A Christmas card sent back and forth between friends has crisscrossed the country for 61 years, says the Texas man who first mailed it to a friend.

In 1950, Acker Hanks, now 89, sent the card to Lee Kelley, a neighbor in New Waverley, Texas. Kelly sent the same card back to Hanks in 1951.

"I probably didn't even read what was on the card," Hanks said. "We were constantly pulling jokes on one another."

Since then, the card has changed places every year, even as Kelly, who worked for the U.S. Forest Service, moved all over the United States, the Tyler (Texas) Morning Telegraph reported Sunday.

Inside the card is a list of years and where the card was sent that year, along with short notes as the friends updated each other on the happenings in their lives.

The card has traveled to places such as Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin, where Kelly finally retired.

Hanks has lived in Texas all that time.

When Kelly died more than 10 years ago, Hanks continued the tradition with Kelly's wife Rose Ann.

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However, the card was returned to Hanks unopened this year, and Kelly says he assumes Rose Ann has moved to a nursing home, the newspaper said.

Kelly says he'll have the card framed.

"It was just a close friendship. I always have looked forward to getting the card. ! I don't think it'll ever leave me now," Hanks said.