SPARK PLUG OF THE MONTH


| May/June 1973



Lamps

Courtesy of Joe Fahnestock, Union City, Indiana 47390

Joe Fahnestock

Take a good lookin' gal who can charm you with a smile when the going's rough - and an easy-going hubby whose Hoosier dialect makes him sound sort of grumpy, but he isn't, then you have the whizz-bangin'est man-'n-wife 'secretary' that any enterprising, gas-poppin', spark-pluggin' bunch o' hooligans could ever wish for.

Yes -- just as it takes two to make that happiest of human relationships known as marital bliss, it requires the combined talents of this twain -- Morris to do the bossing, Carolyn to do the work - to keep things running smoothly at Tri-State. And should you question the fact that Carolyn does the work and Morris Titus the bossing -- we'll just let you in on this. It was Carolyn who was awarded the coveted Tri-State Spark Plug of the Year Plaque for 1972, while Morris felt lucky just being married to her.

But, all in all, Carolyn and Morris Titus do make one big cog in the drivewheel that makes that huge machination known as The Tri-State Antique Gas Engine and Tractor Association function smoothly. And, for all this, they have the official sanction and blessing of none other than President Woodrow (Woody) Turner and all his board of directors, bar none.

Parking as we usually do, with Uncle Elmer's boxes of GEMs and IMAs, right beside the beautiful Tri-State Secretary's office, we see the frequent goings and comings of this Mr. and Mrs. Titus secretarial team, trying desperately to read the pulse of the big show by the looks on their faces. When everything's meshing, gear to gear, as it should, Carolyn will beam from ear to ear while Morris will flick his cigaret ash and smile faintly as if nothing could ever go wrong with 'him and her' at the helm. But when the gears grind 'n growl a little, Carolyn can lock as glum as Morris (Heaven forbid). But a cheery little word from us and Carolyn turns on that smile which makes the gears run quietly again while Morris (Dear soul), flicks the ashes from his fag and stalks off.

There is just something nice and wholesome about this Morris and Carolyn Titus team that seems to pervade the entire Tri-State show with an aura of harmony and good will. As thoroughly American as the red, white and blue, they are happily devoid of the harsher, stiff-necked, monotheistic attitudes of the prototype secretary whose prerogative is barking out orders rather than smoothing out problems. However, when the occasion arrives, and sterner attitudes are required, the Morris-Carolyn secretariat can be sufficiently firm to nudge the machine off center.

It was our insatiable curiosity about this utterly charming hubby and wife secretarial duo that prompted us to hazard the cold spring rains and muddy roads that led to their country lair, deep into Hoosierland, far from the maddening crowd of modern housing and the noise of traffic. We were bent on finding out, first hand, whether Morris Titus was the 'head' and wife, Carolyn the 'neck that turned the head' -- or vice versa. And we found out, not to our dismay, that it was neither. Although at first observation, seeing Carolyn in the act of pouring over the official Tri-State correspondence and check books, while Morris watched with approval, it appeared that Carolyn was the 'head' and Morris the 'neck that turneth the head' at that moment.