2021 Summer

Lovable and Inimitable

Original research for this story was conducted by the author for a book he co-authored with David Proctor entitled “Pie Traynor: A Baseball Biography.” Hunched over a lathe on a steamy factory floor, Pie Traynor — World Series champion, future Hall of Famer, and the man widely considered the greatest third baseman who had ever …

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What a Year. What Now? Part III

Pittsburgh Quarterly asked the region’s top experts to respond to these questions: As the U.S. economy gradually recovers from the pandemic, which sectors of the market do you like now? How are you positioning client portfolios? We thank them for giving readers their responses, which follow. Read part one and part two. Linda Duessel, Federated …

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Flannery, Verrilla, Kudzma, Washowich, Spinabelli, Davis

Tom Flannery, 75: A former Dartmouth football and rugby player who was 6’4” and 230 pounds, Flannery blended an imposing physical presence with a warm, fun-loving personality to become the top headhunter in Pittsburgh. In his role leading the Pittsburgh office of international search firm Boyden, he placed key top executives at countless local corporations …

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Our Sleeping Porch

“There was nothing of the giant in the aspect of the man who was beginning to awaken on the sleeping porch of a Dutch Colonial house in that residential district of Zenith known as Floral Heights. His name was George F. Babbitt.” — “Babbitt” by Sinclair Lewis The joys of a sleeping porch are many, …

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A Different View of the Neighborhood

In 1968, when Fred Rogers pushed through his famous front door for the first time, he brought with him more than kindness, compassion and a cardigan sweater. He brought more than Daniel Tiger, more than X the Owl, more than all the puppets who lived in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. What Rogers brought was less …

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What a Year. What Now? Part II

Pittsburgh Quarterly asked the region’s top experts to respond to these questions: As the U.S. economy gradually recovers from the pandemic, which sectors of the market do you like now? How are you positioning client portfolios? We thank them for giving readers their responses, which follow. Read part one here. Jim Wilding, Confluence Financial Partners …

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Buckle Up!

Pie, crisp, cobbler, crumble, betty or buckle, the most beloved summer desserts are the ones that highlight ripe summer fruit, with a little bit of butter, sugar and flour to bring everything together. (And most, if not at all, are made even better with a big scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.) Versions of …

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Looking at the Block Family’s Record on Race

Book reviews traditionally talk about what’s in a book, but almost never about how a particular book came to be. This one has an interesting and unusual beginning. Nearly three years ago, following a controversy over an editorial called “Reason as Racism,” Allan Block, the chair of Block Communications, Inc., the parent company today of …

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‘I Am What You Make Me’

The American flag has flown on the moon proclaiming the nation that dared to walk on its surface. It was cheered in European cities and towns liberated from Nazi occupation by American soldiers during World War II. And it has been burned in protests against U.S. policy at home and abroad. It’s draped on the …

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The Lost Hole of Oakmont

Founded in 1903, Oakmont Country Club is hallowed ground in American golf. In 1987, it became the first course to earn federal recognition as a National Historic Landmark. In August, it hosts its sixth U.S. Amateur and, in June 2025, its 10th U.S. Open. Aside from Augusta National, site of the Masters each year, Oakmont has …

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What a Year. What Now? Part I

Pittsburgh Quarterly asked the region’s top experts to respond to these questions: As the U.S. economy gradually recovers from the pandemic, which sectors of the market do you like now? How are you positioning client portfolios? We thank them for giving readers their responses, which follow. Win Smathers, Shorebridge Wealth Management We manage diversified portfolios …

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On a Pedestal, Spring 2021

Raising a racquet and more Armed with six years of success helping African American students prepare for the future through the game of squash, Steel City Squash (SCS) is preparing to build a new facility in the Larimer neighborhood that will dramatically transform its offerings. Built on a successful model, the athletic and academic program …

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Pusadee’s Garden of Delights

Pusadee’s Garden closed even before the virus shuttered restaurants across the globe, and like a butterfly leaving its cocoon, it has emerged from hibernation with a resplendent new look. It took close to four years for the transformation, but the popular Lawrenceville Thai restaurant that once boasted a pretty garden and a small indoor space …

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The Year of Fear

The first time the phrase “stay safe” stuck in my memory, I was watching a TV news broadcast. After the correspondent gave his report, the anchor thanked him and then with a concerned look said, “Stay safe out there.” It was actually jarring to me because I’d been a reporter and editor for decades and, …

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