Some people want to run away with the circus. Some people want to run away with the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale hitch. Some people do. Everett Hawkins is one of those people.
"I got to the point in my life where I wanted to do something different and something that would make a difference to people," said Hawkins last Wednesday as the hitch made an appearance at the Carroll County Farm Museum. "I wanted to reach people in the work I do every day."
A friend of Hawkins' was a driver for the Budweiser hitch and suggested that Hawkins, who lived in Houston and was in the electrical business, should apply for a job.
"I had some experience with horses, but not with draft horses," Hawkins said. "I was hired out of St. Louis and placed with the East Coast hitch."
Although he misses his family, Hawkins says that he appreciates the opportunity to travel. "I guess my favorite part, besides working with the horses, is getting to meet all the people. I like seeing the kids' smiles and seeing the older people. We try to reach out to everyone. There is a great spiritual reward."
There is great reward, too, in working with these giant horses.
"My favorites on this hitch are Bud and Giles," Hawkins says, pointing out the two horses. "Giles is a 'Leave it to Beaver' type, a horse with an attitude. And Bud is the patient, obedient one, the one we can always count on. He is very warm and very consistent."
Asked what the most important attribute is in someone who works on the hitch, he replied: "This is a job for a big dreamer," he said. "People with small dreams need not apply."