A Long Life of Love and Wonder Anna and Joseph Wise, childhood sweethearts, were married for nearly six decades. Now 96, she has outlived him for 16 years and wonders how "you get through almost anything."


The Americans submitted their voices to our StoryCorps project now include this woman.

Ms. ANNA WISE (StoryCorps Contributor): My name is Anna Wise, and I'm 96.

INSKEEP: Anna Wise spoke with her daughter, Mary, at StoryCorps. They talked about Anna's husband, Joseph, and the story of their love. It spanned nearly 80 years.

Ms. WISE: I knew Pop when we were children. I was eight and he was 11. I was madly in love with him, and I thought surely that I would marry him when I was old enough.

MARY (Anna Wise's Daughter): So how did you go about bagging him?

Ms. WISE: Well, I was sassy. I turned on all the tricks that I knew, and winked an eye or two now and then.

MARY: Do you remember your first date?

Ms. WISE: Yes. I remember that date. He took me to a baseball game. I was perfectly willing to go there or anywhere else. We danced the night away. We went to speakeasies. We did all the things you're not supposed to do. And to make a long story short, which people are not fond of doing, we just sort of agreed that it was time to get married.

MARY: What year was that?

Ms. WISE: This was 1933.

MARY: And what was the day?

Ms. WISE: What was the date? Well, that's been so long ago, I guess, I don't remember.

MARY: November 11th.

Ms. WISE: November the 11th. Correct.

MARY: Tell me about taking care of Pop when he got sick.

Ms. WISE: Well, your father was diagnosed with diabetes. He lost a leg. Then the diabetes took him anyway. And we never know what diseases are going to catch up with us. It's amazing, the things that people can live through when they have to. So you get through it, and you get through almost anything, and you live to be 96. And sometimes you wonder why. But then when you look up the blue sky, you think it's going to be all right.

(Soundbite of music)

INSKEEP: That's Anna Wise with her daughter Mary in Maryland.

Their interview will be archived along with all the others in American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. And you can hear the StoryCorps Podcast at npr.org.

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