PALM BEACH, Fla.— A popular scramble app designed to challenge opponents to think of words against each other instead formed a year-long friendship between a rapper and an elderly woman on opposite sides of the country.
Spencer Sleyon, 22, first met Rosalind Guttman, 81, last June when they had been matched on Words With Friends, writes The Washington Post. Guttman, not Sleyon, opened with their first word — and their first conversation — with the word 'p-h-a-t.' From there, one game ended and another game began each and every day.
As the games continued, the pair began to message each other within the app. But Sleyon, a New York City-based rapper, was hundreds of miles away from his worthy opponent all the way in Florida.
"We used to chat, but nothing too personal. We never got too personal," Sleyon told Mashable.
While the newly-formed friends had put emphasis on their digital-first conversations, life would eventually get in the way. By the end of the year, Sleyon had moved to New York City, and because he had become so busy, he deleted Words With Friends. There, with his friend Hannah Butler, he recalled the story of his unlikely friendship, and he re-installed Words With Friends.
To his surprise, Guttman was still there. She was ready for more games of scramble.
Butler's mother, Amy, is a pastor in Manhattan, and she felt intrigued by the duo's relationship, despite the age difference and means of communication. She asked Sleyon if he could put her in touch with Guttman, to which he agreed. Butler and Guttman, too, hit it off and before either of the trio could spell 't-r-i-p,' they were headed down to Florida for an official meet-and-greet.
"I love random occurrences, I thought it was cool I was able to befriend her," Sleyon told The Washington Post.
Last Thursday, the three internet buddies met in the lobby of a hotel in Palm Beach, Fla., and talked about everything from Words With Friends to some of Guttman's favorite shows on television. And even though Butler was not one of the founding members of the Words With Friends friendship, she told The Washington Post she "felt lucky to be a part of their relationship."
Sleyon and Guttman remain f-r-i-e-n-d-s — this time, both on and off Words With Friends.