“If you die before me, I am going to go to Kentucky Fried Chicken every Monday for their special,” my husband confided
I knew exactly how to respond. Years before he had said, “When my mom dies, I want her balance beam doctor’s scales.” I bought him a medical scale for weighing himself. His mom lived another decade and he enjoyed his scales every day without waiting for her to die. Some other family member inherited the scales.
So I knew what to do about that Monday special. “You want that kind of chicken, we will go to KFC every Monday. I’d hate for you to be waiting for me to die so you can eat there,” I said.
We ate there several weeks, then circumstances and increasing numbers on the scales dictated cutting back.
Still, many Mondays as we drive through town, I ask if he wants to go to KFC for lunch. If I don’t ask, as we turn toward home he’ll say, “I thought about going …”
“You’re driving. We can go if you want.”
“I don’t need to,” his voice slumps as he resigns himself to salad and water.
My man likes his KFC. He always wants to take friends and family there when we visit. His preference for chicken over steak has saved us a lot of money over the years. So when we took a trip to Kentucky to see the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter, it was no surprise that he mentioned ahead of time, “we will be close to the original Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant.”
“Whatever,” I said and promptly forgot about it.
He did not. It was now on his bucket list.
We walked through the Ark, studied the displays and enjoyed the plays. The next day we explored the Creation Museum. Then my husband said, “We can go south to the original KFC or we can go north to the quilt shop in Paducah.”
I compared the price of walking into a fabric store versus a meal at KFC. I have lots of fabric. We needed lunch. We went to Corbin, Kentuckey to Colonel Sanders’ original restaurant with its addition of a modern KFC. We ate at one of the dozen tables in the original dining room.
Sanders had a motel and a restaurant. Because wives always wanted to see the rooms before staying, he built a model motel unit onto the restaurant – now a part of the museum. The 1940s style motel room had a pay phone in the closet, an impressive feature at the time.
On the other side of the room we viewed the original kitchen with its pressure cookers, sinks, pots and pans. In a separate booth sat an old cash register – just like Sanders used. I snapped a photo of my husband sitting right beside a seated statue of Sanders in his classic white suit and string tie. They appear to be having an afternoon chat about the odds and ends in the museum display case and the model of the original restaurant and motel.
It took us an hour to eat and look at everything before we hit the road home. We had not only visited the original KFC, we ate a meal there. We could now check one more item off his bucket list. (If someone did not keep adding to the list, we would have finished that list a long time ago.)
Now when we enjoy an occasional KFC Monday special, we do so with the satisfaction of having personally experienced the origins of my guy’s favorite dinner.