About a dozen Caribou Club members journeyed up to Santa Cruz on February 27, 2010, for a memorial gathering and luncheon for our departed buddy, Marshall. We spent two days in a beach house playing pool, enjoying refreshments, and telling stories about Marshall. Oh, we also joined Greg & Karen Brewster, Laura Brewster and their families at the luncheon in Marsh's honor.

Following is a DVD of Marsh, with music, (Thanks to Paul Atkinson), click below:


Below is our version of an 8 x 12 Holy Card for Marshall's service. He always hated the little cards they give out at funerals, so we made this up to look like a portfolio presentation for an actor, which Marshall surely was. Here's the front


And here's the back of the Holy Card, below.

Below, a group Caribou shot at our beach house in Santa Cruz:

Terry Coultas, Bill Kelly, Tom Campbell, Pat Leahy, Michael McConnehey,

Paul Atkinson, Dennis Watson, Gene Meyer, Kane Healy,

Dennis McSweeney, and Paul Ebert

Below, more shots of the memorial lunch and the rest of the weekend 

Paul presents the Video 

The Luncheon. That's Laura in the middle. 

Karen, Doug, and Greg listen to some stories

Gene tells tales of Marshall 

Same weekend of Chile earthquake & Tsunami 

The Tsunami will be coming from the South.

Michael & Kane relax in the living room 

Michael & Paul checking out a slow caribou 

Larry Billings & Tom  

Ashes, candles & photos 

Watching the video 

View from our driveway 

Kane trying not to be distracted by the view 

Michael, Paul A. Paul E. 

Terry & Pat waiting to lose at pool 

Dennis gets a photo of Terry & Gene, 

Friday Night Taco Chefs 

Sunny Cove, taken from our beach house 

Below is a photo of the sprinkling of Marshall's ashes at 

Arch Rock, Anacapa Island. 

His ashes are the first to be placed here in what is expected to become the Caribou Club Burial Site

 February 27, 2010

Marshall Cash Brewster was born February 23, 1945 in Los Angeles, California.  He would have turned 65 last Wednesday. He was a direct descendent, a tenth great grandson, of William Elder Brewster, who arrived in Plymouth, New England, in 1620, aboard the Mayflower. There is a Brewster, Mass. that is named after William Brewster.

Marshall was a master mechanic, a carpenter who could build any structure from the foundation to the cabinets to the electrical; you name it. He was a gifted musician, cartoonist, raconteur, race driver, contractor, tap dancer, and party animal.

I studied under Marshall for almost 60 years. We attended first grade together. He was the first performance artist I ever knew. Throughout his life he remained the funniest guy in the room. Marshall invented improv before there was improv. So from 1951, I listened, learned, occasionally stole a car, and tried to remember what I could from his warped and irreverent sense of life.

He grew up in Van Nuys, where he attended and was thrown out of some of the finest schools in the San Fernando Valley. He went to St Elisabeth grammar school, where from an early age he honed his skills: Diagramming sentences, learning his times tables, and getting people to blow milk through their noses.

He was the first kid in the neighborhood to learn how to whistle loud. He was the first to be able to burp on cue. My brother Jeff wrote in the Caribou Website that Marshall could burp the Star Spangled Banner. He could make fart sounds with 5 different parts of his body. And as for real farts. He would light them through his Levis. No wonder Mr. Brewster had an account at Schulman’s clothing store in Van Nuys.

There were five kids in the Brewster household on Gilmore St:  Greg, Doug, Marshall, Fred and Marie. Marshall spent a carefree childhood on Gilmore riding bikes, roller skating,( remember the old skate keys), and playing football in the street with the neighborhood kids, largely the Atkinsons. (Did I just say largely?)

He was in the boy scouts, and he went on many hikes and campouts throughout his early teens. I think the Boy Scouts were where Marshall got his love for the mountains, especially the Sierras.

Does anybody remember his favorite Christmas song: Children roasting on an open fire

Though Marshall was raised in a strong Catholic environment, he turned out to be completely indifferent to religion. He said he lost his Catholicism at precisely the age you would have expected him to: the age of reason. He went twelve years to Catholic school and was an Altar Boy in the years when the Mass was said in Latin.  Dominos vo biscum, et com spiri tu tu o, Requia scat en pace. Amen. When Marsh was an altar boy, at age 11, he’d watch the ushers collect money, and then whisper to me, “Dominos go frisk em.”

He tried to avoid serving 6:30 Mass, not because he was lazy, but because his Dad went to 6:30 Mass every day of the week, and Father O’Dwyer, the pastor of the Church, and no buddy of Marshall’s said 6:30 Mass every day of the week. And yes, Marshall did drink the altar wine.

