They missed meeting on Valentine’s Day by a few days. Out of the corner of his eye he immediately noticed her — the girl of his dreams. Enamored, Rainer Radecker felt an electrical impulse to meet her. Nonchalantly, he greeted everyone at the lunchroom table, but he was fixated on Nancy Ness, a girl friends with his kid brother.
“I just knew right away, I just liked this girl,” Radecker said.
“For me, it was ‘bing,’ love at first sight,” Nancy said with a smile.
Nancy was a freshman and Rainer was a senior at Freeport High School.
“You have to appreciate it,” Nancy says with a laugh. “It was the Freeport High School cafeteria with the mash potatoes on the ceiling, [probably not] the most romantic place to meet someone.”
Coyly and with another laugh, Nancy admitted she was anxious to see Rainer after randomly meeting in the lunchroom, so she started stalking him a little bit.
“I’d hang out in what we use to call ‘the cage,’ back then, where the hallway would separate going down to the shops and suddenly she was walking down that hallway [where she didn’t have class], because she was stalking me,” Rainer said with a laugh.
After a bumping into each other in the hall a few times, Rainer finally mustered the courage to ask Nancy for her phone number and on a date. Heading to the Freeport Bowling Lanes the two went off on a first date that transpired into 32 years of marriage. The couple often hung out at Nunley’s Carousel and Amusement Park off Sunrise Highway, where they took of one their first pictures.
In time the couple attended prom and later each other’s high school graduation.
“Pretty much after our first date we were a couple,” Rainer said.
“I bet you any money that somewhere in Freeport High School there are still hearts that say ‘Nancy and Rainer with the arrow going through it and the date saying 3-26-79,” Nancy said. “It was on a desk, carved onto the seats in the auditorium, pretty much anywhere.”