This week marks the tenth anniversary of StoryCorps, the independent oral history project that has spent the last decade collecting stories from all over the United States. In celebration, we’ve gathered one love story for each year they’ve been gathering stories. Listen and watch some of our favorites below, and be prepared to have your heart both warmed and wrenched.
1. I Will Be Your Memory
The incredibly moving story of Jeff Ingram and his wife Penny. Jeff has repeatedly experienced complete and total memory loss, as he suffers from a rare form of amnesia. It’s up to Penny to keep Jeff’s life story safe, and together they turned to StoryCorps to make a record of the memories they have made. Make sure you listen through the message he leaves for himself at the end, but only if you are interested in crying copious amounts today.
2. She Was the One
StoryCorps has made a concerted effort to tell the stories of people who were killed in the September 11th attacks, and this video is dedicated to Karen Juday, who was an administrative assistant on the 101st floor of the North Tower. In this beautiful recollection, Richie Pecorella explains how his late fiancée helped him transform from angry, macho, road-rager to a man who swears he will do enough good to meet up with his true love in heaven.
3. Labor of Love
Colleen Collins and Shaun Kaufman were married, broke, and at a dead end in their relationship. So they did what any couple would do: started a private investigation agency. Hours of digging through other people’s garbage looking for proof of infidelity brought the pair closer together than ever. Listen to this clip, and the next time you’re in a romantic rut, you’ll consider buying your partner an oversized magnifying glass and heading on a romantic stakeout.
4. To R.P. Salazar, with Love
It started as a case of mistaken e-dentity, and quickly escalated into a whirlwind international courtship. When Texan Ruben P. Salazar received an email intended for Rachel P. Salazar, he didn’t expect to find the love of his life—in Bangkok, Thailand. We’re wondering how many sets of monogrammed towels they got for their wedding.
5. The Biggest Blessing
At 48 and 56, respectively, Harriet and Louis Kaplan had long since given up on the idea of finding love. But then they met each other, and that quickly changed. Twenty years later and facing Harriet’s battle with colon cancer, they’re more in love than ever.
6. Danny and Annie
We’ve told you about the beautiful story of Danny and Annie Perasa’s twenty-seven year romance before, but we’re still not over it. Their daily love letters and down-to-earth devotion provide an amazing example of what real love in real life can be like. Seriously inspiring.
7. When Mom Became a Man
Les and Scott GrantSmith had been married for a decade when Les admitted a surprising secret. Les, mother of two, felt that he was a man in a woman’s body. He was afraid that revealing his true identity would mean losing his family. Instead, Les, Grant, and their daughters Amanda and Thea formed a stronger bond than ever. Listen closely for Amanda’s suggestion regarding her mom’s transition.
8. No More Questions!
Kay Wang was a feisty old lady with no interest in telling her story, but in the last months of her life she allowed her son and granddaughter to interview her for StoryCorps. Her hilariously no-nonsense style will leave you wanting to know so much more, but check out this video for the nicest story involving hemorrhoids that we’ve ever heard.
9. A Rescue Romance
It’s safe to assume that when Susan, a single mother, walked into a topless bar’s amateur night, she didn’t expect it would lead to finding a husband and a career in the sciences. But bouncer Philip McClinton knew that Susan was special. Together, they made a new life for themselves: going back to school and becoming biologists, exploring Yellowstone National Park, rattlesnake hunting, and finally, marriage. Their romance is a beautiful example of two people giving each other a second chance.
10. Always a Family
This tenth entry may be more “heart-rending” than “sweet,” but it unquestionably worth a viewing. Michael Trinidad and Monique Ferrer met when she was only fourteen, married five years later, had two children, and divorced. On the morning of September 11th, 2001, Monique got a call from the 103rd floor of the World Trade Center, where her ex-husband was working.
- The 10 Best Love Letters Ever Written
- The Science of Surprise: How Doing the Unexpected Keeps You in Love
- How Do You Know If He or She Is ‘The One’?