updated 1/26/2007 8:36:36 PM ET 2007-01-27T01:36:36

Sally Creech, meet Sally Creech.

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The two Flint-area residents both married men named James and have had identity mix-ups for years. This week, the women finally met face to face, although the giggles and inside jokes they exchanged were a sign of 40 years of familiarity.

The meeting Tuesday was at Lucky's Steakhouse in Genesee County's Davison Township, about 50 miles north of Detroit.

"This is nice," said Sally Lucille Creech, 63, of Davison Township, accompanied by husband James, 65. "It's something we always wanted to do."

Crossing paths over the years "has been fun for me," Sally Ann Creech, 71, of Clayton Township, told The Flint Journal.

One mix-up happened after a tragic accident 25 years ago.

On Feb. 23, 1982, police called Sally Lucille Creech at Flint's Scott Elementary School, where she was principal.

"They told me my husband was in a car accident, and I had to get to Hurley (hospital) immediately," she said.

Her husband was supposed to be teaching then at Davison Middle School.

"Are you sure you have the right Sally Creech?" she said she asked the officer.

Meanwhile, her husband was called from his classroom.

"I had to tell them, 'Yes, I'm Jim Creech, and I'm fine,'" he said.

The victim had been Sally Ann Creech's husband. The 52-year-old construction worker made a left turn in front of another car and was killed.

Word reached Sally Ann Creech about an hour after the other Sally got it.

"I heard the siren," said Sally Ann Creech, then a secretary at Swartz Creek High School, near the crash site. "I thought it would never quit."

A health insurance card in the victim's wallet led police in the wrong direction.

He was listed on his wife's policy, held by an insurance company associated with school employees. Police were familiar with the principal and teacher, but not the school secretary.

Had children around the same time
James and Sally Lucille Creech learned of their counterparts through a published birth announcement that said James and Sally Creech had had a baby boy, Michael. Today, he is 40.

Sally Lucille Creech was pregnant at the time. She said her father sent her the announcement as a sign he would soon have a grandson. Instead, she gave birth to a girl. Jill also is 40.

The women's paths crossed in the mid-1970s, when Sally Ann Creech ran unsuccessfully for Clayton Township clerk.

"People said, 'I didn't know you were political,'" Sally Lucille Creech said. "I told them, 'I'm not.'"

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