The rite of the mistletoe


December 20, 1990|By Cox News Service

The out-of-the-way little town of Priddy, Texas, is the place where an untold number of couples get their start. Where the makings of romance are ripe for the picking. Where kisses are conceived.

This ranching community is home to one of the nation's biggest stashes of mistletoe. In what has become an annual rite, many people who live in the area trudge out to the countryside each fall to clip the mistletoe that grows wild and abundant on mesquite trees.

They take it to a red-brick building on the main street, where they sell it to Robert Tiemann and his Holiday Mistletoe Co., which provides about 90 percent of the fresh mistletoe sold in the country.

"We have people here who drop whatever they're doing every year at this time to go out and get some mistletoe for us," he says. "I guess the season gets in your blood."

After nearly 40 years in the business, the Tiemanns say they have only had one complaint. "One time, two girls wrote us a note and asked us for their money back," says Raymond Tiemann. "They claimed the mistletoe didn't work. They said that they hung it up and still didn't get any kisses."

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