Meet some of the storytellers of Pittsburgh

From bakers to authors, here are some Pittsburghers you should meet

by Lindsay Patross
February 19, 2021

It was 53 years ago today when the first episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” debuted. The children’s public television show was filmed right here in Pittsburgh and Fred Rogers continues to be known as an expert storyteller for kids and adults.

This week, we are taking a look at some of the folks who share stories in various forms. From bakers to authors, here are some Pittsburghers you should meet.

Kat Schuler//Appalachia Katt is the founder of Rolling Pepperoni. She started selling pepperoni rolls at popups around Pittsburgh for a few years and has opened a storefront in Lawrenceville earlier this year. Each pepperoni roll comes wrapped with a story from Appalachia. RP Unwrapped Vol. 1 is a new book featuring these stories of Appalachia.

Zoje Stage//Horror novelist Zoje is a Pittsburgh author who has published two horror novels with a third on the way. We caught up with Zoje around Halloween to learn more about her book “Wonderland.”

Damon Young//Writer You may have seen Damon Young’s essays in the New York Times or have read some of his work on Very Smart Brothas, a website that he co-founded in 2008. We caught up with Damon for a sandwich after his book “What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker” was released in 2019.

Dave Watcher//Comic book creator Meet the comic book artist that has created some popular comics from his home in Forest Hills. Learn more about how he was inspired to return to his love of comic books and make illustrating his full-time job.

Nicole Young//Black women in tech Nicole Young is learning to become a software engineer and documenting her experience as a Black woman in tech on YouTube. Her videos have been viewed almost 200,000 times. We talked to her about how she got her start in tech and some resources for other women who are looking to learn more.

Barbara Johnstone//Pittsburghese Yep, this is an academic look at the language of Pittsburgh. Barbara Johnstone is a professor of Rhetoric and Linguistics at Carnegie Mellon University. We talked with her about the history of the Pittsburgh speech.

 

And you probably know about Rick Sebak, he has been telling Pittsburgh stories at WQED, in the same building where Mister Rogers Neighborhood was made since 1987. We caught up with Rick last fall to find out more about his path to filmmaker and storyteller.

 

But wait…there’s more (‘But wait…there’s more’ is often associated with the late infomercial star Billy Mays, who grew up in McKees Rocks, a fact I learned when there was a signed photo of Mays on the wall of the salon where I got my hair cut. The owner of the salon went to high school with Mays in McKees Rocks. Initially, I could not figure out why a salon would have a signed poster of Mays on the wall, it’s one of those things that is so out of place, it requires further investigation.) Anyhow, if you are looking for more local storytellers here is a list of books by Pittsburgh authors.

 

Header photo credit: Garbella. The Dear Pittsburgh, I love you mug is available on Etsy. For more made-in-Pittsburgh gifts, follow @Garbella on Instagram

Pittsburgh born and raised, Lindsay has been writing about the people who love Pittsburgh since 2008.

More Local Stories

Top 407: the best hot dogs in Orlando

We tried Chicago Dogs, Spicy Chili Dogs, Buffalo Dogs, Reuben Dogs, and more across the Orlando area to find the best hot diggity dogs.

A guide to must-do summer events in New Orleans

Now that we’re back outside, let’s take a look at the events to do in New Orleans for the summer.

What’s On the Menu?: Greenville Food Trucks

What’s On The Menu Greenville is serving up barbecue, Latin, vegan and Thai food from mobile kitchens on wheels. Find out what’s cooking inside these fantastic Greenville food trucks.

Eat Play Stay Orlando: Sanford

On this episode of Eat Play Stay Orlando explore what’s new in the Northern part of town. Sanford has a plethora of breweries, bars, and delicious dining options to choose from.

Hometown Tragedy: The Pike County Massacre

On this episode of Hometown Tragedy: Missing in Milwaukee, we’ll explore what happened to Jerica Banks, her children, and how it impacted their community.

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

Cheap Date Orlando: Punk Rock & Pooches

Two Orlando couples shop vintage, search for the perfect slice, visit a post-apocalyptic saloon, and take the stage on blind dates in Orlando.

Fit and Fab: Free summer workouts in Boston

Cover photo courtesy Getty Images Looking to get fit for the summer? Still wary of COVID-19 or just looking for some sunshine while you sweat? Here are some Boston free summer workouts across the city so you can keep moving all season long! Seaport Sweat May 2 to Sept. 29 Boston’s biggest free workout series…

What’s On the Menu?: Farm-to-table

The farm-to-table movement brings locally grown foods to your plate. Not only will enjoying farm-to-table meals allow you to indulge in fresh, nutritional, seasonal dishes, but farm-to-table dining helps the environment and supports the local economy.  Check out these delicious farm-to-table restaurants in Greenville, South Carolina on the latest episode of What’s On the Menu?. …

A guide to some of the best Black-owned brunch spots in NOLA

Gather the crew together, make those reservations, and celebrate all things Black at brunch. 

new orleans parks

Six New Orleans parks that are perfect locations to celebrate 4th of July

Head to one of these six New Orleans parks to celebrate Independence Day in the city.

A guide to Pittsburgh’s summer events must-do list

Check out our roundup below for the can’t-miss events happening in the city over the next few months.

Exploring the history of Pittsburgh’s Chinatown

At one time, there was even an informal Chinatown mayor to act as a community liaison.

Painting My Way Through Life: Pittsburgh (And Beyond) Through The Eyes of Artist Ron Donoughe

Ron Donoughe has spent over 30 years painting the Pennsylvania landscape, especially Pittsburgh. When you don’t find him capturing the spirit of his paintings on location, you’ll likely find him in his Lawrenceville studio – where he’s watched the neighborhood transform through his windows.

With a potential sale of his building looming in 2022, we chatted with Donoughe about his artistic journey thus far, what might come next, and Pittsburgh through his eyes.