The car was nicknamed the Black Mariah, and that 1947 Chevy coupe helped bring Jim and Sharon Vondra together.
In fall 1959, Jim was a student at Omaha Central High School and Sharon attended Mercy High.
One of Jim's friends owned the Black Mariah, and it was running a little rough.
His buddy worked with a girl named Judy whose dad was a great mechanic. One day, Jim and his friend stopped by Judy's house near Sixth and Bancroft Streets to let her dad check out the problem.
As Jim, his buddy and Judy stood in front of her house, another girl came walking down the street. She had long, dark hair and Jim thought she was cute.
The girl was Sharon, and she was Judy's sister.
Not much happened the first time Jim and Sharon met. They might have chatted, but that was all. Her last name was Carter in those days.
But Jim's friend and Sharon's sister decided to fix them up on a date.
They clicked, and within four or five months of their first date, they were a couple.
They danced at proms, cheered together at Central football games and cruised Dodge Street, listening to Elvis and the Everly Brothers on the radio.
Sharon graduated from high school in 1960, and Jim in 1961. They married on April 20, 1963, at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Omaha.
Jim took a job with a local architectural firm, helping design homes, and Sharon worked at an insurance company for about a year, then stayed home after the first of their two children were born.
The couple have five grandchildren, and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary this spring.
Jim and Sharon aren't sure what ever happened to the Black Mariah, but they're glad that old Chevy needed a little work.