It was a true delight reading about Dr. Edward Cashin and his contributions to the history of Augusta (“Cashin’s Augusta,” February 5). Your article was thoroughly researched, comprehensive and well written. However, many do not know that Ed Cashin himself had a rich history before he came to Augusta in 1969.
I first met Brother Cashin, a Marist Teaching Brother, at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York, in 1964. He was chairman of the history department at the small Catholic college on the banks of the Hudson River in upstate New York. By the time I graduated he was elevated to academic vice-president of Marist College. I remember that he was not only interesting to listen to in class because of his command of whatever subject he was teaching, but he had a warm Southern drawl that was very soothing to the ears of this Yankee college student from New York City.
For those who can remember, the late 1960s was a turbulent time in American history: the Vietnam War, the draft protests, the Civil Rights movement, the beginnings of women’s lib, and the first moon landing were all part of an average day’s news events. But for us college students, we felt safe and coddled on our small campus in Poughkeepsie. We seemed to be immune to the tempestuous storm that surrounded us in American society.
What we didn’t know was that many of our religious educators, like Brother Ed, were fighting their own battles to find relevance in the world. One short year after I graduated in 1968 I was in the military, and Brother Ed left the religious order that he loved and moved back to the city that he loved — Augusta. Dr. Cashin married, had children and embarked on a new career of writing and teaching at Augusta College. It is interesting to note that Ed was not the only one who left the religious order; many of his fellow professors decided that the non-monastic life of marriage and family was more attractive to their personal lifestyle. But they all still stayed true to their dedication to the teaching profession.
Several years ago I attended a reunion at Marist College; one of the alumni ceremonies was to name a room in the history wing in Dr. Cashin’s honor. It was a delight to meet his widow and talk to her about Ed.
Thank you for helping me get more acquainted with someone that I really respected during my college years.