Fighting for Depression dimes
Captain Morey Skaret, Fauntleroy resident, has been battling for truth and justice in his varied career as Coast Guard captain and Seattle Police captain. Plus that he has been farmer, logger, lifeguard and prizefighter among a myriad of other survival modes.
He is now 95 and still righteous and upright.
He used to dance every Tuesday night with his sweetheart Elsie, 92, till they closed the Corner Inn last year.
The picture is Morey holding a stool. It is not just any stool. It was not always orange. He painted it several years ago to hide the blood, sweat and tears.
He has another one just like it. He saved them as mementoes of his boyhood days when he fought for $7 at a boxing ring in White Center during the thirties.
The ring was built by Pop Brown and operated as a regular venue by Ely Caston, prizefight promoter. Pop Brown later turned it into the famous White Center Roller Rink. The maple floor was used as a practice spot for a team of roller derby girls who have since moved to Sand Point.
Today, Pop Brown's grandson owns the building and holds a popular Swap Meet there each weekend.
The building with a curved roofline still looks identical to when it was built, though there were no other buildings near it. It stood alone with the entrance on 16th SW,
The street behind it, 17th SW, was land where mostly swampy vacant lots, provided play grounds where the likes of the poet Richard Hugo, the Schual brothers of bakery fame and Elmer Matson hung out and played ball. And sometimes fought rough and tumble in the dirt.
I asked Morey to tell me about the Great Depression days in West Seattle and White Center. This is what he said:
"In the early thirties I was looking for any way to make a dime. We lived walking distance from White Center and boxing was very popular nationwide. Fighters like Jack Dempsey and Gene Tunney were role models for kids my age. I started hanging around White Center's arena that was leased by a fight promoter named Ely Caston.
There were two local heavyweights--one was "Frisco" McGale", He was tall and well built and had a boxing ring on the top floor of the Bus Station on 8th and Stewart.
I paid to take boxing lessons from him. He taught me a lot. The other was "Society" Red Millet.
I started hanging around Ely's White Center ring and made a few cents as a sparring partner. Some of the fighters I remember were Swede Hanson, Shorty Kress and Red Russo.
I was 6-foot 2 and weighed 175 pounds. My body was lean and hard as nails from working in the woods as a faller and bucker.
There were a lot of trees and small mills out here in those days.
I joined the CCC in 1935 and boxed in Golden Gloves eliminations and did okay until I fought a guy named Tommy Murray. On the back of his robe he had his name and under his name were the words: 'From The Back of the Yards, ' which was known as the toughest neighborhood in all of Chicago.
He knocked me out in the second round, which ended my career in the national finals in the Golden Gloves.
After I finished my term with the CCC, I boxed a noted fighter from West Seattle's Alki area. He was the same weight and build as I was but he had a powerful left hand. He fought under the name of Go Go Greenfield and we had a hard fight ending in a draw.
I will always remember him. I liked Go Go. He was a good guy.
The last fight I had was with Cowboy Bill Hawks, The Pride of Utah. We fought an exciting battle and the crowd loved it and every once in awhile I bump into some old timer who remembers it."