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Editor's Notebook: You know you're part of Sewickley community if...

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By Debra Utterback
Friday, Jan. 25, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Whether you've grown up in Sewickley or have moved here later in your life, there are signs that can reveal that you definitely are part of the community.

For example, you know you live in Sewickley if:

• You don't jump out of your clothes when the fire whistle — actually more of a boisterous horn — blasts at Cochran Hose Company. I remember the first time I was walking by when it sounded. My purse, workbag and soft drink all went flying.

It definitely serves its purpose in grabbing everyone's attention.

• You find yourself saying things about the “Village” and not the “borough” or “Sewickley,” and know that “Village people” are your friends, neighbors and business acquaintances, not the male costumed disco group that belts out “YMCA.”

• You leave Sidney Crosby alone when he's headed for ice cream or let Mario Lemieux walk his dog in peace. OK, it's really tempting to run after them for an autograph or photo, but you settle for a nod across the street to respect their privacy.

• You and your neighbors see things not in black and white, but in colors when looking at issues such as sentimental, old “pink houses” and “red” hot controversial issues such as parking in the community.

• You fondly know “Mr. Marc” (Smith) at the Sewickley Valley YMCA from children's sports classes, Mrs. (Rita) Crawford from story times at the Sewickley Public Library and Helen, the always friendly cashier at Safran's Supermarket.

• You reminisce about home run balls hit onto the roof of the soccer arena/school next to the Chadwick Street baseball field, riding on a firetruck in the Memorial Day parade, marching with costumed kids in the Halloween parade and watching fireworks from the field across from Allegheny Country Club or at Quaker Valley's Chuck Knox Stadium in Leetsdale.

• You have dreams — and sometimes nightmares — about stopping your car at the shiny new crosswalks in the business district, where you know you could see anything from a horse and wagon (at Christmastime) to vintage and classic cars rolling along the streets.

• You know the best places in the Village to go for a Lenten fish fry, chocolate gelato, steak salads and pizza.

It does take a certain Village to help you to know you are part of the community.

Debra Utterback is an editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-324-1403 or

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