As soon as I saw this picture I had to share the Evolution of the Sandwich King.
This picture says so much. The back story here is my Dad didn’t always eat Spaghetti Sandwiches. My Dad pretty much was the King of Sandwich making as far back as I can remember. Dad didn’t cook dinner but he always took care of his own lunch.
My family moved to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia when I was five. My father had been a U.S. Navy fighter pilot and as the Vietnam War ended he pursued a career in commercial aviation. The national airline of Saudi Arabia was expanding and hiring ex-military pilots.
This was a far cry from average life in the U.S. We did have cable television; literally a cable running from a guys Betamax a few blocks away to our house. Whatever he watched we watched. We had running water from the desalination plant but I recall it was pretty inconsistent. We boiled our drinking water and had all kinds of contraptions to purify the tap water. Each house had a couple hundred gallon water tank on the roof which was our backup. It also served as our swimming pool; needless to say my parents did not know about the neighborhood kids hanging out in their fresh water tank.
I don’t recall what we ate. I think lots of spaghetti. Women cannot drive in Saudi and until the later years acquiring food was a serious chore. We had Sulaman, our local veggie guy who came by in a truck from time to time. When he was around all the kids would run home and let their Mom’s know.
We lived in Jeddah, on the Red Sea and the beach was untouched by civilization. I have a very vivid memory of tunafish and water crackers, which my father was in charge of. My mother is swiss so we spent summer’s in Switzerland. When Dad was around, we would leave for a hike in the morning and usually get back at sunset. Again, sandwiches are a fond memory. Nothing like working for lunch.
Swiss sandwiches tend to be pretty lumpy, direct correlation why my mother never made good sandwiches. The Swiss farmers have a local bread that never goes bad and literally takes a saw to cut. That with salami, cheese and mustard was all you needed. (Dad used to always sneak a couple of beers in my pack and unveil them at our halfway spot).
When my Mom & Dad made it back to the U.S., they lived on the beach in Jupiter, Florida. My parents like to work out in the mornings, Dad usually an ocean swim… come home have one beer and, are you following along…a sandwich. Ham, roast beef, turkey, chicken or left over meat bits from dinner on bread. Always cheese, mustard and mayo.
After my bypass surgery in 2011 and my subsequent announcement of my complete commitment to a Plant Based diet to begin the heart disease reversal process; my parents showed their support by also going Plant Based. It was a wonderful portrayal of solidarity and I will never forget it.
So, Dad’s joy in life was now in jeopardy. Can you actually have a sandwich without meat between the wheat? Yes. His title as King of Sandwich making continues and his kingdom is flourishing. My Dad has always been in good shape, rowing crew at the Naval Academy and has rarely missed his daily 2500 yard swim. But as he approached his late 60’s, the pounds were catching up as well as a couple of symptoms and diagnoses. Long story short, 213 pounds to a consistent 181 today. That is 32 pounds in less than two years. That is 32 pounds of fat that won’t be clogging up his well deserved retirement.
Keep an open mind when it comes to old habits. It is not a loss if there is a measurable gain. Sometimes it just takes a little creativity.
Long live the Spaghetti Sandwich and the man who created it.
Love ya Dad.