After 36 years, international pen pals meet for the first time in Fresno

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Tami Brangham of Fresno welcomed her pen pal from New Zealand Steve Malcolm to the United States Sunday. (KFSN)

A meeting almost four decades in the making took place in Fresno after two pen pals from across the world met for the first time.

Tami Brangham of Fresno welcomed her pen pal from New Zealand Steve Malcolm to the United States Sunday. They started writing to each other 36 years ago when Steve's family hosted her friend who was studying abroad.

Tami says Steve looked through her friend's yearbook and found Tami's picture. That moment years ago led up to this meeting, face-to-face for the first time.

"It has become easier than writing our letters like we used to do, and it's so much better to have that technology, and we message each other at least once a week," Tami said.

"It's pretty easy in the beginning, but I lost contact with her for nearly 10 years," Steve recalled. "Then I managed to track her down. But I think more people should be pen friends. The world would be a happier place."

Tami says they stayed friends as she studied nursing. She says around that time Steve became a paraplegic after a failed back surgery.

Tami plans to take Steve to Yosemite then to Los Angeles where they'll meet up with the woman who introduced the two of them.

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