Remembrances

Memories of A Woman Who Taxied to Arizona

  • Playlist
  • Download
  • Embed
    <iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/13947547/13947496" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Last April, Betty Matas and her husband took a New York City cab all the way to Arizona. Neither of them drove, and they didn't want to put their two cats in a plane's cargo hold. Matas died this week at 75.

SCOTT SIMON, host:

Betty Matas died this week at the age of 75. Her name might not be immediately familiar, but it made many news broadcasts only last spring. Bob and Betty Matas were leaving Queens, New York, where they'd lived all of their lives to retire in Sedona, Arizona.

Like a lot of New Yorkers, Bob and Betty didn't drive, but they also didn't want to fly and have their two cats travel as air cargo. So they hailed a cab -a New York taxi driven by Douglas Guldeniz, an immigrant from Turkey, who'd rarely been west of New York Airport.

He thought the trip sounded like fun and it was. The trio saw long sunsets over mountains and prairies. They ate strawberry pie in late-night neon diners. They made friends and wrote down their addresses on napkins. A parade welcomed their cab to Sedona.

But Betty Matas has been sick over the past few months. Her legs swelled and her lungs filled. But when we spoke with Bob Matas this week, he said she still had the time and charm to make many friends in their new home. Everybody loved her because she loved people, he said. Thirty-eight years - I wish we could do it all again.

Copyright © 2007 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by a contractor for NPR, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio.

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from