Star Tracks: Monday, May 16, 2016 42 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Burn 400 Calories on Your Daily Commute with BikeBus, a Cycling Studio on Wheels
- Read the Cover Story: JFK Jr.: The John We Loved
- WATCH AND SHOP: This Bag Is Actually Three Bags in One
- Tig Notaro Shares Her Mastectomy Scars in Photo with Newborn Twins: 'This Is My Life'
- WATCH: Disney's First Latina Princess Aimee Carrero Takes Our Disney Princess Quiz
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- July 12, 1976
- Vol. 6
- No. 2
The Friedman Twins Find You Can Go Home Again, Especially If You're Ann Landers and Dear Abby
Hand in hand, Ann and Abigail (born on July 4, 17 minutes apart) then deplaned from Ozark Airlines flight 989 into a battery of flashing Instamatics.
The Friedman twins—Esther Pauline (a/k/a Ann Landers) and Pauline Esther (Dear Abby)—had arrived home in Sioux City, Iowa for their class's 40th reunion at Central High School. Back then Esther was "Eppie" and Pauline was "Po-Po," and their friends still call them that. Po-Po is married to wealthy businessman Morton Phillips of Beverly Hills; Eppie, who lives in Chicago, is divorced.
"I stayed up all night studying the yearbook, and I wanna tell ya everyone in this room tonight looks a darn sight better than 40 years ago," Eppie told the reunion crowd.
But whatever four decades—and who knows what surgical legerdemain—have done to Sioux City's most famous alumnae, in some ways their lives have been little changed by the enormous success of their columns, which appear daily in 1,700 newspapers.
"We were unique in high school. We dressed alike. We looked alike. We were so used to being stared at that being celebrities has never seemed any different," the sisters explained.
Po-Po confessed that she and her sister sometimes attended each other's classes—depending on who had done the homework. Biology teacher R.D. Hissong, 88, admitted being taken in. But classmates recalled that violin teacher Leo Kuchinski had a fail-safe detection system: "He could tell from the first note." If the budding violinist sounded more like Jack Benny than Jascha Heifetz, it had to be Eppie.
The Friedman twins were dispensing useful information long before their pseudonyms became household words, their friends revealed. "When they told me babies came from between the mother's legs—why, I fell off the curb," claimed Rosanna Dikel Kornfeld. "They always knew everything first."
They still try to keep up with the times. Po-Po said, "Just recently I confided in Eppie that I'd seen an X-rated movie, and she admitted she'd been wanting to see it. 'But I was afraid I'd be recognized,' Eppie said. 'How did you get away with it?' I told her, 'Well, I just put on my dark glasses and my Ann Landers wig and went!' "
The hotel in Sioux City had given the sisters the bridal suite, two bedrooms separated by a parlor. But Po-Po disclosed that they shared the same king-size bed. "When we are together we still sleep curled up in each others' arms like we always did. We talk and laugh all night." So much for past rumors of jealousies and feuds between the columnists. (They even went to the ladies' room together on the Ozark DC-9.)
For the big reunion banquet at the Hilton Inn (neither smokes nor drinks), the sisters chose not to dress alike. Eppie-Ann swept to the head table in a stunning knit Adolpho cheongsam. Po-Po-Abby wore a silvery blue lame Molly Parnis. The couturial éclat of both creations may have been somewhat lost on school chums, many of whom acknowledged that their own gowns were off the rack at J. C. Penney.
The Friedman twins flew back to Chicago on Sunday in agreement on their answer to any letter from "Undecided" about his high school reunion. Should he attend? "Go!" they chorused. "It's like an extra facet on a diamond. It'll make all your memories even more precious."
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!