Since my initial article “Doing It Write in Lawrenceville” appeared in the summer 2012 issue of The Strip! magazine, Lawrenceville continues to be home for a number of local writers and fertile ground for the setting of books and stories. It’s time to shine a spotlight on several more of our stellar scribes.

    book-covers

    A well-established artist, Ron Donoughe is best known in Pittsburgh for his neighborhood paintings. His books include Paintings of Indiana County, Essence of Pittsburgh, and 90 Pittsburgh Neighborhoods. Art lovers will find these books
    irresistible.

    John Riegart is about a project involving 252 artists and their portraits of John Riegart, a Lawrenceville artist. Riegart, along with Eric Lidji and Brett Yasko, are the authors of this massive 700-page coffee-table book.

    James Wudarczyk

    James Wudarczyk

    In the last six years, James Wudarczyk has written an additional three books. His latest, American Exile and Other Lessons from the Civil War, is a compilation of stories that deal with little-known aspects of that conflict. His earlier book, Until the Morning Cometh: Civil War Era Pittsburgh, is another anthology of Civil War events.

    Three years ago, Wudarczyk and Joann Cantrell co-authored an Arcadia Press Images of America release titled Lawrenceville. The book contains well over 100 photographs and superb captions. This is one book that every Lawrenceville resident should own.

    Author Patricia Scott’s most recent book, The Scotts from a Hill in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a revision of a similarly titled earlier work, which encompassed 380 pages; the revised version is a more compact 310 pages. The larger type and glossy paper make the new book more visually appealing than the earlier edition. The book tells of the Scotts’ triumphs—as well as the family’s endurance of the trials and tribulations of immigrations, depression, and war. It is also full of information about neighborhood stores, mills, people, strikes, the Flood of 1936, and fires. This family story would make a great movie.

    Don Wentworth

    Don Wentworth

    Lawrenceville poet Don Wentworth has two recent collections of poems: Yield to the Willow and With a Deepening Presence.

    The late Carol Peterson, Lawrenceville resident and architectural historian, coauthored Allegheny City—a history of that old municipality—with the late Dan Rooney, Pittsburgh Steelers chairman and U.S. ambassador to Ireland.

    Talented rhythm-and-blues singer Bob Hartley is the author of two novels, Following Tommy and North and Central. Both are set in Chicago during the 1960s and 1970s respectively. These stories have been receiving rave reviews.

    Debra Kahler

    Debra Kahler

    Color Me Closer is a Christian-based devotional art book designed by Debra Kahler. The author holds a master’s degree in art therapy. Active in the New Creation P.M. Church on Holmes Street, where her husband serves as pastor, Kahler also hosts Heart to Art Ministries, a spiritual and creative workshop.

    Although not from Lawrenceville, Gary Frank has two books out about Ray Sugden, one of America’s leading magicians and probably the only illusionist to have a successful magic show on the radio. Sugden, also known as Tampa, was covered in an article that I wrote for the summer 2017 issue of The Strip! Gary’s books are titled Tampa: England’s Court Magician and Sugden the Magician: The Wonder Show of the Century. Each book is packed with stories about Sugden’s struggles and triumphs, as well as many pictures of Sugden, his family, his posters, and his tricks.

    Joyce Tremel

    Joyce Tremel

    Another author who never lived in Lawrenceville but is worthy of mention is Joyce Tremel. Joyce’s books, called the “Brewing Trouble Mystery Series,” center around Maxine “Max” O’Hara. Max buys an old brewery in Lawrenceville and turns it into a craft brewpub. The first book in the series, which is titled To Brew or Not to Brew, is a delightful novel that really captures the flavor of Lawrenceville. It explores our love of beer, old-timers who want the community to go back to the way it used to be, the venerable corner bar, stories about tunnels, a coffee shop, a bakery, and quirky characters. To spice up the story, Joyce pours a murder or two into our mugs. The series continues with Tangled Up in Brew and A Room with a Brew. Max and her boyfriend, ex-hockey player and now-chef Jake, take on the bad guys and solve mysteries.

    Bob Hartley

    Bob Hartley

    Recently published by Arcadia Press is Stanley States’s Polish Pittsburgh. Filled with photographs, the author includes a number of references to Lawrenceville in his study of the Polish-American ethnic experience.

    Whether you’re from Lawrenceville or not, you’ll be sure to enjoy all of these great books.

    Jude Wudarczyk is coauthor of three books on Lawrenceville history. He has also written for various local newsletters, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, The Strip! magazine, and international journals. His works have been used as references by writers in America, England, Japan, and Vietnam. Some copies of the above mentioned books are available from the authors. For The Scotts, send a check for $19.00 (postage included) to: Patricia Scott, 7 McCoid Drive, Zelienople, PA 16063. For autographed copies of Jim Wudarczyk’s American Exile, send a check for $16.00 (postage included) to: Jim Wudarczyk, 417 Fisk Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15224. For Gary Frank’s magician books, autographed copies are available from Fantastic Magic Company, Inc., Gary Frank, P.O. Box 33156, Granada Hills, CA 91394-3156; fantasticm@earthlink.net (Tampa: England’s Court Magician is $40; Sugden the Magician: The Wonder Show of the Century is $75; both postage included).