wanted her to be there.”
Now that they can communicate in real time through text and via social media, the two remain close. “We talk all the time and, yeah, she’s pretty much my best friend.”
The Herald hook-up
The two friends say they have The Herald to thank for their lifelong bond.
“I never would have ever met her if not for The Herald. There was no way that our paths would have ever crossed if not for that. And pretty much every year I post on social media about us connecting because I’m just, I know I never would have had this friend who has gotten me through so much over the years if not for that letter being in The Herald. We never would have met otherwise,” says an emotional Little.
There’s a pause on the phone line. Little expresses gratitude, almost as if, by Herald association, this writer herself is somehow personally responsible for giving her the gift of lifelong friendship. Little laughs, then again thanks The Herald for not only connecting her with her friend but for sharing their story.
“I think our friendship, and how we met, is beautiful. I want everyone to know how this happened, and that it’s lasted. I really would not have met this amazing friend, and yes she’s just been there for me through so much over the years, she’s seen me through so many things, if not for The Herald and their Pen Pals section. So thank you.”