Here are a few more notes to myself, the delivery of which might allow me to see what color the top of my desk used to look like. And, speaking of color, an old friend responded to a question I once raised about the color of egg yolks these days. She has another friend who raises chickens and, yes, the yolks in her eggs are still a deep yellow/orange color, not the anemic pale yellow of those we find in supermarkets these days. Draw your own conclusion.

Here’s another item to be added to previous lists of things I miss these days — the restaurant that used to be known as Skipper’s. I’ll bet a lot of you do, too. As I type this, I can’t think of another local place these days where such a variety of seafood dishes is offered. I don’t remember ever going there without ordering clam chowder — a delight second only to Ivar’s. The proprietor’s withdrawal from the franchise seemed to take away some of the charm. Skipper’s in Lacey closed about the same time. Pity.

At the age of 91, am I one of the last living stalwarts who ever accepted the challenge of playing golf on the old Elks Golf Course on Seminary Hill? It might seem strange to some of you that a golf course could be built on the side of a hill — but that’s the way it was. The first hole was on level ground, and I’m not too sure if the second hole wasn’t, as well. Memories fade, you know. After that you boarded a platform on rails that would deliver you to the top of the hill, where the rest of the course commenced — each hole directly downhill from the previous one, but in the opposite direction. Heaven help you if you had a bad slice.

On more than one occasion, I’ve suggested that the space — which now sits idle — would make a perfect place for summer concerts with seating levels located where the fairways once existed. But, I guess, that if a swimming pool for children can’t be sustained, then a place for adult entertainment is out of the question. Still, I picture in my mind a clam-shell stage on level ground at the bottom of the hill, where electrically enhanced music would be verboten and, above it, the terraced hillside where families could set up their own lawn chairs or blankets to enjoy a perfect Northwest Summer evening.

Here’s a note I found on a pad next to my bed where I scribble those middle-of-the-night bits that I think are gems of genius at the time, but which get crumpled up and thrown away upon closer inspection later. A recent one was, “Is there a man living who, at one time or another, hasn’t dreamed of living on the edge of civilization?” I know, I should have used the word “person” instead of “man,” but would it have been quite as truthful?

Another note: Who was the genius who invented the upside down ketchup bottle? The system works great for ketchup but not as well for mayonnaise because too much remains in the bottle. I can remember, back in the Depression years, when the bottles were smaller and with a little bit of ketchup still clinging to the inside of the bottle, we’d pour in a tiny amount of vinegar and swish it around to get every drop we’d paid for.

And do you remember the cork and metal stopper with drain holes that could be purchased, allowing that old ketchup container to be used as a spray bottle for ironing?

In conclusion (as they say), I did some calculating this past week and discovered that my 600th column — without missing a single week — was back on September 25. The odds of my reaching number 1,000 are slim, indeed.


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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