Speed Reads

It wasn't all bad

New pals meet in person after playing 324 Words With Friends matches

Over five months, Spencer Sleyon and Rosalind "Roz" Guttman played 324 Words With Friends matches, forming a tight bond along the way.

Sleyon, 22, of Harlem and Guttman, 81, of West Palm Beach were randomly matched up about a year ago, and "sometimes we'd speak about personal things, but nothing extra personal," Sleyon told The Root. "Politics, the election, hurricanes." As they became better friends, Sleyon started asking Guttman for advice, including whether he should leave his hometown in Maryland for New York City, where he wanted to become a music producer. Guttman, Sleyon said, told him to "always reach for the stars."

Sleyon stopped playing when life got "too hectic," but he was still fond of Guttman, telling his friend's mother all about Guttman when she asked him about his good friends. She urged Sleyon to meet Guttman face to face, and last week, Sleyon hopped on a plane and flew to Florida, where they had lunch and Guttman gave him a tour of her neighborhood. "It was a cool experience," he told The Root.