Here is a bio by our commenter friend “frank md”…
I lived in Johnstown through high School among Pitt and PSU fans. I really had no feelings either way. But that took a turn after I graduated from high school.
I wanted to become an aeronautical engineer. I found that PSU had that course so I applied there. But when I heard from them they said they could not offer me any assistance even though my grades were in the top 10% of my high school class and our family qualified for low-income assistance. So I applied to Pitt. Lo and behold Pitt offered a small scholarship that I could use to attend the Johnstown campus. Since they did not offer aeronautical engineering, I enrolled in electrical engineering.
After two years I had to transfer to Pittsburgh because Johnstown did not offer the last two years of electrical engineering. By the way, Pitt-Johnstown is now a located on a huge beautiful campus with four-year degrees. With my Johnstown scholarship over, I had to wait to see if Pitt would continue the scholarship in Pittsburgh. Otherwise it meant the Air Force. Pitt did offer an Alcoa scholarship and loans.99
I had been working in Johnstown for Acme markets and as luck would have it they had a store in the North Hills on McKnight Road. I also had family in Pittsburgh as my uncle and nephew had a barber shop on Fifth Avenue for many years. So, off I go to Pittsburgh.
I joined two of my fellow Johnstown engineer friends in an apartment on North Bellefield Avenue across from Schenley High School and one block from the Luna.
My first experience with football was a bonfire before the 1963 Miami game. We lost. But I learned that a large group of engineering friends from Pitt-Johnstown also attended games. From then on we attended the games in a group and no fraternity dared question where we wanted to sit at any football or basketball game. Tiger Paul was our hero. One time we took a basketball trip to Morgantown. Our tickets were behind wooden beams and we saw fish flying onto the court. The 1963 Pitt-PSU game was one of great sorrow because of Kennedy’s death even though we won 22-21 at Pitt Stadium.
After graduation, I took a Federal job in Washington. Three of my best Pitt friends did the same thing as the government was desperate for engineers. At least once a year we would go back to Pittsburgh for a football game. My wife attended a couple of the games but she lost interest and only went along to go shopping.
I soon became best friends at work with PSU and WVU graduates. That sparked heated rivalries as we attended PSU and WVU games. Back then I had a 12 passenger van, so we would load up everyone along with the necessary provisions to get us through the weekend. We still talk today about how we survived those trips.
I could relate many stories of those trips where we should have been arrested. Some of my favorite trips included: Pitt-WVU in 1970 (historic 36-35 come from behind win); Pitt-PSU in 1976; and in Pitt State College wins in 1979, 1980 and 1988. There is no greater feeling for a Pitt fan then beating PSU in State College. In Morgantown we saw burning couches and students riding on top of school busses.
Now I watch all the Pitt football and basketball games on television but I return to Pittsburgh for at least one football game a year. The loss of Pitt Stadium still pisses me off.
Readers: These Bios have been so popular and well received that the authors keep remembering additional things about their Pitt experience. So I’ll add those thoughts as they come in…
“Why Pitt Is It”… Two more anecdotes
While I lived in many locations during my college years, including above Flo’s Records, which gave great access to the School of Public Health as well as the Bars and the Big O, one Football related activity included one of my stays on Chesterfield St. After a major upset of Syracuse, we hadn’t beat them in years, some very drunken friends brought a fifteen foot section of the goalpost in our house, had a beverage and went on their merry way taking the goalpost with them.
One thing that was memorable during my years was the craze known as Streaking. It started one spring when a mixed group came out of one of the windows in the quadrangle in the full Monty to the delight of a large group assembled there. This happened on several occasions and then these type of events started springing up all over the City. I doubt that Pitt Students invented the event, but it was the first time most of us heard of it.
One Saturday Night on Chesterfield rumor has it that in the middle of a grape and grain party, a large number of participants streaked down Chesterfield to the roar of the appreciative onlookers. The only problem was that we/they had to run back up the rather steep incline. A good time was had by all.
One of my friends who chickened out was so disappointed in himself that he and a girlfriend streaked the Chatham College Graduation Ceremony. To say that it took real balls is an understatement.
The Smart Phone has ruined any chance of this craze occurring again, at least without masks.
Some of my fondest memories included a group of us including players such as Marty Schottenheimer and others in the Tuck Shop with sororities. My wife was a Tri-Delta. Between the Theta’s and TriDelts, they had the market on players.
Another memory was a secret one of Dale Steward, Popp and some others with me in dropping a car hood from a dorm window in Schenley Plaza. There were no athletic dorms them, players and other students were in the same rooms although they liked to pair the players together. It never stopped a good party even when the Tower Dorms opened.
Kudos to the Pitt Campus Police who watched out for all students and frankly keep a lot of us out of mischief. One would watch my fiancé go from the towers to her dorm just as a friendly gesture. I can remember them quietly corralling some handicapped guys in wheelchairs who would go full blast down from Fifth to Forbes past the Original. Amazing how they had it timed so no one would get hurt.
Along with some of my friends from law, business, and medicine who attended Pitt, we all enjoyed our time. We worked our tails off academically as no one gave a “special grade” because of who you were. I never heard of any professor ever calling roll in a class and saying that “your boss called to see if you are in class” which happened to my son at Clemson. You were expected by Pitt to pull your own academic weight and be responsible for your reputation and that of the university.