A high school love. A broken engagement. A life-threatening illness.
All three tumbled into the lives and romance of Joe and Dee Bertich.
Dee and Joe started as freshmen in 1951 at Omaha South High School. But they didn't meet until they had the same class together as sophomores.
She had sparkling green eyes and long brown hair.
Joe thought Dee was cute and asked her out.
Their first date was a double feature at the Sky View Drive-In. He picked Dee up in a 1949 Chevy.
Dee rested her head on Joe's shoulder. Past midnight, during the second movie, they got drowsy and dozed off.
At 4 a.m., a security guard tapped on the Chevy's window. Time to go home.
Dee lived with her grandparents, and Joe apologized to them when he brought her to the door.
"Just watch yourself,'' Joe remembers her grandma telling him.
Dee and Joe continued dating. They attended high school dances and prom.