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Relentless Russ and the Virtue of a Work Ethic

Russ has been at the gym for like, 31 years. “Since 1987,” he says. White New Balance sneakers. Red track suit jacket with the words PERSONAL TRAINER written across the back. Handing people the kettle bells and the medicine balls and the 10-pound weights and the resistance bands and asking for one, come on, just …

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Ageless Wisdom: Abraham Twerski, 87

Try and find happiness in everything. And that’s not easy. There are a lot of things that cause you misery. Right now I’m disabled in a wheelchair. I’m dependent on other people for so many things. I don’t like being dependent on people. But I still try and find some happiness in that. I once …

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Cudd, Farmer, Schuler, Buford, Kraybill, Martin, Gunther

Ann E. Cudd is provost and senior vice chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh, supervising the academic and research operations of more than 700 full-time faculty and 7,000 students. A native of Gambier, Ohio, she comes to Pitt from Boston University where she served as an administrator and professor of philosophy for the past three …

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Ageless Wisdom: Thaddeus Mosley, 92

Thaddeus Mosley, 92, talks about his work as a sculptor and living a life of contentment. The secret to longevity? Good luck and good genes. I’m lucky that I’ve had good health for most of my life… The biggest thrill, or the most excitement comes from when you conceive of an idea and you work …

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Ageless Wisdom: Cyril Wecht, 87

In part five of this video series, Cyril Wecht, age 87, shares his path to forensic pathology and discusses what is important in life. The secret to longevity? It’s probably genetics, over which I have no control. My father and mother, who were immigrants, lived beyond their life expectancy, despite the very hard work they …

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Ten Minutes of Lovely

“Okay, so I’ll do two hundred of the Hey Rosemary,” Samantha says, tying a white, plastic apron around her waist before opening two, overflowing three-ring binders. “Wait… three hundred Hey Rosemary. We are really low on Hey Rosemary. I need to make Lady Macbeth again… and I’m out of Gertrude! I’m completely out of Gertrude!” …

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Ageless Wisdom: Patricia Wilde, 90

In part four of this video series, Patricia Wilde, age 90, talks about how she entered the world of ballet and her experiences with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. I was born in the countryside outside of Ottawa, Canada and there were five of us in the family. The first part of the family were all …

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Ageless Wisdom: Carol Brown, 85

In part three of this video series, Carol Brown, age 85, shares thoughts on choosing a profession, living a satisfying life and building the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust. The advice that I give my four grandchildren is spend your life on a profession that you really love, something that you genuinely enjoy. And if it’s something …

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John Robinson Block, Newsman

My twin brother, Allan Block, and I are the third generation in a family business that’s more than 100 years old. My grandfather, Paul Block, was an immigrant from East Prussia, and grew up, through his teens, in Elmira, New York. From age 10, he worked for a newspaper and learned how to sell advertising. …

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Ageless Wisdom: Betty Lane, 80

In part two of this video series, Betty Lane, age 80, shares her thoughts on life and work from her experiences with the Hill House and community. I am excited about being 80 years old. It allows me to do all the things that maybe I couldn’t do when I was younger. I can take …

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The Singing Barista

No one complains when they come into Jitters Café in Shadyside for their frappuccinos and cappuccinos and caffeinated hot/iced whatevers and barista Liz starts singing. Deas Vail, Mew, Jon Bellion, Issues…artists with melodic vocals that she can harmonize with while she’s working behind the counter, pouring things like Lavender White Mochas and Gingerbread Chai Lattes …

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Montgomery, Macino, Vento, Capretto, Marcu, Widdoes, Luderowski

Ruth Mitchell Montgomery, 101: Five years after she and her husband moved to Pittsburgh for a job with the University of Pittsburgh in 1956, Montgomery started the effort to create the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society (now Chamber Music Pittsburgh), attracting the philanthropic support to make the dream a reality. For many years she ran the …

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Ageless Wisdom: Jim Roddey, 85

In part one of this video series, Jim Roddey, age 85, discusses his contributions to Pittsburgh as a businessman and first Allegheny County Executive. My wife and I came to Pittsburgh to buy a company. We had promised to stay five years, but we’ve ended up being here almost 40. My advice to Pittsburghers is …

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Bob and Fritz Together

Fritz is wearing a contraption. Two black, rubber wheels attached to a harness that allows him to bark and roll and bark and roll his way across the grass. He’s been wearing it for four years. Ever since he jumped and missed and fell off one of the concrete steps in the back yard. “Well,” …

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Rocky’s World Behind the Diner Counter

Where’s Apollo Creed? Oh, hardy, har, har. Like he hasn’t heard that one like, ten thousand times before. “I also get a lot of ‘Yo, Adrian!’” Rocky says from behind the counter of his corner diner in Bloomfield. The counter is short. Really short. Not even waist-high short. “About four and a half feet tall,” …

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Donna’s Dream and a Life of Roller Skating

Donna’s knee has been bothering her lately. Which is why she isn’t lacing up her white roller skates right now, the pair her late husband bought for her in 1963 for, geez, it must have been five hundred dollars. The same pair she was wearing 10 years ago when she was 71 and broke her …

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An Antique Point of View

Someday, Jim Barricella will retire from antiquing. Well, maybe not retire literally, but definitely do something else with his life. Something other than the never-ending hours he spends at his antique shop, Off the Avenue. If someone bought the place, Jim would set up a booth and stick some antiques in there. No worry. None …

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Nate and His Bees

The bees arrived yesterday, via Two Day Priority, from an apiary in Ohio. Three pounds of them. Five thousand bees and one queen buzzing around in a wooden crate made of scrap wood kinda stapled together. There are screens on either side so that you can actually see the bees. And hear them. All 5,001 …

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Davis, Klausing, Donatelli, Lynch, Heinz, Sachs, McEachran, Scully, Sammartino

Nathan Davis, 81: Davis was director of jazz studies at the University of Pittsburgh and a pioneer in bringing jazz education into the mainstream. A tenor and soprano saxophone player, his 44-year tenure at Pitt included creating the Pittsburgh Jazz Seminar, the Sonny Rollins International Jazz Archive, the International Academy of Jazz Hall of Fame …

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Albrecht, Kinne, Wildermuth, Behre, Suroviec, Sullivan, Chalikonda

Chuck Albrecht is the new executive director of the Persad Center, a licensed counseling center created to serve LGBT people. A native of Portsmouth, Ohio. Albrecht comes to Pittsburgh from Florida, where for the past 17 years he was chief operating officer at the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association. Previously, he was …

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Kelleman, Fech, Kaminski, Thors, Bhattacharya, Crawley, Miller

Katharine Eagan Kelleman is the CEO of the Port Authority of Allegheny County, succeeding Ellen McLean. Kelleman comes to Pittsburgh from Tampa, Fla., where she led the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority and won that region’s 2016 Businesswoman of the Year Award for economic development. She has previously worked in transit agencies in Baltimore, Dallas …

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Bognar, Franklin, Freeman, Ross, Goldstein, McElhattan, Malone

Nadine Bognar, 87: The co-owner of Bognar and Company, a supplier of coke and coal for the steel industry, she became chairman and CEO in 1992 after her husband’s death. While her business acumen contributed to the company’s continued success, it was her philanthropic efforts and support of a wide range of arts organizations that …

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