Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Happy Birthday Colonel Sanders!!

Today is the birthday of Harland David Sanders, better known as Colonel Sanders, (September 9, 1890 – December 16, 1980) the founder of Kentucky Fried Chicken.

After a rough childhood, Sanders found himself at the age of 40, with a reasonably successful service station in Corbin, Kentucky. As a way to pull in extra income he cooked chicken dishes and other meals for people who stopped at his station. At first, Sanders served meals in his home adjacent to the service station. But, his chicken was so popular (he pioneered cooking chicken in a pressure cooker so it would cook faster) he eventually bought a restaurant and motel.

In 1935 he was given the honorary title “Kentucky Colonel” by Governor Ruby Laffoon (don’tcha just love the name Laffoon?) and he dressed as a stereotypical Southern gentleman as a way of promoting his restaurant.

When 1-75 was built and it bypassed his restaurant Sanders closed his business, took $105 from his first Social Security check and took off in his car to sell chicken. He would visit restaurants, cook chicken for the owner and staff and then challenge them to tell him which was better, his chicken or theirs. He would wash his clothes in service station restrooms and he slept in his car. Franchisors started buying and KFC was born.

Now, here’s the point of today’s blog. HARLAND SANDERS WAS 65 YEARS OLD WHEN HE STARTED OVER!

When I read something like that I think about the motto of the Paralympics, “What’s Your Excuse?”

No matter how old we are, or how many years or tears or dollars we’ve invested in something that has stopped working or wasn’t working to begin with, there comes a time when—if you are going to LIVE life—you have to look in the mirror and ask, “What’s My Excuse?”

Habit seems easy. Living life can be scary.

The Georgia Satellites have a great song, “I Don’t Want to Die Asking for Another Chance.”

It’s up to each of us whether we do or don’t.

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