Morey Skaret (100) in his fighting posture with a snake quick left jab and a heavy-as-a-safe right.

Jerry's View: Morey the boxer

I met up with my old friend Morey Skaret last week at Roxbury Lanes in White Center. I say old since he turned 100 years about a month ago. We talked about the usual things people our age talk about. Health... It's a big deal when you get to be like us. His beautiful and always getting younger sidekick, Elsie Freeland was there too. Morey was in a great mood, dining on French Toast rather than his usual Teriyaki Rice. He felt great, had no pains and though he walks with a cane sometimes, he looks to be a much, much younger man. I'd say maybe 100 years and 10 days, not 30.

We got to talking about old White Center. Did he remember "Pop" Brown who ran the roller rink but previous to that he had a boxing club upstairs on 16th in the middle of town. Morey remembered and cited the week he learned a big lesson.

Morey was a young, tough Norwegian from the Canadian plains. He figured on maybe winning some prize money in the ring. It was the depression but the only depression after one fight was the side of Morey's jaw from Battling Hanson, a big Swede from Renton. The build-up was every bit as exciting as Jack Hurley promoting Harry "kid" Matthews. Morey at 6-2" and 180 lbs against the big Swede at 6-5" and close to 300 or so it seemed. What was Morey thinking?

The way Morey and only Morey can tell it. He had a left as quick as a snake's tongue and a right that rivaled a small safe falling out of the sky. Not the big Swede....Morey. The fight has barely gotten underway, like a few seconds into the first round when Morey figured out maybe one of life's choices should have been given more thought. The big Swede lumbered across the ring. Morey sent a message from his cobra-like left fist. Then a few more as if he was heat-sensing his opponent. He readied his SAFE-ty valve right hand for action.

With one good clobber Morey was on the canvas. A fist the size of a wrecking ball crashed through Morey's defense, landing squarely on his porcelain jaw. He was down like a sack of flour and thus ended his adventure into prize fighting. He nursed his jaw back to chewing form in time to ride the rails to Wyoming, sail the high seas with the Coast Guard and serve on the Seattle Police force, retiring as a captain after chasing down lots of bad guys.

For all his 100 years his best talent may be his story telling. His keen memory and wonderful, animated style make listening a joy. And he does it with most of his natural teeth. Maybe there is something in the water on the plains of Canada.

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