Scott Wall and his wife, Isabel Sobozinsky-Wall, got their love story down on tape — 20 years before they came to StoryCorps.
It started on New Year’s Eve 1991. Isabel was living in San Francisco but decided to celebrate with some friends in New York City. That’s where she met Scott.
Scott and Isabel hit it off and started dating despite living on different coasts. They eased the distance with a novel type of love letter — the couple would record their everyday lives on cassette tapes and mail the recordings back and forth.
Within a year, Scott moved to California to live with Isabel. At StoryCorps, they sat down to remember how it all began.
Click here for the transcript.
ISW: Because I had been told that Manhattan is so big and scary, and I wanted to make sure that your name matched up and your birth date, and all those details. [laughs]
SW: I thought it was very cute. And I said that I would like to see you in a day or two.
ISW: And then I called you and you took me to the airport.
SW: I had a little Walkman at the time, a beaten-up Walkman. I commuted great distances into Manhattan, so I had time to make these tapes, like recorded letters.
SW VOICE ON ARCHIVAL AUDIO: Scott here…
SW: And I would interview the brakemen on the subway.
SW ARCHIVAL AUDIO: I’m making a tape that I’m sending to a friend in California.
ISW: I remember at one point you had somebody play a song for me.
ARCHIVAL AUDIO: [Music]
SW: You know, when I was making these tapes for you I just felt like you were this little angel on my shoulder wherever I was going.
ARCHIVAL AUDIO: To Isabel
SW: So I was like trying to show you everything I could.
ISW: Yeah, you even took it to the dentist once when you were having dental work.
ARCHIVAL AUDIO: Oh, that tooth is getting uglier.
ISW: You talked on one side of the tapes and you said, “The other side is blank so that you can respond.”
SW: Do you remember when you were recording while you were visiting your family?
ARCHIVAL AUDIO: Como está? Como está?
ISW: Oh yeah, that was with Mom and I was telling them how excited I was about you and so I asked them to say something.
ARCHIVAL AUDIO: Hi Scott, how you doing?
SW: I realized you were really making an effort to share your world with me. It just really was a nice thing for me to hear.
ISW: I kept the tapes in a red box with a red ribbon.
SW: I kept yours in a off-site storage area so that if ever there was an earthquake or a fire in the house I would have them protected—
ISW: Oh dear.
SW: In a concrete bunker—
SW: Well looking back over the 20 years we’ve been together does anything surprise you about our relationship?
ISW: That we can still look forward seeing each other and having our love. That’s a surprise to me, that’s like a gift because that says a lot.
ARCHIVAL AUDIO OF ISW VOICE: Wishing you well, darlin’. This is San Francisco, signing off.