After more than 300 games, the 22-year-old music producer finally met his best pal, an 86-year-old retiree.
Last week, two best friends separated by more than 1,000 miles and 64 years of age met face to face for the very first time.
There’s no denying that Spencer Sleyon and Rosalind “Roz” Guttman are an odd pair. Sleyon is 22 and lives in Harlem, and Guttman, 86, is living out her golden years at a retirement community in West Palm Beach, Florida. It was by chance that they connected last year on the popular smartphone game, World With Friends, but the bond that resulted feels more like fate. Over the past year Sleyon and Guttman have played more than 300 games, forging a strong friendship along the way.
“One day I searched for a random game, and that’s how I ended up finding her. And we pretty much played every day for five months,” Sleyon told The Root. “Sometimes we’d speak about personal things, but nothing extra personal,” he said. “Politics, the election, hurricanes.”
After countless hours spent chatting through the game, it was the mom of Sleyon’s friend Hannah, Rev., Amy Butler, who finally brought them together. Butler reached out to Guttman herself and decided that Sleyon needed to meet her in person. Butler and Sleyon boarded a plane and headed to Florida.
In person they had lunch at her favorite restaurant, and took a tour of her neighborhood. Before he hopped on a plane back home, Sleyon shared a few photos of the adorable meeting on Twitter. By the time he landed two hours later, it had already gone viral. just a few days it has racked up more than 1 million likes—no small feat.
“So last summer I randomly met this 80 y/o woman on words with friends,” Sleyon wrote. “We played 300+ games together and she actually ended up becoming a good friend of mine. Today I got to go to florida and meet her in person.”
Sleyon says he has a pretty good idea why people are so moved by his story. “Besides the obvious—the fact that I’m a young black male and this is an old white woman—a lot of people enjoyed the fact that we were able to get so close, especially given the tension in the country,” he told The Root.
Butler agrees. “I’ve been living with this story for several months and I know how powerful it is,” she said. “And I hope this story encourages people to connect across lines that they were unwilling to before, because there are beautiful friendships to be found.”