What They’re Really Thinking will be up later. In the meantime, let’s verbally flog Jonathan Scott and read this post.
I’ve already told you how much I love history. This is a new development in my advanced age (#werthers) because as a teen in history class? I spent my time half-listening and half-doodling pictures of the space shuttle on my Trapper Keeper. TLA. BFF. RMA.
Have we talked about how much of a dork I was? Am?
Now when I think about history, I tend to ask questions like Did Jesus ever tell a knock knock joke? Did Abraham Lincoln ever eat too much at Thanksgiving dinner and then sit on his couch and unbutton his pants? Did Mother Teresa ever have a fender bender? Did Napoleon ever dance in his underwear in front of the mirror?
Those kinds of questions make history come alive to me.
So when I heard on the Ducky Tour that the street level of Grant Street used to be much much higher in one area, it wasn’t enough for me to just hear that. I needed to SEE that. I needed it to be real and alive and tangible so that I could truly know what once was.
While researching for my latest Pittsburgh Magazine column, I found this 1913 article in The Municipal Journal, which I don’t need to tell you sounds like a rip-roarin’ feel-good beach read:
Look where Grant Street used to be before they cut the hump!
I never knew.
This link will take you to an earlier edition of the journal and it includes a street map, a grading map, and pictures of the cutting. It’s all so very cool if you’ve never seen or read about it.
Check it out, Wendy Bell!
Frick Building before:
This little info about the street level of Grant Street is just one of the things I learned when I took a Just Ducky tour this summer. One of the other things I learned is that BABIES SHOULD NOT BE ALLOWED TO DRIVE BOATS.
While the rest of the passengers were jovial, I was in a panic, silently pleading with Ray to turn around and see that we were heading toward a bridge. The boat veered left toward a pylon, then right toward the shore, then left toward a large wake, then right toward sure death. Death by boat over-correction is what my death certificate would say.
The laughing passengers quacked happily at a passing boat. I prayed fervently for deliverance from this evil. Then they let a baby drive. God has a cruel sense of humor.