"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Places

Spectrum Wind by Duncan McDaniel Nashville Airport

Looking up into the skylight, I saw this very interesting sculpture during my layover enroute to Florida. It’s made with plastic SOLO cups.
I read there are three other skylight art installations but I am returning through Baltimore.

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Allen School Memories- 1956-57 Guest Blog

 

 

My school colleague, Robert Baltos shared his memories of Allen School

Once upon a time there was a grade school in the Allentown neighborhood of Pittsburgh. This is a picture of my third grade class in 1956.  Dwight D. Eisenhower was the president, there were 48 stars on the American flag and we were able to walk to school thanks to Dr. Jonas Salk.  It is odd that sometimes I can’t remember what I did a few days ago but my memories of this wonderful place are forever intact. This was one of those photographs that my mother saved for me.  I suppose that it is fitting that while I started writing this that I realized that today is her birthday. She has since passed on to her place in Heaven.  I have looked at this group photo many times and I am able to recall most of the names of my classmates.  We followed each other to junior and senior high school.  Since then, I have never seen or heard from the majority of these people again.  At the time this class picture was taken, air-raid drills were commonplace and we were convinced that World War III was at hand.  Little did we know that in the not-too-distant future that some of the Class of 1966 would end up in Southeast Asia for our “senior trip” or that a young senator from Massachusetts would become our next president and be murdered in public several years later.

The teachers at Allen School were special people, the likes of which we will never see again. The teacher at the center of picture is Miss Helen Laucik,  our physical education and health teacher.  Like all of the teachers there, she was full of energy, ideas and compassion.  She always reminded us to take care of our teeth and our feet, both of which she assured us that we would miss in our old age if we didn’t heed her warning.  Mrs. Demming was our history, writing and music teacher.  She predicted that there would be a currency called the “Euro”, warned us about the proliferation of socialism here and abroad and that much of what we consume would be someday be manufactured in places like China.   Miss Bash was our mathematics teacher. Contrary to what some of the “experts” with their phony PhDs believe today, rote memorization of the multiplication tables and proficiency in long division, fractions and other basic arithmetic was absolutely necessary and you weren’t leaving her class without those basic skills!

Allen School closed in 1961.  The students actually took their books and belongings from the desks, walked up the hill and placed them in their desks in the newly built Grandview School.  However, Grandview could never replace the physical building of Allen School. Today’s architects could not imagine or duplicate such a place.  On the other hand, bricks and mortar are just that.  Miss Laucik, Mr. Kelly and a few others made the move that day too and taught there for many years afterward.  Whey they left, they took the remaining spirit of Allen School with them.  Oh, I almost forgot!  Mrs. Bennett, thank you for being our librarian and teaching us how to use the Dewey Decimal System!  I have a copy of the first book that you helped me select from the 600 aisle.  “The Boy Electrician” by Alfred P. Morgan.

 

 (Mr. Baltos is the third one down on the left. He still has the  striped shirt!)

 

Allen School 1956 _1957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Book Loft of German Village – Columbus OH – Independent Bookstore

Not many independent booksellers left in my city of Pittsburgh.

If you come to Columbus, Ohio you must visit this bookstore. In fact, plan a trip to Columbus so you can go to this bookstore.

Thirty-two rooms of books!

 I spent most of time in the children’s section but you could lose yourself for hours in any one of the sections- travel, cookbooks, business, art, mystery, fiction, bestsellers, biography, magazines…..

My DIL’s friend, Christina, recommended it as I had some time in the city after dropping my granddaughter and her daughter off for Writing Camp at the Thurber House, but that is another whole post.

 Laura and I had lunch at the Brown Bag Deli and after I took her back to work, I followed her directions and found the Book Loft. The number 631 was the same number as my parents home so that was fun.

It is an Independent Bookstore  and here is their link- The Book Loft of German Village 

My big purchase of the day was 4 Advent Calendars from Germany which reminded me of growing up and when we lived in Germany, too. I got an iced coffee at Cup O Joe next door.  The building is pre Civil War and there is more info about it on their website. Left in time to drive back to pick up the girls from camp and they were so excited after taking a field trip to the Topiary Park Garden.

Summer vacation is in full swing!


No Yard for the Sign


Two Upright Sweepers Wait for Pick Up

My family always called these vacuum cleaners but in Pennsylvania you “run the sweeper”.  These two are in Clintonville (Laura’s Neighborhood) when we walked on Saturday. The sun shone down on them as they stood at attention.

A portfolio of my work would be incomplete with the garbage studies.


What I’m Thinking for 2012

Postaday 2011 is coming to a rapid close.  I accomplished a daily photograph post on my rutheh.com blog.  It became part of my day.  Everyday.  And then I started the Keep or Pitch blog and was thinking how I would clean out my house of accumulation and clutter and inherited items. Grown up children moved out but left their “stuff” and I photographed and posted and wrote stories of possessions and it went pretty well everyday for a good while. Months even. Even got voted Freshly Pressed for the Ceramic Squirrel Family post. But when it came time to get serious and actually pitch a LOT of stuff, I stopped photographing it and feeling nostalgic and made donations big time, had a failed yard sale, and loaded up some heavy duty construction bags and dragged them to the curb.  That task is not completed and the third floor beckons to me to get up there and PITCH.

