Joplin

Every Myers-Briggs test I've taken has shown me to be an intuitive person. Nobody has ever debated it, in my case.

When I was an Arkansas tot -- that is, before the interstates -- my parents would give me acreage in the back of the Plymouth station wagon while we traveled to visit relatives in Oklahoma and Missouri. The roads between Claremore and Hannibal meant an inexorable passage through Joplin.

I must have thought it was the biggest city on the route. I always looked forward to stopping there, even if it was only to gas up and move on. I loved the name: it had no "-field" or "City" appended to it. I loved the green.

My intuition also told me that Joplin's people were there because they wanted to be there, not because they were forced to be there. It was a beautiful place. My intuition today tells me it will be a beautiful place again. That will happen because of neighbors. But in that part of the country, a neighbor can be 600 miles away.

Yes, it's a disaster that's going to pull federal help very easily, but I guarantee you that the fastest and most effective support will come from Joplin's neighbors who will arrive and send resources from every point of the compass. It shall be a model of how to behave when the Big Quake hits the river valleys around New Madrid.

Joplin is a town that's worth rebuilding.