Surprise reunion in San Diego 7 decades later - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Surprise reunion in San Diego 7 decades later

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Two long-lost friends from New Jersey are back together again after going their separate way decades ago.

The reunion started in 1940 where the teenage girls worked for $22 a week at Solar Embroidery Finishing Company where they stitched lace on collars in Guttenberg, New Jersey.

Seventy-six years later from the east coast to the west coast, the two met again and reunited in an unexpected way.

The night before an anxious daughter put her 93-year-old New Jersey mother in an assisted living home in Rancho Pensaquitos, Carol Musterer said a quiet prayer.

“Dear Lord, just let mom have one friend here that she could get to know,” said Musterer.

The following night at dinner, Musterer introduced her mother, Clara Solar, to the women in the home, “I said, 'This is my mother Clara she is from New Jersey and this is her first day here.”

Ninety-two-year-old Dorothy Nelius piped in and said she was from New Jersey and at age 16 worked as a scallop cutter at Solar Embroidery Finishing Company.

“I got goose bumps, it was a remarkable thing,” said Musterer.

That was 76 years ago and nearly 3,000 miles on the other side of the country, at age 16, Clara Solar, Dorothy Nelius, Rak at the time, and her sister Alice now with last name McFarlen, worked in the embroidery shop together.

"She [Dorothy] called me up and said, ‘You wont believe, Clara is here,'” said Alice McFarlen about her conversation with her sister.

The women didn't recognize each other.

“We look so different,” said Nelius.

The memories started to flood when Dorothy pulled out a picture of the women in the embroidery shop.

Dorothy's stepfather was the owner and Clara was already married to the manager, Rudy Solar.

The women eventually left the factory. It was World War II, Dorothy joined the W.A.V.E.S. and she and her sister moved to San Diego. Clara was just seven decades behind the sisters.

"I can't believe it,” said Solar.

A prayer that was 76-years in the making.

"Be careful what you wish for,” said Musterer. “Someone was listening.”

Dorothy and her sister Alice moved to San Diego in 1946. Alice says she's been sending Christmas cards to Clara ever since she left but had no idea they would meet again.

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