An Elixir for What Ails Us



I don’t know about you, but as the pandemic stretches into its third year, I’m still facing unusually aggressive drivers on local highways. Many of the folks I encounter in stores or other public places seem to be on edge. Anxiety is disturbingly high. And every time I turn around another colleague, family member or friend has come down with COVID-19.

Consider our November magazine an elixir for some of these woes and a way to lift the cloud that some of us still feel we’re under.

It’s hard not to be boosted by the accomplishments of our 40 Under 40 honorees described in the story posted here. I had a chance to be among the 18 judges who evaluated the nominees, and narrowing down the list from more than 200 worthy folks was quite difficult.

It’s also hard not to be inspired by the hospitality training program offered to youth by the owners of Café on the Corner in Marshall-Shadeland, the topic of Kristy Locklin’s PGHEats story. The proprietor received similar opportunities in his younger years, and he and his wife are paying it forward.

Then there’s the story by contributor Kaitlyn Nuebel about Scenic Pittsburgh, the 12-year-old local chapter of Scenic America, which advocates for scenic preservation along highways and greenways. It’s headed by Mike Dawida, who’s spent his life in public service. The nonprofit is turning undevelopable land in our 10-county region into parks and greenspaces.

Even Lori Jakiela’s Stories of Our Neighbors profile of Laura Magone is about a woman who brings joy to the world, one cookie at a time.

Many of these folks appear to be following the Roberto Clemente quote that 40 Under 40 winner Robert Edward Healy III says has guided his life: “Any time you have an opportunity to make a difference in this world and you don’t, then you are wasting your time on Earth.”

Even little things are making me feel good about the world. Lately, a number of my friends have been promoting fundraisers for their birthdays on Facebook. Among recent organizations I’ve noticed: Hope for Ukraine, Guatemala Service Projects and Kindred Matters, a nonprofit in the Northwest that creates positive outcomes for children by shaping strong family relationships in the absence of traditional family environments. All exceeded their fund-raising goals. Virginiathumb

Fortunately, when life gets you down, you never have to look far to get a boost.

Virginia Linn can be reached at

Categories: Editor