WWII veteran, toddler form unlikely friendship, become best friends

FARMINGTON, MN -- For nearly a decade, the Rychner family had little interaction with the man living next door.

There would be the occasional wave or smile until the family's three-year-old son, Emmett, struck up a friendship with the 89-year-old neighbor, Erling Kindem, according to ABC News .

The pair bonded over tomatoes after Emmett would continually go up to Erling and ask, "Got any matoes?" according to the ABC report .

Eventually a bond was made. Erling taught the 3-year-old how to fix a bike, throw a baseball and even race tractors. Erling rode around in his real tractor, while the young boy rode around in his toy one.

The boy's parents said the friendship has been great for their son, whose great-grandmother passed away last year.

"To him, Erling is like a grandpa," the mother told ABC.

Now the pair will be separated as the 3-year-old's family will be moving to a bigger house in Dundas, Minn. Erling will be putting his house up for sale since he'll be moving into a senior housing complex.

"He first said, 'It's OK. I know you want to move to a neighborhood with more kids,'" she recalled. "Before I could tell him that was not why we were moving, he said, 'It won't be long before there is a 'Sale' sign on my yard. I am not young anymore," reports ABC.

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