75 year-old Paul of Sykesville, MD has always been a history buff. Upon retiring, Paul started volunteering with the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore as a docent, researcher, public speaker, and information retrieval archivist assistant. Through his work, he became very fascinated with the role that the railroads played in the outcome of the Civil War. The B & O Railroad Museum currently has a commemorative exhibit entitled, “The War Came by Train.” Paul’s Wish of a Lifetime was to travel to Atlanta and Chattanooga to visit their many historical sites and museums. Paul kept a journal and photo document exhibits in hopes of gathering new historical information that he can add to the B & O’s commemorative exhibit, which will be ending in November of 2015.
Paul’s volunteerism certainly isn’t just limited to the B & O railroad museum. Paul spent most of his professional life working for the Department of Defense. He said that he had very little interaction with the outside world when he was working for the DOD and volunteering has finally given him an outlet to have personal interaction. His most significant volunteer work stems from the loss of his long-time companion, Sally, who succumbed to Alzheimer’s after a 5-year battle in 2007. To this day, Paul is still volunteering in the activities department at Sally’s old community, Copper Ridge, in Sykesville, MD. Staff members from the community have praised Paul for his continued work with their residents. Paul also does outreach for the Alzheimer’s Association and has given public talks on Alzheimer’s, a disease that many people have trouble talking about. As Paul says, “I come from a generation that was afraid to talk about Cancer.”
Since retiring, Paul has invested a lot of time in other people. It is telling that his wish revolves around his volunteer work. On August 8th, 2014 Wish of a Lifetime and TAD Relocation sent Paul and his friend Dan (a fellow B & O Railroad Museum Volunteer and author) on a journey by train to historical sites in Atlanta and Chattanooga.