Bill Moeller Commentary: Is Summer Really Here? And Another Trip to the Emergency Room


You’ll probably be reading this at least a week or more after I’ve written it, so I can only assume that, just maybe, summer is finally here.

We can only guess how long it will be before we’ll be moaning and complaining about the heat. One result from our extended, rain-sufficient June has been rapid grass growth.

So, I’ve already mowed the lawn a few times with my new electric mower. I’m not sure I made a wise choice buying it because it’s narrower than my old one, which means that I have to make more laps before I’m done. And the smaller wheels are harder to push through the uncut spaces, so it probably takes more time and energy than the old one did.

So much for progress.

And, speaking of malfunctioning equipment, I’ve made another trip to the emergency room at the hospital since my last column — but that’s hardly news these days. This time was because I tripped over backwards and pulled some muscles loose in my arm.

I’m ashamed — almost — to reveal that this accident makes it five times in the last 12 months that I’ve made the journey to the hospital.

I want to make it known that the response of the personnel in the various departments has been nothing short of excellent each time. When we moved here 60 years ago, that was not the case, or at least that’s what seemed to be the opinion of established residents.

Fortunately, those days are in the past.

Speaking of which, many citizens may be unaware of the fact that some doctors once had their own hospitals here in Centralia. I lived across the alley from the building where one of them used to be in the Edison District. Another was once operated (no pun intended) by my wife Frances' uncle.

That building, too, still stands on South Gold Street.

As a change of subject, I was thinking recently about the summer after graduating from high school when I worked at Mount Rainier before enlisting in the Army. My title was “night porter” in “The Lodge,” a building that no longer exists.

I can’t remember ever receiving a tip for actually carrying anybody’s luggage to their room. My duties actually were those of janitor in the extremely messy kitchen in the building. Working through each night meant that I had to sleep in the daytime. And the only place provided for me was in the fourth level of what was — and I suppose still is — known as “The Guide House.” There was no insulation underneath the peak of the roof where my bed was located, so it was like trying to sleep in a Swedish sauna. How I would have loved to have some of the snow we could see at the top of the mountain.

Changing the topic again, at the age of 94, I don’t think it would be unbelievable that a pastime such as writing a weekly column may not be carried on for much longer.

After all, even my inspiration and guide, Gordon Aadland, had pulled the cover over his computer by that age. But while I still have the opportunity to say so, I feel not only obliged but amazed and grateful that the response to these scribbling has, slowly perhaps, increased as time itself has increased as well.

I may have missed a time or two, but I try to send a response to any of your comments that have been sent to the email listed at the bottom of these efforts.

They really do — as the old expression goes — make my day.

So, I’m not “throwing in the towel.” If nothing else, if I make another trip to the emergency room I have a few columns that are not subject to a specific time or date tucked away in the file cabinet.

Now, let’s enjoy our change of season!


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