Beyond the Column

Larry's LaRue-minations

Archives: Feb. 2013


Axel Moeller’s work just keeps popping up

Mural specialist Axel Moeller, the 86-year-old who has been working in Tacoma for nearly 10 years, just keeps popping up.

And it’s not all on Sixth Avenue.

After the column on Axel ran this week, among the responses was an e-mail with photos of several wall-sized murals in a local home. The one above looks inviting enough to enter.

Axel spends a lot of his time working outdoors – even in the rain – putting murals over graffiti for merchants along Sixth Avenue. Track him down, and most shops know him by name and sight, and he’ll put a

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Axel Moeller, an artist with a lot to say

Running into Axel  Moeller is like encountering a force of nature – an 86-year-old artist who paints, sings, plays most any instrument and can tune your piano.

Axel tells stories, too. Some make you laugh, others make you shake your head – but if you wait a moment, another one will start.

The column on Axel today detailed his mural-painting campaign on Sixth Avenue, where his work has covered graffiti for nearly a decade. With the permission of home owners and small businesses, his work dots the avenue with color and Northwest scenes.

“I’ve painted miles of murals,”

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Gig Harbor cheerleaders warm the heart

Since high school, I have known this about writing – you can never do enough of it about cheerleaders.

In that spirit, here are the cheerleaders of Gig Harbor High School. They  asked and worked for donations the past two months and turned those into 20 colorful blankets, and donated those blankets to Tacoma General Hospital.

As a former, brief resident there, I can tell you colorful fleece blankets are welcome. As are cheerleaders, dogs that visit and climb on your bed and doctors who save your life and then let you go home.

Thank you, Gig Harbor cheerleaders.  Along

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Cranberry moving up the doggie charts

Cranberry the wonder dog and owner Janine Prindle had a good weekend.

Cranberry, the yellow lab who is Janine’s guide dog – she’s legally blind – earned her certificate as a utility dog.

Next step?

“We’re going to compete ( at the Seattle Kennel Club show March 9-10 at CenturyLink Field Event Center) for her versatility certificate,” Janine said. “We’ll be there at 8 a.m. both Saturday and Sunday, and if she passes both days, she’ll have qualified.”

After that, Janine said, Cranberry may just keep her day job as a guide dog. If so, Janine will continue training her second

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The last of the Tacoma Trainmen is gone

Cliff Fournier, the last of the Tacoma Trainmen, died last week at 96.

The last of 212 trainmen who conducted trolleys through the city from 1890 to 1938, Fournier followed in the footsteps of his grandfather.

“My grandfather was a trolley conductor, a motorman we were called,” he said. “About a year or so after I started, he retired – and they gave me his badge.”

Serving in the Army during World War II, Fournier met future wife Dorine while he was on leave. They were married in 1944 and Dorine, now 87, survived him.

Their Tenino home is filled

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