I Killed Colonel Sanders

I Killed Colonel Sanders

(c) Leo G Campbell       1/4/2018       12/28/2017       5/21/2015       3/24/2015


I Killed Colonel Sanders

  – Stories In True  –

Early in my college years, I found a part-time job as a cook, at a Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise restaurant, on North Lombard.

I use the name “KFC” in this, mainly true story, but that KFC name was not commercially used, until 1991.

Colonel Harland Sanders, born 1880, was a real name-person – who actually founded the KFC business, that went worldwide…

Sanders leased his name and recipes, to various chicken restaurant  franchises in the USA, and later, Japan, Russia, then China… ah! Here’s the world.

Colonel Sanders KFC. Sanders, he… was an instantly recognizable icon – just by his appearance.

In 1964, Colonel Harland Sanders, was 84 years old, and I was 19 years old, a sophomore, at The University of Portland.

The cook job was barely okay pay, but I also got free meals. I worked four afternoon-evenings each week, 2 pm – 10:30 pm, Thursday through Sunday.

The actual work shift always ran… to 11 pm, or even later, but I got free meals, anytime I was there, at the Speck.

In the Portland, Oregon area, KFC franchise restaurants were also known as “The Speck”, because they were owned by the local Portland KFC franchise holder, “Colonel” Hanks.

Hanks always said, he only had a ‘speck’ of a restaurant on the west side, for his start, and Franz Bread and Alpenrose Dairy floated him, carried his bills, until he finally got on his feet. Until he died, Hanks gave them all his business.

Colonel Harland Sanders, was not a “real” colonel, but Sanders was actually given that honorific title, by the state of Kentucky.

In the American Revolution, Kentucky rebel war units – were led by “militia colonels”. Daniel Boone, as a then rebel militia “colonel”, did.

Sanders always dressed in a white suit, white dress shirt, black string tie, black glasses.

White goatee, white hair. Black shoes. Used a black sturdy walking stick, with a big gold handle.

Unless he had his white coat off, you wouldn’t see his wide black suspenders. He was an USA world icon, was just 84 years old. Then, there, in 1964.

All KFC franchise holders, in 1964, were “loaned” Mirro pressure chicken cookers by Sanders, on the condition – that Sanders had keys to all KFC restaurants, and complete access to them.

Sanders could legally remove the Mirro cookers

for any infractions – the only way to cook KFC chicken, under franchise.

Sanders kept total control.

America was able to enjoy a uniform, nation-wide favorite meal – fried Kentucky chicken, with biscuits and gravy, for pretty cheap. Chicken In A Bucket.

In 1964, North Lombard was a rough area in Portland, especially after dark. I cooked KFC chicken in heavy Mirro pressure cookers, as many as 14 cookers going at the same time.

At my peak in physical condition, I was a muscled 5′ 11″, 165 pounds.

At 10 pm, our restaurant closed, the other workers left, and I “closed down” the Mirro cook line. Then I began the scraping clean and washing, the pressure cookers.

I was alone in the large, quiet building,

late, on a north Portland North Lombard, Thursday night; I was closing down, had cleaned up my cooking area, and was bent over the large stainless steel double sink, scraping and washing out pots. Boring.

I could handle them easily – each pot weighed about 13 pounds – I was in good condition. Strong arms, strong hands and fingers. The pots had 9 inch handles, that allowed good control. I mostly held a pot handle in my right hand, whilst I scrubbed left handed.

Bent over the sink, my mind adrift… Struck!


I was struck suddenly – smacked, on my ass – and heard – someone yelling, “Boy! –

I say, you BOY – there!”

– I got my ass smacked again. He the enemy, was using a stout, walking stick – I straightened, then swung – the big metal pot – around, to defend myself –

– striking back at – attacking enemy!!

I – pivoting left, the pot gripped in, my right hand – the pot, it was passing my right shoulder – on a new kinda Mirro pot – journey… this time to… to damage, destroy…

Then I saw – and realized – my enemy – was icon Colonel Harland Sanders, 84 years old, in all his white/black glory.

I stopped the swing – of the big Mirro pot – about 6 inches from his face.

At that moment, all Sanders could see, was huge – all blurred aluminum metal.

Surprise and fear flooded his face. Realization of his situation. And that the “boy” had stopped his swing, and now was, apparently under control.

