The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

July 5, 2012

Mike Pound: Bike parade grows into neighborhood tradition

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.

Text Only
Local News
  • r072814dogbike.jpg Cross-country trip promotes animal adoption

    Where’s Bixby? Not the town in Oklahoma, but the dog on the back of a bicycle ridden by Mike Minnick. On Monday, the two were in Joplin, one stop on a cross-country bike trip to promote the adoption of dogs and cats from local shelters.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • 4.3 magnitude quake reported in northern Oklahoma

    The U.S. Geological Survey says an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 4.3 struck northern Oklahoma on Monday night.

    July 29, 2014

  • Update: 4 workers injured in SE Kansas oil refinery fire

    A Texas company says four workers at a southeast Kansas oil refinery were burned in an early morning fire.

    July 29, 2014

  • Seneca man draws concurrent term in sexual abuse case

    A 39-year-old man who sexually abused a girl over a four-year period in both Joplin and Seneca received a 15-year sentence Monday in Newton County that will run concurrently with a term he received earlier this year in Jasper County.

    July 28, 2014

  • Judge lifts seal on records in Parsons quadruple slaying

    A judge has rescinded his order sealing court records in the case of David Bennett Jr., who is accused of killing a Parsons woman and her three children.

    July 28, 2014

  • Defendant who pulled knife on ER doctor sent for treatment

    A man accused of pulling a knife on a Freeman Hospital West emergency room doctor pleaded guilty to a reduced charge Monday and was sentenced to the state prison system’s Institutional Treatment Center.

    July 28, 2014

  • Wal-Mart to build second local Neighborhood Market

    A second Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market store is planned for Joplin. The company has filed an application with the city to rezone nearly six acres of land on the west side of town in the tornado zone to build a new Neighborhood Market and gas station.

    July 28, 2014

  • r072814mailcar.jpg VIDEO: Train mail car trailered on Joplin's Main Street to Redings Mill

    With a police escort leading the way Monday, postal car No. 34 breezed through downtown Joplin en route to its new home in Redings Mill, where it was greeted by a welcome party of local residents and railroad enthusiasts.

    July 28, 2014 1 Photo 1 Slideshow

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read


Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that electronic devices and communications are protected from searches and seizure without a warrant, do you think Missouri needs Amendment 9 added to its constitution?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter