With the “Stillers” in the Super Bowl, I am being deluged with emails full of Pittsburgh nostalgia and trivia.
While I claim Pittsburgh as my home town, and cheer for the Steelers, I actually only lived there full-time for four years, and that ended 40 years ago. My parents were deep-rooted Pittsburghers. (I’d call them “yinzers”, except my father would never forgive me and my mother would come back from the grave and haunt me.) However, my life from earliest memory until high school was spent in Wheeling, W.Va. — about an hour’s drive down the road. We moved to the South Hills the summer before my 10th grade. I left Pittsburgh for the University of Florida after my freshman year in college and never moved back except for two college-summers and visits.
A beautiful photo of "The Point" by Jennifer Yang.
All the same, I can still relate to many of these “You know you are from Pittsburgh if…” statements that my sister sent me.
Yunz is from the Picksburgh area or maybe you grew up there if:
1. You didn’t have a spring break in high school.
2. You walk carefully when it is “slippy” outside.
3. You often go down to the “crick.” (Lots of “cricks” in West Virginia too.)
4. You’ve told your children to “red up” their rooms. (I actually caught myself using this term the other day.)
5. You can remember telling your little brother/sister to stop being so “nebby.”
6. You’ve gotten hurt by falling into a “jaggerbush.”
7. Your mother or grandmother has been seen wearing a “babushka” on her head. (I don’t think so. Wrong ethnic group.)
8. You’ve “worshed” the clothes. (Never. My mother would have killed me.)
9. I ask you to hand me one of those “Gum-Bands” an’ you actually know what I’m talking about.
10. You know you can’t drive too fast on the back roads, because of the deer.
11. You know Beaver Valley, Turtle Crick, Mars, Slippery Rock, Greentree and New Castle are names of towns. And you’ve been to most, if not all, of them.
12. A girl walks up to three of her girl friends and says, “HEY,YENZ GUYS!”
13. You hear “you guyses” and don’t think twice. Example: “you guyses hause is nice.”
14. You know the three rivers by name and under stand that “The Point” isn’t just on a writing instrument.
15. Someone refers to “The Mon” or “The Yough” and you know exactly what they’re talking about.
16. You remember the blizzard of 1993 (or 1976, or 1950, or 1939, or…) and remember not being able to go outside because the snow was over your head and you would have suffocated.
17. Someone starts the chant, “Here we go Still-ers!” and you join in — in the proper cadence, waving the appropriately colored towel.
18. Bob Prince and “There’s a bug loose on the rug.” hold special meaning for you. (And you remember exactly where you were when Bill Mazeroski hit the walk-off homer to win the 1960 World Series.)
19. You’ve either eaten a Farkleberry Tart or know someone who has. (???)
20. You drink pop, eat hoagies, love perogies and one of your favorite sandwiches actually has coleslaw and French fries ON it. (I remember using the term “pop” when I went to Florida and no one knew what I was talking about. They called it “Coke or something.”)
21. You know what a “still mill” is.
22. You expect temps in the winter to be record-breaking cold and temps in the summer to be record-breaking hot.
23. You know what Eat ‘N Park is and frequently ate breakfast there at 2:00 AM after the bar closed and made fun of people.
24. You order “dippy eggs” in a restaurant and get exactly what you wanted.
25. You spent your summers, or a school picnic at Luna Park, Kennywood, Westview, Sand Castle or Idlewild.
26. You’ve been to the Braun’s Bread Plant or Story Book Forest for a school field trip. We went to the Heinz plant and the Isaly’s plant for Cub Scouts.
27. “Chipped ham” was always in your refrigerator when you was growin’ up. (Didn’t everyone have it?)
28. You refuse to buy any condiments besides Heinz unless a Pittsburgh athlete’s picture is on the side of the container.
29. When you call the dog or the kids you shout, “Kum-mere” and they come. (I’m afraid I’m guilty of this one.)
30. Franco, Roberto, and Mario don’t need last names and you can recite their exploits by heart.
31. Food at a wedding reception consists of rigatoni, stuffed cabbage, sauerkraut and polska kielbasa.