I suppose that everything, for me, about this blog is about coming home. But I’ll be willing to bet that, at the best and worst of times in my life, when returning to the Wyoming Valley, my most immediate source of comfort food is, without fail, hot dogs.
You can skip right the f*ck off if you’d judge me for that, because it’s something so deeply woven into my personal narrative that I couldn’t forsake it no matter how guilty you think I ought to feel for copping to that. Are hot dogs a woeful symptom of our damnable American fascination with over-processed, convenience foods? Pardon me, but you may see your way out of this blog, because my grandfather had taken me to Abe’s Hot Dogs on Barney Street in Wilkes-Barre since I was four years old, and had filled my psyche with the glorious myth of Abe Obeid sending his kids to college by selling 29¢ hot dogs, and I simply do not have it in me to forsake my grandfather by denigrating his beloved diner. It’s as much a part of me as anyone on my family tree.
Abe’s is still there, the one on Barney’s not on Main, where my grandfather and grandmother used to walk after school for malts and fries. I don’t have any family heirlooms. I have stories, and I have memories of trips to Abe’s with Grandpa. And that, to me, is home.