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Two in Arizona form Thanksgiving tradition after 2016 mistaken text

Jamal Hinton and Wanda Dench say they keep in touch regularly after a mistaken text that led to a Thanksgiving tradition for the two who live in different cities.
Credit: kingjamal08/twitter

WASHINGTON — They've done it again. Making 2019 the fourth year that two friends have meet up for Thanksgiving after a mistaken text.

It has been called an unlikely friendship in the media, but the years of communication and meet ups between Arizona residents Wanda Dench, 62, and Jamal Hinton, 20, seems to be a friendship that just comes naturally.

The two met serendipitously, you could say, but it was actually more of an accident. Back in 2016 Wanda Dench thought she was texting her grandson to invite him to Thanksgiving dinner, but she mistakenly texted Jamal Hinton's phone instead.  

Hinton was just 17 years old back in 2016. When the mistaken text was first sent, Hinton replied, "You not my grandma," and asked for a selfie for visual proof. He eventually asked if he could still try out her Thanksgiving cooking, so Dench invited him over saying, "of course you can."

Hinton says the two have met up for Thanksgiving every year since that mistaken text, in 2016, 2017 and 2018. Dench and Hinton will meet up for Thanksgiving 2019 as well.

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And it's not just Thanksgiving. In an interview with the New York Post, Hinton says that the two meet up every couple of months. Their friendship has captured the attention of the media and the public for years now. 

“I love when people tell me it restores their faith in humanity which I get A LOT,” Hinton said, speaking about his friendship with Dench. 

Both live in Arizona, but with Hinton living in Phoenix and Dench living in Mesa, the two find it challenging sometimes to meet up with their busy schedules. They frequently keep in touch via text, not surprisingly. 

When they do get together in person, it's usually during the holidays. They've been to a pumpkin patch together, with Dench's husband tagging along. Hinton has a girlfriend named Mikaela who has also joined the friend group.

Hinton and Dench record some of their meet ups, like this one from 2018:

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