| January/February 1974

Union City, Indiana

On and on the calliope played. From early morn 'til dusk, we heard the familiar old hymns that Sunday, right outside our little trailer and stand.

'That Kitch, so-called I never want to hear or speak his name again,' I said, drearily.

And then he walked past, grinning and said, 'Hello.' And I answered with a hearty 'Hi-ya, Kitch!' And, everywhere we pitched our 'Arabian tents', there came Kitch by to tell us he'd brought his steam calliope along as if we hadn't already heard it.

And the more Kitch came and stopped to chat, at show after show, the more we liked this winsome, grinning and lovable character who no one knows by his real and Christian name of Clovis Watkins. But it's strictly Kitch Greenhouses and steam calliopes he's peddling, and not Watkins Products not by a long shot. For Kitch or I mean Clovis Watkins, ever since he began working in his future father-in-law's greenhouse, has never had his own name. Everyone just called him 'Kitch'. In fact Clovis had become so identified with the firm he was working for that the 'Company name' was thereupon stamped on him from there on. And then, as nature took its course, Clovis or I mean 'Kitch' began paying more and more attention to Anna Jane the boss's daughter. (How's that for working your way up?)

Pretty soon the threads drew tighter and tighter and young 'Kitch' reached what is classically known as the point of no return. For young 'Kitch' simply couldn't take his eyes off of Anna Jane Boss Kitch's daughter. And then, of course, the inevitable happened. The time arrived for the 'tying of the marital knot', with young Clovis Watkins asking Boss Kitch for his daughter's hand. All of which duly entailed the ritual of Father Kitch giving his daughter away. And this, before it could be done, in the sight of God, meant marching up to the altar and standing in front of a preacher who would ask, 'Do you have the ring?' And for a certain Clovis Watkins to fumble in his pockets, in the hopes that he did.