Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Do you know your way to The Big Chicken?

Sometimes a landmark just sticks in your head. You'll always remember it.

I used to live outside of Atlanta and there is a very famous landmark in Marietta, which is a little north of the Great Southern City.

The Big Chicken.

Way back when, in 1963 I believe, this was originally for a fine eatin' establishment called "Johnny Rebs". He had Rebel Burgers for $.15.

At some point in time Kentucky Fried Chicken took over the restaurant when "The Colonial" apparently bought out the "The Reb Soldier".

On a humerous note, I'd like to note here that Kentucky Fried Chicken changed it's name to KFC when we all started forgetting to teach our children to read, and now KFC is supposed to stand for "Kitchen Fresh Chicken", getting rid of that unhealthy Southern term - Fried. Ya, that'll do it.

This Big Chicken is such a landmark that it's now a direction. Anything from oral directions to commercials on t.v. to billboards will say things like "Turn left at the Big Chicken", "1/2 mile past the Big Chicken" and so on. Everyone in Atlanta and the surrounding areas will immediately know where you mean to go.

I personally remember several car accidents when tourists would get caught up staring at the chicken's eyes rolling and the comb waving and crash into the car in front of it.

Before I moved away the eyes no longer rolled and the comb didn't wave and it was looking a bit dinged up. I thought it was falling apart and the end was near.

Imagine my surprise when I drove through Atlanta years later and there it was! The Big Chicken in all it's glory! Of course I pulled in immediately and went in for some Kitchen Fresh Vittles. They also have a gift shop where you can buy many Big Chicken and KFC souveniers.

Apparently Marietta had a bit of an outcry when KFC was going to tear it down in 1993. A mob formed is what I heard. The company backed down on their plans to build a shiny, sleak, industrial and oh-so-efficient new KFC and had the old one refurbished.

It's nice to know that sometimes, when people fight to hang on to the good ole' times, they win little bits of it.

So if you're going thru Atlanta, and manage to get out of town without stopping at the Varsity for lunch, get on Highway 41 North and keep your eyes out for the Big Chicken. It'll be on the right hand side and you won't be able to miss it! Have some kitchen fresh chicken and buy a souvenier. You won't regret it.

(Actually, you might want to buy some Tums on the way. Turn right at the Big Chicken and a CVS is 1/4 mile down the road.)

Do you have a famous Southern Landmark in your area? Write about it and publish it on the "Dew"!