Everett couple has ‘never gotten over being college students

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Story, photo and audio by Cristina Woodworth, NewsNetNebraska

Rob and Marty Links’ days start a smidgen before 4:30 a.m. each morning. The downtown YMCA is the first stop before they head to work together at the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality.

Rob deals with lots of spreadsheets in the engineering department. Marty goes to a lot of meetings for the water quality division.

Evenings are spent relaxing at the warm, two-story home on Peach Street, where the Links have lived in for almost 29 of the 32 years they’ve been married.

Rob takes care of the lawn and Marty shovels the snow.

The walls, painted a quirky mix of blues, pinks and oranges, are hung with world maps, Christmas lights, geology posters and Marty’s homemade quilts. The heights of their three daughters are marked in pencil on the kitchen doorframe.

“They danced by the light of the moon, the moon, the moon. They danced by the light of the moon,” is carefully stitched along the border of one featuring “The Owl and the Pussycat” poem.

A glass milk jar sits in a windowsill, a reminder of days when the bakery down the street still sold it like that.

“You know how college students don’t really have a theme with their decor, we’ve never really gotten over that,” Rob says.

Dinner conversations wind their way from the history of claw foot bathtubs to the cultural differences between U.S. and British murder mystery television shows.

Afterwards, Rob soaks the dishes in the sink. Marty washes them later.

The Links’ basement is converted to a library. They both love reading. Rob has read a book a week, every week, since he was 13 years old. He’ll turn 60 pretty soon.

“It’s morphed from a Barbie play area to books, books, books,” Marty says.

The library has sections on plagues, the Titanic, forest fires and dinosaurs. Rob estimates they have about 5,000 books. His Purple Heart award from the Gulf War hangs in the back corner, near a collection of civil war reenactment supplies.

“I’m a student. I’m a studier,” Rob says. “In pretty much everything that I do.”

Marty finishes the thought for him.

“Some people are good at basketball or hunting or whatever,” she said. “Rob’s not good at any of that, so he reads instead.”

The Links discuss their helpful Everett neighbors:

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