They met in March 2001 at a Beatles fan convention in New York City.

They met in March 2001 at a Beatles fan convention in New York City.

Bob Abdou, a professional ventriloquist, was there from Atlanta, putting on a marionette show with puppets crafted to look like the Fab Four.

June Wilkins was in her hometown, taking a break from studies at the Lutheran Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, when Abdou spotted her in the lobby of the hotel where the convention was being held.

"I told her I loved her that weekend," Abdou recalled.

"If there was an election for it, I would be elected most likely to marry a ventriloquist," Wilkins said.

The first time Abdou visited her apartment, he saw that Wilkins had a Kermit the Frog doll on display.

"She loved the Beatles and she loved the Muppets," he said.

Abdou wound up popping the question on "The Sally Jesse Rafael Show," speaking through a puppet, no less. Comedian Soupy Sales came to their wedding.

"When I told my mother I was marrying a ventriloquist, she said, 'That sounds about right,' " Wilkins said.

The couple recently moved to Columbus from Austin, Texas, settling in Clintonville.

"What a great neighborhood," Wilkins said. "We can walk to places. There's a farmers market."

Wilkins, now the Rev. June Wilkins, is the new minister at Gethsemane Lutheran Church on East Stanton Avenue. Abdou, better known as "Mr. Puppet," will be launching his career as a ventriloquist and puppeteer in a fourth location.

That is their story.