PEOPLE & OPINION

Market Square Frankie Sings His Song of Life

The stroller is one of those sporty, three-​wheeled versions, the kind that athletic moms like to push around suburban neighborhoods while huffing out a cardio burn. This one is parked in a crosswalk, about two feet from the curb, right on the corner of Market and Fifth in the shadow…

Saying Goodbye

by John Beale
As a child, my mother often reminded me that we all enter and leave this world the same way. It’s what we do between those two events that will define our lives.

New Long Stairway in Mill District, 1940

Perched atop a network of stairs, photographer Jack Delano captured this snow-​dusted Hazelwood scene in 1940 for the Farm Security Administration (FSA).

Helen Hanna Casey, Real Estate Maven

I grew up in Shadyside, the daughter of Howard W. Hanna Jr., and Anne Freyvogel Hanna, with an older brother and younger sister. Eventually, all three of us went to small Catholic colleges.

Blankenship, Rossi, Rizzo, Peddada, Finkel, Davitt, Reis

Chip Blankenship is CEO of Arconic, the former Alcoa division that makes aluminum and titanium parts for the aerospace and automotive industries. A metallurgist by training, Blankenship began his career with General Electric in 1992 after earning a B.S. in materials engineering from Virginia Tech and a Ph.D. in materials…

Flo’s Wisdom — on the Eve of 50 Years as a Waitress at Pamela’s

Around 1 p.m., right after the lunch rush, 87-​year old Flo Silbach will start slowing down. She won’t quit, though. Oh no, no way she’s quitting. Her shift at Pamela’s Diner in Millvale doesn’t end until four. So, instead of shuffling around the tables and booths, jotting down orders in…

Remembering Prominent Pittsburghers Who Passed Away in 2017

From Henry Hillman to Dr. Thomas Starzl, we’ve said goodbye to many influential Pittsburghers this year. Remember those who have passed away and their impact on the region — and the world — in this compilation of our Last Chapter department.

Burger, Beaumont, Fincke, Lowry, Frankel, Papadakos, Dozzi, Troan

Herb Burger, 87: A leading Pittsburgh advertising executive, Burger led the PR effort that created the 1980s slogan, “Pittsburgh: The city with a smile on its face” while president of Creamer Inc. After the firm was sold, Burger started the St. George Group. He was the first chairman of the…

The Trouble with the Elites

C. P. Snow titled his last book, written shortly before he died, “A Coat of Varnish.” What he meant, as he put it, was that “Civilization is hideously fragile.” Civilization, that is to say, is like a thin coat of varnish spread on top of human savagery. The varnish looks…

Europe Fails to Build the New Man

Since human beings settled into communities — that is, since most of us stopped being hunter-​gatherers — a primary goal of mankind has been to improve how we are governed. We wanted governments that were more representative, fair, and efficient, governments that could improve our economic circumstances and defend themselves (and us) from outside…

Standing Tall

This fall’s NFL national anthem controversy was an opera whose bloated cast of characters would be hard to match — from President Donald Trump, to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, to team owners across the country to rich NFL players professing social concern. And as many problems as the world seems to have,…

Sarah’s Wisdom Behind the Counter

“Okay, what’s today’s joke?” The guy at the counter orders his Americano, sits down, lets the anticipation build for a few seconds. His eyes are dancing behind thick black glasses, grinning like he’s about to bubble over into a thousand little joy bubbles, because he’s got a joke.

The Instability of Europe

Between the first and second world wars, most of the European governments — Britain and, to a lesser extent, France, being exceptions — lived lives that were, to paraphrase Hobbes, weak, unstable, and short.

On Populism

Civilization is like a very fine suit of clothes that is just slightly too small for us. The term “populism” derives from the Latin, populus, meaning “people.” It doesn’t mean “people” in the sense of “There are a lot of people who don’t read my blog.” It means “people” in…

Nailed It

I recently received a nail salon gift card, which I thought was a bit unusual, because I have short, raggedy nails and giant “Man-​Hands.” My “Man-​Hands” are definitely passed down from my father’s side — my Uncle Willis could bend bottle caps into little tacos just using his thumb and index finger — and…
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