Starting another blog to illustrate where this blog travels in the blogosphere is the plan.

I recreated a “cardboard me”, not because I want to look thinner  but need to fit in the mail.  Made color copies on card stock.  The copies appear a little dull but then I was called two-dimensional!  I am already in business size envelopes traveling to friends and bloggers who have agreed to “guest blog” and return photo(s) of my visit with them.

Many of you know Flat Stanley and have helped school students with their Social Studies projects. Now it is the Elementary Art Teacher’s project.  And your creativity.

Right now I am thinking of one post a week.  I will continue with my daily photography blog and then link to Cardboardmetravels.com as the photos and narratives are returned to me.

If you want  a visit from Flat Ruthie/Cardboard Me,  email your snail mail address to cardboard.me.travels@gmail.com.  We’ll see where the blog travels, visit faraway friends,  highlight fellow bloggers blogs and have fun. I’m already headed to Canada, Omaha, Croatia, Missouri and Arkansas.

The only thing I’m now worried about is that I’m going to be wearing the same outfit everyday for a year.

Oprah might be on every cover of her magazine but at least her hair and outfit are different!

Cardboard me/Flat Ruthies cut out and ready to travel. Doing my part to support the USPS.


Feller’s Garage Castle Shannon PA

Not sure of the fate of this structure.  I did find a nice photo that someone took a year ago. This is just mine as I waited at the red light, taken with the iPhone.


When Your Neon’s Ailing or You Need a Sign

“Who ya gonna call?”  The Neon Doctor.  They repair and buy old signs, too, or create a custom sign for you!

Stopped at a red light on a gloomy afternoon, I saw this place and shot it before the light turned green


Jimmy Stewart Statue and Old Glory-Indiana, PA

Got invited to photograph my daughter-in-law’s family reunion in Indiana PA. What a happy party and celebration.  I considered posting photographs of all of the Polish food- Kielbasa, Haluski, Pierogies, Golabki (Stuffed Cabbage) but when I was headed back to the city the sun was low on the horizon. There was the Jimmy Stewart Statue in front of the Indiana County Courthouse.  And on Philadelphia Street!!

One problem though, I was shooting into the West so shooting into the sun!  I wished I had a step stool or ladder to capture the statue’s face from a different angle. Amazing how a statue can look so different depending on the light and the angle. The metal is bronze but at first there was a fiberglass statue that is now in the museum.

I waited until a burst of wind unfurled the flag.  I  was patient.

My family used to love watching Jimmy Stewart movies and the tradition is carried on with the annual It’s a Wonderful Life  Christmas viewing at Mark and Erika’s home.  There is a Jimmy Stewart Museum adjacent to this location but closed of course .  Will have to research what is inside and return when it is open.

Twenty seven years of military service, A Brigadier General in the USAF Reserve-  seems fitting that the flag is part of the picture to honor Jimmy Stewart’s service.

Just seemed like a perfect Independence Day Eve photo.  A fitting tribute!

Footnote added July 10, 2011    Be sure to read the NYTimes article by John Marchese Visited Bedford Falls Lately?


The statue was erected on the occasion of Jimmy Stewart's 75th Birthday.


Wanna Buy a Brewery? Here’s Your Chance!

It’s for sale!  And it is BIG. You don’t have to make beer in it.    I drove by it the other day.  Stopped and took a few shots.  The enormous For Sale Sign gave me a jolt.  Pittsburgh Brewing Company is on the National Historic Registry. A Landmark.  That status might impact some of your remodeling plans if you turned this place into condos but you know it’s a solid structure. It was established in 1861.  They’ve knocked a lot of it down in the back but not sure why. A big pile of rubble would need to be cleared.  The Iron City brand has moved out of the city to Latrobe.   I’ve actually been to an Ocktoberfest in this place years ago.  Empty buildings that once held purpose seem sad to me.  Especially all the churches around the city but even the brewery evokes feeling for the architecture, the magnificent details, the history, the immigrants who came to Pittsburgh and worked there, built it- the once busy place no longer being useful.  Feels more than sad, it feels depressing.   The abandonment.     This place needs to be purchased and rehabed and made to come alive again.  Someone with some $ (okay, some $$$)  and creative ideas for the space. I have no idea the pricetag.   A great location, minutes from downtown.  There’s a wonderful view of Polish Hill, too. I could see the domes of Immaculate Heart of Mary, where Mark and Erika were married in 2002.  This is the kind of structure you see in Preservation Magazine, needing someone to come and save it.  Hope the right person comes along soon.  Wanna buy a brewery>  Here’s your chance!  Even if you hadn’t thought of buying a brewery before you read this post, maybe you’ll consider it now! If you are interested you have to call for the details on the price.


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