Not slowed down at all

February 07, 2010|By Peter Hermann |

Romantic interlude
Andrew Kinnear took his dog out to play in Saturday's snow and came home engaged.

His flight to Las Vegas was canceled - he had thought of proposing in front of the fountain at the Bellagio - and a friend egged him on to pop the question on the steps of Our Lady of Good Counsel Church in Locust Point.

So with his boxer Clinton and friends standing in knee-deep drifts on East Fort Avenue, Kinnear brushed off the church steps, got down on one knee and took out a ring.

"It was very exciting and unexpected," said Reagan Rinderknecht, who works in behavioral medicine at Johns Hopkins Kennedy Krieger Institute.

She said yes.

"We popped the corks and drank on the street," said Brenda McHale, a friend and neighbor of the new couple and the wife of state Del. Brian K. McHale, who also joined in the outdoor festivities.

Kinnear, who turns 29 next week and sells Toyotas at CarMax in Laurel, had all but given up on proposing this weekend.

He had bought tickets to Las Vegas, hoping to leave Saturday. He hadn't really made plans - "I was going to wing it," he said - but one idea was to propose in front of the hotel on the Strip.

When all that fell through, Kinnear didn't know what to do. He headed out to Latrobe Park with his boxer, joined by the McHales and their boxer Roxy and Matt Horstmann and Mary Enoch and their German short-haired pointer Sally.

He thought of taking Rinderknecht to Fort McHenry, but that was closed. Brenda McHale and Enoch suggested the church steps. Kinnear got his girlfriend, who came bundled up to play in the snow, not hear a proposal, and Matt and Mary got the champagne.

The friends hovered out of earshot, and Kinnear said he began with a church-step confession.

"He couldn't have picked a more perfect place," Rinderknecht said. "There was snow, and there were friends."

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