Everybody has heroes. Jim Delligatti is one of mine:
McDonald's without the Big Mac would be like the Pittsburgh Steelers without their black and gold team colors.
Thus, it's only fair that the franchise's signature sandwich, and the man who invented it, will be feted today at the opening of the Big Mac Museum Restaurant, in North Huntingdon.
It was Aug. 22, 1967, when Jim Delligatti served his first Big Macs at his McDonald's restaurant in his native Uniontown. It sold for 45 cents.
"I just felt that our customers would appreciate a big sandwich," says Delligatti, 89, who now lives in Fox Chapel.
The McDonald's restaurant is a combination restaurant and historical theme park that features period photos and walnut cases filled with Big Mac memorabilia. Seven flat panel LCD display screens will show vintage McDonald's commercials. Delligatti himself is immortalized with a life-size bronze bust.
The restaurant won't be hard to spot. Just look for the giant replica of a Big Mac.
A McDonald's theme park with a giant replica of a Big Mac? It doesn't get any better than that. Eat your heart out, Big Boy. Have you ever had a sudden craving for a Big Mac, realizing that nothing else would do, no matter how far you had to drive . . . but I digress.