Bill Moeller Commentary: A Bit Late, But What Isn’t Late These Days?


To begin my weekly confession, I recently did one of the most stupid things any old man can do.

Before shopping for my groceries, to save time at check out, I made out a check to pay for them —  leaving blank only the final payment amount.

Sometime during the tour of the aisles, I must have dropped that check — perhaps when reaching into my pocket for my shopping list.

Fortunately, I was able to stop payment on that check by phone, but it wasn’t a pleasant weekend until I could personally verify at the bank on Monday that the stop payment had indeed gone through.

I think there might be a lesson to be learned, don’t you?

Then, I theorize, that being upset over the weekend must have been the factor that caused me to forget to walk across the street to a group of rural mail boxes for Saturday’s edition of this newspaper.

So I didn’t read it until the following Monday, making it too late to record my perspective on two items mentioned in the paper.

Add to that, I wanted to submit the column about the concert at the college first, so — finally — here’s my reaction to two local events reported earlier in The Chronicle, starting with the outcry from citizens over the plans for turning the site of the former hillside golf course (and the level property next to it) into a cluster of houses.

I haven’t changed my mind. It’s a bad, bad move — even though it is being offered as a housing solution.

We’ll never have too many sites with a park-like setting close to downtown, and remember that property — even currently unused property — never loses value.

And the second topic: I can’t remember having been more pleased in a long time than when I read in that same edition of The Chronicle that the Centralia Farmers Market will be returning to Pine Street.

I’ve said more than once that I don’t know why it moved away. If more space was needed, would it have been a crime to have expanded to a portion of the parking lot next to the street for a few hours on one day each week? Or were there other factors involved? 

There was an atmosphere about that location that was lost when the market was shifted to other areas. To me, one of the charms about the market when it was there was that most of the things sold — the loaves of bread, the bird houses, the shrubs, the cut flowers, the sewn potholders — were the result of the efforts made by the seller.

We can only hope that the same atmosphere will still be there when the market returns “home” this week.

If there was anything that was sold from a source other than the effort of the seller, I can’t remember it. Right now, as I write this, my mouth is almost drooling over the occasional biscotti made by Nancy Wigley.   

A few weeks ago, I asked readers to tell us of local things that they now miss.

I received some and promptly covered them with a pile of notes about other things. I found a few of them again. For instance, Rose misses her favorite eating place in downtown Centralia — “Violas.” She also misses the “Good Cannery” (I’m sure many others do, too). Janet misses “Skippers,” like I do, and she also misses just going for drives back when gas was cheap. Feel free to drop me some more “misses” at the email address below and I’ll try to improve my filing system.


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