Trickster on NPR

Eileen Kane was featured on NPR's To the Best of Our Knowledge. Click here for the full programme.

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Letters from Mother - www.trickster.ieDear Eileen,

The Vindicator has gone out on strike, so you probably didn't know the Beatles movie is on here at the Palace. I was down there the other day because that nice girl, Karen, you know her, she's been named Miss Canned Soft Drinks, and she was hand­ing out drinks. I'm glad you never won a beauty contest. I remember Miss Network Difficulty, that Doris. It's very hard on those girls-they get the notion life will be easy.


I'll sign off now.


Love, Ma


Dear Eileen,


Not much to report here. Patrick thinks he's in trouble with The Black Hand. He got mad about something the way he does, dog licenses or flag etiquette or I don't know what but anyhow his letter got printed in the Vindicator and he says it got them up in arms. I said what do the Mafia care about dog licenses and he just gave me that look he gets.

Anyhow, he's gone to Akron until it blows over. He only had $11.00 in his wal­let, but I said don't look at me.

You probably saw that show on television the other night about us being "Bomb City." If they didn't make so much fuss over these things, no one would pay attention. Did the Indians say anything? Ask them if they ever heard about Cadillac Charlie Cavallero. Say it's Mrs. Cavallero I blame-she should have put her foot down long ago.


I'll sign off now.


Love, Ma


[From Trickster: an anthropological memoir]


My mother sent me letters from the time I first left for graduate school in Pittsburgh until her death; in fact, I got a couple of letters from her the week after she died. I have over two hundred of them, covering topics from how aloof and remote the dog had become to accounts of bombings, strikes, and murders, mixed in with recipes, for my mother was a wonderful cook. She never knew this, of course, because it never occurred to us to tell her.