Love Your Parks Stories: Tracy Johnson

I love so many of Pittsburgh’s parks! The one I sometimes recall with true sentimental fondness, however, is Schenley Park. I did not get to know it well until I had moved back to the city in the early ’90s. I was in school and living with a man who is sadly now no longer with us. It was a favorite spot of his. He introduced me to Schenley’s endless shade trees, hilly terrain, and manicured grass alternating with delightfully weedy woods. We loved attending the “walk-in” movies on the lawn each summer, packing snacks, soda as we spread a blanket near dozens of families and couples. It was a communal event that I miss to this day.

Schenley was also the site of the annual car races, and that was always an excuse to cross the river to witness them and cheer on the classic cars. Various festivals occurred there, including arts and crafts shows with the occasional guitar player. And there were times when we had other business in Oakland and would simply stop there to linger and observe the people and squirrels.

It has been many years since my love passed on and quite a few since I have returned to Schenley Park, but I will never forget the happy and peaceful times there. We need more green spaces like it for sure. - Tracy Johnson, Pittsburgh, Pa.