Harland “Colonel” Sanders: More Than Fried Chicken

Presented by Kentucky Chautauqua & Lake Barkley State Resort Park June 8, 2013

Lake Barkley State Resort Park's Lodge

This bit of news includes a few of my favorite things in the world – Kentucky Fried Chicken and Lake Barkley State Resort Park! Well, to be perfectly honest, it really doesn’t have as much to do with Kentucky Fried Chicken as it does its founder, Harland Sanders, but my mind’s still thinking about fried chicken legs, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans, and rolls.

So good! Before I get myself all worked up, I’d better just get to the news….

Lake Barkley State Resort Park, together with Kentucky Chautauqua, will present a one man show: Harland “Colonel” Sanders: More than Fried Chicken at 7p.m. in the Elizabeth Hooks room of Lake Barkley State Resort Park lodge. This program is free and open to the public.

Harland Sanders (1890-1980) was born in Henryville, Indiana on September 9th, 1890. After completing the 6th grade, Sanders quit school and over the years worked a variety of jobs – farmhand, ferry operator, secretary, tire salesman, and furniture store owner.

Sanders eventually moved to Corbin, Kentucky, where he operated a service station. He opened a lunchroom with room for six behind the station. This marked the beginning of a legendary career in the food service industry. Sanders experimented with recipes and eventually created his famous “eleven herbs and spices” and perfected the frying process using a pressure cooker, creating what is now known around the world as Kentucky Fried Chicken.

In addition to developing his product, Sanders worked to develop the brand. His white suit, string tie, goatee, and image soon became synonymous with fried chicken. Sander’s life was one of hard work, determination, perseverance, and taking advantage of luck that came his way.

Harland Sanders died in Louisville, Kentucky on December 16, 1980. I remember my mom telling me that he’d once been a patient of her’s when she was a nurse. She said she’d never met a friendlier, sweeter man and that he was the very definition of the word “gentleman.”

As a lifelong fan of his food, I was delighted to learn this!

Henry Dowell portrays Colonel Sanders for Kentucky Chautauqua. Dowell is the founder of The Gusto Theatre Company, a group dedicated to educational theatre and the performance of new works as well as the classics. He is a graduate of Morehead State University and attended the American Musical and Dramatic academy in New York. He is an actor, director, and playwright, with numerous credits spanning 25 years in theatre.

Kentucky Chautauqua is an exclusive presentation of the Kentucky Humanities Council with support from : Scripps Howard Foundation, Lindsay Wilson College, the Cralle Foundation, The Honorable Order of Colonels, People’s Bank & Trust Company of Hazard, the Brown-Forman Corporation, Union College, Morehead State university, Murray State University, Northern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, PNC Bank in Lexington, and Toyota Motor of North America.

The Kentucky Humanities Council is a non-profit Kentucky corporation affiliated with the National Endowment for the Humanities. It is not a state agency, but a proud partner of Kentucky’s Tourism, Arts and Heritage Cabinet.

Besides the lodge (with a spectacular view of the lake), Lake Barkley State Resort Park includes cottages, the Windows on the Water Restaurant, a seasonal campground, 18-hole golf course, fitness center with indoor pool, marina, fishing, tennis courts, hiking trails, gift shop, and recreational and nature programming. The park is near Cadiz and the Land Between the Lakes at 3500 State Park Road just off I-24. Exit at Highway 68. From the exit go west toward Cadiz and the park.

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