Between the Issues

The Hillbilly Saga: Conclusion

The bottom line of J. D. Vance’s book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” is that far too many people from southeastern Kentucky are trapped in a hillbilly culture that stands in the way of their own success. As if that weren’t bad enough, hillbillies are discriminated against because people aren’t willing to distinguish…

63rd Annual Pittsburgh CLO Guild Ball Features Samples from Upcoming Season

The 63rd Annual Pittsburgh CLO Guild Ball was held on Saturday, May 19 at the Westin Hotel. The evening’s theme, “The Rhythm is Gonna Get You,” saluted the Pittsburgh CLO summer season opener, ON YOUR FEET!

Still Life with Leg Brace & Pontiac

by Jason Irwin
We’re standing next to my grandfather’s ‘73 Grand Prix — newly polished, royal blue — my mother, my grandmother and I. I’m five years old, dressed in a wide collar suit and plaid tie. Under my pants, my leg brace — with its cork lift, metal bars, and leather straps…

Three Questions on the Markets, Part II

Each year in our Summer issue, we ask a group of the region’s leading financial experts to help our readers by responding to questions. Below are their answers to this question: Why has market volatility spiked in 2018? Do you expect markets to remain volatile?

Sheryl St. Germain Muses on her Son’s Overdose in “The Small Door of your Death”

According to the National Institute of Health, more than 115 people in the United States die every day from opioid overdoses, adding up to well over 40,000 deaths a year. And while statistics lend a sense of scope to this epidemic, it’s often the tragic aftermath of a single death…

How to React to a Hillbilly

by Greg Curtis
Last week we tried to imagine how Professor Daniel Kahneman, Nobel Prize-​winning author of “Thinking, Fast and Slow,” would react if he saw a couple of hillbillies coming into his store. This week we’ll re-​look at that situation, pretending that Kahneman isn’t a Nobel Prize winning professor at all, but…

Fleeting Blossoms of the ’Burgh

by David Aschkenas
April showers bring May flowers, but May showers can quickly destroy the delicate blossoms on flowering trees. Sometimes the blooms only last a few days before a sudden downpour — of which Pittsburgh has been experiencing often these days — washes them away.

Maecenas XXXIV Brings Contortionists to the Opera

Pittsburgh’s best-​dressed celebrated at Pittsburgh Opera’s 34th annual Maecenas Gala on May 12th in a crowd of 250. Local performing arts patrons Pat and Michele Atkins were presented with Pittsburgh Opera’s Maecenas Award. Pittsburgh Opera awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award to Honorable Tom Wolf, Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,…

The Stubbornness of Culture

by Greg Curtis
In 2013 J. D. Vance graduated from Yale Law School, an accomplishment he shared that year with the following fraction of his fellow Americans: 0.00000063.

Steelers Add Key Players Who Should See Playing Time

The 2018 NFL draft is in the books. The league again elected to feature a number of former NFL players to make team selections, perhaps to quell the booing of Commissioner Roger Goodell. It didn’t make a difference.

Pittsburgh Public Theater’s “Bon Voyage!” Bids Ted Pappas Farewell

“Bon Voyage!” a red carpet event celebrating Ted Pappas and Pittsburgh Public Theater, took place on Monday, April 30 at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown. This August, Ted will say goodbye to the theater after 18 years at the helm and more than 450 well-​wishers were on board to bid…

Don’t Even Think About Crossing a Hillbilly

by Greg Curtis
We’ve talked about several obstacles to success in middle class Ohio for migrants from southeastern Kentucky: they had horrible accents and they tended to dress funny. But the biggest obstacle was the most difficult to overcome: their behavior.

Play Unlimited: The Public’s Ambitious “Hamlet” Rewards on Many Levels

“The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” is a monster of a play: at about 4,000 lines, it’s Shakespeare’s longest — full productions can easily run past four hours. (Hamlet himself has 1,500 lines, which alone would constitute an entire drama). And it’s monstrous not only in word-​count, but body-​count. By the…

Don’t Dress Like a Hillbilly

by Greg Curtis
Last week we discussed one of the major hurdles recent immigrants from southeastern Kentucky faced when they tried to assimilate into middle class society in Ohio: they talked like hillbillies. This week we’ll look at a second hurdle: the matter of dress.

Behind-​the-​Scenes of Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s Season Finale

This spring, Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre (PBT) joins in international centennial celebrations for choreographer Jerome Robbins and composer Leonard Bernstein with an all-​Robbins program featuring three company premieres. “UPMC Presents West Side Story Suite + In the Night + Fancy Free” with the PBT Orchestra takes the stage May 46, at…
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