“Well, then, boy.” He adjusted himself, and waited – for me – to speak.

“Nearly damned killed you. What the hell?” Colonel Sanders stood there, in his white/black array – in my kitchen, by my sink.

“Well, do you cook the chicken? Is that what you do?” Sanders asked.

I was in Air Force ROTC at Portland U, had some military training, and could be polite.

“Sir, I was cleaning up, to close. We’re all shut down.”

“The hell you say. Well, then – you know me? Who I am, I mean?”

– “I own all these Mirro pots – you’ve might’ve killed me, with that.”

Sanders gestured down, at the big Mirro pot, still in my right hand.

“How did you get in here? I could have killed you”.

We stood there, glaring, and stared at each other. Then,

Sanders smiled, “Well, I am glad that you missed. I’ve got all the keys, boy,

See these, here?

and I own,

all these darned, Mirro pots. Did you know that?”

“Now I do, sir.”

Sanders: “I’ve got the keys, boy. I came in the parking lot, back door” he waved a hand. “You’ve closed up the kitchen, shut down,

but can you – get it all going again – open things up, cook me, some – of my own,

fried KFC chicken?”

“Sure, sir.”

“I want to see, how you do. Walk me through the whole process.”

I spent another two hours, that night, with Colonel Sanders.

So, I turned the gas back on, 6 burners, my usual 4 burners for chicken, and 2 for livers and gizzards. Dunked in egg-milk, breaded in the Colonel’s KFC mixture of flour and 11 herbs and spices – dropped into 6 Mirro pots, when the thermometer in the cooking oil, showed 400 degrees.

Smoothly slapped on, down, lid twist-slide right, the relief valve and locked the pressure pot lids, with lid tickers, on, then wrote it all down, in the book, the time and quantities.

With –

Colonel Harland Sanders watching everything, over my shoulder.

“Boy… it was just, fine.” I cleaned up everything, and we went into the back area, sat down at the table, and talked awhile.

I knew, I was very good – at KFC – chicken cooking procedures. Then… and…

And I remembered,

I had University studies to do.

It was past midnight. Now,

Sanders was gone.

Now a strange time, my

– memory started, an – emptying,

moodily emptily,

– passing things, parcels – pieces, shares

of / and / or – parts a-think I

Had Been Thinkink… There…

The Things Worried

as they parted

from my mind –

adrifting… in some

kind of special waters, swirling, around…

My mind, balancing my life

my studies, and grades, Air Force ROTC with

“Veet Nam

Is My Fren’… ”

Over & Over – Again…

– – US Draft Board – –

Viet Nam rice paddies with Death

My draft number was up…

Death a’ Watching…

– my life, too many

– US deaths,

– from / in Viet Nam –

I worried… on & on,

and on & on, I…


my U of P college girls,

shouting “Hired ROTC – Be Killers”…

Then into, schlepped, I did a

high-stepping, fine

other-another/over achiever


thinking… as

I simply

stood there – here, I knew –

also better to kneel –

– It was the Viet, Veet

Nam, – War – 1960s, 1970s – anytime

it can be – summoned up

why it is – war time… again, Now I

– had to complete

college, graduate the U of P…

and… the USAF military ROTC…

stay outa – rice paddy, buddy

stay outa that – fox hole

Nam’s muddy waters…

Shock: Colonel Sanders was here.

But I can’t remember…. is he… now… gone?

I checked around,

the Speck KFC restaurant, even I –

looked in, the walk-in meat cooler. Nope.

Did I smash that, Mirro pot, into his face? Did I


kill him, the KFC Colonel Sanders

with it?? Did I


Should I, Must Say –

– I Killed on that particular day

Colonel Sanders –

To: My Mom? My Kind – Some From –

The American Public? American, I Guess,


Did I

smash his, black glasses?

I could see in my mind, Sander’s broke old body


lying, sorta – Was His Face Twisted, I Mean –

lying on a cement floor – decked out in

in – his, white suit down

on the cement floor, by the sink. I went out, to

my, pot washing, sink area – checked. Again. No body.

