The other woman in the WWII "kiss" photo

2006-11-10T23:00:00Z The other woman in the WWII "kiss" photoNATALIE ANDREWS - Daily Herald Daily Herald
November 10, 2006 11:00 pm  • 

The banner read "Japan Surrenders, The war is over!" It spread all around Times Square, announcing victory, V-J Day. Kay Dorius looked up, opened her mouth, gasping.

Next to her a couple was kissing to celebrate.

She didn't see the camera, and didn't realize that kiss and her gasp would be forever captured on posters and the covers of magazines.

"I was shocked, I saw it the next morning in the Daily News," she said. Dorius's name was never linked with the photo of the woman off to the side in the brown and white checked dress. The woman in the photo matches Dorius's wedding photos she displays in her home, taken a year earlier.

Dorius, who now lives in Provo, has collected copies of the famous picture over the years, and hung them around her home. The picture has become a reminder of jubilee and pandemonium. Dorius said she watched that same soldier run down the street and kiss several nurses.

It reminds her of a time when she waited in line for coffee and butter; and she powdered on "stockings," standing on a chair to have a friend draw a "seam" down her leg.

It was a time of doing without, wearing an "E" for Excellence and working as a receptionist at a textile factory that was low on fabric because of the war effort. [The "E" award was given by the War Department to businesses that supported the war effort.]

And when she saw that banner, she knew that time would soon be over and her husband could finally come home.

"We always said, 'when the war is over, when the war is over.' I really didn't know if it would be," she said.

She used the emergency line to call her husband, who was stationed in Boston on a medical ship, to tell him that he could come home. He explained that it wasn't that easy -- but she thought it should be. She was pregnant and she wanted him there.

Those were war times, Dorius explained, comparing them to current times -- though she never thought there would be another war.

"Everybody had somebody," she said. She met her husband at a dance for servicemen and they were married when she was 17. He was from Utah, and she was from New York City.

They moved to Ephraim after the war, when her husband's father was sick.

"My husband had never told me anything about the LDS Church," Dorius said.

She recalled sitting down for her first breakfast with her in-laws and asking for coffee and toast.

Silence, and then a polite explanation that there wasn't any.

No problem, Dorius asked for tea.

That was hard, Dorius said. Small town life was different from New York City.

"I asked him 'When do we go out to townfi', and he said, 'We just went right through it,' " Dorius said of asking her husband where Ephraim was.

Life has taught the 79-year-old woman to take opportunities as they come.

"Do things now and then pay it off," she said. "The world is small, you can fly to France tomorrow."

Natalie Andrews is available at 344-2561 or nandrews@heraldextra.com.

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page A1.

Copyright 2015 Daily Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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