It was in 1998, more than a decade ago, when I was sitting in a small, darkly-lit room in the basement of my university of applied science. Little did I know that pine* would become my email client of choice for the coming years. I used pine for years, but stopped doing so early in the new millenium.
As time went by, I used other MUAs, but never found the easy of use and flexibility I had found in pine. Fast-forward to 2015, I need a console MUA and look for -- you might have expected it -- pine. UW had developed alpine as a successor to the original pine and a fork call re-alpine once also existed. It was really cool to discover that alpine is still alive and kicking, now maintained by the community (or rather one individual -- thank you Eduardo!).
* Update 2019: Link now points to Wikipedia, because the university of Washington removed the main webpage for pine from their website.