Bea Mathewson, 102, accidentally sent an email to the wrong person, ended up with two pen pals and was featured in a Buzzfeed video. She has been living in Renton since 1939. (Leah Abraham | Renton Reporter)

Bea Mathewson, 102, accidentally sent an email to the wrong person, ended up with two pen pals and was featured in a Buzzfeed video. She has been living in Renton since 1939. (Leah Abraham | Renton Reporter)

How a 102-year-old woman sent a wrong email and ended up on Buzzfeed

Renton resident Bea Mathewson found two unlikely pen pals by accident.

When a 102-year-old Renton woman accidentally sent an email to the wrong person, she ended up with a new pen pal and being featured in a Buzzfeed video.

Beatrice “Bea” Mathewson has lived in Renton since 1939. She remembers when the downtown Fred Meyer was a dairy farm and the surrounding shopping center was covered with blackberries and maple trees. She remembers the Black River running through the uncommercialized landscape. She remembers the restrictions that were placed on residents during World War II and seeing the influx of residents relocating to Renton after the war.

When Bea first moved to Renton at the dawn of the 40s, the population was around 4,100.

“You knew everyone in town and met people in post offices,” she said.

Back then, everyone knew their neighbors, a phenomenon she rarely sees these days.

“It’s totally different. I don’t know if it’s good or bad, but it’s different,” she said. “Change happens and you have to adjust. You don’t really realize how it’s changed until you look back.”

While Bea might have crossed the century line, she’s learned to adapt with the 21st century. From her first phone number that had merely four numbers to now regularly emailing her friends and family, Bea has seen the evolution of technology over the years.

The digital age, she noted, has changed the culture of how people, especially the youth, communicate with each other.

Recently she learned that technology can bring people together in mysterious ways. Thanks to the internet, she was able to connect with two millennials who have now become life-long friends.

THE TALE OF TWO JORDANS

One fateful day, Bea attempted to send an email to a distant 23-year-old cousin in Canada named Jordan Imbery. The two met each other through Ancestory.com and quickly became pen pals. Bea, who meant to update her new pen pal on her book club and the flowers that were blooming in her garden, hit send to an email that never found its way to Jordan.

Due to an easy mistake of switching the “r” and the “e” in the email address, the message made it to the inbox of Jordan Imbrey, a 26-year-old video producer at Buzzfeed.

The Buzzfeed Jordan kindly responded to Bea and told her he wasn’t the intended recipient.

But Bea made the same mistake again. And again.

“To (whoever) Jordan….I’m not sure I’ll ever get you sorted out,” Bea wrote to the Jordan at Buzzfeed after multiple failed emails. “My 101 years has caught up with me.”

The Jordan from Buzzfeed found Bea endearing and the two became fast friends and faithful pen pals.

After some good-old-fashioned internet stalking, the Jordan of Buzzfeed found the intended recipient of Bea’s email — the Jordan from Canada.

The two Jordans concocted a plan to visit Bea, spend the day with her, go to her book club and transform their digital relationship into an IRL (in real life) one.

Last year, the fateful meeting occurred. The story was captured on film and recently published on Buzzfeed in a video titled, “I Made Friends With A 102-Year-Old Woman By Accident.”

The meeting made a deep impression on all three of the pen pals.

After meeting her in real life, the Jordan from Canada said he was inspired to “always look for the positives in everything.”

“Bea’s positivity is something you notice right away about her,” he wrote in an email.

He also said he was surprised how sharp Bea’s memory was.

“It was amazing how she was able to recite everything we had talked about over the past year,” he wrote.

“I can’t impress upon enough people how nice they both are,” Bea said. “Even the crew they brought with them, it was like having family all day. They’re just really nice people. Super nice.”

“All the internet is a tool that connects us,” said Jordan from Buzzfeed in the video. “It can connect us in bad ways, but it can also connect us in beautiful ways.”

