I haven’t been to Pittsburgh since June 17, 1983 the day my first daughter, Jessica was born. I was working for Gulf & Western a large conglomerate that sought low valued assets and therefore owned companies in the steel, casket, bedding, motion picture, auto parts, sports, garment, furniture, manufacturing, sugar industries – to name a few – all around the world. I was in Pittsburgh trying to tell a career Steel executive how to run his business based upon our internal audit. Just 24 years old. My wife, at the time, Gwen called me Friday morning telling me that she was going into labor. Gwen was swimming at Lake Welch just days before to induce labor. Gwen was my first love and we seemed to do everything backwards. Started dating when we were 13, married in December, 1982 and Jessica was born in June 1983. When i got the call that morning i panicked. My scheduled flight was later that day. I remember clearly the construction on the highway bringing it down to a single lane, after spending time on the phone making travel plans. Remember no cell phones, no Uber, no internet. How did i do it?
The earliest flight was to Newark. The flights to LaGuardia were much later. Our hospital of choice was Mount Sinai on the east side of Manhattan. I called the doctor and told him i was in Pittsburgh and was on my way and he had to slow it down and hold it till i arrived.
Gwen and i was practicing Lamaze and intended to have a drug free delivery with plenty of breathing and panting. Luckily, Gwen’s amazing sister, Samantha was with Gwen in my place.
Meanwhile, i am on the plane – barely uttering a word to anyone – time stood still as i was in disbelief. 24 years old, married only six months earlier, knew my debits and credits well but fatherhood? I was sitting opposite a priest and two children. Frankly don’t remember 4 seaters on a plane. I barely spoke as the priest and kids played. Somehow one of the kid’s plastic cup filled with coke had a large crack in it as coke spilled on the center tray. Watching the priest frantically try to hold the two sides of the slit together i picked up my empty cup and placed it under the broken one. The priest was amazed and said i was a “smart man”. I wasn’t feeling so smart as i was out of town while my wife was in labor.
Entered the delivery room tag teaming Samantha, Gwen was demanding drugs by this time. Too late for Lamaze. I made it in the Knick of time fo the birth of my first daughter.
So obviously this post has nothing to do with my recent visit to Pittsburgh. Oh well. Here is a gratuitous photo from a pirate game.