Saturday, January 31, 2009

Lessons from a Roast Beef WEDGE

Growing up in Fairfield County Connecticut, 30 minutes outside of New York City, was a wonderful experience for me. Even though we were technically in New England we were New Yorkers at heart. All of our TV stations came out of NYC and we followed the New York sports teams. The newspapers we read were the Times, the Post and the Daily News (Maybe the Greenwich Time but that was to see if the police blotter mentioned any friends of ours). Anytime someone mention The City we knew that they mean New York. As I have traveled this great country of ours I have come across differences that make us unique as a nation. Some differences make me scratch my head and wonder, while others are pretty amazing.

I have noticed that one of the things that I thought was universal was how we in lower Fairfield County refer to what the rest of the country calls either a Hero, Sub, Hoagie, or Grinder amongst other names. If you were to go into a deli in that part of the country you would see that we called our version none of those things. We called it a Wedge. They called it the same thing in Westchester County New York, or neighboring county to the west.

I remember when I went off to college in Boston and went to a deli near my dorm and ordered a roast beef WEDGE at the counter. The guy looked at me like I was a bug. "You want me to give you a wedgie?" Then I looked at him like he was an idiot (which he was). I said, "I want a roast beef sangwich on a long roll."
"Oh you mean a Sub or a Grindah."
"No, I meant a Wedge but I'll try one of what you're talking about."
"All right smart guy. You want a vanilla frappe with that?"
"No, but I'd love a vanilla shake instead."

It was an eye opening experience as to taking for granted that with which we have grown up. Not really sure why I posted this today. Maybe it is that I've been reconnecting with a lot of people I knew back in Greenwich, CT, from where I hail. I've been reminiscing about days gone by and nights spent cruising, or partying, or just standing around chatting. A lot of those late nights ended at places called The Country Squire, or Pat's Little Hub, or The Colonial Diner. We'd talk and laugh about that night's events eating a some fries and a roast beef wedge or California burger wedge. They were good times and as much as I enjoyed them as they were unfolding I never really appreciated the absolute joy that they encapsulated. Maybe that's a good thing. In recent weeks I've gone back to those nights in my memory and have seen faces and heard voices that gave me joy and happiness then. The amazing thing is that in my revisiting of those nights I am receiving that same joy and happiness all over again. Pretty cool thing that is. I can almost taste that same roast beef wedge.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

2009 Here I Come!

Well New Year's greetings! This is just a short note to say that I pray that all of you had a blessed Christmas surrounded by loved ones and may 2009 be the best year ever for everyone!

There is no doubt that this year will have it's fair share of ups and downs but we are in control of how high the peaks are and how low the valleys will be. So, enjoy the good and when trouble comes, and it will, take heart and know that it will not last forever and that we can chose to find joy even in the darkest times if we are patient.

So, get to it and start reveling in 2009 because before you know it will be over.

'Nuff Said!