The Old General and Iceberg Lettuce

In recent months I’ve prepared some pretty good salads for Dad to supplement his 1957 ideal of cuisine.

He usually goes along with my salads, but sometimes he protests against the mixed greens and spinach concoctions I whip up.

“Give me iceberg lettuce or give me death!”

He doesn’t actually say that, but he does state his preference for good old fashioned Dwight D Eisenhower iceberg lettuce and some Kraft bleu cheese dressing to slather upon it.

So why not get the Old General what he wanted for chrissakes! But, I told him, I draw the line there. No way I would serve green bean casserole or a Jello dish with shredded carrots.

There was some concern, however, whether Portland grocery stores sill carried heads of iceberg lettuce. This was the Sellwood neighborhood after all, where lettuce isn’t lettuce and people have real complications with salads.

So off I went to the store. It felt more like a mission of cultural history rather than a grocery run.

Son of a bitch. There it was! Organic! Grown in Watsonville, California! Price: $2.29!

I held it aloft like a wizard’s orb. Perhaps it would allow me a peek into the past, the golden era of bacon bits and croutons, but certainly not into the present or future…unless somewhere there was an artisinal $17 iceberg lettuce salad with hazelnut crumbles, sliced beets, and blackberries harvested by the homeless.

Sure this salad existed. This was Portland after all.