Ash, here are my answers, I had a class with Rob – He was a wonderful person and an excellent Teacher!
I hope they are right, I guessed a lot!

1) What is Rob Penny's African Name? Brother Oba

2) What is the name of the first artist group that Rob Penny co-founded
with three other Pittsburgh artists?
(1) August Wilson, (2) Vernell Lillie (3) Rob Penny and August Wilson Co-founded the Kuntu Writers Workshop in 1976 Rob Penny also co-founded the Black Horizon Theatre with the dynamic August Wilson in 1968

3) Name five Rob Penny plays. (Any of the five will do) ''Boppin' with the Ancestors', Diane's Heart', 'Good Black Don't Crack', 'Clean Drums', 'Little Willie Armstrong Jones', ‘Killin’ and Chillin’, 'Sun Rising on the Hill District'.

4. Name Rob Penny's birth place. (Alabama)

5. Name his favorite female pop singer. (Spankey Wilson)

Neighborhood Crusaders
By Y. Denise Caldwell

Writing a meaningful history of Pittsburgh means writing about my childhood.

I grew up on the Hill - Vine and Foreside Streets.

The memories are so poignant I can still see us - getting wet in the spray of the fire hydrant, as someone sat on it sent the water sparking, shooting up and around us. Block parties where we'd block off the street and grill hot dogs and bands played and it went on late into the night. Winters where one side of the street had water and the other had ice, pipes frozen solid so neighbors would march back and forth across the street with pots, pitchers, whatever would hold water. Fall - playing kickball in the street, Miss Ann in the window with the arms folded on her pillow, surveying the area and keeping everyone under her watchful eyes. We were safe. Watching old men playing checkers in Mr. Lindsay's concrete front yard. Wrapping arthritic fingers around large wooden red and black checkers and slamming them onto huge wooden handmade checkerboards. They talked stuff and argued and taught us kids to play, too. Walking one block up to Miller School for seven years - coming home for lunch every day and dreaming of when I would be able to go to Fifth Avenue. Archer power. It's also the riots and the National Guard. Liberating Centre Avenue shops - the Economart - Wolf's Shoe Store and more. Hurrying home with liberated merchandise, candy, shoes, meat, groceries, we took it all. Then later, with stinging and burning eyes, realized it was wrong. And scared to eat the candy, shoes were too small or too big cause we just grabbed anything and the food spoiled because we didn't have freezers. But hey, we were liberated and liberating. We had red daishikis, trimmed in black and green, that we wore on special events. Timothy Bryant, our fearless leader, naming us the Neighborhood Crusaders. Making sure we knew we were Young, Gifted and Black. We were Black and Proud and saying it LOUD. Dreaming of living in Washington Plaza when we grew up because it was this beautiful white apartment building, looking like the building Eddie's father or Julia lived in…remember - The Courtship of Eddie's Father and Julia television shows? They lived high-rise apartments. The Civic Arena where we watched James Brown and the Harlem Globe Trotters perform, and Earth Wind and Fire and Michael Jackson, but most significantly, my grandfather taking us to wresting - Bruno Sammartino and Izzy Modell. My mom going to the Hurricane and the LAB and the Crawford Grille but we came of age, we didn't have that. We had the Fantastic Plastic for a minute and the Red Onion and Surasky's. But we started to go downtown to Heaven and Happy Landing and Crazy Quilt and Reflections, but we missed the Hill. Kept going to the Crawford no matter what. Now it's at Station Square but it's still the Hill inside. The Hill had the Kaufmann Settlement Center with the steepest, scariest, slide in the world and Carnegie Library on Wylie Avenue where we won more reading prizes than anybody. Going to the New Granada theatre to see Our Man Flint and later watching them build the Hill House Association and a shopping center - which meant relocating the library to Centre Avenue. Even now not understanding the huge phallic symbol that's supposed to be rebirth or something. And having them make Fifth Avenue into a kitchen center and sending everybody to the Southside to Brashear. Say what?? But still Fifth and Centre Avenues will always parallel. No, we didn't riot on Fifth Avenue, kept Jew Town sacrosanct. But Merante Bros., Schwartz, Sun and Bardin Drug Stores, stayed around and Mellon built a bank and the Post Office was there, too. Born in Mercy Hospital, stitched up at Passavant, the Hill was home to good hospitals too. Man, so much to remember. I don't how long you want this to be or even if this is what you are looking for but here it memories of the Hill District.

