In 1968, Karen Kissel turned 18, graduated from high school and married John, all within eight days. Two and a half years later, their first son, Joe, was born, followed by another son, Dude, two and a half years after Joe.
Starting out the first few years of her adult life as a wife and mother of two, Karen did not, in the beginning, envision herself becoming a professional rodeo secretary.
Instead, she worked part time in a day care enter and eventually opened a Licensed Home Day Care of her own which she ran for 10 years.
When John began picking up for Honeycutt Rodeo Company, Karen immediately became involved. She started out timing and learning the secretary system. She had the good fortune to work under the auspices of veteran secretaries, Virginia Honeycutt, Alice Alsbaugh, and Linda Alsbaugh, for five or six years.