She was born in the United Kingdom in the 1970s while he was born in Fairbanks, Alaska, in the 1950s. “She was a globe-trotting journalist in China, while he was a highway construction engineer in Alaska. She was a published author, an authority on chess and fluent in Russian. He was a Tourettes syndrome sufferer and fluent in profanity.” but according to a story in the Anchorage Daily News, which in 2007 highlighted the unlikely hook-up, Sarah Hurst, 34, and Jon Savage, 52, fell in love six years ago while living 4,000 miles apart.
The pair met through a worldwide Internet dating service. Sarah, in Beijing, got in touch with Jon, in Anchorage, after scrutinizing a small amount of positive particulars in his personal outline, like his interest in reading, writing and lifelong learning, his yearning to travel, his love of cooking. In the introductory communication that developed, Sarah observed that Jon didn't try to cover or exaggerate the crucial essentials of his being, “like his job with the Department of Transportation, his tests as a single dad, his four kids, his teenage son with autism,” according to the Daily News.
Friends and family had warned her about the potential pitfalls and deceptions of Internet matchmaking. But almost immediately, Sarah says, she knew that Jon was "real." Three months later -- in the summer of 2001 -- she traveled to Alaska to meet him. “Part of the attraction back then, Sarah admits now, had been her preconceptions of a strong independent man in the wilderness of Alaska. But at least half that image began to fade the first evening when she checked into ‘one of the seediest hotels in Anchorage,’ a place on Fifth Avenue with broken floorboards and a Jacuzzi in each room.”
Jon later persuaded her to stay in his home, in spite of her English mother's concern that he still might be "an ax murderer." Later she sent her mom a semi-reassuring photo. "I had a picture taken of me typing at a computer, saying, 'It's OK, Mom. It's safe.' And in the background he's holding an ax,” Sarah told the newspaper.
"She tries real hard," Jon says, "but she's not as funny as me."
The two quickly fell into a happy pattern of road trips and food fests and social outings. They became regular trivia competitors at the weekly pub quiz at Humpy's. Jon moved on to a job as construction manager for the Alaska court system. Sarah found several freelance writing and consulting jobs -- lecturing BP employees on Azerbaijan (where she lived for a year), translating books from Russian to English, and accepting a screenwriting assignment for a PBS documentary on Alaska.
The newspaper offered the happy conclusion to the story like this:
“This month, when they got married in a small family ceremony at a friend's house, Jon and Sarah acknowledged each other's wishes in their vows -- with certain exceptions.
“Said Jon: ‘I promise to love and cherish you, to make bean soup for you, to throw my clothes all over the floor, to play Sudoku with you and to make your life interesting till death do us part.’
“Said Sarah: ‘I promise to love and cherish you, to remind you to take your medicine, to beat you at Sudoku and pool, except on rare occasions, and to hurry up and get famous so that you can bask in the glory till death do us part.’”