Speaking of Father O’Dwyer, Marsh did a great imitation of his Irish brogue. Fr O’Dwyer used to come around the classrooms during the school day and scare the hell out of us, especially when he handed out report cards. O’Dwyer would call your name, then point to the report card where you got a lousy grade, usually in Conduct, Deportment. For example: (with brogue), Mary Clair Fitzgerald, Eugene Meyer, Marshall Brewster.

Years later, when we were living in a house in Grass Valley, I woke up one morning, and I could hear Marshall cleaning up the kitchen from the night before. Instead of humming a song, I could hear him, doing an imitation of Father O’Dwyer handing out report cards, only to the Manson gang. (with brogue), Susan Denise Atkins, Leslie Van Houton, Shorty Shea, Charles Willis Manson. This was the kind of humor Marshall specialized in. 

Harriet Brewster used to prepare extra meals from the family dinner to give to those less fortunate and disabled, a home cooked meal. One of the lucky recipients was Frank Eastman, a disabled old man who lived in a little shack of a house on Calhoun St between Gilmore & Victory, two blocks from the Brewsters. Marshall was usually conscripted to deliver Harriet’s meals to Frank, I often tagged along. Turned out Frank was a real character, former organist for silent movies in San Francisco. It was there that Marsh discovered escape, mostly in the form of Country Club Stout and Old Hickory Bourbon. Frank told the raunchiest jokes we’d ever heard, before or since, and he kept all his jokes in a little black book. When Frank died a few years later, Marshall snuck into the house to try to find the black book of jokes, but never found it. Turned out that the St Elisabeth Altar & Rosary Society had cleaned out the place before Marshall got there. It was one of the big regrets of Marshall’s life, not finding that book. We always pictured these old ladies crowded around red-faced, reading Frank’s little black book.

While Marshall wasn’t an A student in school, he was an excellent reader with almost total recall.  Reading turned out to be one of his most valuable skills. When he wanted to learn about his first car, a 1956 Pontiac, he thoroughly read the manual and became a mechanic. When he wanted to become a carpenter, he completely read the codes and jumped into the jobs. When he got a job selling trusts, he again read the codes, passed the certification tests, and bang, he was working again. Marshall was also the first person I knew who owned a computer. 

It’s a well known fact that Marshall was a recreational drug user, but he was not a hard drug user. All his crimes were victimless, unless you count him as victim, which I would. He ingested vast quantities of coffee, buttermilk, alcohol, LSD, mushrooms, and marijuana.  Ironically, it was none of these drugs that caused his ultimate demise. It was cigarettes. He started smoking at a very young age. When the Cupids Hot Dog stand opened on the corner of Victory and Tyrone in Van Nuys, we were probably 12 years old. We’d ride our bikes to Cupids, where I’d stand at the counter and order a 25-cent chilidog, while Marshall snuck around back of the building to buy a pack of smokes, for 25 cents, from the cigarette machine hanging from the wall.

I know the auto industry is having trouble these days, recalling cars because of keyless ignitions. Back in the 50’s we called cars with keyless ignitions Chevys. All you had to do was find a Chevy with the ignition switch in the off position, and off you went. Marsh spent about a year joyriding around the Valley in all these cars that weren’t his until he finally got caught, along with some of his friends, and spent a year on probation. Unfortunately this would not be his last brush with the law.

After Notre Dame and Van Nuys High Schools, Marshall attended San Fernando Valley State College, now known as CSUN, but dropped out when he decided to become an actor, which he already was, but this time for pay. You see some of his promo shots here today, and there will be more later. Acting didn’t pay the bills, so he worked on cars, mostly at Walz Richfield on Van Nuys Blvd, which employed probably half the people in this room. 

He moved to Bridgeville, California in 1970 where he lived in a commune with a bunch of hippies on 8,000 acres of rolling hills, rivers, and redwoods. It was there that his green thumb skills took hold. It was also there that his daughter Shanna was conceived and born.

After a year of living in the Humboldt Redwood wilderness and playing Don Juan chasing the Magic Bush, He returned to LA just in time for the Sylmar earthquake. I can still see him running around naked on the front lawn of our house in Reseda. He continued working on VW’s and Porsches, and began building racecars to compete in the Baja 500 Race, against such drivers as Mickey Thompson and Parnelli Jones. The only problem was, in these off road races through Mexico, he kept rolling over in his cars, which can be expensive.  Well, acting and racing didn’t pay the bills, so in about 1974 he got tired again of living in the fast lane world of LA and decided to light out again for the hills.

This time he started his reincarnation as a mechanic at Auburn Foreign Car, in the heart of the Mother lode in Placer County. He lived for a while in the Auburn area, but then he found a deal on some acreage in Georgetown in Eldorado County, and thus, he ended up on Hotchkiss Hill working throughout the area as a carpenter.

During that time he completed a most amazing project. He extended the deck for our house in Grass Valley, then cut off the top of an industrial dumpster on the property, and levered it up through a rectangular opening in the deck. After it was plumbed, epoxied, insulated, and framed in redwood, it turned out to be a spa right out of Sunset Magazine. I have some photos here today of that hot tub. He loved to say to girls who came over to use the hot tub, “Yeah, well this tub has held bigger trash than you.”

He lived in Georgetown almost 20 years and truly developed his green thumb skills there. To most people the Mother lode meant Gold Country. To Marsh the Mother lode meant 50 lbs of freshly grown sensimilla. He had a hydroponics garden with grow lights that covered the entire attic of his house. But there’s nothing like real sunlight, so Marsh moved the operation outdoors. Now his property bordered National Forest, so he figured, Hey why not grow this stuff on “we the people’s” property. Turns out, “we the people” have employees, called the DEA, who check on these kinds of things. He ended up in Jamestown for a year, thus ending his green thumb days.

After meeting and marrying Laura, Marsh and his new family decided to move from Georgetown to Santa Cruz, where Marsh was offered a job as a union carpenter, building clean rooms for INTEL. It turned out to be the best money he ever made, but it remains questionable how much it affected his already deteriorating lung condition. 

Sometimes I feel that I only absorbed a tiny part of him.  A group of us here visited Marshall 6 months ago, and several of us commented afterward that Marsh was just as quick and funny as ever. We all wish we could have followed him around with a tape recorder. 

Quick, how do you describe the sound of a diesel engine?

Marbles in a Maytag


Marshall had an up and down life, to say the least. But strangely enough, not one of my friends or relatives turns out to be any more a hero in so many important ways. Marshall was a completely non-judgmental person. He always told the truth. Lying was too complicated. All his speech was stream of consciousness. He was apolitical. He believed all men were created equally annoying. True he had no respect for authority, But he could capture and imitate any stereotype, and point out the stupidity and hypocrisy of any human behavior. He was Lenny Bruce and Jonathon Winters rolled into one. But he was cynical without being pessimistic. In reality, he was optimistic and upbeat all his life, in spite of all his sarcasm and setbacks.

Even at his lowest points, he always had something ridiculously ironic and funny to say, then he’d say, “Gotta Laugh to Keep From Cryin’”

Marsh was the walking talking definition of an expression that he him self authored: Bad experience – Good Story. He could take fantasies and turn them into further fantasies.

When people told him where they lived, he’d always say, You call that livin’

She’s a real soup sandwich

He dated an airline stewardess, and referred to her as “The proud bird with the golden tail.”

On making comparisons: “They’re exactly the same, only different”.

If he were here today and asked what he thought of this speech, He’d surely say: “It’s all bullshit, but it’s all true.”

I know I’ll never again use the words vacillating or sniveling without thinking of Marshall

Not long ago he was installing Pergo floors in what would become his last home remodel.  When I called to ask how he was doing, he said, without skipping a beat, “I’m in Pergo tory.  That comic one liner has 60 year old roots.

I’m glad  that I knew him for an instant. It was such a relief to know that there was someone who thought the same way as I did but could express it so much better. To Marsh, I appreciate the lifelong training, and thanks for the memories.

Below are photos of Marshall and comments by friends.


We are sad to report that Marshall Cash Brewster peacefully passed away Saturday, December 19th, 2009, in Santa Cruz, after 64 years and 10 months on planet earth. We are attempting to construct a fitting memorial to Marshall, both in photos and words, but so overwhelming is his body of work that the staff here at the Caribou Club is at a total loss to figure out where to begin. (You would think that since we're The Caribou Club, we'd have this stuff figured out, but we don't). We invite stories and/or photos about Marshall. Send any stuff to:


The Caribou Club website you are looking at started about a year ago. Think of it as an Old Farts Club, only we have embroidered hats. Marshall had an original webpage. Below are his irreverant photos and comments, as well as those of his friends.


Below: Hi. I'm Marshall. This is a photo of me doing my favorite thing in my favorite place.

Paul Atkinson took this shot. (Be very careful of him following you around).

The joys of Bridgeville, California

I  grew up with Marshall. He was the first to be able to play a tune while passing gas.
My favorite story was when Greg and I went to the North South for a game up north. Marshall was fixing us breakfast on his beautiful back porch and there was a bird cage next to the stove. I saw a big lump in the cage and asked Marsh what was in there. He said it was his pet owl. It wasn't moving, so he opened the cage, grabbed the carcass and flung it as hard as he could into the pine trees. Then in the straightest face, he replied, " It didn't give a Hoot"
Jeff Meyer

Above: Did I mention that I've always had a green thumb?

When I first moved back from Oregon to Van Nuys in 1955 I was in the fourth grade at St. Elisabeth School. One afternoon on the playground, Marshall and I decided to be bad asses, or maybe just asses, and we swung at each other; I broke my arm and Marshall broke his wrist. From then on we were always good friends. I hate to admit I haven’t seen Marsh in years, but I remember our last meeting like it was yesterday. That was when the Meyer and Coultas families went antique hunting throughout the Western United States and ended up in Georgetown, Ca. where we spent a couple of days mingling with the Northern folks. I can’t forget spending several hours in Marsh’s green house where he made us laugh like no one could; my side was aching beyond belief.  What can I say other than he missed his calling and the whole world missed out on his command of comedy.

 Terry Coultas

Below: Here I am with Jeanne and Tommy Atkinson just before my

First (and last) Communion, 1952

Thanks for letting me know about Marshall. The instant I received your email, I got a card and wrote a note to Laura Brewster - it's ready to be put into the mailbox tomorrow.

Although I never met Laura, it was surprisingly easy to write something meaningful about Marshall. Yeah, he and I had some classes together at Notre Dame High School, but I noted that we were much more likely to see each other in detention than anywhere else, as we were frequent members of the "Room 27 Club", having taken lots of rides on "The Domeliner".

The more serious thing about Marshall was his creative, ready wit. Given the right venue, he probably could have been another Hunter S Thompson; maybe in his own way he was. I think you had to know him to really appreciate his unique take on the world, and maybe that was something that took him down paths that did not serve him well.

What a memorable guy.


Virg Evans

I'm sorry to hear about Marshall. One of the more unique individuals I had ever met in my life. He was always himself in any given situation. A rare thing and difficult to maintain, but I think we are very lucky to know many in this category. Most of them are from St. Elisabeth School. He'll be missed by many I'm sure.
So. Cal. Painter,
Ed Flynn

You know I'll be there. I really feel blessed having spent the last few months with Marsh, either yelling at races or ball games, we spent hours together or on the phone laughing. Marshall could make anything funny. We talked about all the fun we've had throughout our lives and how lucky we are to have you in our lives to keep us all together. I will always have the last few moments of Marsh's life with me until I see him again. Marshall became my best friend in the last few months and I feel lost without his wonderful sarcasm and great smile.   Thanks for everything


Me with my wife Laura 

I need to talk with someone, feels like I lost part of me, I loved Marsh as a brother would love his brother, perhaps more than that. The security I had knowing he was there for me is gone now, my friend, one of a kind, good heart, great fun, ready for adventure, never saw him angry and yelling like I would, almost daily, for one reason or another. I could tell tales of Marsh and me that would bust a gut and talk about him forever, but I can't write anymore, I'm just crying and it's too hard. I wish I was there, but I'm too torn up to travel. We lived hard, Marsh and Me!
To me he's still here with me in my mind, I close my eyes and there he is, I just can't let him go so I won't can't make me don't have to.. See ya soon Marsh, Aloha
                                                            With Love Greg "The big guy" Clarke


So sorry to hear this. I remember most the way he laughed: sort of erupting slowly into a giggle, then laughing with his chin slightly elevated. I always liked that. Somehow, at parties he and I would often end up in the corner talking, with me laughing uncontrollably while he "sniveled" about the world and the things around him. It was always fun.

Billy Bowles


A sense of humor comes in handy.

Keisha, LaVina, Bob Ryerson, Paul A, Marsh, Sandy, Gene, Michael A.

Bridgeville CA, 1971, when we were all hippies

Above: World by the tail, Waikiki, 1984


Here's Marsh during his Baja Racing Days,

pictured here with racing buddy and fellow Van Nuys High School alum,

Jeff Hibbard (RIP)

Annie, Laura, Shanna, Marsh in Santa Cruz 

Laura, Marsh, Michael McConnehey, Kenny Magee, 2009

Above: Mr. Universe in Tahiti

Below: 15 minutes later