Source: (1980 Los Angeles Times Syndicate):
"He was lying there in the grass, hiding and thinking.
He had studied the little girl's habits. He knew she'd come outside her grandfather's house at mid-afternoon to play.
He hated himself for this.
In his whole miserable, messed-up life he'd never considered anything so callous as kidnapping.
Yet here he was, waiting for an innocent, red-haired, two-year-old child to come within reach.
It was a long wait; there was time to think.
Maybe all his life Harlan had been in too much of a hurry. He was five when his Hoosier farmer daddy had died. At 14 he dropped out of school and hit the road. He tried odd jobs as a farm hand, hated it. Tried being a streetcar conductor and hated that. At 16 he lied about his age and joined the army -- and hated that. too.
At 18 he got married and within months, wouldn't you know she announced she was pregnant the day he announced he'd been fired again?
Then, one day, while he was out job hunting, his wife gave away all their possessions and went home to her parents.
Then came the depression.
He tried selling insurance, selling tires. He tried running a ferryboat, running a filling station. No use.
Face it -- Harlan was a loser.
And now here was hiding in the woods outside Roanoke, Virginia, plotting a kidnapping.
He'd watched the little girl's habits, knew about her afternoon playtime. But this day, she did not come out to play, so his chain of failures remained unbroken.
Later in life he became chief cook and bottle washer at a restaurant in Corbin. And did all right until the new highway bypassed the restaurant.
He'd stayed honest -- except for that one time when he had attempted kidnapping. In fairness to his name it must be noted that it was his own daughter he'd meant to kidnap from his runaway wife. And they both returned to him, the next day, anyway.
But now the years had slid by and a lifetime was gone and he and they had nothing.
He had not really felt old until the day the postman brought his first social security cheque. That day, something within Harland resented, resisted, and exploded.
The government was feeling story for him.
His restaurant customers in Corbin said they'd miss him, but his government said 65 candles on the birthday cake is enough. They sent him a pension cheque and told him he was "old."
"Nuts," he said.
He got so angry he took the $105 cheque and started a new business.
For the man who failed at everything was Harlan Sanders. The late Colonel Harland Sanders of Kentucky Fried Chicken fame. And as Paul Harvey Aurandt would say in that smooth baritone voice: "NOW YOU KNOW THE REST OF THE STORY."