Bernie Loveless, born in 1916, grew up near the railway and made it his mission to preserve the history of the train and the town that shaped his life. He was a founding member of the museum, and a beloved figure in the community. This reading is inspired from memories shared in his oral history.
I was born in 1916 and grew up along the tracks in Owings, very close to the tomato canning factory, and a stone’s throw from Owings Station. I had my first job putting labels on cans of tomatoes. The filled boxes were loaded in the boxcars on the siding, and off they went on the train to Washington.
By 1930 we moved to North Beach and off I went on the train to Washington to attend high school. There was a high school in Prince Frederick but it only went to 11th grade. I knew others who also took the train to go to high school in Upper Marlboro.
When I was a teenager, the park was moved on to the land. The big attractions were the huge swimming pool and ballroom. Oh, the hours we spent swimming and dancing!
In those days, you had to buy tickets to dance. One ticket was worth 3 songs. I met the love of my life, Dorothy, right there on the dance floor!!