Mt Pleasant News

Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 18, 2018

‘Spider Catches Pig!’

Oct 19, 2016

“Spider Catches Pig!” was the caption under the picture on the front page of the Mt. Pleasant News. Karl Schaefer (the pig) had proposed to Amy Johnson (the spider) in Mt. Pleasant Community Theater’s production of “Charlotte’s Web.” Both “Mt. Pleasant News” and “The Hawkeye” newspapers were there to record the event. The year was 2004.

Karl likes to say they met in “Oklahoma,” fell in love in “The Music Man,” and he proposed to her in “Charlotte’s Web.” This is a true life, for real, community-theater love story, folks. You can’t write it any better than this.

Karl is the manager of Becker’s Jewelry in Mt. Pleasant. Amy works for United Way of Johnson and Washington Counties. They live in Mt. Pleasant and have a six-year old son, Colin. Karl was a music and dance major in college. He is also a Massage Therapist and has taught ballet and acrobatics. Amy has a degree in theater from UNI. There is 11 years difference in their age, but you would never know it. They both act like two peas in a pod.

Amy had just graduated from college and had returned to Mt. Pleasant before she pursued her career in acting. She thought she would get a couple of productions under her belt before she went off to Minneapolis or New York. She landed the leading lady part in “Oklahoma” for Mt. Pleasant Community Theater. Karl played a funny but major role, and was awfully friendly. Before Amy went on stage, they would sit at the back of the set and talk. The actors were having trouble lifting Amy in a dance routine. They were squishing her. Karl taught them how to raise her arms and lift. He thought, “Hmm, this is fun.”

They didn’t see each other for two years. Amy was auditioning for the leading lady role in “Music Man” for Mt. Pleasant Community Theater. She thought Karl would be the ideal leading male role, but she didn’t know where to find him. As luck or fate would have it, they ran into each other at the post office. She easily talked Karl into trying out. She said, “It would be great if you and I were the lead. We would have so much fun and have a lot of good chemistry together.” (She was thinking with her theater brain.) “We could jive this!” Karl swallowed his Adam’s Apple real hard.

He auditioned and got the part. During productions of “Music Man” they would dance together off stage to intermission music. Though Amy and Karl didn’t know it, they were falling in love.

But all of their friends and family knew it. All you had to do was see them together to know that their relationship was more than just “friends.” Karl’s buddies teased, “You need to ask her out.”

“Yeah, fat chance of that,” Karl joked. “She would never go out with me.”

But Amy got up her nerve, walked into the jewelry store and told Karl, “We need to talk.”

Karl asked, “Have you been getting the same feedback about us that I have?”

Amy said, “Well, what would be wrong with that?”

Karl fainted and had to be revived with smelling salts.

During dress rehearsal for “Charlotte’s Web” something strange was happening. The cast was acting giddy. Amy’s mother and one of Karl’s best friends were there, which was unusual. During an intimate scene between Amy and Karl, Karl was all over the place. But he had a tendency to go off book, and Amy knew how to get him back on script. But before she could, Karl pulled off his costumed hoof, and presented her with a ring. Flash bulbs popped, the cast, crew, family and friends erupted in cheers and applause.

Amy and Karl have been married 11 years now. Karl carved her half-carat diamond wedding ring himself. They are active in community theater, and people still come up to them and ask, “Remember that night the spider caught the pig?”


Have a good story? Call or text Curt Swarm in Mt. Pleasant at 319-217-0526, email him at or find him on Facebook. Curt’s stories are also read at 106.3 FM in Farmington.


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