I had a chance to talk with Joe Clark, the new director of services for Twin Transit, last week and came away from the meeting pleased that the operation is, once again, in the hands of a person whose primary goal is to serve its riders and the community … instead of personal aggrandizement.  

It’s been a long, dry spell since that’s happened. Joe is not someone who plans on using the position as a stepping stone to something bigger and better. His years of service on the Chehalis School Board are evidence of that. He’s here to stay and we can stop holding our breaths.       

Sure, Joe has plans for the future. But they’re achievable, and not the “pie in the sky” kind that resulted in the purchase of that white elephant piece of property on Centralia’s Pearl Street. I repeat, I’m convinced that things will be running much smoother from now on.

As for those plans, they’re far more practical than the recent attempt to extend Twin Transit’s boundaries to include the entire county. His vision is based on the predicted dramatic increase in population in our I-5 north and south corridor. People who work in Olympia are finding housing costs too expensive to live there and, although I’ve often expressed my opposition to it, future growth is inevitable and will demand new ways to serve the expanding population.

And from the top of my desk again, may we enjoy another chuckle from TV’s closed captioning?  In a piece about the disastrous flooding in the center of our nation lately, a comment accompanied a picture of a barge crashing into a bridge. But what was printed on the screen was the information that “a bridge was hit by a bathroom.”  The mental picture of that speaks for itself.

Of all the things I miss from younger days, one in particular came to my mind the other day and I don’t know why because there was nothing happening that would have suggested such a memory. I miss playing the recorder. I don’t mean taping my own voice and playing it back.

No, the recorder is a musical instrument that was popular in Shakespeare’s time. It’s nothing much more than a wooden flute with finger holes.          

My wife, Frances, and I acquired both soprano and alto instruments and enjoyed playing the music of over 400 years ago as a duet. Then I heard a deeper-toned tenor recorder and just had to have one regardless of its price tag. That lasted until I decided it was time to splurge for a larger — and far more expensive — bass recorder. Having four recorders cried out for the need to form a quartet. With Bob and Jennifer Williams (he was an English instructor at Centralia College), we spent many an evening playing for our own enjoyment but never once in public.

As things sometimes happen, we wound up going four different ways and I eventually donated all four instruments to the Centralia College music department. I’ve never heard a recorder played in any musical program at the college since then and I can’t help but wonder if they’re still sitting on a closet shelf there today.

P.S. I want to mourn the passing of former Centralia Librarian Marian Osterby.  She was more than professional, intelligent and caring. For me, she was prophetic! On the advice of Centralia College English Teacher Frank Rosa — she asked a young man if he could possibly come up with something to help commemorate Mark Twain’s birthday that year (1974) and, thereby, set in motion a 33-year career for yours truly.    

•••

Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at bookmaven321@comcast.net.

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Agreed on the change at the top with Twin Transit. No need to build a multimillion-dollar transit center for a system with only four (4) routes, none of which run later than 7pm or on Sundays at all. Fixing up their current facility is a better use of taxpayer dollars. Want to build a Taj Mahal? Increase routes and ridership first. Sad to note the passing of Marian Osterby, who stayed active long after retiring as Centralia's librarian (which I wasn't aware she'd been). R.I.P. to a classy lady.

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