Harrisburg Home-town Treatment
At the Midtown Scholar Bookstore:
An award-winning writer and artist, Goldbeck is the author of a short-story collection entitled A Tribute to O’Hara and Other Stories (2000). She has lectured on how “All Writing is Regional” at centennial celebrations for John O’Hara, and she developed Pennsylvania high school curriculum materials on how “O’Hara Works Endure Time, Criticism.” The owner of Arts on Union in Middletown, PA, since 1989, Goldbeck received an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. As Executive Director of the PA House of Representatives’ Urban Affairs Committee, she daily tackles issues like land reform, blight, urban planning, housing, and poverty. She has extensively examined how living in Pennsylvania inspired John O’Hara’s stories:
"O’Hara did for northeastern Pennsylvania, and particularly the hard coal region, what writers before him, such as Sherwood Anderson, who wrote “Winesburg, Ohio” had done; he recorded the social history of a place and time. In addition to Schuylkill County, he also wrote New York City, Hollywood, and Pennsylvania’s Dauphin County, home to Harrisburg, the state capital, which O’Hara named Fort Penn, into his novels. His stories are social history lessons that chronicle the lives and times of people in the early part of the 20th century. To read O’Hara is to know, beyond doubt, what people wore, where they worked and how much they earned, to which clubs they belonged, what kinds of automobiles they drove and what games they played."