Bea, who affectionately calls the two Jordans California Jordan and Canada Jordan, said she still keeps in touch with both of them regularly.

To see the full video, visit http://bit.ly/BeaOnBuzzfeed.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@rentonreporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.rentonreporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in Life

Local scouts greet attendants at the Renton First United Methodist Church on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020. Photo courtesy of Patrick Montemerlo.
Local scouts celebrate big milestones

Scouts in Boy Scouts of America celebrated Scout Sunday, a national opportunity… Continue reading

Luis Hernandez. Courtesy of Renton Schools
He didn’t care much for class until his teacher encouraged his photography

Local Renton student’s photographs featured in exhibit in Spain

Courtesy of Armondo Pavone.
“I’m enjoying all of it”

Pavone speaks on his first weeks as mayor

PHOTO BY HALEY AUSBUN
Tommy the Turtle returns

Historic, interactive art placed at Kennydale Beach

Photo by Haley Ausbun. The International Lion Dance & Martial Arts Team performed in honor of Lunar New Year at the event, Jan. 28 at Renton Technical College 2020 Celebrity Chef event. RTC President Kevin McCarthy and Advanced Sommelier Christopher Chan participated in the demonstration, offering heads of lettuce to the lions. The Lion Dance is meant to bring good luck.
A tasty Lunar New Year

Renton Technical College got a tasty start to the new year with… Continue reading

Casey Pearson, Natalie Schlappi and Oliver Taylor are Renton Rotary Club’s January 2020 Teachers of the Month.
Teachers of the Month for January

As part of their commitment to education, and to celebrate teachers in… Continue reading

Photo by Haley Ausbun. On Jan.22 about 60 St. Anthony’s students put together gift bags with school supplies for their sister school in Haiti, with the help of the WE and NFL Huddle for Good initiative. The schools connected after the devastating earthquake in Haiti killed a young missionary connected to the parish in Renton.
Students volunteer for sister school in Haiti

St. Anthony’s Parish works with WE, NFL for students

Photo courtesy of city of Renton. Council President Ruth Pérez speaks at Centro Rendu de San Vicente de Paul for the Reyes Magos event.
Census campaign joins Reyes Magos celebration

Members of Renton’s Hispanic community gathered Jan. 10 at Centro Rendu de… Continue reading

Photos courtesy of Renton School District.
                                Students across the district are hosting events, assemblies, celebrations of the life and work of Martin Luther King, Jr. Pictured are Benson Hill Elementary students reenacting lunch counter sit-ins and other Civil Rights actions against segregation. The district stated in a tweet that schools blend these activities into existing work to teach students history; Black scholars in math, science, medicine; segregation; race; and other topics of U.S. social and political climate.
Renton students honor Doctor King

Students across the district are hosting events, assemblies, celebrations of the life… Continue reading

Photo courtesy of Carol Kaelson. Christel Tucker, a Renton resident and flight attendant, stands at the wheel at Wheel of Fortune. Her episode airs Monday, Jan. 20.
Rentonite spins the wheel of her dreams

Local finds herself winning thousands on Wheel of Fortune

Photo courtesy of Patrick Dodd
                                Patrick Dodd and his father, Stan Dodd, at Hannegan Pass, Cooper Lake Trail. After Stan Dodd died in 2019, Patrick decided to dedicate 2020 to hiking and raising money to Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center.
He lost his dad, now he hikes for him

Local man turns to nature, blogging to fund cancer research

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Have you visited the Highlands new brewhouse? The new Bickersons Brewhouse opened on Nov. 9. Two months later, Jan. 9, business leaders and the Renton Chamber of Commerce celebrated its opening with a ribbon cutting, featuring owners Frank Castro and Shaunn Siekawitch. Go bicker with the “Bickersons” at 4710 NE Fourth St., Renton.
Ribbon cut for new Renton brewhouse

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Have you visited the Highlands new brewhouse? The… Continue reading