By MARK EVANS
Historic and quirky Ste. Genevieve was an ideal backdrop for two young pen pals to meet in person.
Michelle Massey, who works in Ste. Genevieve, was able to orchestrate the meeting.
Her niece, Marcella, who lives in Alabama, had been pen pals for two years with Vera, the granddaughter of Massey’s best friend Mandy, who lives in Festus.
Massey explained that Marcella’s family had been forced to move from Kentucky to Virginia to Alabama, due to job relocations. Because of the moving and the threat of COVID, Marcella was home-schooled and had little chance to socialize with others her age
That led Massey’s sister Lesley (Marcella’s mother) and Mandy to suggest Marcella and Mandy’s granddaughter Vera become pen pals. Using “good old-fashioned pen, paper and mail,” in Massey’s words, the two regularly corresponded.
When Marcella and her family came to Missouri on vacation this summer, it was a perfect opportunity for the two 11-year-olds to meet.
“Marcella loves history and is fascinated with Ste. Genevieve,” Massey said. “Ste. Genevieve was the perfect place to meet.”
Initially, the two girls seemed shy, speaking very little.
A perfect “ice-breaker” came when they were taken to Sam Conlon‘s Masquerade on Main, where they got to try on various period costumes and let their creativity flow.
“They dressed up and had a blast taking pictures throughout the various sets and scenes,” Massey said. “Sam Conlon was so extremely kind to the girls and with the assistance of her creative influences, the girls were laughing, creating and bonding in the sweetest and well-deserved way.”