2007 Winter

Pittsburgh Quarterly Archives

2007 Winter

Cooper, Schafer, Tobias, Wobb, Johnson, Joyner, Harper, Thrift, Fischer, Schloss

Dr. William M. Cooper, 87: William Cooper possessed tremendous medical knowledge, superior diagnostic skills and a compassionate manner that helped many patients and Greater Pittsburgh alike. The hematologist was also an innovator, helping to form the Central Blood Bank of Pittsburgh and serving as its first medical director. He served…

The Perfect Snow

I’m both amused and dismayed by media weatherspeak. I’m amused by the hyperbole of Storm Watcher Central and Severe Weather Tracker. You’ve seen the flashing alerts across the screen.

A Different Kind of Hunt

The Christmas hunt was long a holiday tradition. Armed with rifles and shotguns, Christmas guests would choose teams for a “side hunt” and fan out over field, woodland and riverbank. Winners bagged the largest number of birds.

Tom Vilsack: From Pittsburgh to President

The remarkable story of Tom Vilsack began in a Pittsburgh orphanage where Dolly and Bud Vilsack adopted him. He grew up in Squirrel Hill and graduated from Shady Side Academy and later Hamilton College and Albany Law School.

Reading Between the Lines

In September, Block Communications announced that if it’s unable to reach satisfactory agreements with its unions by Dec. 31, the Pittsburgh Post-​Gazette may be sold. News outlets reported it as a provocative salvo in stalled negotiations, but it would be a mistake to view the release as posturing.

It’s Pay Dirt

Graham Hatfull, Ph.D., is clearly pleased when presented with a film canister brimming with soil dug from a Penn Hills back yard. Common, every day dirt.

Zehr, Towey, Malkin, Rebholz, Wenzel, Latta, Walker, Busch

Dr. Kenton Zehr is chief of the division of cardiac surgery and professor of surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and associate director of UPMC’s Heart, Lung and Esophageal Surgery Institute. He earned his undergraduate degree from Eastern Mennonite University and his medical degree from Penn State’s…

Call Them Crazy

Tony Modzelewski can’t explain why he jumped off the Fort Pitt Bridge in January 1975, but modern psychology has him covered. Modzelewski was 17 years old, celebrating the Steelers’ first Super Bowl victory, and the group of revelers he was with decided to walk across the bridge.

The Real George

The blood splatters on the lawn would wash away with the next rain, but Mary and I knew the crimson stains on the tree trunk would be there a long time. The most jarring moments came when we encountered the body on the floor, head half shot away. His name…

From the Outside In

Pittsburgh has always left vivid impressions on the mind of the outsider. For some reason, however, visiting writers have been less kind to Pittsburgh than visiting artists.

Song of Weirton

We talk about living in the Tri-​State Area, figuratively. The “we” in Weirton live in it literally. My waitress at Mario’s Italian Restaurant on Main Street is a fine example: She’s wearing a black-​and-​gold, No. 7 Roethlisberger jersey as she serves up the boss’s home-​and-​handmade spaghetti, while a poster behind…
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Death cycle

In 2004, the region’s two largest hospital systems sought to redraw the map of Pennsylvania. Although their hospitals, clinics and headquarters all sit in and around Allegheny County, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and West Penn Allegheny Health System asked Medicare, the federal health insurance program for the elderly,…

Wine tips from the Heinz-​Kerry cellar

With her easy tact and predisposition to agree, she might be a diplomat or a counselor — if it weren’t for the one-​liners that slip out, almost as if they’re sneaking up on her, and the highly contagious laughs that follow.
Pittsburgh Quarterly Exclusive

Pipe dream

November 19, 2006
It’s Saturday night at Oakland’s Sphinx Café. To the right, inside the cavernous, old church, musicians chat with the owner about an upcoming gig. On the left, sipping tea, a trio of men joke in Arabic. In the rest of the dim interior, small groups cluster around low tables, resting…

Which Came First?

It is almost invisible now, a ghost of a building squatting in the shade of looming hemlocks at the edge of the highway. Though it’s now rundown and overgrown, the brooding brilliance of the place endures. You still can see its crisp, horizontal lines formed by the distinctive, rough-​hewn rocks,…
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