All sorts of people introduce couples the first time they meet.
Sometimes it’s a mutual friend, sometimes a co-worker, sometimes a roommate.
For Gloria “Corky” and Gene Olson of Omaha, it was someone a little unexpected.
Now, the bouncer didn’t quite make a formal introduction. But without that beefy guy working the door at a western bar in Omaha, Corky and Gene probably never would have met.
Back in 1958, Corky shared an apartment with some girlfriends. She was 21 and had graduated from an Omaha business school and worked as a sales person and bookkeeper at a jewelry store.
Gene was 25, and framed houses for a local construction company.
On a cool Saturday in November, Corky and two friends were helping another friend look for an apartment in Omaha. The friends decided to take a break in the evening and stopped at a popular western bar.
There were no empty tables. Corky and her friends stood at the entryway looking for a place to sit.
The bouncer motioned for them to walk over to him.
In the back of the bar sat four young guys at a table for eight.
The bouncer waved at the four guys to see if it were OK to seat Corky and her friends at their table.
The guys gave a thumbs up, and Corky and her friends sat down.
So who was among the four guys?
You got it. Gene, wearing a plaid shirt and dress pants.
Corky, slim and pretty with dark hair, caught Gene’s eye
Even as she had walked toward the table, one of Gene’s friend’s remarked that she looked like Elizabeth Taylor.
Corky didn’t know it at the time, but there was a reason Gene and his friends happened to have room at their table.
They regularly got a table with more seats than they needed. Gene and his friends told the bouncer to send girls their way, but only if they were cute.
Corky and her friends fit that just right.
During that first night at the bar, Corky and her friends and Gene and his buddies talked as a group. They had fun and decided to all meet for dinner the next night at La Casa restaurant.
Gene liked Corky from the start. She was easy to talk with, and genuinely listened. He loved her smile.
Corky thought Gene was handsome, and liked his curly brown hair. She liked that he had a good job, and was a talented carpenter who could build homes and cabinets and tackle other projects.
Gene and Corky started dating, and they clicked.
Five months later, at St. Michael Catholic Church in Coleridge, Neb., they married.
This spring they celebrated their 53rd anniversary. They had five children, and were blessed with 10 grandkids and seven great-grandchildren.
Corky and Gene still think about that night at the western bar, and how a helpful bouncer seated them together for life.
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