Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The 50-State Interview Series Continues with Dannie from PA!

Before anyone tries to bust out The LG Report, we'll come clean: Dannie lives in New York City

And, yes, he was already the New York interviewee in this series. 

But let's think outside the box and bun folks; Dannie did a great job with New York, but he was born and raised in Pennsylvania.  He goes back to PA all the time, and is a die-hard Steelers fan.  His parents live there. His siblings live there.  To paraphrase Tony Bennett, Dannie left his heart in Pittsburgh.  So we thought it was only right to allow him to represent the Keystone State.  Here we go:   

The LG Report:  Why are you representing Pennsylvania when, in fact, you live in New York? Isn't there anyone living in PA who is capable of conducting this interview?

Dannie: Penn(is) envy?

Sure, there are many capable Pennsylvanians who would do a much better job than I. But we're a very humble, understated folk who don't believe in boasting - including about how great our state is. My living in NYC for nearly 25 years has made me just uppity enough to take part in this interview.

A Pittsburgh Landmark
LGR:  What is the single best thing about PA?  

Dannie: Demographically it's been said that PA has a Midwestern city on one side (Pittsburgh), a northeastern city on the other (Philadelphia), and "Alabama" in between. So you can essentially visit about 2/3rds of the US in a long weekend. Throw in some shoofly pie and scrapple and you've got a good chunk of northern Europe covered as well.

LGR: If you were stuck in a caved-in mine in the greater Scranton area and could only have one PA food to live on for a week, would it be cheesesteaks, soft pretzels, funnel cake or Yuengling beer? 

Dannie: I thought this was an interview about PA and not just the eastern half?? How about some representative foods from west of the Susquehanna (where I grew up): pierogies, kielbasa, halupkies, Iron City Beer? Based on the list you've given me I'd have to say, hands-down, the cheesesteak "whiz, wit-out" (hold the Swiss - see John Kerry 2008 Presidential campaign).

Geo 45 Years Ago
LGR: If you were to murder Geo at a historic landmark in PA, which one would it be and how would you do it?

Dannie:  It's hard to commit a murder (and get away with it) at an historic landmark. But.....why would we want to kill Geo? You'd lose an ongoing source of material for the blog. If I had to take him out, though, I'd probably do it at Old West on the campus of his beloved alma mater Dickinson College.  

LGR: What's the single biggest difference between people from Pittsburgh and people from Philadelphia?

Dannie:  Six Super Bowls (PIT 6 - PHI 0), Three World Series (PIT 5 - PHI 2), and One Stanley Cup (PIT 3 - PHI 2). Other than that, we're pretty similar and both of us have funny / grating accents.

LGR:  Are you aware that there's an NFL team in Pittsburgh known as the Steelers? Any interest in following them?

Dannie:  Yes, see above. Are you aware that the Washington Redskins franchise started as the Pottsville (PA) Maroons and this is why the Redskins team colors are maroon?  [Editor's Note: I did not know that.]

LGR:  Who is your most admired Pennsylvania native other than yourself (don't be an egotist, LG has that cornered) or any of your family members?

Dannie: Andrew Carnegie. See previous interview on NY / favorite NYC landmark.

LGR:  What's your personal favorite tourist attraction in PA and why?

Dannie:  There are so many to choose from.......but I'd say it's a tie......  

The Yuengling Brewery in Pottsville PA is a lot of fun. As American's oldest continually operating brewery (est. 1829) a visit to their in-house bar (called the "Rathskeller) is pretty interesting - not to mention sampling some excellent beer straight from the barrel (recommend the Chesterfield Ale). Adjoining the brewery is a Catholic grade school (which my parents attended) and a catholic church (where my parents were married). Locals will tell you that it's the only place in the world where you can have education, damnation, and salvation on the same block.

Also, the Big Mac Museum in North Huntingdon, PA. I've never actually been there but since my Pee-Wee Football coach was the inventor of the Big Mac (see picture of bronze bust of him from museum below), I figured I would shamelessly put in a plug for the museum (think McD's will start advertising on your blog now??).

LGR:  Would you rather see the Steelers win the Super Bowl or all wars worldwide cease immediately and hunger and disease wiped off the face of the Earth for good? PS They would be playing Dallas in the Super Bowl.

Dannie: I thought Obama had all that other stuff taken care of (wasn't he going to lower the earth's rising tides too????) - so I'll take the Steelers over the 'Boys for the third time.

LGR:  Legally, are you allowed to move back to PA?

Dannie:  No, but the borders between NJ and PA are about as well protected as between Mexico and AZ so I'm thinking a late night swim across the Delaware River shouldn't be a problem.

LGR:  Can you explain the concept of "Pennsyltucky?"

Dannie:  Sounded better than "Kenvania"? See answer number 2.) above with reference to the "Alabama" portion of the state.

LGR:  If William Penn and Ben Franklin had a UFC-style cage match to the death, who would win and why?

Dannie: Hmmm.....I see you've saved the toughest question for last but a good one. Penn was a Quaker who believe in pacifism, social equality, integrity, and simplicity, which I think (in vary degrees) sums up the  values of us Pennsylvanians. However, Penn was a loyal subject of the King of England. Franklin was one of the Founding Fathers (pretty ballsy). Need I say more? So it would be Franklin in a late-round submission with a Korean Chest Implosion.

As always Dannie, thanks for your wonderful insights, much appreciated.  Please move to another state now so that we can interview you again down the road. 

And thanks for clicking in folks, we hope to see you back here again soon (and don't forget to click on the icon to the right to become a "follower" if you'd like to become eligible to receive 30% of a sizeable fortune being shipped over from an African bank!)

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