JOPLIN, Mo. —
Something tells me that Howard Spiva doesn’t tweet much.
Call it a hunch.
I’m not sure how old Howard is, but I seem to remember him telling me some time ago that he was in his upper 80s. I think the reason I don’t remember exactly how old Howard is might have something to do with the fact that whenever I talk to Howard, he is going 90 miles an hour. Howard is a busy guy, and when he drops in on the newsroom, he usually has to see four or five people about seven or eight different topics.
Most of my contact with Howard has to do with the work of Robert S. Thurman Post No. 13 of the American Legion, which has been assisting victims of the May 22, 2011, tornado. Howard is the president of the post.
Howard also is president of the Joplin Arthritis Association, and he helps organize the annual reunion in Stella.
A conversation with Howard is often interrupted by one or five phone calls from people wanting a piece of his time.
He stopped by the newsroom Tuesday to show off a photo he received that was taken in the 1930s at Roaring River State Park. Like a lot of things involving Howard, the story of how he got the photo is a long one.
Howard is a busy guy, is what I’m saying.
Jeanne Jones also is busy. I first met Jeanne five or six years ago when I wrote about her weekly gig playing the piano for elderly residents at National Health Care of Joplin. Jeanne calls me every now and then to either praise or chastise me for something I wrote. I should point out that when Jeanne chastises me, she does so gently. Jeanne likes it when I write about people. She doesn’t like it when I write about goofy stuff, although one time Jeanne left me a message that basically said, “Well maybe you like writing about goofy stuff.”
A few years ago, Jeanne mentioned that she had to stop performing at National Health Care. But not long ago, she called and told me she was going back to work. That’s right, at 92 years old, Jeanne is going back to work.
The thing is, Jeanne and Howard seem to enjoy being busy. In fact, they thrive on being busy.
Sometimes I like to think of myself as a fairly busy guy.
(I will pause for a minute to let those of you who know me stop laughing. Are you through? OK.)
Now then, where was I?
Oh, that’s right, I was talking about me being a busy guy. I write this column. I write about food. I scan the Internet looking for something to make me laugh. And now I tweet, and when I’m not tweeting, I’m looking at what other folks are tweeting.
But when I talk to folks such as Howard and Jeanne, I realize that I’m not really busy. Well, I’m busy, but what I’m busy at is wasting time. I think what I’m trying to do is waste time until I don’t have to work anymore. That’s what most people my age do: They start looking forward to not having to work anymore.
I think about a time when I won’t have to get out of bed, or won’t have to iron my Hawaiian shirts, or tweet, and I smile. But the thing is, other people who have looked forward to the same thing and then have actually gotten there have told me that life sort of sucks. They tell me that being idle was cool ... for about two weeks. After that, being idle drove them crazy. So, many of them took part-time jobs that they really didn’t need, or they volunteered their time.
What they say is that doing nothing isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be.
I can see that. But still, there are some days when I would like to give doing nothing a try. And if that didn’t work out, I figure I could always teach Howard how to tweet.
If I could ever get him to slow down.
JOPLIN, Mo. —
Something tells me that Howard Spiva doesn’t tweet much.
- Local News
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Mike Pound: Group honors Carver’s commitment to education
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