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Photo Finish

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A Rock Island woman says she has traveled the world without leaving the comfort of home.

Shirley Barrett says writing letters is her way of staying in touch with some of the rich and famous.

She has photos and autographs from people she has written to over fifty years. Thousands of friends she has never met.

Johnny Mathis. Debbie Reynolds.

She has a photo former First Lady Jackie Kennedy sent not long after President Kennedy was shot to death in 1963.

Shirley wrote a poem to Mrs. Kennedy, and received a picture in return.

Along this journey, Shirley received a thank you letter from Army General William Westmoreland during the Vietnam War.

Barrett sent packages of get well cards and other items to the soldiers.

Red Skelton’s photo is included among the collection. Kirk Douglas, Michael Jackson.

Former First Lady Bess Truman. That photo is about thirty years old.

A letter and photo from the family of Former President Jimmy Carter. Replies have come from people all over the world.

From astronauts to Supreme Court Justices. Athletes and businessmen.

Shirley is still licking stamps and mailing letters.

She enjoys going to the mailbox to discover who has become her “next best friend.”

Each picture gets placed in an album. Shirley’s version of a “Photo Finish.”

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