A few mysterious words on the blackboard of a high school classroom helped connect Steve and Donna Jones.
Steve was a junior at Omaha North and Donna was a sophomore in February 1980.
Steve left a textbook in his creative writing class, and the teacher set it on the blackboard's chalk tray so Steve would see it.
Next to the book the teacher wrote, “Steve Jones,” and drew an arrow pointing to the book.
As a joke, a friend of Steve's added the words, “wears rocky horror socks” next to his name, a reference to the sheer black stockings worn by a character in the movie, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” a popular cult film among teens at the time.
Now, with the additional words, the message on the blackboard said: “Steve Jones wears rocky horror socks.”
Donna walked into the classroom, spotted the message and thought it was interesting. Did Steve really wear rocky horror socks? She wondered.
She knew who Steve was but had never met him.
A few nights later, Donna, a cheerleader, was at a North High basketball game sitting in the stands next to her boyfriend.
Steve happened to walk past her, so she asked if she could see his socks. He gave her a strange look, and lifted a leg of his jeans. No sheer, black stocking, just an old white tube sock.
Then Steve walked away.
Donna's boyfriend wasn't too happy. He was jealous that Donna had talked to Steve.
She and her boyfriend got in an argument and broke up that night — on her 16th birthday.
She and Steve didn't talk again until a few months later when they both landed parts in a North High musical. It turned out her character had to dance with his.
They got to know each other during the play and became friends. Steve would go to her house, and they'd talk on the front porch for hours.
Then Steve took a big step. He asked her to prom, and she said yes.
During the Saturday night prom, he took an even bigger step and asked her if she'd go steady.
Donna said she'd give him an answer Monday. Steve sweated out the rest of the weekend but was happy when she told him yes.
They became a couple. They loved going roller staking, swimming at Peony Park and hanging out at Godfather's Pizza with friends.
They had a lot in common. Both sang in the school's swing choir and were active in the North High drama program.
But during Donna's senior year, she actually broke up with him after a family member thought they were getting too serious.
Steve didn't give up. He went to her house, walked into her bedroom while she was doing homework and sang Ronnie Milsap's “It Was Almost Like a Song,” which carries the words:
“Once in every life
Someone comes along
And you came to me
It was almost like a song”
As Steve sang, Donna cried.
They were a couple again.
Their relationship grew even stronger after high school, and they married on April 28, 1984, at Southwest Church of Christ in Omaha.
Donna and Steve now live in Blair, Neb., have four grown children and celebrated their 29th wedding anniversary this year.
Donna believes that God had a purpose in mind when she and Steve met that night at the basketball game more than three decades ago.
“I consider it a blessing,'' he said.