A New Name

A Wartime Engagement

"Dear Tooken One"

"He proposed in three weeks because he had been transferred to Chicago. He said, 'I’ve got to go,' and he said, 'I just can’t help it,' and he said, 'I was just sick about it. I didn’t wanna marry y—I do wanna marry you, but I didn’t wanna ask you so quick. But,' he said, 'If you will be engaged to me, I have to complete my job.' He said, 'I can’t get married until then.' And he said, 'I don’t have enough money to buy you a ring because,' he said, 'What money I’ve got is home in a bank, and my mother can’t get to it.' And he said, 'I don’t wanna ask her for a loan.' So he said, 'I just—I’m so scared somebody’s going to take you away from me.' So he said, 'I bought you this.' And he showed me my bracelet...

And then he started writing me letters, of course, he was in Chicago, and I was in Detroit, and we were engaged. [Chuckles]. He’d say, 'Dear Tooken One,' and so I’d sign it 'Dear Tooken,' and back and forth and back and forth. And he started calling me Tooken, introducing me as Tooken, and pretty soon Tooken took over and Dolores got moved along."

Editor's note: Tooken Cade still wears the bracelet given to her by Richard "Rich" Richardson in 1943. The name "Tooken" is etched on it.