David Nelson didn't make a great first impression.
During a roller-skating party in 1939, David asked Jewell Johnson if she'd take a spin around the rink with him.
David, 15 at the time, put his arm around the 14-year-old Jewell, and they skated together during the party at Homewood Park near Wynot, Neb.
David made a sweeping turn, and Jewell caught her skate on a nickelodeon, an early type of jukebox.
She tumbled and cut her chin. She told David he was just a big showoff and avoided him the rest of the party.
Jewell and David grew up near each other on farms in northeast Nebraska but attended different schools.
They didn't see much of each other for a couple years after the skating party.
That changed in spring 1941 when David's family moved to a farm closer to where Jewell's family lived near Maskell, Neb. His sister gave a party and invited Jewell.
She attended the party and saw David. But he was paying attention to another girl.
Jewell was fine with that, because she still remembered him as the showoff from the roller rink.
Jewell was surprised when she got a letter from David two years later in summer 1943, after both had graduated from high school.
He invited her to a Fourth of July party at an amusement park in Sioux City, Iowa. They would be going with David's sister and her boyfriend.
Jewell wasn't sure she wanted to go. She remembered that cut on her chin.
But she had just broken up with another guy, so figured she'd give David another chance.
When David arrived at her front door for the date, Jewell was impressed. David was dressed neatly in brown trousers and a white dress shirt. He politely helped her into the back seat of a Ford.
It was a hot day and all the windows were open. As they cruised to Sioux City, the wind blasted Jewell's hair and wrinkled her dress. She wore makeup on her legs instead of silk hose. Silk was needed for the World War II effort.
The heat smeared the makeup and it turned orange. Jewell wasn't having a good date.
But the date improved after they arrived at the park. She and David had fun riding the Ferris wheel, roller coaster and merry-go-round. They ate cotton candy and caramel corn.
They danced under the stars to big-band music.
Maybe this David guy wasn't so bad after all, Jewell thought.
She and David started dating. Jewell taught at a one-room schoolhouse, a job she kept for six years. David tried enlisting in military service for World War II but was turned down because of a chronic bone infection.
On Christmas Eve 1944, David proposed. They married a few weeks later at her family's house.
David farmed with his father for 10 years. The couple eventually moved to Denison, Iowa, where Jewell became a school librarian and David worked in maintenance for the local school district.
David and Jewell loved camping, and bowling and golfing together.
They ended up having two daughters and now have three grandchildren, nine great-grandchildren and two step-granddaughters. The couple moved to Bellevue about 15 years ago after they both retired.
Health problems hit David about a dozen years ago, including colon cancer and a stroke.
A few days after they celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary in 2011, he got pneumonia. A few days later, he died at age 87.
Jewell now is 88. She's glad she gave that showoff a second chance, and every night she thanks the Lord for him.
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