Thursday, January 14, 2010

My Dad and Colonel Sanders

Well, the good thing about a blog is that it is your own. You can do anything you want to with it. This is an interesting little family tidbit on which I sometimes enjoy reflecting.

My Dad and Colonel Harland Sanders, the chicken guru, were in business together when I was a pre-schooler. It was before The Colonel (he was a Kentucky Colonel even then) had hit it big in the chicken business. He and my Dad met at a food/restaurant vendor's convention in Chicago. I am sure they were drawn to each other as they were both interesting, personable characters.

They went into the soft ice cream business together. They brought the first chain of soft ice cream shops to North Carolina in the early 1950s. The shops were called Dairy Freeze.

Colonel Sanders would come and stay at our house in Greensboro for many days at a time as they struggled to make a go of it. I was very small and I recall best his often taking me to the Guilford Dairy Bar in Summit Shopping Center and telling me to ask for a "malted milk shake" as he stayed in the car. He had his goatee and the works, even then.

There is a family story about The Colonel calling my Dad a couple of years after the end of the ice cream venture (I think it ended on less than amiable terms) to talk with my Dad about an idea related to fried chicken. Story goes my Dad refused to take the call. Not sure if that's an embellished story or not, but that would have been like my Dad. It's an interesting piece of family folklore.

Above is a photo of a piece of their stationary with my Dad's name on the right and The Colonels on the left. I've got a couple of boxes of it. Makes good paper for chicken scraps.

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