Now the picnic table can go back in the garage.
We’ve had the table for some 20 years. Well, that’s not exactly true. My wife and I have had it for some 20 years, but my wife has had the picnic table for much longer than that. It used to belong to my wife’s mother. Now, most people would probably get rid of a picnic table after it has been around for 40 years, but my wife is not most people. I remember clearly the day my wife told me that we were getting it.
“Why do we need a picnic table? We don’t picnic,” I said.
“It’s the picnic table I grew up with,” my wife said.
“So, what’s your point?” I said.
My wife told me that I was unsentimental. I told my wife that she was correct.
“We still don’t need a picnic table,” I said.
We got the picnic table.
Most of the time, the picnic table stays in our garage. But once a year, I have to haul it out for the annual Fourth of July Bike Parade that my wife and Lana from across the street started 11 years ago. My wife and Lana call it the Fourth of July Bike Parade even though the parade has never been held on the Fourth. I thought about mentioning that to my wife one time, but then I decided to keep my mouth shut.
I made the right choice.
Lana and my wife put the picnic table in the parkway on our street and cover it with a tablecloth. They cover the table because — well, because it’s 40 years old. Once the picnic table is covered with a tablecloth, it is then covered with food for the people at the bike parade.
Besides hauling the table out of our garage, I have several other bike parade chores, the most important of which is making sure Pat and Malcolm know where I keep the beer in our backyard. Pat’s chore is to drive the cart that Laurel Rosenthal — the parade grand marshal and principal at Mark Twain Elementary School in Carthage — rides in the parade. Malcolm’s job is to get Laurel — his wife — to the parade.
When I saw Malcolm, I told him I would lead him to the beer.
“I’ve been looking forward to this for a year,” Malcolm said.
I took that as a compliment.
While Pat sipped his pre-bike parade beer, we talked about how my wife has been busy remodeling our entire house and yard. I mentioned something about my wife’s work on our kitchen.
“You don’t have to tell me about kitchen remodeling,” Pat said in a “You’re telling Eisenhower about the war” kind of manner.
After a few minutes, I mentioned that I probably should go see if the parade was ready to begin.
“Go on,” Malcolm said. “You’ve got responsibilities. I don’t.”
Later, after making sure that my wife saw me, I sneaked back to check on Malcolm, who was still savoring his beer. He looked content.
After a few more minutes, Malcolm and I wandered back to the parade. The kids were just returning from their ride, so I made sure that my wife saw me again. The festivities were going well, everyone seemed to be having a good time, and my wife was smiling, which I took to be a good sign.
“Everything going OK?” I asked.
“Yes. Thanks for all of your help,” she said.
“No problem,” I said.
Now all I have to do is put away the picnic table.
Now the picnic table can go back in the garage.
- Local News
Principal: Changes coming to Joplin High School course catalog, schedule
Course offerings and scheduling in the new Joplin High School are expected to be more fluid and available in multiple formats when the building opens in August.
United Way awards $240,000 in tornado relief funds
The United Way of Southwest Missouri and Southeast Kansas awarded $240,000 in long-term tornado relief funds today to several non-profit agencies in the Joplin area.
Neosho School District surveying residents about need for new school
The Neosho School District is asking residents in a new survey whether a proposed junior high school is needed. The outcome of the survey, which runs through early next week, could spur the Board of Education to place a bond issue for construction of the school on the April ballot, Superintendent Dan Decker said.
Mike Pound: First Community Church preps for annual Christmas dinner
When I was in high school I spent part of two summers baling hay. I wasn’t what you would call an expert but I got the job done and I didn’t hurt anybody, so the farmer who hired me usually would rehire me whenever he needed a little help.
VIDEO: Clear skies and streets please Joplin parade crowd
The 43rd annual Joplin Christmas parade got rave reviews on Tuesday night from 12-year-old Jazzmyne Eveland and her mom, Janet Cusick, of Oronogo.
The praise came from different perspectives, however.
Joplin business leaders form PAC to back certain local candidates
A political action committee has been formed to contribute money to City Council and Joplin School Board races. The Joplin Progress Committee has begun advertising that it wants to interview candidates for those elections to determine to whom it would contribute money.
Charter review commission approves report to council
Without discussion, the Joplin Charter Commission on Tuesday night voted to approve a report of its findings that will be forwarded to the Joplin City Council. The commission was appointed by the council to review nine questions. Of those, the panel endorsed three charter changes.
Joplin man pleads guilty in attempted-arson case
A Joplin man charged with second-degree attempted arson at a Joplin restaurant has pleaded guilty to the charge. Brian D. Ferguson, 28, who along with his wife, Haley, 28, owned The Bistro restaurant, 1710 E. 32nd St., was sentenced Monday in Newton County Circuit Court to three years in prison.
Former middle school teacher sentenced to 28 years in prison in child exploitation case
A former South Middle School science teacher will spend 28 years in federal prison after pleading guilty Friday to a charge of sexually exploiting a child victim to make pornography.
Joplin City Council signs initial baseball pact; more negotiations to be held
Joplin will continue to negotiate to bring a professional baseball team to Joe Becker Stadium as the result of City Council action Monday night. The council voted 7-1-1 to authorize a memorandum of understanding to continue to work with WLD Suarez Baseball LLC toward bringing the El Paso Diablos independent team to Joplin.
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- Principal: Changes coming to Joplin High School course catalog, schedule