Donora Death Fog

Donora Death Fog: Clean Air and the Tragedy of a Pennsylvania Mill Town

That’s the working title of the book I’m currently working on for The University of Pittsburgh Press. A nonfiction work, the...

Donora Death Fog, Just Me

The Pain of Dying Alone

One of the saddest days of my nursing career happened when I made shift rounds and found that an elderly patient was in the throes of...

Just Me, Writing

Writing in the Time of Coronavirus

My writing life hasn't changed while I'm in social isolation, but my mind sure has....

Donora Death Fog, Donora History, Donora Smog Event

Was There a 21st Victim of the Donora Death Fog?

I thought I had determined the final count of victims from the Donora Death Fog. I was wrong....

Donora Death Fog, Donora Smog Event

How Were Lawsuits Settled After the Donora Death Fog?

After Susan Gnora died in the smog, a settlement with US Steel allowed each of her eight children, all of whom were age 20 or older, to...

Donora Death Fog, Donora Smog Event

Full List of Donora Smog Victims

So, who *really* died in the Donora Death Fog?...

Donora Death Fog, London Great Smog

Donora, London, and the Politics of Smog

After the smog cleared out of the Mon valley that deadly October 1948, after Dr. William Rongaus’s pleas for people to leave town...

Just Me

Air Pollution Hotspots Around the World

Air pollution continues to kill people around the world....

Just Me

Donora’s Legacy Still Felt Today

How has the Donora smog tragedy affected the way we live today?...

Just Me

Secrets of Donora’s Forgotten Cemetery

We tred carefully through the brambles, weeds, and bushes devouring a hillside cemetery in the north end of Donora, Pa. We step from one...

Donora History, Donora Smog Event

The Curious Case of Stanley Sawa

This post was updated Feb. 14, 2020, based on information obtained from Stanley Sawa’s son. One of the first stories I heard about...

Just Me

I Have a Publisher!

I am delighted and honored to join this prestigious university press. Now, to write the book!...

Just Me

I Have an Agent!

I am thrilled to announce that I have signed with Bookends Literary Agency for Silver Lining: Clean Air and the Tragedy of a Pennsylvania...

Uncategorized

Why I Don’t Read Books Anymore (But Still Love Them)

I'm a word guy. I read, I write, I edit. I've grown up with books. I loved The Hardy Boy books, and read a flock of them. (Flock of books?...

Donora History, Donora Smog Event

Where Did the Smog Victims Live and Die?

Knowing where each victim lived — and died — can be instructive for several reasons. Consider how many of those victims and their...

Donora Smog Event

When Did Death Fog Victims Perish?

Ceh and Kirkwood were the first Donorans to die in the Donora Death Fog of 1948. At least 18 more followed, most of them the same night....

Donora History

The Acceptable Boundaries of Racism in 1940s Donora

Stacey is right, race relations in the town were indeed strange, but it didn't seem to bother anyone much, apparently not even black...

Donora History

Social Life in 1940s Donora

For decades during the mid-1900s a Chamber of Commerce sign at the Donora town line read, “NEXT TO YOURS THE BEST TOWN IN THE USA.”...