The past few weeks of my internship at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette have certainly slowed down a little for the most part in terms of workload, but I’ve had the opportunity to go out and cover some interesting stories..
To start, the stories that I’ve been working on have been some of the most interesting and fun stories to cover. The subjects that I had to interview were some of the most intriguing people that I’ve ever had the chance to talk to in my life.
For example, I got assigned a story on the Steel City Ambassadors. This was a group of men who have been a part of Western Pennsylvania’s most impressive bugle corps over the years. The Steel City Ambassadors have formed in more recent years and continue to play their instruments at local events and parades.
I was fortunate enough to have the ability to interview their most experienced member. His name is Amerigo “Riggie” Laus and he is 91 years old. This guy was one of the most interesting individuals that I’ve ever met in my entire life. To this day he still continues to play the bugle and the trumpet.
Another great opportunity that I had the chance to be a part of was the Observatory Hill tour in the North Side of Pittsburgh. There was a walking tour being held there for the public but I had the opportunity to receive a personal tour before anyone else. An archivist from the University of Pittsburgh gave me a personal tour of the area. To say the least, I learned a heck of a lot more than I ever thought there was to learn about that specific history in Pittsburgh. The history of Observatory Hill runs deep throughout the area.
Lastly, my favorite story of the week was interviewing 72-year-old, Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix Legend, J.J. Hoover. He has been racing in the Grand Prix for 23 years and he has finally decided to hang up his racing boots for good. He has been racing for over 55 years of his life and has owned some of the most famous cars known to man. For example, he owned a 1965 Shelby American Cobra Dragonsnake which was one of four ever made. It was eventually auctioned off for $1,750,000….and lets just say that he wasn’t the seller.
And to top my week off, I received two handwritten letters from two very influential people in my life. My fourth grade teacher Ms. Gilden and President Mullen saying they were proud of me and my accomplishments with the Post-Gazette so far this summer completely made my experience that much better. Both of these individuals have had an extreme impact in my life. Ms. Gilden loved my fourth grade class so much that she decided to retire after we all moved onto fifth grade. She sent us into our final year of elementary school already prepared for the “big bad” middle school that wasn’t coming for another year of school. She will always be one of my favorite teachers I’ve ever had in my life. And for President Mullen, just receiving a handwritten letter in general from the President of the college that you attend is a great feeling. I was ecstatic after opening up a letter signed by him on Allegheny letterhead and I couldn’t be happier with where I stand at this point in my journalism career.
Shea Beaumont ’17