Love on the paths: 38 years later, couple takes anniversary trip that began all of it | Native


Dave and Jean Berreckman

Again in 1984, Dave and Jean Berreckman bought engaged on the BRAN route (left). They determined to take a reunion journey for the primary time this 12 months (proper) carrying the identical cheetah print shorts from the ’80s.

WAHOO — It was 1984, and Dave Berreckman was on a weeklong bike journey throughout Nebraska. Biking subsequent to him was the love of his life.

He and Jean Sobieszczyk, a woman with light-blond hair and a brilliant smile, had been relationship for a number of months. Dave was positive he needed to be along with her perpetually — however methods to inform her?

He needed to suggest someplace alongside the Bike Trip Throughout Nebraska (BRAN) route, however he wasn’t positive precisely the place. Every little thing needed to be good.

Then, he heard the trip was ending close to Grand Island, the situation of a enjoyable run the place the 2 had first spoken to one another.

Will you marry me? Check yes or no …

The ring was hidden in an empty aspirin bottle tucked in his entrance pack and out of Jean’s sight. Towards the tip of the trip, Dave requested Jean if she needed to drag off to get one thing to eat close by. As a substitute, they ended up taking a detour to a well-recognized spot.

Jean stated she started to get suspicious. Nervous.

“As we have been pulling into this place the place we truly met, my coronary heart began pounding,” she stated.

Dave’s father pulled as much as ship flowers — daisies — Jean’s favourite. Then, Dave bought down on one knee.

“That is the place we first met, so that is the place I’d wish to ask you to remain in my life perpetually,” he stated. “Will you marry me?”

With a powerful “Sure!” from Jean, the 2 started the remainder of their lives subsequent to that bike path. 

Jean and Dave have been married lower than a 12 months later. Thirty-eight years, two youngsters and two grandkids later, the pair remains to be collectively and fortunately in love.

“After the 500-mile bike trip, she was worn down sufficient to say sure,” Dave joked.

Immediately, the Berreckmans reside in Holdrege, and Jean is a former center faculty counselor. In celebration of her latest retirement, Dave and Jean needed to make a journey collectively.

Dave stated he needed to go to Hawaii, however Jean recommended BRAN.

So, the 2 set off on a trip to retrace the route the place their love first started. The week of their engagement was BRAN’s fifth trip, and this 12 months was the fortieth. 

“It is romantic, very reminiscent and reflective,” Dave stated. “It has been a pleasure.”

BRAN, 6.11

Jean Berreckman (from left) Dave Berreckman and Barb Bohaty pose for a portrait after ending the Bike Trip Throughout Nebraska Saturday in Wahoo.

Pedaling together with them was their expensive buddy, Barb Bohaty, who performed an integral half of their relationship. Bohaty was there when Dave and Jean first met, and he or she was additionally alongside on the pair’s engagement trip.

“She’s the explanation we’re collectively,” Dave stated.

After the 2 met on the Grand Island run, Bohaty helped organize a spot for Dave and his buddies to remain so he and Jean would have an opportunity to attach. She’s been strolling alongside the couple ever since.

She even hand-sewed the matching cheetah print bike shorts Dave and Jean wore on their engagement trip.

Saturday, the couple posed for an image in those self same shorts, re-creating the image from crucial bike trip of their lives.

Bohaty is a 30-time BRAN rider who has continued to faithfully take part within the occasion since her buddies’ engagement, however she was thrilled to accompany them for his or her first BRAN trip since ‘84.

“It is like coming and having a household reunion with individuals who wish to trip bikes,” she stated.

The trio completed their week of biking Saturday in Wahoo. Bohaty and the Berreckmans rode alongside 375 cyclists, trekking by means of cities resembling Alliance, Callaway, Ord and Shelby.

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Dave stated he loved the surroundings and the possibility to get to know the group. He didn’t get to do this final time — he was slightly distracted.

“I used to be infatuated along with her and needed to marry her,” Dave stated. “So all my ideas have been about her and I.”

Immediately, he’s simply as in love with Jean, however this 12 months’s trip was about nostalgia.

Because the pair rolled throughout the prairie, previous church buildings and farm cities, they have been reminded of their love for one another. With all the kids, grandchildren and careers come loads of completely happy recollections.

“Her and I’ve established what we needed to do, and we have lived an excellent life,” Dave stated.

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