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Still Time To Do It!

There are a lot of great life-living sayings. “”If the job is worth doing, it’s worth doing right“. “Penny wise and pound foolish“. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure“. And of course, “Never turn down a breath mint“.

But I like real life stories of encouragement; reminders of those who overcame difficulties; and the power of positive thinking. In light of that introduction… you see many actors playing the part of this man, but do you know his story?

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He was broke, living in a tiny house and driving an old, beat up car. He had done all kinds of jobs including steam engine stoker, insurance salesman, and filling station operator. Then, at a very low point at his life, he lost his son to infected tonsils.

He studied law by correspondence through LaSalle University and ultimately was licensed to practice law. For three years, he practiced law. Unfortunately, he lost his law license after getting in a courtroom fight with his own client.

He had been in the restaurant business and had developed a fried chicken recipe. But, at age 65, he found himself was living off his $105 monthly social security checks. He decided that things needed to change.

He had been commissioned as a Kentucky Colonel, so he began dressing in a white suit and he grew a goatee. Soon, he left Kentucky and traveled to different states to sell his fried chicken recipe. His first restaurant was in the unlikely place of Salt Lake City, Utah.

Ultimately, at age 75, Colonel Sanders sold his interests in his growing number of franchised restaurants for 2 million dollars, and continued to be paid as their spokesman. A true “later-in-life” story of success.

To this day, Kentucky Fried Chicken, now simply known as KFC, says that it has the original handwritten recipe of 11 herbs and spices safely locked away in a vault, and relies on  two suppliers to preserve the secrecy of the ingredients.

And for pic o’ day, hopefully not the future!

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Pole Vaulting, Colonel Sanders and Rules

     I had won some contest at church and was ushered up front to have my picture taken with Colonel Sanders. That’s right, THE Colonel Sanders of amazing chicken fame. I remember some adult saying something about him breaking the rules by becoming a success at age 65. (maybe I don’t remember that exactly. I think I was really looking to see if we were getting free chicken)

      Later I learned that he did sorta break the rules of business by starting his franchise business at age 65. He took $105 from his first social security check to fund trips to prospective franchisees.

     This blog has to do with rules. Are they made to be broken? One of my Dad’s favorite history figures,  General Douglas MacArthur, said that “Rules are mostly made to be broken and too often for the lazy to hide behind”. Of course, he also said that, “We are not retreating, we are advancing in another direction”.

     Obviously, the profession of law is governed by rules. Those rules can be in the form of laws or can literally be rules relating to such things as evidence. I start out most of my trials, in my opening, with a quick mention of the rule that applies in the case. For instance, “When we drive on the road, we have to watch where we’re going and see what is there. If we don’t and someone is hurt from our failure, then we are responsible for the harm”.

     The above story of Colonel Sanders sounds like a good thing that he “broke the rules”. Breaking traffic rules is obviously a bad thing. Now here are two recent news stories about high school athletics, that involve rules and consequences.  

     In 2009, 6-foot-5 basketball player, Jerry Joseph, led his high school basketball team of Permian High School, to the state playoffs. This is the same school that inspired the book and TV series “Friday Night Lights”. Unfortunately for the school, it was later learned that Joseph had already graduated from high school in 2007, and was now a “22-year-old” pretending to be in high school. By breaking the rules, he caused the team to forfeit the 2009 basketball season.  He had also presented himself as homeless, which had caused the coach to originally let the boy live with him.  

     Robin Laird stood at the top of the runway to prepare herself for her jump in the pole vault competition. (SI.com) The league championship was on the line. She began sprinting , planted the pole, lifted herself in the air and soared easily over the bar to give her team the 66-61 victory.

     The opposing coach reacted by pointing to his wrist. He gestured to Laird, who was wearing a thin, colorful string friendship bracelet.  The rules of the National Federation of HS Associations clearly state that “Jewelry shall not be worn by contestants.” To do so disqualifies the competitor from competition.  Laird was disqualified and her school now finished second.

     Why does Shrek have ears that look like trumpets? Some questions are just not easily answered.  Maybe, some rules are broken because those breaking them feel justified in doing so. The question is, at what cost? I guess, at least, we still have original recipe as a result of the Colonel saying no, to the rule of limitation.

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