From the Editor

Trees and time

by Douglas Heuck
There is nothing quite like working among trees in the dead of winter.

Sudden goodbye

by Douglas Heuck
In 1967, we arrived at our island cottage in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and of course, the first thing we kids did was explore our distantly familiar summer home. On that particular day, we found a bat inert on the dining room floor.

Welcoming midsummer’s eve

by Douglas Heuck
At the end of may last year, my son and I drove into Groningen — the Netherlands’ northernmost city. By chance, we arrived on the first warm, sunny day they’d had after an unusually long, cold and dark winter. By early afternoon, business stopped, and everywhere, jubilant people of all ages poured…

Pittsburgh Today & Tomorrow

by Douglas Heuck
Would you say this is the best shape Pittsburgh’s been in over the last 30 years?” I asked the question after a group of people, including the region’s leading economist, its top demographic expert, and the head of the Allegheny Conference on Community Development, had just viewed the most recent…

Considering a Pittsburgh tradition

by Douglas Heuck
It was two years ago that Bill Dietrich, our longtime Pittsburgh Quarterly history writer, died and left $500 million to community institutions. I mentioned Bill to out-​of-​towners recently while explaining Pittsburgh’s unusual social fabric. He’d studied Pittsburgh’s industrial titans and the legacies they left that still shape our city. If…

Big things for Pittsburgh

by Douglas Heuck
This fall is an exciting time at Pittsburgh Quarterly and in Pittsburgh. In its Golden Quill Awards in May, the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania judged PQ to be the region’s best magazine for the seventh straight year. And I believe that this issue contains the strongest combination of stories…

Gettysburg — the 150th anniversary

by Douglas Heuck
On a beautiful April Sunday, I got up early and drove to Gettysburg. July marks the battle’s 150th anniversary, and I had signed up for a two-​hour horseback battlefield tour.

Keep the home fires burning?

by Douglas Heuck
In our yard, there’s no shortage of trees that old age or wind bring crashing back to earth. I cut and split this wood the old-​fashioned way — with a wedge and a sledge. And as the old adage goes, “He who chops his own wood warms himself twice.” I work at…

E Pluribus Unum

by Douglas Heuck
This fall, Pittsburgh Quarterly had a subscription campaign. Along with many of the returned cards, a nice note accompanied the check. Three people, however, returned notes sans check, saying they wouldn’t subscribe to a magazine that supports Marcellus Shale drilling. One ended his letter: “You should be ashamed of yourself!“

The sky is falling

by Douglas Heuck
In June I bowed to the demands of my three college-​aged children and got the whole family smart phones. As I waited in line at the AT&T store, a guy behind me suggested I should get the “Siri” iPhone. “You can ask it anything, and it answers,” he said. Perhaps…

Changing the cottage

by Douglas Heuck
In April, my wife and I made the 600-​mile drive to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula unusually early. We went to meet with contractors to begin fixing up the old cottage.

A Pittsburgh Original

by Douglas Heuck
At a civic event 11 years ago, I saw an unusually dapper fellow — navy pinstripe suit, rep tie and perfectly combed white hair. The fact is, I thought he was someone else. I went over and introduced myself, and he said, “Bill Dietrich.” The name meant nothing to me. But after…

Into the wild

by Douglas Heuck
What could be nicer than a family trip with all three kids just before they head off to college and my wife and I become empty nesters? This, at least, was my thinking when I signed up for a three-​day, two-​night pack trip into Yellowstone Park this summer. Ride in…

The New News

by Douglas Heuck
It’s said the stock market climbs a wall of worry. Equally so, society. And for the past several years, there’s been great concern about journalism. The common wisdom is that, with newspapers significantly weakened, citizens no longer get the information they need about their communities, and public officials who would…

Ancient Lessons

by Douglas Heuck
After turbulent flights, impenetrable storms and closed airports, I reached Tucson in the wee hours. I went to meet three college friends and our former professor for a weekend seminar in that city of cacti and mountains. Three things reminded me of college days: missing sleep, not finishing the reading…
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