The Greatest Gift: Kitch

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Photography by Tony Mussari, Sr., & Clark Van Orden

You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. A.A. Milne

In the past two days, four articles and two reviews aboutGraphic Four Days of Honor and Valor in Gettysburg were posted in this blog. A short video about 2d Lt Emily Perez was posted on the video page. This article will focus on the person who gave the most before, during and after the location shoot to guarantee the success of this project.

If you lived in Northeastern Pennsylvania in the late 60’s and Warm bilboard70’s, you listened to the most popular radio station, WARM. Affectionately known as the Mighty 590 it was the place for news and entertainment. Kitch Loftus was a member of that awardArtwork pm winning news department.

During the Agnes Flood disaster of 1972, she was everywhere reporting on every phase of the disaster. People who knew her respected her work. They admired her tenacity, and they applauded her pioneering journey as one of the first female broadcast journalists in the state.

I knew her then as a colleague. Today we work together as partners committed to shining the light on people, places and events that constitute the mosaic of the Face of America on its best day.

In 2010, our journey took us to every one of the 48 continentalDoc kitch 2 states. In 2011, with the help of Dr. Dan Kopen, Kitch successfully battled breast cancer. In 2012, she was back on her feet snapping pictures and doing all the things behind the scenes that made this project and the documentaries we produce work.

Her assessments, encouragement and insights are invaluable. She is a consummate professional. She can read people and situations better than any person I know.

This is my humble attempt to say thank you to the person who brought everything together during this production.

Thank you Kitch for the 3,500 pictures you snapped during the Medal of Honor Convention.

Thank you for the connections you made that opened doors.

kitch flag

Thank you for your willingness to do everything from ironing flags for the set to preparing meals for visitors and guests.

Thank you for accepting all of the inconveniences of location shooting, never complaining and always giving your best effort.

Thank you for all the materials you edited and all the time you spent in the editing room reviewing footage, providing insights and suggesting changes.

Thank you for your patient and thoughtful understanding and your Kitch editingwise counsel when we encountered bumps in the road both human and physical.

Thank you for agreeing to bypass a big 30th wedding anniversary so we could allocate time and resources to the project.

Thank you for your help with the gratitude gifts for the screening.

Thank you for being there no matter what the situation or the request.

Thank you for your perseverance despite the horrible pain you experienced in your knee.

Thank you for the outstanding example you provided for the JROTC cadets. You kept moving forward. You never gave up. You solved problems in a quiet and effective way.

Thank you for believing in the dream and loving the dreamer with actions not words.

When I think of all you have done to guarantee the success of Four Days of Honor and Valor in Gettysburg, the words of another pioneer in journalism come to mind:

Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.Ann Landers

When I think about our journey, the words of a poet come to mind:

Love is the voice under all silences, the hope which has no opposite in fear; the strength so strong mere force is feebleness: the truth more first than sun, more last than star… E.E. Cummings

You reflect the values of the heroes we met in Gettysburg. You always conduct yourself with dignity and class and you always do the right thing.

I am blessed to call you my hero, my best friend, my partner and my wife.

We did it, and that’s the greatest reward of all.

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