When I wrote a column to honor Father’s Day last week, there was one item sitting in my files that I have wanted to write about for some time.
Even though this item was about my father, it was written by my best friend from school days — not me.
I’ve mentioned before there were three of us kids who stuck together — Bob, John and myself.
After graduation from high school, I enlisted in the Army while Bob and John both joined the U.S. Postal Service.
John eventually wound up working with the International Atomic Energy Commission in Vienna, Austria. Bob stayed with the post office and, although he remained a letter carrier, he became the president of the letter carriers in this state as well as assistant business agent for the national association.
And — on top of that — for 55 years he also spent his vacation time at the Puyallup fairgrounds, eventually becoming the superintendent of the grandstand. But Bob started out as a novice in the post office, of course, and here is what he once wrote to me about help he received in his new job from my father who — by this time — had become a supervisor.
These are Bob’s words as he emailed them to me:
“I was a brand new, super young, temporary, indefinite, substitute letter carrier. I was sent out to the east area of Tacoma. I had never in my life been there before, as anywhere in the McKinley Hill area at that time was not a place to be. It was Christmas time. It was raining and it got dark. There I was, standing under a street light with several ‘swings’ of mail yet to be delivered and coming very close to chucking the whole thing and forgetting about being a letter carrier. All of a sudden out of the gloom of night came this mail truck, driven by your dad. ‘What are you doing?’ he yelled at me. ‘I really don’t know’ was my reply. ‘I’m wet, I’m tired, I’m lost and I still have a couple hours of mail to deliver.’ ‘Get in the truck’ he ordered and back to the Post Office we went. I thought for sure I’d be fired, but all the supervisor said as I stood there dripping water on the workroom floor was, ‘God almighty, this is as bad as we have gotten! Now I have a guy that doesn’t have sense enough to come in out of the dark and rain. Punch out, and come back tomorrow ready to give me a good day’s work.’ That was a good supervisor, Walt Geisert, the best boss I ever had. Your father saved me that night and I have never forgotten it.”
I want to publicly thank Bob for that memory, and in our recent, crazy lives, it also serves to remind us to consider our mail carriers as they deal with tons of mail and a diminishing workforce.
We can wait a few minutes, if we have to.
In whatever space is left here, let me gripe about television networks who feel they must add crowd noises to athletic events.
The worst case of that recently was the coverage of the French Open tennis championship. Many times, it seemed as if the crowd was going wild over a spectacular shot while the picture on the screen showed just about everyone in the stands “sitting on their hands.”
The same effect was achieved this past Sunday at the United States Golf Championship.
I guess what offends me most of all is that it is so easily detected.
It is downright insulting to an average viewer.
Crazy world we live in as we slowly return to “normality.”
Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at email@example.com.