On Valentine’s Day, people across the world celebrate their love for each other by exchanging cards, candy, flowers, and heart-shaped gifts. While it appears Cupid is particularly busy shooting his love-laced arrows this time of year, we often forget that love doesn’t usually find its way on a Hallmark-sponsored holiday. In fact, many people stumble upon love at a time and place where it’s least expected. Some call this happenstance, others call it fate. The story of Carol and Herbert’s meeting is just that – a story of happenstance that brought two people from different worlds together.
It was March 29, 1962 when Carol arrived at Boston Logan Airport from Scotland. The 21-year-old came to the U.S. for a year-long contract to nanny for a local family after a classmate, who was already working as a nanny in Boston, wrote a letter urging her to come. It wasn’t long after her arrival that her friend introduced Carol to the International Institute of Boston (now International Institute of New England). During their days off, they attended events at the Institute, which was a social hub for the local immigrant and refugee community. It hosted events for locals and immigrants alike such as dances, games nights, and bus trips around the city.
On the rainy evening of June 24, the girls found themselves back at the Institute for dancing after a trip to Thompson Island, one of the Boston Harbor Islands, was rained-out. The young women danced for a short time but decided to leave after receiving unwanted attention from several male guests. Making their way down the stairs from the third floor of the Institute, they found themselves among a group of party-goers on the next landing. Suddenly, a seemingly-confident young man strode over to the girls. “My name is Herbert Schuler,” he said, extending his hand to each, “my friends and I are having a party and would like you to join us.” After a whispered discussion, the girls decided to go with Herbert and his friends even though they were complete strangers. Later they discovered that the 33-year-old had emigrated from Germany six years prior to join his sister in the U.S., and despite his boisterous appearance, was actually quite shy.
After a low-key evening spent with their new German friends, the girls were escorted to the nearest T-station where everyone exchanged phone numbers. The young women agreed that Herbert resembled the young Lieutenant in the musical South Pacific and they both really liked him. A few days later, Carol was surprised to receive a call from Herbert who asked her out on a date. They had such a great time that their first date led to a second, and then a third. The chemistry between the two was undeniable, and when Herbert proposed marriage on their third date, Carol couldn’t refuse. The two became engaged in August of ‘62, and got married the following May.
Fifty-five years later, the couple has three children and four grandchildren whom they see often. Who knows if Cupid was flying around the Institute that night, but Carol told IINE staff that she believes not only are they fortunate to have found each other, but it was the best of luck to have met Herbert at the International Institute of New England all those years ago.
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