Marsh Myers, formerly the Alcoholic Beverage Control officer for Humboldt County from 1966 to 1987, passed in Sonora CA on the evening of November 11, 2015 after receiving goodbyes via phone from almost all of those who loved him that were still alive. He would have been 90 on February 21, 2016.
Marsh came to Humboldt County new to the ABC after a seven year career in the California Highway Patrol in Crescent City, Arcata, Eureka, Victorville, and Visalia. He changed careers because of his unwillingness to participate in a quota system being implemented in Visalia. His first assignment for the ABC was undercover in the Tenderloin District of San Francisco. Although a distasteful assignment, he did well and was transferred to Humboldt County which at the time had a problem with lax enforcement. He soon solved that problem and became well-respected among law enforcement and establishment owners alike for being fair, not corrupt, and able to defuse tension in often highly charged situations. He found lifelong friends, mainly in law enforcement, but also others who loved the outdoors as he did, wherever he lived.
Marsh’s love of nature came from his early childhood spent in the Yosemite area, where his father was a dam keeper until a tragedy during the depression left his sister and him virtually orphaned. They went to live with his paternal grandparents in the Bay Area where he became friends with Jack Kenny, a lifelong friend and avid hunter/fisherman. Together they explored the wilds of California and hunted its bounty at a time when there were no limits. He never wasted what he killed, and in later life, gave up deer hunting because as he put it, he “started to relate to the deer”.
When World War II broke out, he enlisted as soon as he turned 18, and fought in the Pacific theater as a Navy gunner, which together with the firing range practice at the Highway Patrol, all before they knew about hearing protection, irreparably damaged his hearing later in life. He returned home after the war and married his childhood sweetheart, Nellie Caston Harmon. They had 40 years together before her untimely death, and raised four children who miss them both: Sharon and her family of Loleta CA, Christine and her family of Bellingham WA, Dan and his family of Fort Collins CO, and Sandra and her family of Sonora CA.
During the time of Cas’s end stay at Ardenwood, a Christian Science care facility in San Francisco, he took an early retirement and relocated back to the area of his childhood, where he took on maintenance at a small hotel that his older half-brother managed. Soon after arriving, he helped an old friend whose youngest daughter had just been killed by black ice. A few months later, Mom passed and the old friend helped him through in return. Love blossomed, they married, and had 25 years together before she passed away a few months before Dad did. In that time, Dad continued to fish, traveled to New Zealand, and saw Europe. He lived a good life with excellent health for many years, and of his almost 29 years of retirement, all but the last few were good. Then his memory began to go, and he lost lower body strength, but fortunately, the VA provided enough additional funds that when the time came, he was able to relocate to a beautiful facility in Sonora near his beloved daughter Sandy who could look in on him morning and night, bring him treats, and joke around with him. For the situation he found himself in, it was ideal.
Marsh outlived many of the people he most loved, but he did leave a legacy of two younger generations that made him very proud: Morgan and Rachel Beck of Loleta CA, Drew Myers Regulinski of Cambridge MA, James Myers Regulinski of Berkeley CA, Avery Myers Regulinski of Albuquerque NM, Jesse Myers (April Evans Myers) of Fort Collins CO and his brood: Naomi, Karina, Caleb, Charity, Benjamin, Joanna, Sam, Seth, Lilly, and Levi ; Robyn Myers of Hat Yai, Thailand, Jonathan Myers (Melissa Carmon Myers) of Fort Collins; Jessica Atwater and partner Nathan of Portland OR and Chloe Atwater of Tempe AZ.
He lived his life with integrity and was as lenient as he could justify considering that his chosen career was law enforcement. As a highway patrolman, he would often write tickets for an amount that carried the smaller fine in return for a promise to start following the speed limit. For those who have time to read it, here is the poem he wrote which was published in Highway Patrolman magazine:
The Barstow Freeway
by Marsh Myers, the baldheaded poet of Victorville sub (station)
Westbound on the freeway at a steady 65
Watching all the travelers, checking how they drive
Whoops! here comes a fast one, now turn as he goes by
Punch hard on the throttle…