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Trains, ships and romance often go together. Whether it's tales from aboard the Orient Express or the meeting aboard ship in the famous film story 'An Affair to Remember', but ... there is nothing like a real romance.
Karen and Allen Hilgendorf will forever wave goodbye
An historic mural was recently unveiled in Southampton, Ontario. It is a life-sized train steam engine from a bygone era. It was the lifeblood of a region that depended on the train for passenger travel, mail and freight but there is also a romance behind it.
Karen Hilgendorf stands in front of the mural where her husband's likeness waves goodbye
Now, for Karen (Tanner) Hilgendorf it will forever be a reminder and remembrance of her husband Allen.
Karen (Tanner) worked in Southampton at the Bruce County Museum and Cultural Centre before leaving for another position in the Blue Mountain resort area of Collingwood. Like many others, Karen's marriage also ended.
A passionate fan of the annual Owen Sound Summerfolk music fest for more than 30 years, it was there that Karen met the love of her life, Allen Hilgendorf.
Hilgrendorf, an ordained minister, had himself gone through several tribulations, including the death of his son in an accident, a divorce and a severe accident that crushed his pelvis.
They say that everything happens for a reason and, perhaps, that is true. Following his accident, the insurance company offered to pay for his retraining in another field that would be less physically demanding. It was then that he decide to go back to school and study design and visual arts at Georgian College in Owen Sound. There was little doubt that he had a gift.
Hilgendor began to paint what would become famous historical murals through the region of Grey, Bruce and Huron Counties. From Kincardine to Durham, Tobermory to Flesherton and, finally, his last in Mildmay.
But ... back to Summerfolk.
"I was at Summerfolk in Owen Sound when Allen came over and asked
me to dance," says Karen. "The rest as they say ... is history.
We hit it off almost immediately."
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Wednesday, August 31, 2016