Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Pittsburgh On My Mind (Top 5)

Recently I wrote an essay titled "Summer Mother" for Longreads about the last summer I spent with my Aunt Ricky in Pittsburgh in 1977. Pittsburgh was my mom's hometown, and she sent me and baby brother there as soon as school was out beginning in the late-'60s. Although I haven't been there in years, working on this piece made me think about the many childhood adventures I had in that town when I was a boy. This is my Top Five.

1. It was in Pittsburgh where I saw Bigfoot, or at least thought I did, one time when I was riding my bike in the woods. I ran out of the woods screaming like a crazy person.

2. It was where I found the funk. My cousin DeeNee turned me on to so many bands, but it was taking me to see Larry Graham at the Civic Arena in 1975 that made me a bass loving funk fan forever. 


3. Discovering the pleasure of frozen Cokes at the Woolworths at East Hills, where cousin DeeNee often shoplifted gum and lip gloss. 

4. There were cool cartoons on TV that I never saw including Beany and Cecil, which I still love. 

5. It was in Pittsburgh where I discovered a stash of Black comedy albums on the Laff Records labels...records that would change my life and sense of humor.   

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