A lot of things allow a happily married couple to stick together in the sometimes challenging circumstances of life. For Gerald Swindle, the peanut butter and jelly sandwiches his wife LeAnn makes for him certainly add to the cohesiveness.
Gerald and LeAnn met at the local bank in rural Alabama. She was a manager; he was the red-hot tournament pro who was frequently lugging big paychecks in for deposit. It was during their banking relationship that the always fun loving Swindle nicknamed her "Lulu." They began dating, fell in love, and were married in 2004 — the same year that Swindle won the Toyota Tundra Bassmaster Angler of the Year title.
As people in love often do, LeAnn found simple gestures to let Gerald know she loved him. Rising at 4:30 a.m. to make him peanut butter and jelly sandwiches as sustenance for a day of fishing became one such gesture — and it stuck.
"Lulu isn't really a morning person, but she always rises to the occasion," said Swindle. "We've been married five good years, and she never lets me down, although there was one morning when she was super sleepy and forgot to put jelly on the sandwiches, that made for a sticky situation," he added.
For the G-Man, dependability is a common trait of both Lulu and PB&J. "Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches offer lots of protein, calories and monounsaturated fat to keep you energized during a tournament day or a 12-hour practice day. I eat one at 9 a.m., noon, and 3 p.m. religiously," said the Toyota Tundra pro.
"Speaking of dependability, I once saw Byron Velvick make 10 PB&J sandwiches on a Sunday, munch on them all week and finally finish the tenth one on Thursday — true story.
Personally, I've learned you can set a jar of jelly atop a hotel air-conditioner for a week and it won't spoil," explained Swindle. Low maintenance and dependable indeed, but not without great thought, explained Lulu. "He likes extra crunchy peanut butter, and I use jelly from the squeeze bottle. Then we place the sandwiches in freezer bags because they seem to hold freshness better than regular plastic sandwich bags," she detailed.
"And another thing — and a very important thing," interrupted Gerald. "PB&J won't tear your belly up and send you running for the shore like pickled eggs, or that three-day-old tuna sandwich down there at Big Jim's One Stop will," warned Swindle, who's on track to fish his 10th Bassmaster Classic in 2010.