The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

November 21, 2012

Mike Pound: Not all holiday traditions created equal

I love holiday traditions, and today I want to talk about two of them.

The first holiday tradition is the tradition of me being a moron. Whether it’s trying to put a massive amount of potato peels down our garbage disposal on the night before Thanksgiving and thereby clogging up our kitchen sink, as I did many years ago, or it’s making a dumb mistake transcribing a Thanksgiving recipe for the Globe’s food page, as I did this year, you can count on me to screw up.

I’m the moronic equivalent of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

In the On the Table section of Wednesday’s Globe, I wrote about Jennifer Mansfield’s penchant (it’s a word; I looked it up) for using fresh pumpkin rather than canned when making pumpkin pie. I included Jennifer’s pumpkin pie recipe, and I’m proud to say that I got 92 percent of it correct. If I were in school, I would have received an A for my work. Unfortunately, I’m not in school. So, what I get for my work is the right to be called a moron.

Here’s what I got wrong: At the end of the ingredient list, I meant to type “dash of nutmeg,” but for some reason known only to my brain, I instead typed “dash of sage.” I’m not sure if you know much about spices, but sage — while a fine spice — is pretty much the exact opposite of nutmeg. Jennifer, who alerted me to the mistake Wednesday morning, thought the whole thing was pretty funny and chose to look on the bright side.

“Hey, at least it was only a dash,” is pretty much what Jennifer said.

With that out of the way, I would now like to talk about another holiday tradition: Jerry Coach.

Jerry has been making Christmas brighter for area kids for going on 33 years now through his Jerry Coach Santa Claus program. Jerry called me the other day to let me know he is again gathering toys and taking requests for toys for this Christmas.

I’ve known Jerry for more than 20 years. I first met him when I was working at KSNF-TV. When Jerry was a teenager, he was featured on the NBC “Today” program for single-handedly reviving the Christmas parade in his hometown of Picker, Okla.

But long before he was featured on the “Today” show, Jerry was already well-known in the Picher area for his annual Christmas toy drive. In 1978, when Jerry was 7 years old, he was shocked to discover that not all kids received a gift for Christmas. With help from a woman named Vicki Williams, who ran a cafe in Picher, Jerry collected a variety of mostly used toys and delivered them to needy kids in the area. And he’s been going strong ever since.

All told, Jerry manages to help about 125 families in five counties and three states every year. The Jerry Coach Santa Claus program delivers new toys to families in Ottawa County in Oklahoma, Cherokee and Crawford counties in Kansas, and Jasper and Newton counties in Missouri.

Jerry raises the money, purchases and collects the toys, and, with help from his mother and brother, delivers them beginning on Christmas Eve.

And he does all of that despite battling multiple sclerosis. When asked about his health, Jerry, as always, said he is doing fine.

“They’ve got me on a new walking medicine, and that’s helping quite a bit,” he said.

If you would like to donate to Jerry’s Santa program, you may send cash or a check to the Jerry Coach Santa Program, P.O. Box 66, Commerce, OK 74339. If you would like to donate toys, you may call 918-533-8330, and arrangements will be made to have the toys picked up. And if you would like to be placed on Jerry’s toy list, you may call the same phone number, and arrangements will be made for your family to receive gifts on Christmas.

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

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Embezzler from Joplin car dealerships sent to prison

    A federal judge has sentenced Kathryn M. Stayton to 13 months in prison for embezzling more than $100,000 from Frank Fletcher Ford and Credit Cars of Joplin. U.S. District Judge Greg Kays assessed the 36-year-old Joplin woman the prison term at a sentencing hearing this week in federal court in Springfield. The judge also ordered the former controller at both car dealerships to pay restitution totaling $121,249. 51.

    April 18, 2014

  • Screening of MSSU presidential applicants to wrap by end of April

    The Board of Governors at Missouri Southern State University could be in a position to name a president as early as the end of June, according to a timeline presented Friday by the co-chair of the presidential search committee.

    April 18, 2014

  • Teams from Carl Junction, Diamond advance in Destination Imagination

    Student teams from Carl Junction and Diamond will be traveling to Destination Imagination finals May 20-24 in Knoxville, Tenn., after being top finishers in competition this month at Missouri Southern State University.

    April 18, 2014

  • Neosho Dogwood Tour reset, after false start

    The 53rd annual Neosho Dogwood Tour will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday, April 27. The event, presented by the Neosho Rotary Club and the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, originally was scheduled for Sunday, April 13.

    April 18, 2014

  • r041814capbus4.jpg Funding shortfall could hinder public transportation in Southeast Kansas

    For the past two years, Pittsburg State University sophomore Travis Cook has been using public transportation to get to and from his classes. He began using the bus his freshman year, when he didn’t have a vehicle to drive even to the grocery store — which is said to be the case for many who use the service.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Bruner denied change of venue for murder trial

    Circuit Judge Gayle Crane has denied a change of venue for a defendant charged with fatally shooting an assistant football coach at Missouri Southern State University. The attorney for Jeffrey Bruner claimed pretrial publicity as the reason for seeking a change of venue in Jasper County Circuit Court.

    April 18, 2014

  • Russell family sues city, Joplin police

    Family members of a teenage girl whose suicide a year ago brought them into conflict with police officers and emergency medical technicians are suing the city and the Joplin Police Department. Kevin and Julissa Russell and their son, Brant Russell, are the plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in Jasper County Circuit Court. The action filed on the Russells’ behalf by Kansas City attorney Andrew Protzman names the city, the Police Department and Officers Austin Wolf and Tyler Christensen as defendants.

    April 18, 2014

  • Kansas Regents stick with social media policy

    After directing a committee to study a controversial social media policy and make recommended changes, the Kansas Board of Regents appears to not be changing the policy at all. It’s left some in academia baffled by why it appointed the work group in the first place.

    April 18, 2014

  • Pittsburg Farmer's Market to open in new building, new location

    The official market season in Pittsburg, Kan., will kick off in the market’s new pavilion-style building at a new address, 11th and Broadway, on Saturday at 7:30 a.m. Market hours will continue throughout the season on Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, with some Wednesdays or other special days throughout the season as announced.

    April 18, 2014

  • 041714 School safe rooms4_72.jpg Joplin school district readies community safe rooms for storm season

    Thousands of Joplin residents will soon be able to stay safe during storms in some of the region’s newest shelters. Community safe rooms at Cecil Floyd, Stapleton, McKinley and Eastmorland elementary schools, which double as gymnasiums, and Junge Field, which will double as a field house, are expected to be open within the next few weeks, according to Mike Johnson, the school district’s director of construction.

    April 17, 2014 2 Photos

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

A Missouri Senate committee has endorsed a 1-cent sales tax increase to fund transportation projects. The proposed constitutional amendment passed the House earlier this month. If passed by the full Senate, the measure would head to the November ballot for voter approval. Would you vote in favor of it?

Yes.
No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter