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About Jack Cashill


Readers' Love Letters & Pot Shots



  • Back By Popular Demand: Electric Football (rev. 2018)
    Every other Christmas, in the guise of Santa, my kindly father would place under the tree a game that held an oddly wondrous appeal both for him and for us. The game was called simply Electric Football. . . [more]

  • Suicide Hill: The Last Libertarian Refuge for Kids
    Our helmeted, hovered-over, overstuffed, seat-belted children have few opportunities to enjoy their childhoods. Many, in fact, have chosen to sit it out. . . [more]

  • Where Are The Snowballs of Yesteryear? Today, Even a Blizzard Can’t Prod Our Kids Outdoors.
    Fond as I am of snow, I ventured east last week for a family reunion, storm warnings be damned. This time, the forecasters did not disappoint. Before the blizzard was through, the pleasant New Jersey suburb I was visiting had been graced by 28 inches of pure white powder. . . [more]
  • Baseball: The Game of Fathers and Sons
    If there is one movie scene that can make a grown man cry, especially those of us who lost our fathers at an early age, it is the one at the very end of “Field of Dreams.” . . . [more]
  • Sailor Finally Free for Christmas
    Six years ago, I wrote an article for WND headlined “ Sailor to Spend 12th Christmas Behind Bars.” The article began as follows: . . . [more]
  • Thanksgiving Wishes from Avenal State Prison
    Steven Nary has been in a California prison every single day of his life since March 1996. The reason why astonishes. . . [more]
  • Why Soccer’s A Bore (and Basketball Isn’t)
    If you are getting ready to email me to tell me, “You don’t know anything about soccer,” get your cursor off the send button. You are right. I don’t. What I do know something about is. . . [more]
  • Yes, Virginia, There is Life After Death

    On an early morning last week, just ten days before Christmas, as I lay in bed gathering my thoughts, I heard a loud crashing sound downstairs in my house.

    No sound had preceded it so I did not fear a break-in, but it was loud enough to wake my wife. “What was that?” she asked, alarmed. “I’ll go check,” I said dutifully. [more]

  • Princeton vs.  The Pagan Babies

    When I reflect back on all the glorious gifts I got for Christmas as a kid—the pinball machine, the hockey game, the footballs, the basketballs, the baseball gloves, the erector sets, the electric trains, the various battalions of army men, the Lincoln logs, the chemistry sets, the monopoly games, and, of course, the wonderfully dysfunctional electric football games—two gifts stand out. [more]

  • Swimming in Brush Creek

    As August settles on Kansas City like a steaming Oshibori, I would recommend that readers seeking relief chill out along Kansas City’s great under-appreciated attraction, Brush Creek. [more]

  • Snow Falls on Pigs

    After Christmas dinner, at home here in Kansas City, I lead my own little coalition of the willing on a post-prandial nature hike through the neighborhood. As with all such coalitions, the tougher the sledding, the fewer the volunteers. . . [more]

  • The Brotherhood of the Cold Call

    I called him "Burdette." We all did. I didn't know if Burdette was his first name or his last name or if it was even his real name at all. But that, as it turned out, was one of the least important things I did not know about the improbable, cane-sporting Burdette, the king of the cold call. . . [more]

  • Electric Football

    Every other Christmas, in the guise of Santa, my kindly father would place under the tree a game that held an oddly wondrous appeal both for him and for us. The game was called simply “Electric Football.” I say “oddly” because Electric Football may well have been the single worst game ever created . . . [more]

  • Night of The Living Deadbeats

    Where do I commence this tale of unspeakable woe?   Do I recollect to the age of my nine and my first mugging  . . .. Or perhaps to my arrival in Kansas City, whence began the relentless “urban tax”: a 12-speed here. A moped there. A car radio here. Porch furniture. Another bicycle. A VCR. All purloined, with perverse impunity, by roving bands of youthful brigands. .
    . [more]

  • The Last Christmas Present

    Nana had the best collection of literary porn my 13-year-old eyes had ever seen: sultry classics like D.H. Lawrence’s Lady Chatterly’s Lover ; steamy cult favorites like Henry Miller’s Tropics of Cancer andCapricorn; even sleazy potboilers like Peyton Place and The Carpetbaggers. You name it, she had it, we read it . . . [more]

  • Adieu To A Tough Broad

    About ten days before she died a few summers back, my mother decided to check out of the hospital. The hospital folks, well intended but doggedly bureaucratic, told her she couldn’t go. They didn’t know my mother. She reminded them that this was America, damn it, and she could do any fool thing she wanted . . . [more]

  • Back to the future

    In the first hour of my first day at camp, as I changed to go swimming, Jefferson, one of the Liberian staffers, patted me on my bare butt and grinned broadly. Welcome to Camp Fast Forward, named changed to protect the guilty. . . [more]

  • Advertising Works

    I had worked full time in the business for four years before I really, completely believed that advertising worked. The event that convinced me took place 15 years ago this week, and the product in question was none other than my very own house. . . [more]

  • The Great Sea Rescue

    This week represents the tenth anniversary of the great sea rescue.  It happened like this. I was up at my place at Lake Erie. It's not actually a sea of course, but you can't see the other side so it's close enough. . . [more]

  • Alone in the Cosmos

    The secret of the universe came to me at the mid-point of a
    bicycle ride on a muggy July afternoon . . . [more]
Copyright 2005 Jack Cashill