Paul and Obie Rindone sat across from each other in their high school study hall, and traded smiles but hadn't talked.
That changed on a fall day in 1944, thanks to an uninvited visitor — a dog.
Paul and Obie had study hall in the library at Thomas Jefferson High School in Council Bluffs.
A set of double doors in the library opened to the outdoors, and the teacher propped them open to let in the breeze on a warm day in early September.
A dog happened to wander into the classroom through the doors, and trotted up to Obie.
She had grown up with dogs, and wasn't afraid of them.
But she pretended to be scared so she could get Paul's attention. So Obie squealed, and Paul came to her rescue, grabbing the dog by the collar and leading it back outside.
That broke the ice, and Obie, a junior, and Paul, a senior, began chatting every day.
She had noticed him from the first day of school. She liked his dark curly hair and sturdy build. He was a high school wrestler who won awards at state and district tournaments.
Paul also was a captain in his high school ROTC program. He sometimes wore his uniform to school, and Obie thought he looked handsome.
Paul liked Obie's smile, dark wavy hair and cute legs. He figured she had to be new to the school. Turned out she had moved to Council Bluffs from Emerson, Iowa, right before the school year started.
Paul talked with Obie — short for Obtiva — every day at her locker.
But he still hadn't asked her on a date.
Each attended the harvest dance at their high school about a month after they met. Obie was dancing with another guy, and Paul cut in.
Paul ended up walking her home after the dance, and they sat on her porch and talked.
Soon they became a couple and took streetcars on their dates. They loved going out to eat at Maid-Rite and the Chatter Box restaurant in Council Bluffs, and dancing at Peony Park in Omaha.
In November, Paul gave Obie his class ring and letterman's sweater.
He knew he wanted to marry her, but he realized he'd have to wait.
The United States was still fighting World War II, so Paul enlisted in the Navy soon after graduating from high school in May 1945.
He traveled to California for basic training, and they kept in touch through letters.
He was discharged in August 1946 and married Obie on Oct. 5, 1946, at First Baptist Church in Council Bluffs.
They bought a home in Council Bluffs and had four children — two sons and two daughters. They also have eight grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.
Paul and Obie, both 85, have experienced many joys, but also heartache. Their oldest son died in Vietnam in 1968, and their other son died of a heart attack four years ago.
Still, they are grateful for all the Lord has given them, especially their long marriage.
They will celebrate their 67th anniversary this fall.
“Our deep devotion and love,” Paul says, “has kept us together.”