Those of us who grew up in Pittsburgh had it pretty good. No matter where in the city or the suburbs we lived, we all shared some common experiences and probably have some – even just a few – similar memories. Here are 15 undeniable things just about every Pittsburgher experienced growing up.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Jumping in puddles during a summer rain…
Nothing quite made a rainy day so special during the summer than running outside, playing in the raindrops and jumping in the puddles. Sure, we may have gotten our legs streaked with mud that would turn to a cakey dirt but it was so worth it.
2. Playing outside until the street lights came on and…
We didn’t use a clock or a smartphone to tell time when we were kids. We played with our friends in the neighborhood until the street lights came on. That’s how we knew we’d soon be hearing our parents calling our name to come in for the night.
3. Pretending you didn’t hear your mom or dad calling you at the end of the day.
Of course, sometimes we had so much fun outside that we didn’t want to go inside at night. Some of us might have even pretended not to hear our name until…we heard our first
and middle name shouted for the whole neighborhood to hear.
4. Watching Mister Rogers Neighborhood.
Mister Rogers greeted us every day on WQED and many us became immersed in his world of make believe. Mister Rogers Neighborhood helped define many of our childhoods.
5. Sitting on the bottom of the cart at Giant Eagle or Shop ‘N Save.
Remember how boring grocery shopping was as a kid? We would beg mom to buy our favorite junk food. She said no. Just walking around the store was no fun so we sat at the bottom of the cart at Giant Eagle and Shop ‘N Save.
6. Begging for a slushie and a pretzel or popcorn at Murphy’s or Hills.
G.C. Murphy’s – or perhaps you called it Murphy’s Mart – and Hills knew how to grab our attention from the moment we walked in. We had to pass the snack bar to shop and that started the inevitable begging for a slushie and a pretzel, a hot dog, or popcorn.
7. Waiting for the ice cream truck every afternoon.
Close your eyes. Can you hear the music of the ice cream truck getting closer and closer to your house? Can you feel the excitement of having a dollar in your hand to run and buy your favorite treat before the ice cream man pulled away until the next day?
8. Complaining because you had to wear a coat over your Halloween costume.
Somehow Halloween always meant a cold rush of air – and sometimes snow. Thus, the battle between the kids and the parents would begin. Parents would usually win, which meant we had to wear our thick winter coat over our costumes.
9. Being told to "rid/red" up your room.
Most of us have likely been told – or yelled at, after ignoring repeated requests – to rid/red up our sloppy bedrooms. Now the tables might have turned and you may be the parent begging your child to "rid/red" up his or her room.
10. Hanging out at the mall on Friday and Saturday nights.
Before smartphones, iPads, and all the technology of the 21st century, we had to learn to entertain ourselves. Friday and Saturday nights meant hanging out at the local mall, eating fries, shopping at National Record Mart and G Thanks, and maybe even ice skating, if you were at Monroeville Mall before the ice rink became the food court.
11. Dressing in school colors on the day of a big football game.
School spirit spread through the school every Friday throughout the fall. We’d wear our school colors, attend a pep rally, and get ready for the big game that night.
12. Clapping when some unfortunate soul dropped their tray in the school cafeteria.
Oh, the humiliation. It’s bad enough that you drop your lunch tray – before you’ve even taken a bite – but to have the entire cafeteria clap and cheer your misstep? We’ve all been there as the unfortunate soul and as part of the cheering crowd.
13. Getting up early to watch the school delays and cancelations on a winter morning.
Snow day! Who woke up early to watch the school delays and closings run across the screen on WTAE, KDKA, and WPXI? Nothing beat going to school late – or not at all – on a winter day.
14. Buying a Kennywood outfit and…
The annual Kennywood picnic was a big deal at school. Most of us girls would plan who were going to Kennywood with, head to the local mall, and pick out identical outfits. Guys – did you do the same?
15. Going to the school Kennywood picnic.
One of the highlights of every school year was going to the school district’s annual Kennywood picnic. We got to see our friends and teachers outside of school and show our school spirit. Oh, and who can forget it gave us the chance to indulge in Potato Patch fries?
These are just some things every Pittsburgher experienced growing up. What would you add to