Alice Baker and Joe Holoubek met in 1937 during a summer fellowship at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and began a two-year correspondence across 1,100 miles. Both were senior medical students, she in New Orleans and he in Omaha. Alice was the daughter of a former horse-and-buggy doctor. Joe was the grandson of Bohemian homesteaders, and English was his second language, learned when he started school.
Letters flew back and forth twice a week their last year in school and every day their internship year. They wrote about professors and fellow students in Louisiana, Nebraska, and Minnesota, about physicians and patients, illnesses and treatments, family and friends, football, songs, and movies. And their fancy turned to deep respect and abiding love.
From a private collection of their nearly 800 letters, daughter Martha Holoubek Fitzgerald has crafted a rare blend of compelling love story and enticing history. Look for The Courtship of Two Doctors: A 1930s Love Story of Letters, Hope & Healing in your local bookstore August 15—75 years after Dr. Joe and Dr. Alice met.