If you’ve ever run into someone in a Duquesne Dukes sweatshirt at a Vegas sportsbook, you’ve felt it. If you’ve heard a “worsh” a few blocks from the BQE, you’ve felt it. And usually, you’ve found a friend.
Ex-Pittsburghers form a unique fraternity. Unlike the children of New York, who are simply too many and varied to find common ground, or the children of a tiny town, who can’t run into someone they haven’t met, born and bred Pittsburghers connect instantly, like long lost friends. It’s usually not ten minutes before two strangers from the Steel City are joking together, having found common ground in the story of their first Iron or a “what exactly happened to Bruce Pompeani?” debate that brings them together. The city of Pittsburgh is dyed in their fabric, and they’re proud to be a member of that fraternity, glad to have found a friend.
More often than not, it’s Pittsburgh sports memories that bond these Western Pennsylvania wanderers together. Memories of Lemieux, Bradshaw, Stargell and Van Slyke not only bring us together, they send us on road trips and gather us for Steeler parties.
The Ex-‘Burgher is one fan’s chronicle of that far-from-home experience. It’s catching Pittsburgh teams on the road, reading about them in the online edition of the Post-Gazette, and gathering in far-flung barfuls of likeminded ex-patriots in Chicago, New York, Washington, and everywhere else.
This site is an attempt to capture the special fraternity that is former Pittsburghers, updated weekly with stories of road trips, foreign foods, hostile territories, and returns home. And, hopefully, it will be the stories of others like me.
About the Contributors:
Greg Presto grew up in the North Hills, where he attended Hampton High School. He left Pittsburgh for college in 2000, attending Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. He spent 19 months in the NYC area after graduation, living in Manhattan and Hoboken, NJ. He now lives in Chicago, where he is a freelance writer. Email him here.
Dr. ‘Burgher is the official brother of the Ex-‘Burgher. After leaving Pittsburgh for four years to attend Cornell University, he returned to Pittsburgh in 2001, where he is currently finishing his doctorate in chemical engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. (So yes, he is a real doctor.) He lives with his wife, with whom he has three cats and a dog. Email him here.