Bill Moeller Commentary: Planning for a Return to Normalcy


I may have mentioned this before, but if you tried to grow a couple of strawberries this year, you were dissatisfied, right?

My son, Matthew, found that result after eating one or two when they first turned red as they fought for space with the flowers in my garden. First, there was not enough sunlight to urge the plants to develop their own sweet flavor. Then, later in the season, the berries all turned red enough, but still had no taste worthy of chopping them up to go into my dessert bowl.

Those who know me well enough to ponder this question about the flavor of my strawberries — or even consider it — may understand that this is just one more addition to my list of current complaints or misfortunes that have fallen upon this otherwise lovable human being over such a small portion of time.

And why would the “evil powers that be” all land on me when I have been such a faithful adherent to their sordid suggestions?

My attempts to achieve immortality by leaving an imprint on the world are exemplified by applying my face to Main Street and, later, the whole side of my body to the curb of Pearl Street when I was going to partake in our weekly demonstration of Veterans for Peace.

Surviving both dives, maybe some things are looking up? With patience, my latest consultation with my doctor resulted in a forecast of possibilities that I may see some return to a semblance of normality in three to four weeks.

I really look forward to “rehabbing” my close relationship with Sam, the furry ball I miss the most. Although I have not been too far away from my home, I have been unable to see him, much less to hold him on my lap. That has been one of the hardest things to bear over the past month.

And I am planning the fish pond, which will replace the recalcitrant vegetable garden that now claims ownership of the territory.

Another “positive,” while I am reclining in rehab, I have been able to watch the Mariners return to the playoffs for the first time in 21 years. Twenty-one years ago! What were you doing 21 years ago?

If memory serves me well — well, OK, it doesn’t —but here are some recollections.

I was still occupied doing the Mark Twain Show which had, earlier, carried me around the states. And I was officiating at weddings locally. By chance, I have visited with fellow occupants here at Sharon Care who remember me officiating their family weddings.

I was also trying to restore a once beautiful garden that had been ignored for years in my new Edison District home. That was also where I constructed my first Centralia pond in my 70s. Hopefully, I will remember how I did it. It was bigger than the one I plan to construct now. I’m sure my additional 20 years will have no impact on my plans and my experience building will result in a grander pond this time.

So, life continues — and, sometimes, repeats — be it ponds or baseball team hopes. But follow my advice and watch carefully where you step or stand — that can complicate things!


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