Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Old Health Care

More handy numbers from Mayor Lawrence.  Pittsburgh hospitals circa 1948:

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Why I love this town reason #1492

Because there's an 81 yr old in Plum named Dominic who does Zumba with his wife:
The next patient is Dominic, 81, of Plum, who has been accompanied by his wife to the appointment, a four-month checkup.

"He said I'm doing good, I'm doing great," Dominic said afterward.

No wonder: Dominic is a model senior patient. Slim but fit, he goes with his wife to a gym for a senior citizens' workout program three times a week. They lift weights and do exercises for balance. They even do Zumba -- dance aerobics with a Latin beat.
That gem is midway through a great article on electronic medical records and one physician's experience with paperwork in the health care system by Pohla Smith at the Post-Gazette.

I first read it as Dominic doing Zumba at one of the county's 60 senior centers or 31 adult day service centers, and had visions of all these senior centers with Zumba dancing classes going on as the mid-morning coffee break starts for the rest of us in Pittsburgh. 

Then I thought, for Marquesa Ginny to atone for her semi-sorta-ageist Depends Edition earlier in the week (and the elders say she must atone), she must help organize a flash mob of them doing the Zumba in Market Square once it opens up next spring. 

Bring the latin groove to the new square, and let the old folks lead the way.

¿Estás ahí Ginny

Monday, October 26, 2009

Miss not the discourse of the elders

I have had the 1987 book "The Grand Generation" for a few years.  It's a treasure.  I didn't realize that a companion video was created in 1993 out of the same project.   Below is an excerpt on YouTube.  

The entire video is available at

Monday, October 12, 2009

City of Miracles


They were on the ball -- even including a quick survey for visitors to fill out and mail back.  Has anyone done a post G-20 survey of visitors?


Saturday, October 10, 2009

Next Founder's Day

Do we still honor Founder's Day here in Pittsburgh?  A quick search yielded not much, but it did bring up an event held in 1907 to celebrate Founder's Day at the Carnegie Institute, which produced the following document (yes, that is the actual title):

I propose we celebrate Founder's Day in Pittsburgh again next May, and invite President Obama to attend to share some mojo with the Bucs down on the river.   Then we can plaster the walls of the city with billboards of him watching the Bucs in 2010 - as they make a run at the NL Pennant in 2011. That's the plan, right?

Here's a photo taken at the Carnegie Institute Founder's Day Parade (cropped from a panoramic):

Who's with me?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Old Burgh Album

I got a copy of "A Pittsburgh Album" for nine bucks on Ebay.  What a deal.  It was published in April 1959 (and sold for $1.50) by the Post-Gazette, Radio Station WWSW, Television Station WIIC, and Herbick & Held Printing Company.  It was compiled, written and edited by Roy Stryker and Mel Seidenberg, with Art Director George Plataz.


In the spirit of looking into the future of our city, here is what they were considering in 1958:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Honoring Honus

I am reading Ted Kennedy's great True Compass now.   He writes of his grandfather Honey Fitz in Boston rooting on the Red Sox with a song, Tessie:
"Tessie"  may sound a little quaint to today's ears, but Grandpa's rendition of it was good enough to cause the great Pittsburgh third baseman Honus Wagner to commit three errors in one inning during a World Series game.

Third baseman?   I checked and sure enough, before 1904 he played multiple positions.  But I would still call him a shortstop (maybe he made the 3 errors when he was a third basemen -- must have been 1903).  

I have often wondered why we don't have a sculpture of him throwing the ball around somewhere on the North Shore - maybe in the parking lot in the Exposition Park space where he roamed.
From Wikipedia: His biography on describes his gritty style:
Bowlegged, barrel-chested, long-limbed... he was often likened to an octopus. When he fielded grounders, his huge hands also collected large scoops of infield dirt, which accompanied his throws to first like the tail of a comet.

He was a gentle, kind man, a storyteller, supportive of rookies, patient with the fans, cheerful in hard times, careful of the example he set for youth, a hard worker, a man who had no enemies and who never forgot his friends. He was the most beloved man in baseball before Ruth
                   - Historian / Author Bill James
Check him out being interviewed live on some Denver program. Did this play ever get staged in Pittsburgh? It's adapted from a kids' book.