And so, another Fourth of July has passed and the neighborhood fireworks have been put away for one more year. I was surprised that there seemed to be far fewer premature blasts — at least in our neighborhood — than in the past and even the explosions on the evening of the Fourth seemed to be a bit diminished.

Of course, that could be either my imagination, my hearing loss as an ol’ timer  or the fact that I’m getting used to such activity after all these years.  Even Zelda didn’t hide out in some unknown sanctuary but spent most of the evening stretched out over my head on the back of my lift chair while I watched a documentary about the Civil War on TV, instead of somebody else’s pyrotechnics!

I regret that I missed the annual Independence Day breakfast in Borst Park, and I’m angry with myself for forgetting about it this year. Short term memory loss is one of the most difficult things to accept as being a requisite part of longevity.

For those who missed the parade, though, it wasn’t much different from previous ones except that there seemed to be more military vehicles than usual — perhaps mimicking events in our Capitol — and fewer restored or customized cars. I was delighted to see that there was no candy being thrown from vehicles. Whether the angry column I wrote last year had any bearing on the change or not, the main thing is that the kids are safer. And they still got their candy from people who carried buckets of the treats to pass out along the edge of the street.

If I have any complaint, other than the fact that I’ve been passed over again when it came time to select a Grand Marshal, it’s that I miss one thing: marching bands. If the parade were held during the school year there probably would have been one from the high school as — in the long ago marching past — there used to be. But it’s just too difficult to get enough students together during summer vacation. At another time of the year, it might be possible to entice a military band to appear, but I suspect they’re all booked up on Independence Day. Perhaps Centralia College musicians might fill the void. 

Switching to other things, I see where a gentleman has paid for another full-page ad in this newspaper to — among other things — repeat that he is going to run against the mayor at the next election. It wasn’t mentioned this time, but I’m assuming he is referring to Centralia’s mayor? I wonder how disappointed he’ll be when he goes to the courthouse to register for the election and discovers that there is no place on the ballot for mayor of either Centralia or Chehalis, that the mayor is chosen by the City Councils from among their own membership. I never miss the opportunity to remind folks that I am the last living mayor of either city who was chosen by an election, a four-vote landslide in my case.

On the lighter side, I was watching a golf match on TV and the thought came into my mind to wonder if anyone can remember when golfers stopped using cleats on their shoes. My dad was a pretty good golfer and he always wore cleats. I suspect that one reason they disappeared may have been because back then, greens weren’t the ”billiard table” smoothness that they are today and it didn’t matter much if they got gouged up a little.

One last thought to keep in mind — especially in this election year — comes from something Jesus said, as reported in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 12, Verse 25 (King James version).  Go ahead, look it up yourself.



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

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