Pizza Quest Globe

Pizza Quest: Author Ron Costello on The Hill (Where Both He and Peter Grew Up)

Welcome back to Pizza Quest!

I haven’t seen Ronnie Costello in 53 years, since he was the catcher on our high school baseball team, and 60 years since we attended Belmont Hills Elementary School as kids. We lived on different sides of Mary Watersford Road, the street that, like the Maginot Line, separated the mostly Irish and Italian kids of “The Hill,” from the mostly Jewish kids of Penn Valley. There are a lot of stories that each of us could tell (and have) about living on those two sides of the road, and a few years ago Ronnie decided it was time to do just that — but as a series of imaginative adventure stories under the general title called the On The Hill series. In these books, such as Dead Kids Don’t Speak, and Insomnia, and The Visitor, the kids that both Ronnie and I grew up with back in the day, are now fictional characters (but under their real names) in fabulous action adventures where they go up against the Mafia, Russian spies, and even alien invaders back in the 1960’s when we were all teenagers. I think of these books as The Bowery Boys meets The Hardy Boys meets David Lynch, all happening in Belmont Hills.

One thing that Ronnie and I had in common as kids, since we weren’t social friends back then, is that we both loved the pizzas and cheesesteaks at Mama’s Pizzeria (and he had a few other places I didn’t know about back then that he just told me about). Now, 53 years later, we reconnect in this nostalgic, memory-lane conversation after I discovered his terrific, action-packed books, and we discussed all that has passed since those not so innocent childhood days on “the Hill.” We also talked about what it was like reinventing his old friends and family members as fictional characters and placing them into outrageous, roller-coaster-like adventures. As you will see, our conversation brought back a flood of memories for us both as we shared our divergent journeys of roads taken, and not taken, to places neither of us thought we would go.

For more about Ronnie’s book’s, check out his website at

Pizza Quest Info


Vision Statement

Pizza Quest is a site dedicated to the exploration of artisanship in all forms, wherever we find it, but especially through the literal and metaphorical image of pizza. As we share our own quest for the perfect pizza we invite all of you to join us and share your journeys too. We have discovered that you never know what engaging roads and side paths will reveal themselves on this quest, but we do know that there are many kindred spirits out there, passionate artisans, doing all sorts of amazing things. These are the stories we want to discover, and we invite you to jump on the proverbial bus and join us on this, our never ending pizza quest.

Peter’s Books

American Pie
Artisan Breads Every Day
The Bread Bakers Apprentice
Brother Junipers Bread Book
Crust and Crumb
Whole Grain Breads

...and other books by Peter Reinhart, available on