Tell us your Oakland story

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6 Responses to Tell us your Oakland story

  1. Jon Robison June 16, 2015 at 3:31 pm #

    This is a poem written by Jon Robison that I am posting for him.

    In the Presence of the Body that was Ann Hussar

    In the presence of the body
    that was Ann Hussar,
    one cannot believe;
    I cannot believe

    Although we knew, for months.
    She knew, for months.
    It could not be believed.
    I cannot believe.

    Even in this room of flowers,
    hothouse flowers,
    cut flowers, arranged flowers,
    I cannot believe.

    Despite all the lipstick,
    despite the pink nail polish,
    despite all Charon’s art: this is not real!
    I cannot believe.

    No! It is a statue,
    a statue to be erected
    by the grateful people of Oakland,
    whom she knew, whom she helped, whom she loved.
    I cannot believe.

    Numberless as leaves,
    her labors for the people.
    How can the tree fall
    when the leaves are still green?
    I cannot believe.

    “Who can retell…” asks the song.
    But what hero or sage
    comes now to our aid?
    I cannot believe.

    People’s Oakland without her,
    Family Services without her,
    South Oakland Citizen’s Council,
    Community Human Services,
    Community Action Pittsburgh…

    I can’t list them all,
    the groups that she helped build.
    I don’t even know them all.
    I cannot believe.

    all our work,
    all Oakland,
    all without her.
    I cannot believe.

    can one person leave
    so many holes
    in so many groups,
    in so many lives?
    I cannot believe.

    So woven,
    so bound,
    like the moon to the sea,
    like a great oak tree:
    she will not leave.
    I cannot believe.

    No! Someone will come, as she lies here.
    Someone will call out her name.
    Someone will say once again
    “Ann, I need your help.”
    And she will rise.

  2. George Perinis June 25, 2015 at 7:28 pm #

    I’m a real South Oakland guy, even though many important places in my life are gone or changed:

    -Born at Montifiore Hospital
    -Holmes School, Schenley High School and Carnegie Institute of Technology grad
    -Loved going to Forbes Field and Pitt Stadium
    -Baptized at St. Nicholas

    All landmarks that left an indelible impression that made me a happy man with a rich history!

  3. Georgia Petropoulos June 25, 2015 at 7:38 pm #

    My dad, Stefanos “Steve” Petropoulos, immigrated to Pittsburgh from Greece and lived in Oakland on Kennett Square starting in the 1950s. I was there, too, until the 1970s!

  4. Paige Forster June 25, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

    I went to high school at Quaker Valley in Sewickley. There was NOTHING to do in Sewickley for a high schooler. But I used to take the 16-A PAT bus downtown, and then stand by the wig store to catch a 61 or 71 bus to Oakland. I would shop (I still wear a skirt I bought at Avalon Vintage Clothing in 1990), go to the museum, and eat at Pamela’s on Forbes Avenue. I went to the Beehive’s Oakland location (in the castle on Forbes) and saw the Affordable Floors all-ages show at the Electric Banana. Oakland gave me hope for what college and adult life held. I’m forever grateful to Oakland-and now I visit often, since I live just a few miles down Forbes Avenue in Regent Square.

  5. Zachary Biden June 27, 2015 at 1:56 am #

    Oakland Dreams
    Everyone has a dream, right? In the late 1990s I attended the University of Pittsburgh, an art major. The city steps from my apartment in Panther Hollow lead me to classes, to the studio, to the cultural epicenter of a “big city”. It was big to me. I grew up on the side of a mountain in central Pennsylvania.
    Fate dealt me a favorable hand on those steps. Every day I walked by a landlord who was remodeling several dilapidated houses. We made small talk, the weather grew warmer, and I finally asked if he needed any help. The next day I’m on the ladder bringing shingles to the roofer who may have psychiatric issues.
    Fast forward 15 years. The humble art student has been teaching special education, and cell phones become ubiquitous. Every summer I go back to Oakland to paint apartments, take out garbage, clean, remodel, landscape, and assist in the great migration of dreamers.
    After a dozen or so summers in Oakland, plus the four years of college, you become a part of the big city. Absorbing. I know the locals, professors, panhandlers, restaurant workers, back alleys, side streets, roofs, and basements. I got the keys to the city, and a iPhone, click.
    An art student, a teacher, a summer laborer in Oakland…and a dream. Every chance I get I draw what I see in Oakland; record my life and times. And times are changing. Andy Warhol, Phillip Pearlstein, and Felix de la Concha had this dream: to have their art hung in the great marble halls of Oakland. Yeah, a guy a can dream.
    @1hungrypanther Twitter and Instagram thank you to Oakland Planning, Pitt and Ken

  6. Alicia Carberry July 31, 2015 at 7:54 pm #

    As a little girl growing up in Ohio, the fondest childhood memories I have are of coming to Pittsburgh to visit my grandparents. They lived in the South Hills, but we would regularly venture to the Science Center and the museums in Oakland.
    On one such trip, my grandmother took me to the most magical place I had ever been: the Carnegie Library in Oakland. As a kid with more book friends than human friends, I felt like I was inside a dream.

    Many years later, I moved to Pittsburgh (the big city!) and starting working at that very library. And, years after that, began work with OPDC.

    I’ve come to associate Oakland with that initial magic of the Carnegie Library– of realizing just how big and opportunity-filled the world is, and rich with book stories and human stories.

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