Growing up, everyone has had a dream job, but oftentimes, those dreams are replaced with realities. For Gary Sabbag, this is not the case.
Sabbag grew up living at his family’s restaurant in Hingham, Massachusetts. He attended UNH and pursued a degree in business administration from the Whittemore School of Business and Economics in order to follow in the footsteps of his family and to take over the family restaurant.
Although Sabbag pursued a degree in business administration, he was always interested in English and writing.
“The education has served me well. But I’ve always been a writer,” Sabbag said. “Only when my experience, practice and success grew, did I become confident enough to bring my writing into the bright light of day. Some days I need to wear sunglasses.”
Sabbag has dabbled in all different kinds of writing throughout his writing career.
“I have accumulated vast and varied volumes of writings—everything from poems, to fiction, to non-fiction, newspaper and magazine articles, cartoons [“Sabbagtickles”], plays, a novel [with a couple more in progress], short and long pieces, speeches, eulogies, essays—you name it,” said Sabbag.
All of Sabbag’s posts contain some sort of humor. One could tell he is a humorous guy due to the far-fetched nature of his interview answers.
“I like to write positive, humorous works and up-lifting stories,” Sabbag said. “There are enough sad and depressing things in the world.”
Sabbag has written a few plays such as “Myrtle and Chuck” and “Stormy Weather.” Most of Sabbag’s plays have either been performed, produced, or stage read.
“I am not seeking fame and fortune. I’m comfortable and famous within my circle of family, friends and acquaintances,” Sabbag said when he talked about the popularity of his works.
Sabbag has also written a screenplay titled “Life Sentence” that was produced for Public Access Television in Tucson, Arizona.
“Although my words and works have reached millions, many may not know who I am. But I do; and that’s what’s important,” Sabbag said.
Sabbag has written many shorter plays that he hopes will be put into production by student organizations at the UNH and shown around the seacoast area of New Hampshire.
Sabbag also had two journalist jobs when he lived in Washington state and Oregon. He was working as a Food Service Director, but the company’s contract expired, forcing Sabbag to find a new job. He discovered that the Wenatchee Business Journal was looking to hire a feature writer which led to his next job.
“I wanted to write for a living, and man, did I ever. Newspaper writing is tough. Being a journalist is grueling,” Sabbag said. “There are deadlines, relentless pressure, brain-draining mental strain. It’s enough to drive you insane. And it all happens so fast. People expect you to stick to the facts, too. But it was all very good training.”
After that, Sabbag found his way to Oregon and was hired at The News Guard of Lincoln City, as a newspaper reporter. He worked his way up to editor and realized that he enjoyed fiction writing a lot more and went back to the restaurant business.
Sabbag now works as a shift supervisor in the University of New Hampshire’s Dining Services and is currently working on a novel and possibly a play titled “Mr. Nick’s”, which will be based around his family.
“The UNH business courses helped feed me and my family. The English and writing courses fed my soul,” Sabbag said. “Also, please include the disclaimer: ‘No cats were harmed during this interview.’ It could impact my immediate travel plans.”