Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:
Earlier in October Anne and I drove down through Kentucky and down to Knoxville, Tennessee, to meet a few fabulous folks at Fanboy Expo’s Totally Awesome Weekend, a convention we’d never done before. After we’d had another round of geek fun, we capped off our weekend with quite a bit of sightseeing (including but not limited to a giant dragon)…
…and a few stops in Kentucky on the way back. Frankly, that was one tremendously busy Saturday for us, packed with a small-scale entertainment convention, a walking tour of downtown Knoxville, curious roadside attractions, and a glorious waterfall. Even as we headed north back to our hotel and dinnertime arrived in the early evening, it wasn’t time to quit tourism just yet. Of all the historical figures to come out of Kentucky, few are more famous than that renowned feeder of millions, the iconic Colonel Sanders. His vast Kentucky Fried Chicken empire carries on his legacy through thousands of franchises worldwide, but it all started at one little joint in a town called Corbin.
Once upon a time in the 1930s, a gas station manager named Harland Sanders realized customers loved his family recipes and decided to double down on the restaurant business. The original building burned down in 1939, but its 1940 replacement would become the birthplace of the famous KFC “11 herbs and spices” fried chicken recipe over the course of the next twelve years’ worth of experimentation. Sanders sold off the company in the 1960s but remained permanently on payroll as KFC’s answer to Stan Lee. Today its controlling corporation has expanded into 20,000 locations in over 100 countries, but that original storefront, with restoration and remodeling, remains open today as the Harland Sanders Cafe and Museum. It’s one part ordinary average KFC and one part Colonel Sanders historical exhibit.
As the Colonel’s face pops up everywhere in advertising, so is his famous mug all over the museum and cafe in a plethora of forms, most of them not creepy. When you’re done perusing the artifacts and plaques, you can step over to the fully functional KFC and order the same food as any other location. As we did.
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Previous chapters in this special MCC miniseries:
* Pedestrians Among the Not-So-Pedestrian
* Our Fanboy Expo Totally Awesome Weekend 2017 Photos
* Scales of Danger!
* Journey to the Heart of the Sunsphere
* The Art of a Downtown Knoxville Walk
* Slices of Life After the Tennessee Fireworks Fire
* Cumberland Falls in the Fall