From the Publisher, Spring 2007

Punxsutawney Phil
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One day at work a few years ago, I asked a colleague, “Do you ever have the feeling you’re living the same day over and over again?” She told me I ought to see “Groundhog Day.” I’d heard of the movie, and even though an old family friend has a memorable, small role in it, I’d never seen it. Now, after several viewings, it’s a favorite.


But that’s not why I went to Punxsutawney this year for the big day. One reason is that our kids are teenagers, with one being a high school junior. I’m in this realm of wanting to show them and do with them as many things as I can in the “years we have left.” And I figure, if you grow up in Pittsburgh, you should probably see the real Groundhog Day.

We left after they got out of school the afternoon before and got to Punxsy just in time for the end of the Media Mixer. We got our credentials and a good dinner by the I.U.P. culinary staff and I did a quick interview for the local radio station. The rest of the night involved watching whittlers, testing the chili and wings cook-​off, taking in some bands and turning in early in a beautiful country home. Aside from my dreaming we’d printed this issue without first proofing it, we all slept well. We arrived at Gobbler’s Knob on the late side at 6:30 a.m. but in time for the fireworks. The next hour was great, with music, thousands of happy people and goodwill among men and groundhogs.

After Phil said that spring would be just around the corner, I hurried back to finish this spring issue. From Punxsutawney to Lawrenceville, from a dramatic life-​saving rescue to Glass 2007, this issue is packed with the best content you’re going to find in any local magazine. If you agree, I hope you’ll support Pittsburgh Quarterly and subscribe.

There is much more. Our fashion divas this month are the Pittsburgh Ballet’s prima ballerinas. Bruce Wolf writes about Honus Wagner and a collector’s quest. Novelist Lori Jakiela pens a column about home. And Mark DeSantis and Jim Roddey square off on government consolidation. And all of that represents less than a third of what’s inside.

But back to Punxsutawney. The main reason I wanted to go was because I admire our neighbors in that small, Jefferson County borough. At some point, they started thinking big. They decided to put the town on the map, and they did.

For many reasons, Pittsburgh already has a prominent place on the map. But why not become more? Why not shoot for having the best education, the best culture, the best civility, the best medical care and the best environment in this nation? Why not become, in fact, The Ideal City?

Pittsburgh has always been about imagination and execution. We need more of both. Stay tuned to Pittsburgh Quarterly. We’ll be doing our part.


Douglas Heuck

A journalistic innovator, Heuck has been writing about Pittsburgh for 25 years, as an investigative reporter and business editor at The Pittsburgh Press and Post-​Gazette and as the founder of Pittsburgh Quarterly. His newspaper projects ranged from living on the streets disguised as a homeless man to penning the only comprehensive profile in the latter years of polio pioneer Dr. Jonas Salk to creating a statistical means of judging regional progress that has led to similar projects across the country. Heuck’s work has won numerous national, state and local writing awards. His work has been cited in the landmark media law case “Food Lion vs. ABC news.”

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