My first real impression of Marshall was when we went to NY to bring him back to DE. We had a slow speed chase with him on his bike and us in a truck. Surprisingly, he gave little resistance, but insisted we take him to get his “razas”. He had a bit of an obsession for being clean shaved…
Immediately I knew Marshall was special.
The next several years I began to get to know him, his observations, stories, his gifts and idiosyncrasies. His love for maps, the weather, updates from Con Edison and his consumption of cans…of course “calendas”. Ironically, Marshall passed on the first day of the new Mayan Calendar. He loved beans, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? and Hawaii Five 0.
One of my biggest kicks was of peoples reactions to him from their first encounter. Whether the topic of conversation be Democrats, Hackers or Al Qaida, it was oddly fun watching them squirm a bit, not knowing what to say or how to react. Marshall could hold a conversation with anyone…although it may not be the same conversation they thought they were having with him.
Most everyone that knew Marshall had an appreciation for him. He was a constant in our lives. You always knew where Marshall was coming from…somewhere in the ether. He may one minute be talking about rain sounding like “ice pelleps” on the roof, a “Jamestown flood” coming, food on his “tasty buds” or his theory on cats. “If it wasn’t for cats, there wouldn’t be man”. Where I would respond, “Yeah, who else would change the litter in the cat box?…”
He also told me a deer “hissed” at him once. I laughed about it and wrote it off as one of his crazy stories, until I heard one making a ‘snorting’ sound that probably sounded like hissing to him. I apologized.
There were some who didn’t treat Marshall the best, but his strong will, and I suspect YAHWEH our Father in heaven kept HIS hedge about him, blessing him and keeping him safe. And let’s face it, there were times dealing with Marshall was a bit trying. But, he would always make us laugh with his childlike observations of the world.
I will always remember his “Marshallisms”. The things you could almost always count on him saying. Things about a meal that he liked. Instead of saying, “This is good!”, he would say, “Let me know when you make this again.”, or when it rained, “Don’t knock it, this is good for the water sheds.” or the lottery ticket he would never buy but say, “Hey! That’s cash in my pocket.” or “We’ll be double rich, don’t tell Bonnie.” Where I would say…“I think she’ll get a little suspicious when the chauffer pulls up to make a can run.”
Speaking of Bonnie, I am truly grateful to her because we would have never had the pleasure of having Marshall in our lives and memories. She was the only family member that really took care of and worried about Marshall. She always made sure he had everything he needed.
Marshall was the “can man”; a lot of people knew of him and saw him with heaps of bags of cans draped over his bike. One day he would be as far north as Dover and the next day as far south as Laurel! He wasn’t fast but he was diligent and persistent!
He had gotten sick some years back from the extreme summers heat and lack of hydration, during one of his many “can” excursions. He was also becoming more careless on his bike, so it was deemed he should stop.
He had asked me to take him to recycling to take a bag of cans he had at the house, and we should stop along the way at his “customas” and pick up cans they were saving for him. He had quite a few people collecting for him. He knew where they would leave them for him. When we got to recycling, everyone greeted him by name and asked where he’d been. He made over $20 and of course said, “Hey, that’s cash in my pocket”.
Finally, you can’t talk about Marshall without mentioning his special gift. Being able to tell you what day of the week you were born from your birth date. We were both born on a Wednesday.
Mat 18:1-4 At that time the taught ones came to Yahshua, saying, “Who, then, is the greatest in the reign of thee heavens?” And Yahshua called a little child to Him, set him in their midst, and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become as little children, you shall by no means enter into the reign of the heavens. “Whoever then humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the reign of the heavens.
Luk 9:48 and said to them, “Whoever receives this little child in My Name receives Me. And whoever receives Me receives Him who sent Me. For he who is least among you all, he shall be great.”
Marshall often had a humble and child like demeanor and considered by some to be least among us because of his mental stature. For this I think it safe to say he’ll have a seat in the reign of the heavens; we can only hope and pray for ourselves.