Saturday, August 29, 2015

Colonel Sanders

Colonel Sanders name came up during my time in Louisville.  Some of us were talking about how disgusting the new ads for KFC are.  I said they were an insult to his memory.  I don't think my great nieces and nephew knew till then that Colonel Sanders had been a family friend.  So I told a couple of stories.  My niece, Lisa Kay, asked me to write about Colonel Sanders so I am.

This link  and this one for the Colonel are pretty good, not surprisingly KFC's link is tacky.  So I left it off.  Some of the history I knew, much I did not.  I knew he wasn't a military colonel but a Kentucky Colonel, an honor in our state.  In fact Marty and I are both Kentucky Colonels as are others in my family.

The Colonel I knew was Daddy's friend. And after Daddy's death, the Colonel and his wife, Claudia, remained friends with Mother. our family, and Papa Jack. The Colonel went to our church in Corbin, the First Christian Church.  I don't remember much about him and church work just seeing him there.  But I do remember one church story he told at our kitchen table.

Now the Colonel was known for his shall we say colorful language.  There was an international convention in Australia for the Christian Church, in the 1950's 0r 60's. Colonel Sanders went to it with some Kentucky ministers.  It was winter in Australia and the hotel's heat was not working.  Minsters called the front desk begging for heat for a couple of days, nothing happened  Then Colonel Sanders took over.  He walked up to the front desk and yelled,  I am not one of those soft spoken mealy mouth fu*#+ng preachers.  Fix the fu*#+ng heat.  And they did.

Our family had a tradition around our Christmas tablecloth.  Who ever was with us during the holiday season signed their name on the cloth with pen or pencil.  Later the names would be embroidered.  Over the years as cloths filled up with names another one would be brought out.  Colonel Sanders signed our cloths several years.  But my favorite was the year the cloth was on a pine kitchen table.  Pine is soft wood.  After the cloth was taken off, his signature was pressed into the wood.  Best autograph ever.  The sad thing is no one knows where those tablecloths are now.

Colonel Sanders was proud of his chicken and demanded the franchises meet his standards.  He traveled the country and did spot checks on stores.  He told us one night about tasting gravy and chicken that was shall we say awful.  He picked up the pots, walked out the back door, and threw everything in the garbage.  That was not the only time he did that.  His name was on the product, it better meet his standards.

Colonel Sanders' restaurant was a nice place to eat.  They had lots more than chicken, steaks, pork chops, scallops, shrimp.  Parties were held there, you went there after Sunday church for lunch, it was a special place.  Everything was well cooked and it had good service.  My Sweet Sixteen Party was held there.  I don't remember what we ate, but I felt pretty special having the party there.

And yes he dressed all in white, he looked like the Southern gentleman.  He was good to his friends, gave to charities, and rough as a cob as we say in the South. 

One story I always heard, but not from him was about his daughter.  The story goes that when she married he gave her the state of Florida's franchise.  I do know Florida was not part of the KFC deal, so it may be true.

As I said he was a family friend, close enough that he was invited to the weddings of my sister, me, and my brother.  He gave my sister and me silver tea services, and my brother a covered silver casserole.  I am pretty sure he went to my sister's wedding.  He was out of town when I married.  And he didn't make it to my brother's weddings.  But he would have had a good reason to miss the wedding.   Little Brother and Ann married in the middle of a snow storm. 

So Lisa Kay I hope this gives you some information about Corbin and the Colonel. 



1 comment:

Lisa Nichols said...

Thank you Aunt Janet!! I love these old stories!