Awhite-bearded man sporting a snow-white suit and a black string tie sells pressure cookers and a secret spice blend from the trunk of his car. He calls himself “the Colonel,” says he’s from Corbin, Ky., and tells restaurateurs he can teach them to make mouthwatering Southern-fried chicken. A stove-top demo proves the corn pone character’s creation meets its billing, and on handshake deals the restaurateurs pay him a nickel for every chicken made with his spice blend.When outsiders learn of ...

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