Bill Moeller Commentary: It’s Time to Once Again Clear the Desk Top Off


It’s time — again — to clear the desk of as many of the slips of paper still remaining and haven’t yet been tossed into the “circular file.” 

For instance, were you aware that the average annual precipitation in this area is 47.49 inches?  That’s awfully close to 4 feet, isn’t it?

And other rambling thoughts. I sometimes think of myself as a “purist” — which is just another word for a “snob” — because I still like to watch old reruns like the British comedy, “As Time Goes By.” It’s such a pleasure to watch the first couple of years of that series when the canned laughter was either eliminated or carefully decreased and the actors blended with their characters. 

The last years were “Americanized” to the point where unbelievable characters and situations were almost painful to watch. Still, those early programs made it worthwhile. And — thankfully— the series still continues with repeats on KBTC. 

Is it as irritating to you as it is to me when you hear people — mostly teenagers — load down their sentences with “you know?” It means absolutely nothing.

A recent program on TV mentioned the name of a former star of the medium, Dick Cavett. In case you’re too young to remember, he was a brilliant talk show host and is still living in his 80s. I felt ashamed that I couldn’t remember reading any of his books. So, I ordered “Brief Encounters” from Timberland Library, but discovered I’d lost my library card! Thankfully, 20 minutes later I had a new one and I enjoyed “Brief Encounters” immensely.

Does anyone have an answer to this question: Why do batters in baseball seem to find it necessary to un-snap and re-snap their gloves so many times between pitches? I get the impression that the batter is just taking more time for a slow deep breath rather than a necessary equipment adjustment.

Also, for those who have been in combat, have you ever felt regret about a wartime action?  I recall once in Korea where someone in our company shot a family’s prize possession — a cow!  I felt sorry for the family, but I ate my portion of it at chowtime. Then there was a time when we stayed for a few days near a home that had a heated tub. Most of us jumped in and soaped ourselves thoroughly, not knowing that the custom was to wash and rinse oneself first and use the hot water afterwards purely for relaxation! No wonder the owner was taking so many pains to scrub it thoroughly when we began moving out.

I’ve been saying for years that increased usage of cellphones parallels the increase of clinical depression among teenagers. These devices tend to separate us instead of bringing us together. And add our email usage and we’ve pretty much eliminated the need for being in physical contact anymore with our fellow human beings, which probably comes in handy during a pandemic.

Finally, one of these days I intend to devote a column to the defense of the Amos and Andy radio programs from the 1930s. The use of “blackface” singers and performers of the day was offensive — that’s a given — and even those first TV shows of the program using African American actors were often embarrassing stereotypes, but those 15-minute radio shows every evening were snippets of humanity.

P.S., I was looking at some recent columns to see if this one repeated something from the past. Yes, it did, and I have the proofreader of these efforts to thank for catching that. But, from a column on Dec. 3, I wrote about a statement from our, then, president — still denying that Biden won the presidency — said, “I think there will be a lot of things happening between now and Jan. 20.” 

Little did we know what that would be. Remember, you read it here first!


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