Bill Moeller Commentary: It’s a Tricky World Out There


I’m sure that if you’ve watched television in the last month or so you may be prone to ask, “What in the world has happened with television cameras?” 

I thought it was just accidental at first, but now it seems to be the norm. The screen now shows every little facial blemish and wrinkle.

I don’t think it’s a change for the better.

Maybe the company that provides my television viewing is showing things as they should have been seen all along and I should have been seeing every person looking their age, but I don’t think so. Maybe it’s just that the cataract operation I received last year is only now taking effect, but I don’t think that’s it, either.

There are some bright spots in this new process. For instance, I recently saw a former president actually looking his age, and I’ll bet he wasn’t very happy if he saw the same picture.

It did look as if he is no longer trying to convince the public that his hair color is really golden, but I noticed he’s staying with the same old “cast iron comb-over” to hide the bald spot. How often did we see his hair blowing freely in the wind, now?

I’m sorry, but I’m just not interested in seeing people at their worst. Blemishes, wrinkles, hickies and sagging cheeks may be all right among family and friends, but they have no place on those I’d like to look up to.

Changing the subject, it’s time for a confession of a stupid action, I’ll recount below, that I hope you haven’t committed? 

I’ve read that intelligence may be transferred from a parent to his or her children through genes or, perhaps, merely by close association over the years. If so, I surely hope the same condition doesn’t also pertain to stupidity.

I’d hate to have contaminated my children.

I had just completed wiping out the daily scams on my computer. I’m sure, if you’re old enough for Social Security, your email address has been sold to a type of person I kindly consider “the scum of the earth.” It’s easy to recognize them because they’re required to leave their own email address on their message before they can send such garbage. Some of them are weird enough to elicit a quick chuckle.

And, in the “real” mailbox on that day, there was a letter with a small piece of plastic attached. I immediately took it to be another and different type of scam, but obviously a scam indeed. Maybe because the first thing I read was if I took that piece of plastic to my bank they would give me $600 dollars for it! (It was worded a little more official looking than that.) 

My first thought was they sure don’t know my bank. To ensure it didn’t fall into the hands of someone who wasn’t as bright as me, I cut it into small pieces and threw them into the garbage can.

What I threw away, of course, was $600! 

I hadn’t realized what, to other people, was common knowledge. It was the economic impact payment from the federal government. I didn’t remember ever seeing that was how it would be delivered in the newspapers or hearing it broadcast on TV.

The wording in the attached accompanying letter was vague enough to be confusing to more people than just myself. On the brighter side, the person who filled out my income tax this year says I should receive about $200. Oh well, I’ll just be slightly less impacted!

It’s time for another reminder that you may be an old timer. That’s if — without reading it recently in The Chronicle or hearing it on local news — you can remember that the brick building in the 500 block of North Tower in Centralia now being demolished due to a collapsed roof was once a brand new Safeway store in 1955!


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