The Boneyard says “Good night Myrt, wherever you are.”

Terry Mosher 3



I’m back to the Boneyard today to take excess thoughts off my mind. It’s also a good day to do this because it (September 1) also happens to be Myrt Kressin’s 88th birthday.

Myrt died Feb. 6 of this year. She was, in my opinion, the best female athlete to come out of this area, and maybe the best in the state. She could do just about anything, but is best known for playing fastpitch softball, starting out in Bremerton with the fabled Bremerton Greenjackets, although she went on to play with and against some of the best players from the Northwest on various team

She also played volleyball in her younger years, and later was a tremendous bowler and golfer. First and foremost, though, she was a wonderful person who cared about others, and was the first to offer sports tips on how to do better.

Myrt Kressin 2

Myrt Kressin

They had a celebration of her life yesterday at the Sons of Norway in Bremerton. Lois Forbes, Myrt’s sister-in-law, insisted I should speak at the celebration. I resisted. I don’t like to talk in front of crowds – in fact I don’t like big crowds – and I resisted numerous phone calls and two home visits from Lois.

I got busy writing and editing yesterday and forgot I was supposed to be there. Finally I got a call asking me where I was. I talked to Lois and said I didn’t want to talk, but I would hurry on over.

When I got there the celebration was winding down, and somebody else had spoken in my place. Actually, Terry Laraway was introduced as me and he spoke. I later talked to Laraway and he joked about it.

“I didn’t have anything prepared,” he said.

Laraway is the son of the late Kelly Laraway, a cousin to Myrt, who was also an incredible athlete.

Now I feel remorse that I did not get there on time and say a few words about Myrt, although knowing Myrt she would have forgiven me. Myrt was that way. Although whenever I wrote something that Myrt didn’t feel was quite right, my phone would ring and she would say,” Terry, that is not right.”

Then we would have a long discussion on what I did that was wrong.

Myrt was one of a kind, no doubt. When she was going through some heart problems a few years back she called me to ask if I would do her obituary. I said I would, but that I couldn’t do it right now. I was busy, I told her, but as soon as a cleared some things up I would come over to her house and we would go over what she wanted in it.

About a month later, I called her and said, “Myrt, I’m ready to do your obit. Should I come over?”

“What obit?” she said.

“Myrt,” I said, “you asked me to do it.”

“Oh,” she said, “That was when I wasn’t feeling good. I’m all right now.”

Actually, she was not all right. I found out at the celebration from Jan Hauschel, one of her best friends and a bowling partner, that she would have to go in the hospital every so often to have her lungs drained of fluid. But it even took Hauschel some effort to get that out of her. Myrt did not like to bother anybody with her problems.

Hauschel said that Myrt’s son Kelly even tried to get her to move to Vancouver where he lives so he could watch after her, but she refused. She didn’t want to leave her Bremerton home.

Alison Eoff, Lisa Barfield and Hauschel talked of the time they were bowling with Myrt in Tri-Cities when she tried to quickly usher them into their car. She was certain a guy close by had a knife and was going to kill them.

“She always believed she saved our lives,” Eoff said. “She said he would not have killed her because she was too ugly, but that she saved us.”

Of course, none of them bought Myrt’s reasoning. Hauschel thought the guy was carrying some strawberries, not a knife. But Myrt insisted, so they let her believe until the day she died that she had saved them.

Hauschel said she was just a young kid who used to go with her parents to Bremerton Rec, the old bowling house in Bremerton. One night she ran into Myrt, who encouraged her to bowl. To get her started, Myrt gave her one of he old bowling balls, had it drilled, and then watched as Hauschel bowled with it.

“That won’t do. It’s too light,” Myrt said.

So they repeated the process with another of Myrt’s balls two more times before Myrt was satisfied Hauschel had the best ball for her. From that early beginning, they would go on to be doubles partners for about 30 years.

Former Sun sportswriter Harland Beery told of the first time he saw Myrt. He was bowling and was doing terribly. He bowled just over 100. Myrt came over put an arm on him and told him he was doing just fine. Don’t give up, she told him.

Armed with that positive reinforcement, Harland then bowled a 220-some game.

“She was always looking around at how others were doing,” Beery said of Myrt, adding she often then would offer suggestions on how to do better.

She was something, that’s for sure. I miss her terribly. I miss those phone calls telling me what I did wrong. She was my unofficial editor.

Myrt also reminded me of my sister, who died a little over two years ago. It was comforting to me to know my sister was around, and that if I needed I could reach her by phone. Same thing with Myrt. I used to drive by her house in Bremerton every once in a while just to make sure she was still there.

Now, she is gone.

The late comedian-singer-entertainer Jimmy Durante use to sign off his shows on TV with a nod to his deceased wife, using a nickname he had for her. Jean Olson Durante died in 1943 but until up to the day he died in 1980 he would end his shows by giving a heartfelt, “Good night Mrs. Calabash, wherever you are” to her.

It almost always brought me to near tears. I couldn’t wait for him to end the show and say it.

So good night Myrt, wherever you are.

Myrt, I’m sure, would have had good words today to say about the Washington Huskies. They looked awful good in beating Boise State 38-6 in the season opener and the opener for the new Husky Stadium.

What impressed me the most, and likely is the reason for such a big offensive explosion, is the Husky offensive line. That was the best OL I have seen from a Husky team in a long time. It gave Keith Price time to throw and opened holes for a slew of good running backs, including of course Bishop Sankey.

It’s still early to jump on the bandwagon, but if the Huskies can continue to play like that, and even improve, they certainly will be a top ten team soon enough. But the PAC-12 is loaded with good teams, so we will have to wait to see how it all plays out.

The most impressive player from a Washington school on Saturday was not a Husky, however. It wasn’t a Cougar, either. It was an Eagle. Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams was unbelievable in Eastern’s 49-46 upset of 25th-ranked Oregon State.

Adams, a junior, threw four touchdown passes and for 411 yards, ran for two more TDs and 107 yards against the Beavers.

Myrt would have noticed Adams real quick. The guy is something else. The only thing he did wrong almost cost the victory. He flubbed the snap on the extra point on the TD that put the Eagles ahead with just 18 seconds left in the game. The PAT would have made it near impossible for the Beavers to win the game, but the flubbed snap gave the Beavers a shot at a tying field goal as time expired.

The 52-yard boot by Trevor Romaine had enough distance, but was just wide right, and Adams and the Eagles celebrated Eastern’s first win over a D-I BCS team in 10 tries.

So we had four in-state celebrations yesterday – wins by the Huskies, Eagles and a near upset by the Cougars.

The fourth, of course, was a tip of the softball cap to the best female athlete I have ever known – Myrt Forbes-Pierce-Kressin.

Good night Myrt.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

You are loved.