|Colonel Sanders and the American Dream|
By Josh Ozersky
Buy it Now
KFC’s ‘Colonel’ was hardly a genteel man in a white suit
By LARRY GETLEN
Colonel Sanders and the American Dream
by Josh Ozersky
University of Texas Press
Around 1930, Harland Sanders ran a Shell gas station in a rough section of Corbin, Ky. The station prospered despite the rough locale — he kept a gun under his cash register for protection — and intense competition from a man named Matt Stewart, who ran a Standard Oil station down the road.
The men’s mutual animosity grew as Stewart painted over one of Sanders’ signs, and Sanders responded by threatening to “blow [Stewart’s] goddamn head off.”
Sanders repainted his sign but got word that Stewart was painting over it again just as he was meeting in his office with two Shell supervisors. The three men — all armed — raced to the scene, and Stewart drew his weapon and fired.
One of the Shell managers was killed instantly and Sanders “jumped into the breach and under withering fire grabbed his fallen comrade’s gun . . . [and] the future Colonel unloaded with true aim and hurled hot lead into Stewart’s shoulder.”
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