No broken glasses, did I clean

this mess up, already? Where – did,

the chicken Colonel – go? Huh. Hah… then

I fell into a trance… stress

dances, a’dreaming…

and I

dialed the police, on

the black, rotary, dial land line phone. Thought about it,

listened to

the rings of the futuristic, tragic tones. Am I –

I am – calling the police? What would-

/ should- , I – say?

“North Precinct, are you reporting a crime?” I was trying

to put

the phone’s receiver

down, disconnect me please

away, from any of this.

– “I thought I saw him, all bloody, well smashed in the face. Officer, I –

– “I tried, to defend myself, from Colonel Sanders, I thought, well – he did smack me – twice – on my ass, called me BOY, so I turned around – holding my big Mirro chicken pot, and -“.

“What, you smacked, struck Colonel Sanders down, is that right… ?

Is he… the KFC Colonel… dead?”

– “P’raps

I Smashed Colonel Sanders ” –

Don’cha Know.

“I don’t know. Just, he hit me. He’s… somewhere.”


“I’m at “The Speck”, KFC – sir

on, North Portland, on Lombard”?

“Well, stay there. I’ll send a

cop prowl car unit – to get you? Five minutes.”

Siren arriving, car cop doors slam. Then

Two police in twice cops uniform,

twice guns drawn, came in –

through our Speck’s

KFC Speck restaurant’s, outer back door.

I told my story. One cop

stayed with me, the other

went into the kitchen,

then came back. That cop

then carried, on…

“He’s dead. Colonel Harland Sanders.

You have kilt, the Colonel. Of KFC.

He bled


Blood, all over, his white suit, his black glasses

smashed. He’s dead, boy.

You kilt,

you killed Colonel Sanders. Sprawled dead in

his white suit, stone dead – with his broken black eyeglasses. Smashed.

Next to your sink, where you usta, likely wash pots

no more,

the Colonel’s Mirro pots. Not just

the eyeglasses, I mean, his smashed, mashed face. An old,

strangeing – I mean, old, helpless, he was more than, a

justa KFC chicken man.”

“Call it in, Larry. To PDX Homicide. This boy,

here, has just

off’d – an American Southern

chicken icon, man”. Right?


I fell, likely

began – a keen my college mind

relapsing, collapsing


into a dream… again

my dream –

then, I could see…

Colonel Sanders, sprawled in

his white suit, his, broken black

glasses, and, dead…

on the cemented floor – next to my sink… where I usta wash his pots…

Po-lice handcuffed me,

sat me, in the back seat, of

their Ford PDX

cop prowl car…

in vomit odors always do,

and did…

stink / stank… I be hearing

Larry the cop, on

the PDX Ford cops’ car, on

that there – police radio –

was calling to –

KOIN FCC station, both –  the Radio & TV –

“Hal? Fifty bucks, you get – a KOIN wild homicide story – that we got here… that’s fifty bucks each, Hal… okay.

– I’m at The Speck KFC, on North Lombard – we got a call… found some college boy. He smashed, mashed up, Colonel Harland Sanders’ KFC chicken face, Sanders was here, in Portland – the college boy we got here,

he surely, and killed him, the Colonel Harland Sanders, dead  – and

– now… it’s mebbe, it’s

your turn Hal, to, a show


KOIN KFC story, Hal – for yer hundred bucks

– they got KFC, in Canada now, and Europe, Japan, Mexico –

– the entire world – will, shall know – newspapers, radio,

and KFC – as seen on TV –

“Colonel Sanders Is Killed”

– smashed his punkin’ head –

this here

college boy, a punk – he did it,

I heard,

they even got KFC, now, in Greenland –

Yup, he’s cuffed and chained

t’ th’ floor of,

our Ford,

Portland PDX

po-leece, prowl cop car”.

“He killed Colonel Harland Sanders”.

As I could see

listening in

my, in the back seat of the

PDX KFC dedicated po-leece

prowl cop car KFC –

– died to dead, handcuffed

fried chickens – danced – then

gizzards & livers

still and all, a’ dancing

– them headless chickens

– getting it on

my KFC

kitchen dancing mangled

mystical floor. I

Watched them, them then

dancing headless chickens

from the prospect of

– my particular, true

– special po-leece

Ford, PDX po-leece KFC cop car view

for killers – . That say

I Killed Colonel Sanders – Then BOY They

Hauled His KFC Colonel chicken ass away





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