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The Internet: Reunion of Soul Mates

How technology erased the miles and the years between high-school sweethearts.

We had met 62 years ago on our first day in high school in Chicago in 1938 and dated the next four years. Many people called it puppy love and said we’d get over it.

After graduation, Eddie went into the Marines to fight South Pacific battles in World War II. When he returned, he asked me to marry him. We started making plans. Then our mothers—both former flamboyant flapper girls—met, displayed their disapproval, argued and proceeded to break us up. Within two weeks, I returned the engagement ring to Eddie. He asked me to reconsider. “I made up my mind,” I told him and walked away. He went west; I went east.

We both married other people, without finding complete happiness. He divorced twice. I remained single after my divorce. I worked and saved money to travel. After a trip to Sweden to visit relatives, I realized I needed to learn to use a computer in order to keep in touch with cousins, who were all computer-literate. At the last lesson in a library in Pittsburgh, the instructor asked me, “Is there anyone you have not seen for a long time whom you would like to get in touch with?”

“Eddie Plemmons” popped out of my mouth before I knew it.

Searching his name on the Internet, I discovered there were only three Eddie Plemmonses in the country. I took a chance and mailed a letter to the one in California.

The day he received my letter, Eddie sent me an e-mail. For six months we communicated by e-mail, phone calls, letters and gifts. He sent tickets for me to fly to California in January 2001. I was the first one off the plane. He was the first person waiting. We caused lots of smiles as we hugged and he almost dropped the two dozen roses he held.

We have been together ever since. Fifty-five years after parting and putting 2,500 miles between us, my soul mate and I are together again—thanks to the Internet.

The AARP Bulletin’s "What I Really Know" column comes from our readers. Each month we solicit short personal essays on a selected topic and publish some of our favorites in print and online. Gloria Peterson Plemmons is a reader from Baden, Pa.

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