In Memoriam, Marshall Michelson
1941 to 2006


A member of the Rouge Forum, and my friend, died today, Sunday, December 10.

Marshall was a RF member in Detroit, Kansas City, and Pennsylvania. A stalwart battler in the class struggle, a strong powerful man who always was there when things were very hard, Marshall really grasped how friendship and class struggle can interact, one building on the other. There was nobody you would want to have your back more than Marshall---and some of us learned that on picket lines. He had steely courage.

BigM was always superior to his circumstances. He never got dealt great cards in life, always had a variety of health problems, and never had a splendid job that would let him show what he really could do. He never let what could have been seen as a series of demeaning jobs demean him, or the people he interacted with.

His honest intellect never wavered from the side of the working class, the dispossessed. His standpoint on that was almost instinctive. He was a fine historian and an excellent editor with a keen eye for a better phrase, and a deeper analysis, but never harsh or arrogant with his criticism. He had an eager inquisitive exacting mind. When he went after a thing, he did it fully. 

Marsh had a great, ironic, sense of humor, making the ruling class the target of his lampoons. He had a great heart, full of love for the people, friends, and his little dog too.

Few people could distribute the Rouge Forum News in sub zero weather at 430 a.m. with more enthusiasm than Marshall.

He was a Mets fan/baseball historian/statistician, and never ate right or exercised enough. The latter two perhaps being greater faults. He was also a helluva trivia player, winning the USA bar championships nearly every time he played, but never betting, never taking advantage of others.

Our loss on Marshalls death is one that will be felt by many of us for a long time, as he was very important to our daily lives, an integral part of our ability to go out and engage another day. He persevered with great dignity and won the respect and affection of those who knew him.

He reminds us that we need to take care of our health, to re-create, that what we do counts, that pals are worth a lot, that we should never let circumstances we do not choose overwhelm us, and he would chuckle at the reminder: Dont forget to smash the state.