Chapter 1 - Background

This is a story of two youngsters from Brooklyn, N.Y. who met at a political rally and dance in the midst of World War II (February ‘43), their atypical courtship, subsequent marriage in October and their adventures and life together and apart during the war years. The time spent apart was documented by letter exchanges which were collected by each unbeknownst to the other at that time. This has made it possible to present the interchange where appropriate to give their story a freshness not possible otherwise.

The girl was Doris Kadisch, 18 years old at that time, involved in progressive politics and doing her bit for the war effort by working in a war plant. She was bouncy and energetic with a head full of brown curly hair, cut close, with dancing brown eyes which immediately captivated the boy, Saul Levine, twenty at that time when he was approached by Doris at the dance. She had come to the dance to contact him, as he had three friends who were entertainers, to see if they would perform at a later function she was to be part of. The impression made on Saul was so strong that not only did he agree to do so, but shy as he was, he asked her for a dance, totally ignoring the fact that he didn’t dance a step, something he acknowledged when they got on the dance floor. Sweet, gentle Doris accepted this fact graciously and they sat out the dances, getting acquainted as young people do under those circumstances. She learned he was a graduate of the Brooklyn Technical High School, going to night engineering school, Cooper Union. He had been a member of their basketball team, closed down for the duration and was an apprentice at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Also, he had enlisted in the Army Air Corps and was waiting to be called for pilot training as an air cadet.

After the dance they reluctantly parted, Saul in high spirits, so much so that he neglected to get her address since he had invited himself to her party as well. What a dilemma he was faced with when he was called to active duty the very next day, without any direct way of contacting her, something he urgently wanted to do. He only had time to relay a note via the entertainment trio asking for this information and hoped she would reply. It was graciously supplied and this started a flow of correspondence, the first of which follows below, that
culminated with marriage in October, the same year.


February 7,1943

Hello Doris,

Remember the rather timid, crummy dancer at the Fairplay social who stuck like a leech all evening and then didn’t even offer to see you home? Well, that’s me !

I certainly hope you didn’t find my letter too childish, but I was really anxiously looking forward to seeing you again. I don’t know whether it was fate or what, but the next day I received a telegram to report Thursday to Atlantic City, N.J. for basic training. Being a reserve air cadet, I was subject to a 24 hour call and they hollered. I was happy to leave, except for one thing, I regretted not being able to meet and get to know you better. You certainly impressed me as someone a guy doesn’t meet very often and who he doesn’t want to lose track of. However, circumstances worked against me (maybe to your good fortune). The only thing I can depend on to meet you and get to know you better are these rather futile letters. I’ve been doing quite a bit of wondering about you, knowing little else but the fact that those eyes are bewitching and there are brains behind the eyes.

If I'm not making myself obnoxious, I would like to hear from you, about yourself, your activities, your opinions, etc. As for me, I’m a thoroughly ordinary individual, perhaps with a better than average desire to help in bettering this world for the future and definitely am a lousy dancer.

I won’t write anything about this man’s army unless you care to hear about it. It is quite a unique place. Am looking forward to meeting you in your letters.

To victory in ‘43.


P.S. How was the party?


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