Babylon, DD4, and the Dancing Nun

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For the young boys of Valley Stream, Long Island, growing up in the shadow of the horrors of December of 1941 is about finding ways to cope. The boys join in on the wartime efforts where they can, helping with scrap drives and working in the victory gardens. Just as their gardens mature, so do the boys who tend them. In baseball, they find welcome distraction from their grief amid more joyful reminders of their youthful innocence.

Delmar Darby IV—better known as “DD4” to his friends—is in love. The irresistible Alice Meacham—also known as “Alice Blue-Eyes” to her young beau—captured his heart at the start of their teens. Now, with the world threatening to tear itself apart, they do the only thing that seems sensible when nothing makes sense anymore. Their wedding is a symbol of hope and love and optimism, even if it’s hard to make promises in war.

Their story is told by their friend Bob and a would-be hermit known as HAG. Compared to the war, the desire to learn how to dance may not mean much, but to DD4 and Alice Blue-Eyes, it’s what they can do to stay sane. With the help of Maud and Sister Mary Elizabeth, a nun renowned for her spirited Irish jig, their community hopes to learn that the surest cure for tragedy abroad may be the embrace of small victories at home.

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