It was a perfect party for a group of recent high school graduates.
There was a big bonfire along the Platte River, along with plenty of beer on that early summer evening in 1968.
Perry Poyner and Eloise Cowling had graduated a few weeks before from Lincoln Southeast High School. Both were at the party, but they had never met in high school.
Perry was looking for a little adventure so he walked barefoot onto a wooden railroad bridge that stretched across the Platte.
Suddenly he heard a freight train rumbling in the distance, and dashed to the end of the bridge.
As he ran, a splinter stuck in his foot, and he limped back to the bonfire.
Eloise noticed him and offered to help.
She was the right person for the job. She had already been accepted into nursing school and had worked for two years during high school as a nurse's aide in a hospital.
Someone gave her a fish hook from a tackle box, and she sterilized it in the flames of the fire.
She used the hook to remove the 1½-inch splinter from Perry's foot.
Perry thanked her, and they chatted. He kept thinking about her in the days and weeks after the party.
He thought she was cute and liked how she took charge of his splinter.
Eloise thought Perry was good looking and didn't forget about her patient. She wondered if his foot might have become infected.
Turned out Perry's foot healed just fine.
He finally got up the courage to give Eloise a call and asked her out.
On their first date they watched a movie at a drive-in theater, and soon they started dating regularly.
They loved hanging out with other couples from high school and taking picnics along on fishing trips around Lincoln.
On Jan. 24, 1970, they married at Trinity Lutheran Church in Lincoln.
The couple lived there after their wedding and finished college. Perry became an architect, and Eloise fulfilled her goal of a career in health care and is now a nurse practitioner.
They have lived in Omaha since 1980 and have two children and six grandchildren.
Next year they will celebrate their 44th anniversary.
All their grandchildren live in Omaha, and the couple loves spending time with them.
Perry and Eloise also have been active in an organization that provides international disaster relief. They have taken trips to Pakistan and Haiti to help after earthquakes and flooding, and Eloise's medical training comes in handy.
She also has helped Perry over the years, such as treating flu symptoms or the time she gave him first aid after a car accident in 1991.
She figures she's taken a few more splinters out of him during their long marriage, but none as memorable as the sliver that brought them together on that summer night more than four decades ago.