It’s Sunday morning and the pups have been out for their first walk. Ms. Crosby is good with just a half mile after breakfast followed my a nap during CBS Sunday morning. As a senior elkhound Crosby will still take to snowy trails for a mile or more, because the snow brings out her inner puppy. She’s trying to teach her adopted sister Phoebe to learn to slow down a little, but at 10 years YOUNGER than Crosby, Phoebe is teaching her humans how to play fetch and jog half a block and then backtrack to Croby.
I have promised Phoebe her own 1.5 mile out and back after watching CBS Sunday Morning. She’s my new cardio buddy and has learned to push Crosby a little farther each day making our little elkhound say a little younger. After having Phoebe around the past few weeks we are beginning to think Reba picked her out for us. First it was the ice cube chewing. Then she started piling up toys in her bed. Now on car rides Phoebe has been sneaking her wet nose on the drivers shoulder belt.
The two dog’s have both enjoyed bonding in the public infrastructure that was laid out almost 100 years ago between Highland, Schenley and Frick Parks in Pittsburgh and new partnership in Aspinwall Riverfront Park. They have both also enjoyed little walks on the various rail trails around the region–Armstrong, Yough, Heritage. These dogs are grateful for their parks and the infrastructure that exists.
While we are talking about dogs and parks let’s reflect on March Madness and the tournament. Yesterday CBS Saturday Morning ran a piece about Georgetown coach John Thompson, his legacy on the game, his battle for equality and the autobiography that was released after his death. I grew up watching the Big East with the Pitt Panthers playing their big games against Georgetown at the Civic Arena since Fitzgerald Fieldhouse was way too tiny for these big games. The full court press and the big men like Patrik Ewing in the paint truly made the Big East the premier conference for NBA hopefulls. While I never grew past 5’6″ I always enjoyed playing the game in between soccer seasons. The fast pace and ability to read the game carried over to the pitch. I recall back in the younger days playing basketball in the tiny Meadow Avenue Jr High School gymnasium where the hoops hung on the concrete balcony, the over and back line was the opposite foul line, and the boundary lines were up against the pillars supporting the balcony stands. Oh and in those day and those days the rims did not break away. On Saturday nights’ thanks to public investment in the parks of Charleroi we could go out and shovel the snow off the Crest Ave. playground, go inside to watch the Big East game of then play a pick up game in sweats on the blacktop after the game.
Right now towns like Charleroi, Monongahela, Ford City, Brownsville and Pittsburgh are running into a public park infrastructure problems. Some of the problems are small while others are much bigger. Over the years parks were always low on the priority list, but after the last year of covid-19 restrictions people are starting to find sanctuary in their parks. These parks are essential to well communities. These parks are essential to teaching our youth and adults the importance of exercise.
Where should this push to improve infrastructure come from?