Bill Moeller Commentary: A Fall Cleanup of the Column Cabinet


I’ve often griped about my own inability to take all the little notes to myself and either do something with them or throw them away. The following column has very little connection with anything important, it just helps clean the desk.

So you’re excused to switch over to the sports section of this newspaper. But, then again, considering the current events in our world today, this trivia might be a relief?

So, in that vein, here are some things to contemplate without fear of taxing your brain:

1. Have you ever watched an English TV show and spotted an actor or actress that you recognize from a different show but can’t remember which one it was — but most likely on a PBS series? Or for that matter, what the actor or actress’s name was?

2. The old Amos and Andy radio programs were based on human nature and not ethnic diversity. (One of these days I’m going to submit a column on that subject. It’s been sitting in my filing cabinet too long.)

3. When was the last time you heard an honest-to-goodness love song being played on radio?

4. It’s hard to remember words such as “amnesia” when you suffer from it.

5. Are you as puzzled as I am when you see a TV show from one of the Scandinavian nations where the actors are being heard in English but their lips are moving to their native language?

6. Proper acting is not memorizing the lines and pretending to be a character. It’s actually becoming that character. My first wife, Frances, used to complain that it took me two days to become Bill Moeller again after any of my Mark Twain appearances. Conceivably, a positive for her, I would think?

7. Scammers — at least one or two of them — are getting harder to detect. Not too long ago I received a phone call — presumably from Providence Hospital — asking for all sorts of private information while claiming that it was to make sure they had their records correct. I slammed the phone down.

8. One of the things I pass over reluctantly but more quickly are packages of picture puzzles. Sam would have parts of most of them on the floor before I’ve finished putting the border together.

9. I hardly ever make use of the ability to watch movies on TV for only one reason — it’s no fun to watch them by myself.

10. How many of you made a slingshot by tying slices of an old innertube to a v-shaped tree branch? For that matter, how many of us have even seen an inner tube in action?

11. Why are we so far behind European nations when it comes to railroad transportation?

12. I seem to have developed the thought that bicyclists are generally positive (life is wonderful) while motorcyclists tend to be more negative with more things to hate.

13. While I like to brag that I was the top graduate of my class at Centralia College at the age of 41, that was more than a half century ago in the class of 1969! And, finally,

14) One of my favorite shows on public television used to be the British program called “New Tricks,” a show where retired police detectives were still active in solving crimes until, one by one, the entire cast was slowly replaced. I guess that showed that old actors like old column writers — “slowly fade away” as General Douglas MacArthur once put it. And, slowly, as we move out of our summer temperatures and on to fall — theoretically, at least — one wonders whether our crazy climate will allow such migration?


Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at