NEW JERSEY: House-Raising

It was the kind of project—at once heartwarming, over-organized and unabashedly flamboyant—that Americans dote on. The townspeople of New Brunswick, NJ. had set out to build a home for 23-year-old ex-Marine Robert William Hoelzle, who lost the use of his legs when he was hit by a Japanese bullet on Okinawa. It was just like an old-fashioned house-raising bee, except that it took place in the age of the assembly line and the publicity man.

A Bob Hoelzle Housing Committee was appointed with a judge as its chairman. Staff members of a local...

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