For 50 years, they have been the best of friends.

When something significant happens in the life of Gigi Davin, she immediately shares the news with her pal, Kris Grahn. The reverse is also true. Been that way since they were 10-year-old girls.

It is a wonderful friendship, the women say, and with few exceptions, it has been conducted entirely through the U.S. Postal Service.

“We grew up together through the mail,” says Davin, who lives in Sabattus.

“We’ve talked about everything, from the weather to school, our children, our work, our homes. We’ve been in constant contact.”

“We probably know as much about each other as anyone does,” says Grahn, who lives about 1,300 miles away, in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

The girls became pen pals when they were elementary school students. At the time, Davin was growing up on a dairy farm in Sabattus.

“Our school had the names of other schools and we just picked a name,” she recalls. “They said, if you want a pen pal, you write a letter. If someone writes back, then you have a pen pal.”

Davin sent her letter. A girl named Kris sent one back, and for 50 years that chain has gone unbroken.

“I’ve sent her pictures of my grandchildren,” Davin says. “She’s sent me pictures of her and her family. We’ve never missed Christmas presents, birthday gifts or any occasion – even St. Patrick’s Day or the Fourth of July, you name it. And everything has been done through the mail.”

Everything, that is, with one small exception. In 1976, after both girls had graduated high school, Grahn came to Sabattus to visit Davin on the farm.

“Her parents sent her here for a Maine vacation,” Davin recalls.

“We were able to take her to a few places, like Popham Beach and Camden. She had never seen the ocean.

“She was excited to see the water and the beaches. I remember she was amazed at how many hills we have here, because Wisconsin is very flat.”

As soon as that visit was over, they went right back to letter writing and for 42 years, they never saw each other again.

But that changed last Thursday when Davin made her way to the airport in Portland to pick up her lifelong friend. From there, they headed for The Cat, which would ferry them to Nova Scotia.

The idea to go to Nova Scotia came up during a routine conversation.

“I had mentioned to her that my passport runs out in 2019,” Davin says. “I said, ‘I’d like to go to Nova Scotia.’ She said, ‘Hey, I’d like to go there, too.’ We’ve been talking about it for the past two years, and we’ve been planning it since March. Now, here we are, going to Nova Scotia.”

“I’m sure once the trip is over,” Grahn says, “we’ll go right back to writing letters.”

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