Saturday, February 19, 2011

City of Prayer, Champions, Winners

Before we get started: Let me remind you that if you have not yet made a contribution to the fund to help defray the cost of the Championship rings for CHS players and staff, there is still time to do so. A rendering of the ring as well as pertinent information regarding where to send the check or money order is in last week’s blog (see next blog below). To date more than half the goal has been reached. On behalf of Trustee Sue Wessell and the players, staff, and their families, I thank all who have contributed.

Attorney, Poet, Mayor of Clairton: For those who were Clairtonians in the “Good old days,” the name Lloyd H. Fuge is one that you will remember. Blind from the age of 15, the result of a chemical accident, Mr. Fuge became a prominent attorney and public servant in Clairton. He served as Councilman and sat at the helm as mayor for several years. Today Barrister Fuge is eighty years of age and still productive. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh and from its law school with honors and served on the speech faculty at University of Pittsburgh two years. Mr Fuge practiced law 37 years and as an author and lover of poetry, has been doing readings for the past seventeen years. Oh yes, his readings have also included philosophy, cosmology, astrophysics, physical science, bioscience and various religions.

Mr Fuge is married to Dorothy--who has also been blind most of her life. Their 51 year marriage has produced two daughters and three grandchildren. Lloyd once listed four goals to achieve in his lifetime; to teach philosophy, become a lawyer, become a minister, and write a book. The latter goal was realized recently when he released “Melodies of Life.” I found the book online at Barnes and Nobel and find it to be uplifting, tender, and a doggone good read. He claims to have been formulating the book for 60 years. It is a collection of 47 poems about his life and those around him. The book includes rhymed poems with stories of infancy, love sonnets, various poems on ethics and cosmology in free verse and reverie poems which reflect on memories of life and the expectation of death.

All in the family: La Donna Fuge, the daughter of Lloyd and Dorothy is a family practice physician in Wilkins township. Her mentor and close friend, another physician, passed away a few years ago of breast cancer. She drew strength from the strength of her colleague, Dr. Gloria Kasey shared the triumphs, failures, sadness and joy of her own life through a series of stories that comprise her first book, "LHF MD: Love Humor Faith: My Destiny -- The Making of a Modern Medical Woman." The fund supports a lecture series open to other physicians.

From Kasey's courage, Fuge drew the strength to share the triumphs, failures, sadness and joy of her own life through a series of stories that comprise her first book, "LHF MD: Love Humor Faith: My Destiny -- The Making of a Modern Medical Woman." Proceeds from the book benefit Forbes Health Foundation in honor of her friend and mentor.

Dr. Fuge learned a thing or two about perseverance from her parents. Her own life has not been without challenges. She had a brief marriage, flunked out of medical school after her first year, and lived out of her car for a period of time. She remarried but was unable to bear children so she adopted a daughter who lost her vision. She then adopted a son and got pregnant – only to miscarry.

She eventually was readmitted to medical school and met Dr. Kasey during her residency. Dr. Fuge admired Dr. Kasey's understanding of family practice and ability to see "not just something broken or some pill needed, but really seeing a patient on a personal level."
She wrote more than 100 stories over a 2-year period and culled 44 of them for her book.

That’s not all folks: A Clairton author is enjoying some success from his first science fiction thriller, and is working on a second in a series.

“The McKenzie Files” by Barry K. Nelson was published by Leucrota Press from California in August 2008. The paperback product is the first of three anticipated literary efforts from the 1977 Clairton High School graduate. The author hopes to continue writing books as a series. His second book in the series picks up where the first left off. He’s also planning a third; a prequel to the first book.

“The McKenzie Files” features a lot of classic sci-fi themes. A deadly virus, the Pandora Simplex, threatens to destroy Earth. A mad scientist, Dr. Howard Fenlow, is hell-bent on destruction and rising to power, and a group of super-powered humanoid weapons known as Reploids led by Colin McKenzie, Diane Christy and Kelly Lydton band together to thwart the scientist’s evil plans with their respective electric, super strength and fire capabilities. The book took about a year to write.

The author works at Giant Eagle in West Mifflin and draws inspiration from authors such as Stephen King and Ray Bradbury.

Networking works: As a boy in the booming 1950s steel town of Clairton, Ira Weiss worked in the small grocery store that his Eastern European immigrant grandfather, Harry Weiss, opened in the 1920s. His allowance was spent on baseball cards and at Pirates games at Forbes Field watching his favorite player, Roberto Clemente. Away from the park, his transistor radio was always at his ear to listen to Pirates announcer Bob Prince, whose colorful phrases and descriptions stirred his imagination.

His imagination also was sparked in a history class taught by Don Taylor at Clairton High School. The experience spurred a lifelong love of history and what he calls "intellectual curiosity."

After graduation, Mr. Weiss attended the University of Pittsburgh and then the Duquesne University School of Law, where he earned his law degree.

Harboring an interest in politics, he contacted attorney Lloyd Fuge, and got a job as a law clerk one summer; which eventually led to the establishment of the Fuge & Weiss law office. But the education Mr. Weiss received through his association with Mr. Fuge went beyond Mr. Fuge's work and reputation as a school district and municipal solicitor and mayor of Clairton.

Mr. Weiss drove the pair to meetings, where Mr. Fuge used an apparatus to create Braille cards. The next day Mr. Fuge would type the information on a Braille typewriter.

In 1979, he left Fuge & Weiss to form Goldman Weiss & Gross. From 1981 to 1992, he served as deputy county solicitor and was an adjunct professor of law at Duquesne from 1985 to 1992. In 1991, he opened the law offices of Ira Weiss and was the firm's only lawyer.

Beginning in 2005, and every year since, he was named a Pennsylvania Super Lawyer for his career accomplishments by "Law & Politics" and "Philadelphia Magazine," based on peer polling, research and a candidate credential review process.

Another Clairton Wordsmith: Can you say prolific? Joyce Milton was an author who just kept writing biographies. Her subjects included the life and times of such luminaries as Charles Lindberg and wife Anne Morrow, George Washington, Hillary Clinton, Martin Luther King, Jr., Pocahontas, convicted spies Julius and Ethyl Rosenberg, Indian guide Sacajawea, Olympic diver Greg Louganis, Paul Revere, Thomas Jefferson, Charlie Chaplin, Ronald Reagan, and others. She wrote children’s books and books about dinosaurs, gorillas, bees, bears, bats, cats, wolves, whales and mummies. She wrote books for children, teens, and adults. Joyce was one of the most versatile and prolific writers of our time. And oh yes, she is a Clairtonian. Born and raised. Graduated CHS in ’63 and attended Swarthmore, one of the prestigious “Sister Schools,” then earned a Master degree in Library Science from New York’s Pratt Institute. She lived and wrote in Brooklyn for most of her career then returned to the Clairton area to care for her parents when her mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Her mom passed away a year ago last November and the world lost Joyce four months later, also of cancer. Joyce Milton, Clairton girl.

A little blogging Maestro… “My Little Town” by Simon and Garfunkle

Dr. Forgot

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