City Social Magazine

JUN 2013

City Social Magazine in Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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Page 43 of 67

"It Was Just a Fascination" Louisiana Author Chronicles Parents' Love Story through their Letters By Rosalind Tuminello The letter from Clarkson, Nebraska, dated August 22, 1937, began, "Dear Alice" and closed with "Sincerely, Joe." By March 23, 1938, the same author's salutation had changed to "My Darling," and was signed "Love, Joe." In the span of a few months, what began as friendly generic correspondence between two young medical students who had met for the first time the summer of 1937 at the Mayo Clinic blossomed into enduring love. It would be 10 months until they would see each other again. 44 Read us online at In her new book, The Courtship of Two Doctors—A 1930s Love Story of Letters, Hope & Healing, loving daughter and author Martha Holoubek Fitzgerald of Shreveport shares, through their letters, the story of her parents, who fell in love and pursued medical careers during an era before antibiotics and when overcrowded hospitals were common in certain areas. Pursuing their training in medicine—he in Omaha and she in New Orleans—they realized that whatever the future held for them, they would dedicate their lives to healing and would always be together. At first, Joe Holoubek was not overly impressed with Alice Baker, the southern girl with a charming accent who was one of only two girls in the summer fellowship program. After all, "he had not come to Mayo looking for romance," and though the pair had several casual dates, Joe was not so sure he would even write to Alice when she returned to medical school in Louisiana at the end of the summer. She was very pretty and ladylike, but "it was just a fascination," the tall, handsome physician had naively told himself. But write, he did! And through their courtship, engagement, and finally their marriage in 1939, approximately 800 letters were exchanged. Fitzgerald, the youngest of four Holoubek children and a journalist, suggested the idea of writing The Courtship of Two Doctors to her father, who had written one book already. "I would take him on weekend trips

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