He met his wife, Marie Snydover, in the mid 30's and and they married in 1938. (Lithograph of her knitting) Marie was not an artist, but was from a theatrical family. Her father Leon was a Yiddish actor in London where Marie was born, and had toured with a Yiddish theater company to South Africa before the family decided to move to The US in 1922. Her younger sister, Nina Dova, was a dancer in the USO during the war who became a concert artist and later an actress. She had a beautiful soprano voice and played classical guitar. Marie taught school and eventually became the director of the School of the Jewish Guild for the Blind in New York. They lived in a apartment on 8th street with the soon to be film director Nicholas Ray and his wife Jean Evans a writer.
Nicholas Ray is best known as a Hollywood director whose movies include Rebel without a Cause,“ Johnny Guitar, Bigger Than Life, In a Lonely Place, Bitter Victory, They Live by Night, and Party Girl. Ray produced and directed radio
Ray in the late '30's, along with Alan Lomax, traveled around the south and recorded folk musicians for the Library of Congress. The collaboration proved successful, and in the early 40's Lomax and Ray were hired by CBS to produce a regular evening program. It was sometimes broadcast from the Anchel's kitchen.
The program, Back Where I Come From, 1940–41. was an entertainment program featuring Woody Guthrie, Josh White, Leadbelly, the Golden Gate Quartet, Burl Ives, and Pete Seeger as permanent members. To the right is an image of Ray with Leadbelly and Josh White. (below top row Alan Lomax, Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger. 2nd row Josh White, Leadbelly and Burl Ives)
In 1943, Harold was drafted. He entered the army and was an artist in residence. He first was assigned to paint insignias on planes and buildings. He soon was re-assigned to the Camouflage Battalion unit in Walterboro, South Carolina, where he designed, built, and clothed, puppets that were then used to teach camouflage techniques to visiting troops who were going overseas.
They performed a show about safety, illustrating what would happen to a soldier were he to be careless. The puppet Harold operated was able to take a cigarette from his pocket and light it. Of course, the enemy saw this and shot him as the soldier wasn't supposed to light a match outside.
Below are pictures of Harold operating the puppet and two scenes; Bivouacking and the Pearly Gates after the poor puppet had mistakenly lit his cigarette.
Marie became pregnant while Harold was in the army and eventually went back to New York to give birth. On July 12, 1945, just prior to the end of the war, she gave birth to David. Harold was traveling from down south at the birth but saw the baby early on the 13th when he got to the hospital.
Soon Truman dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshoma and Nagasaki and the war ended. Harold was discharged from the army and came back to New York to join his family. They lived in a small apartment on 12th st. between 2nd and 3rd avenue and remained there for the next 21 years.