Respectfully submitted:

Y. Denise Caldwell

Memories of the Hill District...
by Dana S. Ramsey

Beginning at a very young age of 13, being told "yall aint allowed on the Hill" because its too crazy up there. The Hill District has held an enticing,exciting,dangerous something that draws young people to it. Like a moth to a flame, the H,I, Double drew me in. Moving there from the Larimer area of Pittsburgh was a bit of a change for me. There was a fast pace lifestyle being lived. And now old enough to participate, jumped right to it. Sitting in Eddies restaurant checking out all the photos on the wall piqued a curosity within.I sat and thought to myself WOW...what is it about the HIll that drew celebrities also?...Sitting in front of Hamms Barbershop just chilling with my crew all day longin the 90's,and even now sitting in the 2nd or 3rd row of Macedonia Baptist Church every Sunday tells me that I am still that moth. And though I no longer reside in the Hill District, the memories of new life, death, salvation, and the essense of me will always remain.

My Memories of the Hill District
by Regina Logan

My name is Regina Scott Logan; I was born on the hill in 1956. My family and my roots are from the hill; I can remember as a little girl, Mr. and Mrs. Jones candy store on Kirkpatrick Street, they were my mothers babysitter when I was a toddler, I can also remember sitting on top of Mr. Battles icy ball stand on the corner of Bedford and Deviller Streets in front of the school when I was approximately 2 or 3 years old. The Battles lived upstairs and were our neighbors when I lived on Bedford. I can remember my parents getting dressed to go out on the town and talking about the “Hurricane, The Crawford Grill, Birdie and a lot of other places for entertainment and eateries, grocery stores and the New Granada movies theater, along with so many other places to write down. I still have family that remain and live in the “Hill District”, they have lived there all of their lives and refuse to live anywhere else! As an adult I have had the pleasure of working at the Crawford Grill on Wylie Avenue; it was such a pleasure and a treat. While working there I have had the pleasure of meeting the one and only “August Wilson”, he gave me tickets for my daughter Aleisha and I to attend the play “Jitney” which she loved. One of my dreams is to see all of the plays that August Wilson has written. Also, while at the Crawford Grill, I have also had the pleasure of meeting, George Benson, Billy Eckstein, Stanley Turrentine, Dakota Staten and some of the players that were interviewed for the Black Negro Baseball Leagues. I have so many more things to say, but I forgot I am only supposed to be writing a paragraph. I would really love to take my younger daughter to see a play as she hasn’t seen a live performance yet, to expose her to the wonderful world of performing.

Thank you for this opportunity, Regina Logan

Memories of the Hill District "Back In the Day"
by Angela Brock-Germany

My best memories of growing up on the hill are memories of the summer time, When it was really hot outside and me and my brother and sisters would go to the fire hydrant down the street from my home and turn the water on...The water would be so cool and refreshing, and before you knew it the whole block would be outside joining us in the festivities. We would also have block parties that would bring the whole community together for food, fun, and dancing. Barbeque grills from one end of the street to the other, old tunes would play from several radios that were out out on the sidewalk and the whole neighborhood would have a good old time that lasted sometimes way into the night. The old Centre avenue of the 1970's looked like a movie scene shot in harlem, Nightclubs, with bright neon lights, people laughing and enjoying the beautiful summer weather and not a sign of trouble or bad times in sight, there was a local grocery store named Hicks superette where everyone in the neighborhood did their food shopping, and down on centre avenue was another store called "Benny's" 5 & 10 that had anything you wanted from toys to household items, I would always purchase a bag of candy there before I would wisk myself to school every morning. I can remeber there was a bank where everyone in the neighborhood could cash their checks, and maybe spend a dollar or two at the local neighborhood bakery that was famous for their "chocolate chip" cookies. Their was a neighborhood cinema called the "New Grenada Theatre" where we would go to see all the lates movies like "Fist of fury" or "Three the hard way", But what I really miss the most is how everyone in the neighborhood looked at each other regardless of skin color, Blacks, Jews, Whites and all people of different cultures and backgrounds got along well with one another and it made me feel very safe and happy to say that "I am from the Hill District".

