Thursday, November 6, 2008


I've always dreamed of dating a girl named Wendy. Unfortunately, I have net yet had that experience. But I am not too concerned. The name Wendy has already positively affected my life in many ways. I owe it all to Dave. As a restaurant virtuoso and long-time friend and assistant of Col. Sanders, Dave has shaped my life into a beautiful 1.78 ounce masterpiece. He will forever be know as the hero.

His face was once recognizable by 90% of the American population due to his charm, class, and genuine affection shown in his 800 plus television commercials. But more than being the number one most versed commercial star in history, he was a man who changed my life personally and for the best. It's as if fate had intervened. In 1986, the year of my birth, it seemed that Wendy's was taking its final pass through the drive-thru with nearly 20% of its locations threatening to remove the pickles for good. Dave stepped in to save the day. By the time I could savor a juicy burger and eat a Frosty Dairy Dessert on my own, Dave stepped up to recreate life as we know it. Imagine a world without a 99 cent value menu. Horrible. Dave lived in that world and he knew that it needed to change. He made a change that I can believe in. In 1988 he stepped forward and created the first ever 99 Cent Value Menu. Words cannot describe the great impact that choice has made on my life. Instead of spending close to five dollars for a burger, drink and fries, I purchase a delectable Jr. Bacon Cheeseburger for just 99 cents. Maybe I even get two, or three. Or maybe I get a Chicken Sandwich as well. Sometimes I haven't eaten healthily all day and I would feel bad if I loaded up on burgers. Luckily, I can get a Caesar Side Salad for the same price. Sure, a cup of water would be nice too. And maybe another JBC. The possibilities are seemingly endless.

Over the past 20 years I have revisited the same scenarios thousands of times: "I'm hungry. I should eat something. I will eat Wendy's" "I'm bored. Let's go do something. Let's go to Wendy's" "I could really go for a juicy burger with cheese, bacon, lettuce, and tomato, but I only have a dollar..." Tragedy struck in 2002 when my friend Dave retired permanently from the world of restaurants. He was a friend and a help-meat. As a child, I truly believed he was even my grandfather. Then I learned that he and my grandfather just looked a lot alike. I wondered if that was the end of my quality life. It seemed, however, that the aura of Dave continued on. A brief year later, Wendy's made a move for which I will ever be grateful. They threw out the old cliches that dinner ended at nine. Wendy's was now open late.

My home away from home. Sanctuary and refuge. Fed upon the mercies of Dave Thomas himself. I continue to this day to feast upon the value items that have always been a part of my life and I plan on continuing to do so. I do have fear, however, that people are forgetting Dave. The square and ample servings seem to be on their way out. The Logan community refuses to allow Wendy's to be open past ten. And the prices appear to be inching their way toward disaster. We must fight back. A Stack Attack of our own. We must help people remember again the man of the hour. The timely, attractive, warm-hearted, and successful Dave that we once knew. If Dave can save The Colonel and the 12 piece bucket, we can do our part in saving Wendy's as we know it and in preserving the hero's memory.