Until either (1) the art of letter-writing died out due to the advent of email, or (2) I (sadly) grew out of it, whichever came first (ie up until about 15 years ago), I used to correspond with dozens of people, many of whom I never met: penpals from Middlesex, Nigeria, Minnesota, or Glasgow, the early ones from Tammy and Misty, a girls' comic, and the later ones from a long-defunct Scottish music magazine called CUT. I used to take incredible care with my envelopes, decorating them painstakingly with black and white pictures cut from music and art magazines and using a silver pen to write the address.
I met three of my correspondents in person in the late 1980s, just after I left home to go to university in Glasgow. They were all from the later group and were all completely different from each other. The only one I'm still in touch with, B from Blantyre, I met (by arrangement) beside the Smiths records in HMV in Renfield Street in my first year at university and although we haven't seen each other for a few years, he's someone I think of with great affection as having been a friend when I needed one and as someone I could pick up with again in a second.
The others were more peculiar: William, the only child of elderly parents, ran his father's gas bottle business in Mount Vernon in Glasgow and, as a present, bought me black towels from Harrods which served only to scandalise my room-mate, an uptight Free Presbyterian from Ullapool called Sheena. William was so nervous when we first met he was sweating profusely, and clumsily attempted to kiss me in his father's Nissan Sunny when he dropped me back at my student flat, while I equally clumsily tried to extricate myself. And then there was Tony from Broughty Ferry (the posh part of Dundee), who worked for the Sunday Post - in the advertising department, but he carried himself with the glamour of a journalist. We met in Princes Street Gardens. Compared to B and William, I was quite attracted to him, and we seemed to be getting on well, but it all went badly wrong when we began talking about what each of us had imagined the other might be like. He remarked "I had no idea what you would be like. I was worried you might be a fat Paki".