October 27, 2013

Rubber Ducky Mania: Pittsburgh 2013



Hug for Pittsburgh’s now-gone Rubber Duckie

SEPTEMBER 27 to OCTOBER 20, 2013

What is that thing I see in the picture on my computer screen? That bright yellow spot in the distance, beyond the “Bridge to Nowhere?” That yellow thing docked on the Allegheny River at Point State Park…

  • Is it a docked yacht?
  • Is it a stalled barge?
  • Perhaps it’s an alien.
  • What the heck…it’s the smooth round backside of…a Rubber Ducky!

I heard about it through a media blitz.

Lyrics to a Sesame Street song I never paid attention to, a song I now understand is deep within the soul of many of the program’s fans,  is spinning through the coils of my brain:

Rubber Ducky, you’re the one,
You make bathtime lots of fun,..

Rubber Ducky, joy of joys,
When I squeeze you, you make noise!

My mind runs wild with its own creativity:

Bring along your soap
Your shampoo and your hope
Allegheny water awaits you

Dive in, dive in if you dare
Rubber Ducky relieves your care
Rubber Ducky, joy of joys.


On October 7, 2013, my husband Monte, my daughter Sandy, my son-in-law Michael, and our friend Lois drove to Pittsburgh (PA) to attend a baseball game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the St. Louis Cardinals.

Is this getting into a bird conversation? Duck. Penguins. Cardinals. But I digress.

Back on track after noting that I don’t do sports (except occasionally for surfing competitions). I’m what every family needs—an ultimate anti-sports person. So I remained at home puttering about.


The playoff battle was Game 4 of the second round of the National League Division Series, the second game held at PNC Park, located near the point where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers join to form the Ohio River.

It wasn’t until about October 22 that I downloaded the pictures Monte took. To my surprise I discovered a number of photographs of a mysterious yellow Pittsburgh guest, docked from September 27 to October 20, 2013, along the Allegheny River between the Bridge to Nowhere and the Point where the rivers merged.

All Rubber Duckie views were of his back end, the only side visible from the outside River Terrace where Monte snapped the photos. The duck’s beak was pointed toward the Point a couple thousand feet upriver, beyond the Duquesne Bridge, colloquially known as the “Bridge to Nowhere.”

LUCKY DUCK Seen Beyond the Bridge to Nowhere—The Fort Duquesne Bridge


Allow me to purposely digress here. Bridge to Nowhere?

The main span of the steel tied arched yellowish bridge spanning the Allegheny River was completed in 1963. Due to (typical) delays in acquiring rights of ways for ramps to the north side of the river these ramps weren’t completed at that time.. Thus, the bridge ended in midair, rendering it useless. When the two off ramps were finally completed in 1986 the bridge touched down halfway between the current Heinz Field and PNC Park Baseball Stadium.

Not wanting to be crude and rude, I decided to (more…)

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