Part of growing up in Salem in a time before a SuperCenter in nearly every town meant trips to Centralia and Carbondale K-Mart Stores were a bigger deal. One of my favorite things about them as a kid were those shaved ham sandwiches and ICEE’s. Watching adults scramble from opposite ends of the store to chase Blue Light Specials was an added bonus. It was a pretty clever strategy to get things to sell quickly that people might otherwise not even have wanted. Perhaps that exposure to bizarre human behavior planted an early seed toward my psychology degree…
Regardless, the sandwiches were good. I think they sold some sort of deli subs too, but my family got the shaved ham sandwiches. I’m not sure exactly what year they phased out the deli and started experimenting with pizza, but I was not happy about it.
So, it is with nostalgia for a simpler time in life that I call my little shaved ham and lettuce sandwiches Blue Light Sammies. I’m pretty sure “sammie” was not an actual word then, but then neither were “texting,” “EVOO,” and most social media terms.
My biggest worry was probably getting back to Salem in time for a skating party at Keele Roller Rink or whether or not one of the goats would have her kids that night. The important news (to my pre-teen brain) was which songs would be in the Casey Kasem’s Top 40.