Truett Cathy: A Family Friend
Growing up in Georgia, Chick-fil-A has always been a fixture in my life. Though others could say the same, I believe mine to be a unique connection. My father, Tommy King, told me that back in the early 50’s, he was one of the first to try Mr. Cathy's newest creations: a chicken sandwich.
Seated in a booth with his boyhood friends, in the original Dwarf House, on Central Avenue in Hapeville, GA (where it still sits today), my dad tells me that sometime after having taken their order, Truett placed a hot sandwich in front of my dad and said, “Tommy, I want you to try this and tell me what you think of it."
"What is it?" asked my dad, smiling as he lifted it to his mouth.
"It's a chicken sandwich," Mr. Cathy replied. "I think I might start offering it on the grill."
My dad and his buddies let out friendly chuckles, having never heard of anyone offering anything other than a burger in a bun. However, once that delicious blend of spices and herbs hit my dad's taste buds, he told me he was HOOKED!
Years later, my brothers and I all became fans too (especially my youngest brother, Stephen, whom I believe, given a free pass for life, would eat NOTHING BUT Chick-fil-A!!!).
My connection with this great restaurant deepens even further. My mom once attended church with the Cathys, and my grandmother, once an employee at Tri-City bank (once down the street from the Dwarf House) grew to know Truett professionally. Hearing her talk about a man I'd always revered as a celebrity as if he were a close friend of the family was nothing short of exciting for me. Not only so, but imagine my thrill on my birthday at Truett's Grill in Jonesboro, when my grandmother drew me over to where the Cathys were dining, see him turn to her, smile and say, "Well, Sara Kate! So good to see you!"
Thanks for being our family friend, Mr. Cathy!