Thursday, March 5, 2020

Couple Who Met on B&O Train in 1955 Celebrate 60th Anniversary in Roundhouse

 The personal stories woven throughout the history of the B&O serve to remind us all of what railroading can represent at its very best – bringing people together. One such story is that of Kathleen and William Schrodel, who celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary right here at the museum last month. The Schrodels’ choice of venue, apart from providing a beautiful historical backdrop to an affair that drew family and friends from all over the country, also symbolized the origin of a love and partnership that spans over six decades and counting. For it was almost 65 years ago that William and Kathy met aboard a B&O train from Frederick to Baltimore.

When William was 15 and Kathleen 13, they joined 735 other children and adults on a joint adventure between the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts across the state of Maryland. The pair’s first interaction can certainly be described as sweet, though perhaps not in the way one might think. “He threw a Hershey bar at me to get my attention” Kathy exclaims. She goes on to add that she still possesses the wrapper, crediting this to the fact that she “thought he was pretty special.”

When asked if they remember much of that fateful train ride apart from meeting one another, Bill is quick to offer “I remember the Roundhouse.” Kathleen later confesses that she “always thought it would be a nice idea to have an anniversary party in the Roundhouse” and goes on to add that the evening was “absolutely magical.” There is a staggering sense of place known to all who enter “Baldwin’s Cathedral,” as the Roundhouse is sometimes called. Beyond its dazzling architecture and dizzying heights, beyond its status as one of Baltimore’s most significant historical sites, the Roundhouse remains for so many a towering landmark in the realm of memory; as monumental in the scope of personal histories as it is in that of American history. Take for example the Schrodels: jetsetters who’ve visited every state in the U.S.A and taken train rides in nations all over the world. Of all the places they’ve been together, this pair of adventurers chose to celebrate the anniversary of their marriage here at the B&O.

Nearly 65 years ago, two kids from Frederick boarded a B&O train for a journey that would irreversibly alter the course of both their lives. They’ve taken many journeys together since, and will surely take many more. But it seems that no matter where they travel, the winding railways of life will always lead William and Kathleen Schrodel back to the B&O, where the story of their love began.


JTRAIN#314 said...

That's WONDERFUL! Here's hoping that you'll both be around to be on the first true highspeed train! Yours truly, Jim Kerner

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