It was quite some time ago, I remember my Mom was still alive and so was my Aunt Josephine. My Mom passed away in 2011 and my Aunt Josephine shortly thereafter. I would say about 5 years before 2011 so that would be 2006. It had to be just before Jeff Reed got kicked off the Steelers football team. Jeff Reed became Mom’s favorite football player since we all got our picture taken with him and an autographed picture at the Pittsburgh Mall. Uncle John said he wasn’t that great of a football player but Mom and I always watched the Steelers football games so we could watch Jeff Reed kick whenever he had to. Mom noticed he got high fives and a smack on the butt whenever he kicked well and everybody ignored him when he did not so well, poor Jeff.
We did lots of things besides shop at the Pittsburgh Mall that day. We saw where my cousin worked. She worked at the Heinz Ketchup factory at the time. We even saw where she would park. My sister and I split off to go to the Hard Rock Café in Pittsburgh. I can’t remember what we ate probably a big bar burger and fries. I do remember I got a Hard Rock Café drinking glass I saved as a souvenir. They had all about guitars and bands there.
We met back with everybody at the square, down by the river where one third of the triangle of rivers meet. We went across the bridge and back again. The twins got bubble guns that shot out bubbles continuously. Uncle John had to figure out how to put batteries in them. He is about the most mechanically inclined of the rest of us. He worked at the Steel Mill in Pittsburgh where my grandfather and my great grandfather worked. My Uncle John’s son was going to work there also but he died in a motorcycle accident. That hit us all pretty hard. He was so young and handsome. My Uncle John was a plumber, electrician and hydrolith. He had quite a few certificates underneath his belt. So, I guess he could figure out a child’s toy.
I vaguely remember at the time Uncle John talking about how he would go to Steeler’s games at the stadium and would always be stuck in traffic jams. He was telling everyone about this side road you should take so you wouldn’t be stuck in the worst traffic jam of your life. He said, I believe, to turn right and not left like everyone else takes. Uncle John took his car, Aunt Josephine took her car and my sister and I went in another car. Everyone turned right except Ann and I. We turned left and took the road most traveled. Ann and I panicked about how we should get home and forgot about what Uncle John said about the traffic jams in Pittsburgh. We just followed the signs and turned left instead of right. It took us about 4 hours to get home. Everybody couldn’t believe we took so long to get home. We were stuck in 5 o’clock traffic and all. It moved real slow and then it would stop.