[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ccasionally, I get a hankering for fried chicken. But I don’t want just any chicken. I want Kentucky Fried Chicken. Original recipe. In a big, striped bucket.

I ought to be ashamed of myself for admitting such.

As a boy, we ate KFC every blessed Friday night. As far back as I can remember. When Daddy got home on Friday evenings, he’d honk the horn in the driveway. I’d march my chubby little legs outside and help him muscle the big bucket into the kitchen.

One summer, my uncle Hoyt got a part-time job working at Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was the greatest summer of my entire existence. The best part was, they allowed Hoyt to give free chicken to his family. I was that family.

I gained eight pounds in six days.

At the time, KFC still hand-battered chicken. That’s what made it taste so good. There’s a big difference between the hand-battered and whatever the other kind is.

After fighting three months on the Colonel’s front lines, damned if Hoyt didn’t figure out KFC’s famous recipe. A secret blend of eleven spices.

Passed down from Moses himself.

One Friday night, my uncle Hoyt cooked fried chicken for the entire family. All that frying turned our kitchen into a grease pit. The floors became so slick I could ice skate on them. And that’s exactly what I did. While Hoyt tended the skillet, I spun circles on the floor like Peggy Fleming.

As it turned out, I never tasted Hoyt’s fried chicken.

And the doctor said my tailbone would never be the same.

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