If you identified Spencer Sleyon and Rosalind “Roz” Guttman accompanying down the street together, “youre supposed to” wouldn’t premise they’re BFFs.
Make no mistake, however. Sleyon, a 22 -year-old rapper who lives in Harlem, and Guttman, an 81 -year-old who lives in Florida, genuinely are two peas in a pod.
And on Dec. 1, they finally got to meet in person.
Their unlikely friendship started in the summer of 2016.
Sleyon and Guttman matched while facing off on Words with Friends, a Scrabble-like game people can play on their phones against strangers near and far. They both enjoyed playing one another, Sleyon illustrates, so it was only a matter of time before the latter are both slapping out various rounds every day.
Because the game is connected through Facebook, both Sleyon and Guttman knew who they were vying against and soon inaugurated chitchatting online. Before long, those discussions swerved from the game to circumstances happening in the middle the real world . strong>
“2 016 was such a big year for politics and typhoons — substance like that, ” Sleyon says of the types of topics they’d discuss , mentioning he’d too chat with her about his music. “We “was talkin about a” literally really anything.”
When Sleyon went specially hectic last year, however, “hes to” come rid of the app.
“I told her, ‘my life is pretty busy right now, I don’t have time to play every day routinely, ‘” Sleyon says of saying goodbye. “‘But if there was some opinion you are able give me about life, what would it be? ‘ And she told me, ‘Always contact for the stars.’”
The inspiring meaning put with him.
Months afterward, he decided to download the app again, after life got a little less turbulent. It was then that his friend’s mama, Amy Butler — senior executive at NYC’s Riverside Church — learned about Sleyon’s interstate friendship.
“I was telling Pastor Amy[ about Guttman ], and she couldn’t believe it, ” Sleyon says. “She wanted to write a sermon on it.”
A few weeks after that, Butler startled Sleyon with a errand to Florida to ultimately satisfies Guttman in person.
And, as the pics evidence, their satisfy did not dishearten.
“She was awesome, ” Sleyon says of ultimately getting to meet Guttman. “I’ve toiled in grocery store and trash, so I’ve been friendly with elderly people in person. And that ’s candidly what it felt like — like I time seen anyone from the neighborhood. That’s why I was really happy.”
“It terminated up becoming a true friendship.”
After Sleyon tweeted about its own experience, the internet exited wild .
In just a few daylights, the photos of Guttman and Sleyon received over one million likes and over 230,000 retweets.
Even Frank Gibeau, the CEO of Zynga, the developer of Texts with Pals, been hearing Sleyon and Guttman’s friendship: “Spencer and Roz’s story is a wonderful instance of how powerful activities can be in accompanying beings together across generations and geographies, ” he said in a statement.
so last-place summertime i arbitrarily convened this 80 y/ o maiden on utterances with pals. we represented 300+ tournaments together and she actually purposed up becoming a good friend of quarry. today i got to go to florida and fulfill her in person pic.twitter.com/ VXDbNS4eUo
— High Class Filth (@ Filth8 00) December 1, 2017
The tweet’s thread is fitted with moving sends, too, wondering how much regard the photos and hearing Sleyon’s story has meant to so many people.
“This is the kinda thing I wanna see in America, ” one user wrote. “Not the negative material that’s “was talkin about a” on a daily basis.”
Sleyon’s not exactly sure why the photos have spread so far and wide, but he concludes accompanying beings from very different marches of life befriending one another has something to do with it.
“The state our country is in right now — there’s a huge racial subdivide, ” he asks. “I participated a great deal of people saying they needed a floor like this.”
For now, he’s just grateful his legend is putting smiles on faces.