The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

February 27, 2013

Mike Pound: Recent encounters showcase best side of humanity

There is this guy who I see just about every day at the Fair Acres Family YMCA in Carthage.

He comes in, takes off his jacket and starts making the rounds. He makes it a point to say “hi” to everyone in the room, and he chats with anyone who wants to chat back. Other than saying “hi” back at the guy, I don’t say much else, so I don’t really know him. He appears to be a nice, outgoing, upbeat guy who likes people.

I wish I was more like that. Oh sure, I can be upbeat, and some people have even told me I was nice. Well, when I was single, girls used to tell me I was nice, but they would say it like this: “Gee, Mike, you’re a nice guy and all, but …”

The thing is, I’m not particularly outgoing, and while I don’t dislike people, I’m not one of those guys looking to make new friends.

Which reminds me, whenever my Aunt Ev would suggest to my Uncle Jim that they should get to know someone in their neighborhood better, Jim would say: “Why? I’ve already got too many friends.”

That makes me laugh.

Sometimes people drive me crazy. Sometimes people do mean or rude things that make me not want to be upbeat. Sometimes I feel like Jerry Seinfeld, who said in an episode of his TV show: “People! They’re the worst!”

But just when I’m in a “People! They’re the worst!” mood, something happens that makes me change my outlook.

On Tuesday afternoon, that something was receiving an email from Claire Shores. I wrote about Claire and her daughter Shelby a few weeks ago. Shelby, who attends Carthage Middle School, has a complicated form of muscular dystrophy. It’s so complicated, in fact, that there is not yet a name for what she has. To make a complicated story less so, Shelby has reduced muscle strength.

When I wrote about Shelby and Claire, I mentioned that the nice folks at KODE-TV had agreed to play a benefit basketball game this Saturday against the faculty and staff in the Carthage Middle School gym. Doors open at 1 p.m., and the game gets under way at 2 p.m. There will be a number of items up for bid and several raffles for other prizes. It should be a neat deal. All the money raised will help the Shores family make its annual trek to Toronto, Canada, so Shelby can see a specialist who is treating her.

The thing about Claire’s email that sort of had me snap out of my “People! They’re the worst!” mood was what she said about Carthage and Joplin.

“When the thought came to have a basketball game, none of us that are involved in the creating process thought this event would get as BIG as it has become,” she wrote. “There are people I have never met who have contacted us and offered to help. I have been stopped at Wal-Mart by a total stranger just to give me money to help Shelby. Shelby is truly blessed and loved by this community.”

How strong is that?

In the email, Claire thanked everyone who has helped or offered to help with the basketball game. She also thanked the staff at Carthage Middle School for its support, and she thanked the entire community.

She also passed along something her husband’s boss told him: “Whenever his shoulder hurts or he has an ache, he thinks about how Shelby must be feeling.”

Most importantly, Claire talked about Shelby and how, after initially being treated by some as somewhat of a curiosity, she has managed to become just another student.

“She is a kid at Carthage Middle School,” Claire wrote. “The teachers and staff admire her strength to go on! As Shelby says, ‘That’s how I roll.’”

Thank you, Claire, for reminding me that people aren’t the worst and that sometimes they’re the best.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.

Text Only
Local News
  • Pseudoephedrine sales in Pittsburg to require prescription

    Starting Friday, those who purchase pseudoephedrine and related products in Pittsburg will need a prescription to do so.

    July 22, 2014

  • Cherokee County Commission accepts general counsel's resignation

    Kevin Cure, who has served as general counsel for the Cherokee County Commission since 2005, submitted a handwritten resignation to the board on Monday in the aftermath of a landfill controversy.

    July 22, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: Parents can get help with school supplies

    I don’t know much about demographics other than the fact that I no longer belong to a “targeted demographic.” When I was younger, I was bombarded by commercials and ads from companies that were trying to sell me things that I not only needed but wanted.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Jasper County Commission reviews traffic plans

    The Jasper County Commission will hold public hearings today and Thursday on a number of traffic changes proposed in the county. No one spoke when the first hearing was held Tuesday as part of the regular commission meeting, according to Jim Honey, Eastern District associate commissioner.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin school board reviews audit procedures

    A team from the Missouri State Auditor’s Office has begun requesting documents in its task to audit the operations and management of the Joplin School District, the audit manager told the Board of Education on Tuesday.

    July 22, 2014

  • Joplin man to stand trial in accident case

    A passenger accused of causing an accident on Interstate 44 in Joplin that injured three others as well as himself was ordered bound over for trial Tuesday on three felony counts.

    July 22, 2014

  • r072214soroptimist3.jpg Volunteers spend week providing camp experience to foster youths

    Karen McGlamery is a massage therapist. Terri Falis-Cochran is a finance manager. Jane McCaulley is a retired art teacher. But for a week each summer, the three are among dozens of area residents who become camp counselors.

    July 22, 2014 2 Photos

  • Neosho school board hires company to manage substitutes

    Citing its hopes of shifting health care costs and utilizing more time from retired teachers, the Neosho Board of Education granted a contract Monday to a temporary employee company to manage its substitute teacher program.

    July 22, 2014

  • Main Street TIF district study to begin

    A measure that allows the city to charge its $15,000 in administrative costs for studying a proposal to create a tax increment financing district on South Main Street was approved Monday by the Joplin City Council.

    July 21, 2014

  • Carthage man pleads guilty in sexual abuse case

    A Carthage man pleaded guilty Monday to sexual abuse of a 12-year-old girl in a plea agreement that would cap the length of his prison term at no more than 15 years.

    July 21, 2014

Must Read


A state lawmaker who is one of two doctors in the Oklahoma Legislature is insisting that unaccompanied immigrant minors being housed at Fort Sill be quarantined. Do you think those kinds of measures should be taken?

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