Hard-hitting librarian

  • By Debra Smith Herald Writer
  • Monday, April 4, 2011 12:01am
  • Local News

EVERETT — During the day, Everett librarian Kate Mossman is the consummate professional, all buttoned-up blouses and tailored slacks.

But at night, out comes the black T-shirt and spandex shorts, the pads, the helmet and the mouth guard.

Everett Public Library’s assistant director is

a speed demon on eight wheels, the captain of a local roller derby team called the Camaro Harem.

“I get an intrinsic reward for the sheer athleticism involved and pushing myself to the limit,” Mossman said.

She’s known at the rink as “unshine.” On her orange jersey is the Dewey Decimal number for solar eclipse: 523.78. Now in her fourth season, she’s a respected skater experienced and talented enough to handle any position on the track.

Her teammates say she’s driven, a leader and one of the fastest skaters in the Jet City Rollergirls league. She’s known for a wry sense of humor and her habit of wearing temporary tattoos in odd places — like the time she pasted a red heart tattoo reading “I love libraries” on her neck.

“She’s fast, accurate, a hard hitter,” said teammate Candi Edwards, a nurse also known as Greta Gurney. “She brings out the best in us.”

Roller derby is a sport with a healthy amount of cleavage, powerful thighs and tattoos. It draws a loyal following in the Northwest, big enough to fill Key Arena in Seattle and sell out college gymnasiums in this county.

Five skaters circle around a track. Each team has a jammer who tries to get through a pack of blockers and score as many points as possible.

The sport requires speed, agility and endurance. It can be as rough as rugby, with skaters sometimes sustaining gruesome injuries: broken bones, hematomas and torn tendons.

Mossman joined four years ago when the sport was still relatively young here. She saw the Jet City Rollergirls skate by during a Fourth of July parade. Among the politicians and the auto dealers, they were — as she remembers it — “the coolest thing in the parade.”

Mossman and her husband, Grant, had just moved to town, and she needed a way to get involved in the community. Some people might think about Rotary or the Chamber of Commerce. She found herself dreaming up derby names and showing up at the Everett Skate Deck.

“This is not Rotary,” she said. “I can hang with the Rotary crowd if I need to.”

With no serious skating experience, Mossman was amazed when she tried out and got picked for the league. At first, she was like Bambi on skates. She took classes and she practiced.

Coach Mich Congdon, a former hockey player, said Mossman quickly improved. She brings smarts and smoking speed to the track. She’s known for a fierce, focused aggression.

“When I first watched her skate, I was certain she had skated before,” he said.

Mossman spends her time at work focused on supervising librarians and working shifts at the adult reference desk. She’s neat and organized, and she doesn’t talk about her personal life at work, said library director Eileen Simmons.

Still, her boss said Mossman has developed a “flock of derby followers” at the library.

“Quite a few people follow the team,” Simmons said

The library director said she’s even attended a few bouts, although she’s not much of a sports fan.

“She’s really good,” Simmons said. “I saw her early on and then I went the following season and I was amazed at how much more aggressive and skillful she had become.”

Mossman, who didn’t want to divulge her age, isn’t sure how long she’ll be a derby girl. So far, she’s jammed her thumb, herniated a disc in her back, gotten a concussion and tore a ligament in her knee.

Something about the thrill of out-juking a great blocker, the adrenaline rush, the pride of winning — it keeps her lacing up her skates.

“I’ll go until I know it’s time to stop,” she said. “I don’t think it’s quite time yet.”

Reporter Debra Smith: 425-339-3197 or dsmith@heraldnet.com

Roller derby

Watch Kate Mossman and her team, the Camaro Harem, in action at 6 p.m. April 9 at the Everett Community College gymnasium. Bout 1 is the Hula Honeys vs. CarnEvil, and bout 2 is Camaro Harem vs. the Pink Pistols.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A Cessna 150 crashed north of Paine Field on Friday evening, Feb. 16, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. The pilot survived without serious injury. (Courtesy of Richard Newman.)
‘I’m stuck in the trees’: 911 call recounts plane crash near Paine Field

Asad Ali was coming in for a landing in a Cessna 150 when he crashed into woods south of Mukilteo. Then he called 911 — for 48 minutes.

Snohomish County likely to feel more like winter, beginning Monday

Get ready for a mix of rain and snow this week, along with cooler temperatures.

Anthony Boggess
Arlington man sentenced for killing roommate who offered shelter

Anthony Boggess, 33, reported hearing the voices of “demons” the night he strangled James Thrower, 65.

Patrick Kunz speaks during his sentencing on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington.(Annie Barker / The Herald)
Everett gymnastics coach who spied on students sentenced to 6 months

Patrick Kunz, 47, pleaded guilty to charges of voyuerism and possession of child pornography last month.

Traffic moves along Highway 526 in front of Boeing’s Everett Production Facility on Nov. 28, 2022, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / Sound Publishing)
Everett transgender mechanic alleges Boeing treated her ‘like a zoo animal’

For years, Boeing allowed toxicity “to fester and grow” at its Everett factory, according to Rachel Rasmussen, an employee from 1989 to 2024.

Monroe High School (Monroe School District)
Monroe High School teacher accused of sexual misconduct, put on leave

Few details were not available Thursday afternoon. Police were seeking information from the public.

After 10 months, police make arrest in fatal Everett shooting

Police believe Malik “Capone” Fulson killed Joseph Haderlie, 27, in April 2023 outside an apartment complex on Casino Road.

Kathy Purviance-Snow poses for a photo in her computer lab at Snohomish High School on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024, in Snohomish, WA. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
To ban or embrace ChatGPT? Local teachers fight AI with AI — or don’t

“It has fundamentally changed my teaching in really stressful and exciting ways,” an EvCC teacher said. At all levels of education, ChatGPT poses a tricky question.

Ryan Rafter appears in court for sentencing Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, at Snohomish County Superior Court in Everett, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Man sentenced to life in prison for murder of Everett father

In April 2022, Ryan Rafter, 42, shot Christopher Buck, 29, to death after breaking in to his home to steal drugs.

Driver strikes, kills Marysville man who was crossing I-5 in Seattle

The man’s car had broken down near Mercer Street. Troopers reported that he was struck when he tried to cross the freeway.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Darrington in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Police: Darrington woman stabbed, buried 5-year-old daughter

The woman reportedly told investigators she was hearing voices before she killed her young daughter on Valentine’s Day.

In this Feb. 5, 2018, file photo a Boeing 737 MAX 7 is displayed during a debut for employees and media of the new jet in Renton, Wash. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
FAA gives Boeing 90 days to develop plan to fix quality, safety issues

The agency’s ultimatum comes a day after a meeting with CEO Dave Calhoun and other top Boeing officials in Washington, D.C.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.