It literally took a pandemic to get this project moving. I had thought about it for a year, talked to my Aunt Susie and Uncle Max about it many times, but I never had (nor found) the time to actually get it started. Covid, of course, changed all that. After a few weeks of working from home, and having my schedule cleared of pretty much everything but an occasional shower, I decided it had to be now or never. Since we had been doing more podcasts for our clients at Garrison Hughes, the ad agency I co-founded with Dave Hughes, I reached out to Michael Sorg of Sidekick Media Services who had been producing those podcasts for us. Michael’s schedule also had lightened up a bit, so I took it as a sign. Maybe Paul was giving us one from heaven. Michael is a great person to work with. He rolls with the punches, handles technology illiterates with care, and was very good at working remotely, which was a requirement during our months of quarantine. I sent a Yeti microphone to my Aunt and Uncle’s house. I had a microphone at home. And Michael was set up from his home office using a program called Zencaster. Once we were all hooked up, with only a few glitches, we just started talking as if we were all in my Aunt and Uncle’s living room. Looking at the photos of my cousin Paul on the wall, his Purple Heart on the mantle, and the many other memories of him as a Pittsburgh Police Officer who was killed in the line of duty on April 4th, 2009.
After we had recorded a bunch of interviews, I realized we had something special here. Over the years, Paul’s story has impacted so many people. Our family. The City of Pittsburgh. People from across the country who knew him. Even those he arrested. I knew I had to make this podcast just as meaningful as the messages these stories were trying to send. That’s when I went begging again. I turned to my friend, colleague and neighbor, Jay Green, for his help in producing the podcast, creating music for it, and hosting it since his company Big Science had created their own successful podcasts. And that’s where we are today.
In this brief introductory episode, I’ll explain why these podcasts are called, "That was Paul." I will try to set the stage for why I felt these stories were important to tell. You’ll hear my Aunt Susie (who is my Godmother) and my Uncle Max for the first time. I hope it gives you a reason to keep listening to future episodes because they are funny, genuine, loving, and such wonderful examples of selflessness and love. The backdrop of all of this is the neighborhood Paul and I grew up in – Bloomfield.
It shaped our childhood, skinned our knees, and taught us the meaning of family. Paul was Bloomfield’s favorite son. He loved it and he would change the direction of his life to protect it and everything in it.