The Marshall Plans

Thinking outside the (pine) box

Thom Marshall
Human Parts
Published in
12 min readOct 25, 2023


I grow old… I grow old…

I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

— T.S. Eliot

Photo by Adam Rutkowski on Unsplash

By Thom Marshall

Coming out of retirement to write about my plans is like considering a long car trip when all you have is a rusty ratty worn out jalopy. You expect to be uncomfortable and apprehensive the whole way, if you make it that far. So why do it?

Our wonderful land is suffering now from so many aches and pains and wounds that I can almost hear the Statue of Liberty beseeching, “We need plans. A great many plans.

To save us from each other.

To save us from ourselves.

To bring us together.

Plans that will make jobs.

Plans about repairing broken government parts.

Plans for modernizing the outdated things and invigorating the worn and over-patched things.

Also, please include plans to help the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses yearning to breathe free who are overwhelming our southern border.

It, then, boils down to patriotic duty. Because I have plans. Plans I’m happy to share. I love coming up with them and could never choose to stop.

What I retired from, almost two decades ago, feeling burned out and old, was writing. Now I am really old. Matter of fact, Joe Biden and I are the same age, about. We both were born during the Roosevelt administration (Franklin D., not Theodore).

Life happened. We followed our different career paths and then, several years after my retirement, darned if old Joe didn’t get himself elected president. Not that we are close, Joe and I. In fact, our paths never crossed for even as much as a selfie together.

Still, I feel a connection because we have shared for some 80 years the wild ride on this train called America, now rocking so violently upon such a bad stretch of track that a major derailment and colossal crash appear almost inevitable. I figure, what the hell, if old Joe believes he is up for another term in the…



Thom Marshall
Human Parts

Retired newspaperman. Has been mostly real lucky for the past 80 years. Writing again after taking 18 years off.