Memories of the Hill
by Ruby V. Scott

(1)I have great memories of the 4th of July celebrations on the Hill. Our whole family would come celebrate with us, especially our cousins from Coraopolis and even as far away as Evan City. We would go to the parade on center ave. then to the Movies at Weil school, then the street dance would start in Weil's School yard. Everybody partied -- parents and kids together, everybody just having fun! The night would end with for-real fireworks on Kennard Field. The last (big bang) firework would be loud enough to send everyone running home. This was truly a neighborhood celebration.

(2)And what about Benny Diamond's 5 & dime store. You could buy a nickle or a dime's worth of candy, peanuts or pretzels, or just about anything you needed. You really didn't need to go downtown to shop. There was even a shoe store on the corner of Center Ave. and Kirkpatrick Streets (Wolfe's Shoe Store)

(3)And the drug store across the street (now Hamm's barber shop) had peeps and ducks (colored baby chickens) for sale at Easter time. I loved those peeps and my brothers and I saved our money to each buy one every year. Most didn't live long because of the dye.

(4) My most favorite memorie, However, was the Hill Picnic at Kennywood Park. The buses would leave from Weil School early in the morning. We would go early to get a table and wait for our parents. The bus would be filled with other kids doing the same thing. We would just have a good time on the bus. Then we had to wait at the shelter for our parents to show up and give us our ride tickets. (you needed ride tickets and tax tickets for each ride)

(5) And then there was the Brother Dan & Sister Ann Church bus that circled the projects picking up kids to go to the northside church. Not only did we learn wonderful bible stories, we would get a candy bar on the way home and we always met new friends.

I could go on, but my break is over.

MEMORIES OF THE HILL - by Darrin Germany

What I remember about the hill that brings back very fond memories are
Ammons pool on hot days when me and all my brothers would go to the
pool, and swim for hours, splashing and dunking each other in the water. I
remember all the stores that were on Herron avenue, one place in mind
that I always stare at where the building stood as I drive pass was
Boykin's restaurant. maaaaaaaaan they had the best barbeque ribs and
chicken that I had ever tasted!!! I remember going to the New Granada Theatre to see my first movie. the movie was called "Ben" and Michael Jackson had sang in the movie. I remember all the stores and businesses that were on Centre avenue, the Black Solidarity Fair that had a parade that marched right down Centre avenue, Also one of my good memories was every friday getting money from my father and going to Benny's 5 & 10 to but me a small toy or a bag of candy, and getting my hair cut at Ham's Barber shop to go to the dance at the Y-Bop or the YMCA. I miss those days, and the reason is that they will never come again but I do have the memories and that is something that will always stay.

Memories of the Hill District by Tracey M. Jennings

Hi Brotha Ash!

I have exciting, fond memories of the Hill District, but only as a High School Student from '74-'78. Though I was raised in the East End, my sister and I got on the "Stinkin' Lincoln" every morning and traveled to Schenley High School. How exciting it was after school to go to my friends' houses who lived in the Hill District. Walking up the real "cardiac hill", Centre Avenue with all it's sights and sounds was an experience in itself. We'd walk pass The United Black Front on Centre Avenue. Which is where I found my "Militancy"..We'd congregate at the infamous Centre and KirkPatrick, sit on the stoops of store fronts and crack jokes. Which is where I found my extraordinary sense of humor. On the real nice warm, sunny days we'd go farther down Centre to where a once popular hoop court stood at Bently Drive, and watched the brothers from Fifth Avenue's "bomb" squad do their thing. Which is where I found my unwavering, undeniable, unadulterated love for basketball. We had a fierce rivalry with the "Archers" on the court, but off the court Warnie Macklin(RIP), big Sam "the bam" Clancy, David "Puffy" Kennedy, Regie, and Big Bill Clark, showed us nothing but love. My love for basketball started with the Schenley/Fifth Avenue games and the Dew Brown(RIP) league down on Fifth Avenue, where traffic would be backed up for miles on end. Oh the memories!!!!!


Ms. Tracey M Jennings


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