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
Cancer patient’s drug, probation cases postponed ‘until further notice’
A Joplin woman who is battling a rare type of cancer has gotten a temporary reprieve in her drug and probation cases so she can focus on her health issues, according to her attorney. Velma Crain, who appeared Monday in Jasper County Circuit Court, was facing the possible revocation of her probation after having been arrested last year on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance.
Suspect in assault on officer apprehended in Texas
The U.S. Marshals Service caught up with a suspect in Texas who was wanted in an assault on a Seneca police officer and alleged probation violations in Arkansas. Cody A. Rantz, 25, is being held in Collin County north of Dallas on warrants issued in Missouri and Arkansas. Federal marshals reportedly located the fugitive at a strip mall in Texas on Monday afternoon and took him into custody.
Ex-Jasper teacher’s aide accused of sexual contact with student
A former teacher’s aide at Jasper High School has been charged with having sexual relations with a 16-year-old student and is being investigated for possible sexual contact with other boys at the school. Janice L. Rusk, 43, was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree statutory rape and second-degree statutory sodomy following investigations by school officials and law enforcement.
Mike Pound: Open a beer, chat with Tom, see his exhibit
I like to think that I would have gotten along with Thomas Hart Benton. Sure, I’ve read that sometimes Tom (I think I can call him Tom) could be grouchy, and if someone said something stupid or acted like a jerk, he didn’t mind telling that person exactly what he thought of him. But hey, I grew up with people like that.
Neosho Ethics Board calls witnesses in complaint against council members
City Manager Troy Royer on Monday night described what he said was an assault by City Councilman Steve Hart, and other incidents involving Hart and Councilman David Ruth. His statements were made to the Neosho Ethics Board, which is investigating a complaint filed against Hart and Ruth. Board members had described Royer as their key witness.
Joplin High School students to model ‘recycled’ dresses at fashion show
Audrey Kaman will walk the runway later this week wearing a dress she designed herself — made out of 250 doilies. “I’d say it’s a fun dress,” the Joplin High School sophomore said. “It’s not really elegant because it’s short, but it’s cute.”
Shooter in Joplin murder sentenced to life in prison
The teen convicted of being the triggerman in the murder of Jacob Wages was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison with the possibility of parole. At a hearing in Jasper County Circuit Court in Joplin, Circuit Judge Gayle Crane followed a jury’s recommendations in assessing Daniel D. Hartman, 18, two life sentences on convictions for second-degree murder and armed criminal action, and 15 years on a conviction for burglary.
Interchange construction work near Carterville to create safer off-ramp
As the Missouri Department of Transportation begins rebuilding eastbound ramps at the Missouri Highway 171 and Route HH interchange near Carterville this week, drivers can expect ramp and occasional lane closures. The $1.5 million project, funded by the state, will increase the distance between ramps for drivers traveling northbound on Highway 249 and exiting eastbound to Highway 171.
Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project
The Jasper County Commission on Tuesday approved a contract for construction of a new bridge on County Road 48.
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