Thanksgiving surprise: RI man finally meets Florida woman who’s been calling him for years

Mon, November 29, 2021, 5:41 AM

More than 20 years ago, Mike Moffitt started getting a lot of calls from a Florida phone number.

The older woman on the other end of the line was trying to reach her daughter, who lives in Maryland. But she kept dialing area code 401, instead of 410 — and getting Moffitt instead.

Finally, “I said, ‘Hey, what’s your name?'” Moffitt told The Providence Journal last week. “And we started hitting it off.”

The woman’s name was Gladys, and as time went on, she became a steady fixture in Moffitt’s life. But the two had never met — until recently, when Moffitt showed up to surprise her with flowers on the day before Thanksgiving.

I just said, ‘Hey, I’m Mike from Rhode Island,'” Moffitt said. “Her eyes lit up.”

Moffitt, 46, is the owner of Dennis Moffitt Painting in Wakefield. After their first real conversation, he said, Gladys started calling him to ask how his family was doing, or what the weather in Rhode Island was like.

“I started doing the same,” he said.

Their conversations never got too deep, and usually only lasted a few minutes. But every so often, either “Mike from Rhode Island” or “Gladys from Florida” would call to check in with the other.

“It just kind of brightens your day,” Moffitt said.

The two are separated by about 30 years and thousands of miles. Gladys is Black, and Moffitt is white.

But they’ve struck a bond despite those differences. When Gladys’ husband died, her son called Moffitt to let him know.

“She told him, ‘Call Mike from Rhode Island,'” Moffitt said.

He sent flowers — and realized that their friendship had gotten serious.


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