East Pittsburgh Downlow focuses on characters who struggle to pay their bills but know they want a better life or, at least, the chance to wreck the life they’re living. The characters are waitresses, UPS employees, and bartenders. They are former professional athletes and drug dealers with dreams. They are students of all ages who don’t know what they want to be or even what they can be. Told in the first-person by Sterling Hart, a former welder turned community college professor, East Pittsburgh Downlow narrates the lives of characters who understand now is the time to make their dreams come true. Every day the world is a little uglier. Every day, you get paid a little less. Sterling wants to write a literary novel set in Western Pennsylvania about the working-class people he teaches, students who work full-time while taking classes in Air Conditioning & Heating Repair. Sterling knows about careers. He grew up in dives and trailers, attended university on a wrestling scholarship, and graduated with a useless English degree. He learned a trade and spent the next 11 years welding on bridges, dreaming of being a writer, eventually publishing western novels under the name Montana Jones. East Pittsburgh Downlow is the story of Sterling’s mom—“Call me Joanie, mom makes me sound old”—who lives on artificial sweetener and mangos. She’s currently dating a young veterinarian. She’s purchased a poodle to impress him. She hates poodles. It’s the story of Megan, the student that Sterling has fallen in love with. After the class where Megan has turned in another brilliant story, Sterling answers a call from his former coach Carlton Haslerig, the greatest heavyweight collegiate wrestler of all time and a former all-pro guard for the Pittsburgh Steelers. Carlton is five minutes out of jail. He needs a ride, he needs a friend, he needs to get off drugs. Everyone is on drugs, what you can score and what doctors prescribe. Brandon, a student who only writes violent satires, may be off his medication. He may be carrying a gun. He may have plans to use his gun. Fat Bill, a former student, has joined the Marines, only he’s realized he can’t kill anyone. He loves books and he’s thinking of going AWOL. If so, he’s going to need a lawyer. John Grisham, the lawyer who shares a name with the writer who publishes legal thrillers, is available when he’s sober. Pittsburgh’s most famous citizen, Mr. Rogers, said “In times of crisis, look for the helpers.” East Pittsburgh Downlow is the story of the helpers. It’s the story of the helpless and people desperately trying to help themselves; lives will change and end and people will be re-born. Families will be saved. Love will find love because that’s what love sometimes does.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.04(d)|