PEOPLE & OPINION

Shined Shoes Can Save Your Life: The Conclusion

It was now late winter of 1971 and I was running the traffic division at the 226th MP Company at Fort Benjamin Harrison, outside Indianapolis. In those days Fort Ben was the headquarters of the Army Finance School and the location of the Army Finance Center. The building that housed…

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.

Kennywood at 120

Everyone has at least one, and probably way more memories of Kennywood: Finally getting behind the wheel of the blue car on the Turnpike. Stealing a kiss on the Old Mill. Begging Mom for another hour at the park. Putting up with your own whining kids when you say it’s…

Shined Shoes Can Save Your Life, Part II

So there we were, in late 1970, having graduated from the U.S. Army Military Police Correctional Specialist Academy, the best-​trained prison guards in the world. We had been assigned to one of the worst prisons in the world, the stockade at Long Bình, Vietnam, better known as the Long Bình…

Black and White

For the first eight years of my teaching career, the only white face in my classroom was mine. I was aware of that fact, of course, but only peripherally. My students were just that, my students. Don’t misunderstand. I’m not saying I was colorblind. I just didn’t relate to my…

Lessons from the Farm

Out at the farm, there’s an old trailer that my parents bought about 30 years ago after the farmhouse we’d been restoring burned to the ground. I’m sure that when Mom and Dad were alive and used it on weekends, the trailer had enough of Mom’s touches to make it…

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…

Shined Shoes Can Save Your Life

A few weeks ago, in a post about J. D. Vance’s book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” I mentioned in passing that I was convinced that having spit-​shined my Army combat boots may have saved my life. I didn’t elaborate, and since then several dozen people have inquired about that brief aside. So…

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.

Why Democracy Matters

Just to make it simple, let’s define Europe’s “illiberal democracies” as those countries where elected leaders profoundly disagree with the liberal, inclusive, affluent worldview of the EU’s political classes.

August Wilson and the Joe Louis-​Billy Conn Title Rematch

Pulitzer prize-​winning dramatist and Pittsburgh native August Wilson dramatized the modern history of African-​Americans in 10 plays, often called the Pittsburgh cycle, for each decade of the 20th century.

Make No Little Plans

World’s fairs seem a quaint remnant of generations past, or perhaps a childhood memory of visiting New York in 1939 or 1964. In a world where news is literally at one’s fingertips, traveling hundreds of miles to marvel at the latest food production techniques seems unnecessary.

On a Pedestal: National Flag Foundation, Clarion Quartet

The National Flag Foundation — What’s in a symbol? One great thing about pittsburgh is that, as long as you may have lived here and made a study of the area, surprises always pop up to greet you. Case in point: Pittsburgh is home to the National Flag Foundation, a nonprofit that…

The Media Has It All Wrong

I mentioned last week that I recently visited Switzerland, Austria and Hungary, and that if we think things have gone nuts in the U.S., we have no idea.

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

by PQ Staff
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…
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