Ever since I was young, I have had one job to do at my parent’s house. No matter what, come hell or high water, every Saturday afternoon, I will make my Dad a sandwich. We call it Lunch on Hayward.
My dad is a traditional business man. [Business Man is the term I would use when explaining to my teachers and friend’s moms what my dad did to make money]. Growing up, it was easy for me to catch onto his weekly routine. Monday through Friday he goes to the ‘office’ from 8am to 5:30 pm. He wears a full suit everyday. On Saturdays he is up by 6am and heads to the office. He comes back to the house at 11:30am wearing beat-up khakis, a green or black turtleneck, and black gym shoes. He parks himself at the head of the kitchen table and reads the paper. My mom fixes him a lemonade. I greet him and prepare his sandwich.
I am not sure when Lunch on Hayward started, or when it became my job specifically. I assume that I was in the right place at the right time and, like any kid, I resented the fact that I was given a chore in the first place. I wanted to sit on the couch and watch cartoons and eat three bowls of cereal before I had to make any real contribution to the day! But I soon learned that Lunch on Hayward was an especially fun task.
Realizing that my dad is not a picky eater, especially when it comes to sandwiches, I quickly developed a strategy for these Saturday afternoons: open the fridge, take out any potential sandwich materials (anything edible), pile on rye bread, serve, observe. Depending on the week, there could be up to 3 kinds of meat, 2 green varieties, and several spreads between the 2 pieces of bread. Some weeks there was slaw, some weeks peppers, sometimes there were even some dinner leftovers to contribute. I think I once experimented with putting potato chips on the sandwich. It went unnoticed. Pile on and pile high was my proven method for success. And successful it was.
Once my master piece was finished, I would complete the plate with pickles and chips (sandwich staples), cut the sandwich in half, and place it in front of my dad. He would eat while reading, barely looking at the beautiful creation in front of him. Mid way through he would shake his glass full of ice, a subtle refill request to whomever was the closest. Once finished, he would lick his fingers, turn to me and say,
Mollie, a triumph!
kiss me on the head, and head upstairs to check his eye-lids for holes (nap).
A triumph! Every Saturday, without fail, I would receive another stellar review at Lunch on Hayward! I was a winner.
Today, I call my club sandwich Lunch on Hayward. I have provided all the staple ingredients needed for a “Triumph” of a sandwich. Pile on and pile high and enjoy.
Editor’s Note: My family lived on Hayward Ave until I was 5. We then moved to Gentlewind Drive. There was never a Lunch on Gentlewind.