You can find him behind the meat case at Marco’s Deli, watching the news and making chicken sandwiches ($4.00/chicken cutlet, American, mayo, lettuce and tomato on a roll). His name is Mark Sbona– and that’s “zzBona” — but most people call him Marco.
Mark is the first feature of “Outside In,” a weekly Q&A to familiarize Wesleyan with the local Middletown community.
Outside In: What’s your real name Marco?
Marco: Mark, and I’ll spell my last name for you. That’s “S-B-O-N-A.”
O: So it’s —
Marco: –the “s” is pronounced like a “z”
O: You mind me asking when you were born?
O: And how long have you been in Middletown?
M: I’m a lifer.
O: And when did you open up Marco’s?
M: Summer of ’94.
O: Red Sox or Yankees?
M: Yankees. I’ve been a Yankee fan since I was a kid. And they stunk when I was a kid so I’m no bandwagon jumper.
O: Greatest Yankee ever to live?
M: Oh boy, ever lived or I’ve ever seen?
M: Mantle, he was around. I am little too young but I remember going to the old Yankee stadium with my father. It must have been the early 60s. He would have to be the best.
O: So what’s your best seller around here?
M: This probably sounds weird but your basic ham sandwich would have to be the best.
O: Now, I noticed you always have the news on here. What’s the deal?
M: Yeah, I like to keep up on current events so I can carry on the conversation if someone asks. But I’m about to turn on golf. Tiger Woods is back on tour.
O: What time you usually get here in the morning?
M: Usually 6, open at 8.
O: And you have the news on all day?
M: Yeah, nightly I watch NBC but CBS, CNN, FOX, I watch all ’em of really. I try to get all sides of the story. Each of these news channels has their slant.
O: How much does a cup of coffee go for around here?
M: One dollar.
O: One dollar! That’s pretty good. Sure beats Pi Cafe.
M: Yup, trying to keep coffee reasonable.
O: I know you didn’t think too much of Hillary Clinton. How do you feel about the new administration? Is Barack living up to your expectations?
M: Well you know, you got to give the guy a shot.
O: How about the Bail Out?
M: Don’t like it. I don’t think people should be rewarded for making stupid moves and running around on corporate jets. The first $350 Billion went right out the window. If I did that they’d be saying I deserve to go out of business.
O: Ok, well I’m running out of space on this envelope I’m using to take notes, so do you have anything you’d like to say to Wesleyan students?
M: Eat at Marco’s!
O: Anything for the graduating seniors?
M: Goodluck! I hope things pick up for you because it doesn’t look like the job market is very good right now.