Stories of Life in Southwestern Pennsylvania

Pittsburgh, Pa. 1955
Soot on the stoop bad breath from the mill in the valley,

Homestead Works -- US Steel
My dad started working at the steel mill in 1939, the year he graduated from high school. 

First Day on the Job
I was hired in the power and fuel department of the Edgar Thomson Works and the boss told me that I would be working at the Stirling boiler house.  

Brown's Dump
The train chugged gradually up the moon-like surface; it suddenly stopped, and shortly the calm evening sky exploded in a red, fiery glow.

The Mall
Thomas Wolfe once wrote:  You can't go home again.  That was exactly my reaction when I visited the Waterfront Mall for the first time.

Growing up in the Mon Valley
I grew up in the Mon Valley and my father worked in the steel industry for thirty years. 

The Man of Steel
 A few years ago I wrote a poem dedicated to my father entitled the "Man of Steel".  I believe it reflects the struggle all men and women have gone through over the years as the steel mills have closed.  
Growing up in Swissvale (in the Shadow of Carrie Furnace)
Swissvale in 1950-1960 was a happy place.  My dad was a foreman at U.S. Steel's Carrie Furnace located just over the hill.

Hell With the Lid Off - Pittsburgh
Rusty hulks at rivers edge carry scrap and corroded re-bar,


The 45-Inch Mill

The 45-Inch Mill
Constructed in 1942 as part of Homestead's World War II expansion, the 45-inch mill was in operation until the early 1980s.