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All Quiet on the Ohio—Just the Way He Likes It

There’s a lot of sitting and waiting, on a day like this. The water in the Ohio is calm, running chocolate-brown like something out of Willy Wonka’s Factory. Clear, blue sky. A handful of cottony clouds skirting by. Nothing like the winter, when the damned ice ensures you can barely move. When you worry about …

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Thrifty Tom and His Peanut Butter

The 52-ounce can of Planter’s Peanuts came from Sam’s Club. Because they’re the best, really. Extra Large Virginia Peanuts. You’ll never find a bad one in the bunch. And the food processor? Well, yeah, originally it rolled off some assembly line at GE with an outrageous price tag, but here’s the secret: buy them at …

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Ahmad Jamal, Jazz Master

I’ll bet that I’m the only musician ever to record a CD simply titled “Pittsburgh,” which is a tribute to my beloved hometown. It’s a “miracle city,” really. When it comes to industry, culture and the arts, Pittsburgh has contributed more to the world than most people can begin to imagine. Pittsburgh was once home …

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Bart, Pardee, Knapp, Strecker, Purnell, Carpenter, Watson

Dr. Robert Bart is the chief medical information officer of the Health Services Division of UPMC. He will oversee the health system’s efforts to advance the use of electronic health records. A Wisconsin native, he comes to Pittsburgh from Los Angeles, where he held the same position for the Department of Health Services for Los …

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Cahouet, Romero, Needleman, Maher, Donahue, Katz, Robinson

Frank Cahouet, 85: Cahouet rescued Mellon Bank from the brink of failure in the 1980s and restored the fabled Pittsburgh institution to strength. The first outsider to lead the bank when he arrived in 1987, he inherited bad loans and excessive expenses that led to a loss of nearly $1 billion that year. Cahouet aggressively …

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Looking Good

To flip through Hans Jonas’s album, which is indistinguishable on the outside from a family photo album, is to view Pittsburghers as if they were a family: a beloved aunt Sally Wiggin, a hardworking cousin Willie Stargell, and of course, everybody’s favorite neighbor, Fred Rogers. Behind the camera, behind these photographs, is Jonas himself. His …

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A Baker’s Ways

Calling it “Joe’s Bakery” would never work. Who wants to buy pastries from some guy named Joe? At least, that’s what Joe thought. And if Joe thought it, others might be thinking it, too. So, he named his bakery in honor of his daughter, Dana. For the past 37 years, Joe has been turning on …

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Walking the Dog with Dave

Dave has his boss’s dog on a leash. A yippy little black and brown dog the size of a football that is completely oblivious to its unimpressive size, snorting and slobbering its way down the sidewalk near its home on Observatory Hill. It looks like Dave is walking the dog. But the dog is walking …

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The Corner Barber Shop

The guy currently occupying the Emil C. Paidar barber chair circa 1932 showed up at 11:30 a.m., half an hour before the Humble Barber Co. opened for the day. He thought he’d be the first in line. Turns out, he’s second. Which might have seemed odd. But the last time he walked through the doors …

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Christina Cassotis, Allegheny County Airport Authority

I grew up in Southern New Hampshire in essentially a suburb of Boston. My mother was a homemaker, as many women were back then, and my father was a commercial airline pilot for Pan American World Airways, having been a U.S. Marine fighter pilot during the Vietnam War. I’m the oldest of four kids: two …

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Lyke, Harvey, Niepa, Snowden, Oplinger, Dambrot, Rutenbar

Heather Lyke is athletic director at the University of Pittsburgh. She comes to Pittsburgh from Eastern Michigan University where she has been athletic director since 2013, overseeing 21 varsity sports teams. A native of Canton, Ohio, she previously was an athletic administrator at Ohio State University for 15 years and has held positions with the …

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Steger, Sunseri, Sculley, Livingston, Wilkinson, Croce, Cenk

Wilbur Steger, 87: Will Steger was the creator and driving force behind Consad Research, a consulting firm that tackled practical and prospective problems from the streets of Pittsburgh to the White House. After working as an analyst at Rand, Steger left and cofounded Consad, which he ran for more than 50 years. The brilliant and …

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Remembering Three Great Pittsburgh Men

Henry Hillman, 98: Henry Hillman had a keen interest in the future and an unusual ability to see into it. In the 1970s, his was the voice that warned Pittsburgh leaders of industrial changes that would cripple the city if it didn’t diversify its industrial base. He removed money from the smokestack industries he inherited …

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A Fine Suit of Clothes

You’re never going to see him cross his arms. Why risk wrinkling his suit? You’ll also never see him walking around with scuffs on his shoes, covered in dirt from the last steps he took. No chance he’s going to ruin his soles. Has about a gazillion of them. He likes the suedes. Likes his …

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The Voice of…Living

It’s that voice. Like smoldering embers from a raging bonfire, three ice-cold rocks swimming in aged whiskey. No, make that scotch. Deep. Mysterious. Alluring. The no-way-in-hell-you-can-or-want-to-ignore-that voice. “Yeah, all coming from a short, skinny guy in Baden.” The short, skinny guy in Baden is leaning out of his kitchen door, taking a few long drags …

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A Crumbling Pittsburgh Treasure

There may be an historical marker outside 1727 Bedford Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, but the building’s condition says a lot more than the words on the marker. Plywood patches where a front door used to be. Beyond it, plaster has fallen from the interior walls, exposing the crumbling red brick frame. The living room …

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Pauli, Ruch, Delligatti, Goldsmith, Abraham, Armitage, Desmett, Towle

Chuck Pauli, 73: Pauli was the former CEO and president of Pittsburgh specialty coatings company Kop-Coat. He was vice president and general manager of the Koppers Coating Division when British company Beazer PLC took over Koppers in the late 1980s. Pauli led a management buyout of the Coatings Division, which created Kop-Coat, and he later …

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Rich Fitzgerald, Allegheny County Executive

I was born and raised in the Bloomfield-Garfield section of Pittsburgh, which is now called “Friendship.” I attended St. Lawrence O’Toole Grade School in Garfield, Central Catholic High and then Carnegie Mellon University in nearby Oakland, and have lived and raised my family in Squirrel Hill for the past 33 years. So, geographically speaking, I’ve …

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Finley, McClendon, Castillo, Hill, Shiller, Newton, McKone

On July 1, Macon Paine Finley will become head of the Ellis School. She comes to Pittsburgh from St. Louis, where she has been assistant head of school at the John Burroughs School since 2012. Her appointment comes on the heels of celebrating The Ellis School’s 100th anniversary. Before joining Burroughs in 2000, Finley served …

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The World Through a Food Truck

“Just don’t tell Baba our chicken is better.” It’s the only request Ryah asks customers who stop by to visit Leena’s, the food truck she operates out of a ’91 Chevy Step Van that began its life delivering the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Baba is her father, Mohammad, who grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp before …

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Seeing a Garden in a Pile of Debris

Julia had fired up the chainsaw because she had been bored, really. Retirement had been fun for an hour or two, but she needed something to do. She had grown tired of watching people dump things in the vacant lot adjacent to her East Hills home: couches, loveseats, enough beer cans to make you a …

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Jim Withers, M.D., Street Doctor

My father was a country doctor; my mom, a nurse. Their relationship was grounded in the values of service and compassion, and they included their children—me, for sure—in that vision. So I made house calls with my dad and, among other things, got to practice parallel parking while delivering Meals on Wheels with my mother, …

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