There was a man who appeared certain to fail.
He was born to a poor farmer and his wife in Henryville, Indiana in 1870.
His father died when he was five years old.
His mother had to go out and work all day to feed her family. The boy had to stay home and watch his two younger siblings.
At age 10 he had to quit grammar school because his family needed him to work. He was hired out as a farm hand, but he was lazy and didn’t do the work. His boss told him to go home.
When he arrived home his mother berated him:
“It looks like you’ll never amount to anything. I’m afraid you’re just no good. Here I am, left alone with you three children to support, and you’re my oldest boy, the only one that can help me, and you won’t even work enough so somebody will keep you. I guess I’ll never be able to count on you.”
When he was 12, his mother remarried but his stepfather beat him. So the young boy moved out and went to live with his uncle.
His uncle’s house was too small, so he tried working 12-hour days on a stranger’s farm to earn his keep.
He volunteered for the army but that only lasted for a few months.
He worked as an insurance salesman but got fired.
Even though he didn’t have much of an education, he worked as a lawyer and made a lot of money– until he got into a fistfight with a client in court. That ended his law career.
Along the way he got married and had three children. Even though he was married for 39 years, it was an unhappy union from the start. The family had to move around a lot because he floated from one job to another.
In the early years of their marriage, his wife once took their children, sold their furniture, and moved out when a boss fired him for insubordination. She moved in with her parents. Her brother even wrote him a letter. He wrote “She had no business marrying a no-good fellow like you who can’t hold a job.”
He and his wife eventually reconciled but they often lived apart.
In 1932, his son died of blood poisoning when he was 20 years old.
For years he went from one job to another.
But then his luck changed.
In the 1930’s, executives at Shell Oil gave him a gas station in Corbin, Kentucky.
He was able to support his family. Travelers would often ask him where a good place to eat was. Since the nearby restaurants were not good, he decided to open a small restaurant on the side of the gas station. He did the cooking.
When a small rickety building next door became vacant, he turned it into a restaurant. By 1935 he bought another restaurant.
But both restaurants closed during the Great Depression.
He was down but not out. In 1937, he decided to go into the motel business and included his restaurant in the building.
At this time a hardware store owner showed him his new invention—a pressure cooker. The man borrowed it and started experimenting on the best way to fry his chicken.
It took him a long time but after experimenting with different herbs and spices, he made his chicken exactly the way he wanted it.
In 1941, he divorced his wife. He married a waitress in his restaurant and lived with her for the rest of his life.
The man came up with the name of his business: Colonel Saunders Kentucky Fried Chicken.
The motel business wasn’t producing a profit, so he decided to instead concentrate on franchising his chicken.
By 1963, at the age of 73, Colonel Harland Saunders had over 300 KFC stores. And capitulated to fame
So luck can change at any age.
You just never know.
So never give up.
Idelle Kursman is the author of True Mercy. It is published under her own publishing company, Luck Can Change, LLC. True Mercy is available on Amazon and IngramSpark. Please review it on Amazon and/or Goodreads.