DENVER (CBS4) – Union Station’s reopening brought the transit station into a new era, but kept a lot of history as well. It’s history that a World War II widow relived this weekend because it was the last place she ever saw her husband alive.
It’s a classic love story fitting of the age. The year was 1942 and Hank Marlowe and Dorothy Kolberg only had eyes for each other.
“He was an all-state halfback for the opposing high school team,” Dorothy Kolberg said.
And as love stories go, the young California couple happily wed not long after graduation.
“He just was wonderful.”
But it was the early 1940s and World War II was brewing overseas.
“Of course he got his papers almost immediately.”
Hank Marlowe was sent to Lowery Air Force Base in Denver for training — a place Dorothy soon followed and Hank was waiting for her as she got off the California Zephyr at Union Station.
“When I got here all l saw was him.”
Dorothy remembers the strict weekday curfew on the base when she had to leave — a rule they’d bend when they said goodnight.
“But he would walk down the inside of the base and I would walk down the outside and we’d have our hands going along the fence … just touching.”
Weeks later Hank was sent to Japan, never to return.
“I never saw him again.”
Today Dorothy lives in California. She went on to remarry and have seven children, but she never forgot about Hank.
“We would have been married 72 years this August.”
PHOTO GALLERY: Union Station Reborn
Now she’s recreating that train trip to Union Station and Denver — a place her granddaughter Elizabeth now calls home.
“I knew this when I moved to Denver six years ago,” Elizabeth said.
Elizabeth now works at the Crawford Hotel inside Union Station on the same floors her grandmother walked with her husband so many years ago.
“That’s part of the reason I took the job, actually,” Elizabeth said.
Though many details are hazy, Dorothy does remember exactly where Hank was standing when she got off the train. It’s a lasting memory of wartime heartbreak — of high school sweethearts — of first loves.
“I’ve had a full life but this was first love,” Dorothy said.
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