Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Paul Band, The Matchmaker



Paul Band had managed to survive World War II as a small boy with his mother. I aways suspected that he might be Jewish, from the stories he told about being cold, hungry, and wandering around on foot, staying with various friendly families. After the war he made it to the United States, settling in Boston. He and I became friends and shared an apartment for awhile. He was very active in the anti-war movement. He'd seen it first hand.

The 1960's wasa time when crossing the Atlantic by ship was having it's final harrah. It was still cheaper to spend three days on as boat than to fly. Stephanie had spent a year attending the University of Geneva in lieu of going through her senior year in high school in Bethesda, MD. It was some sort of advance placement program, taking an immersion course in the French language, and staying with her aunt and uncle. He was conected with the United Nations there. She met Paul on the ship.

Stephanie and Paul exchanged letters frequently. Long distance phone calls were expensive and Paul and I had no phone anyway. One day Paul suddenly decided to move to New York. A week or two later there was a knock on the door. Stephanie and one of her girlfriends had hitch hiked from the University of Michigan to Boston. I invited her in. We ate and chatted. Things "clicked". I didn't want to get drafted, and at the time married men were exempt. I asked her to marry me. A week later we were wed.

As for Paul, I might have seen him once or twice more when he visited Boston.

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