Dear Editor: The gay marriage debate will rage on until the apocalypse, I suppose...and I could certainly offer my thoughts on the current controversy pitting one of our nation's most successful fast food chains against gay rights groups - but I'll spare you. Still, all this commotion has made me consider what it is that I like about this unique chicken business that finds itself in the swirl of a media fury. Wacky billboards and Cathy's public stance on what constitutes marriage aside, here are three things I'd like to say about Chick-fil-A.
1. My dad has a very limited palate concerning the variety of foods he'll eat. But as far back as I can remember, he has always been a huge consumer of Chick-fil-A sandwiches. His love affair began more than 30 years ago, when I was a teen and the first Chick-fil-A in the small Texas suburb where I grew up opened in the local mall. We ate them often, and because I always admired my dad's discriminating taste, I've always regarded the Chick as a class act.
2. Chick-fil-A served as that memorable first job for one of my closest high school friends. Again, we're talking some 30 years ago when Jeanette nabbed a coveted position at Chick and continued working there even after marrying just after graduation. Sure, she received free meals, but for me, the really cool part was the fact that Chick would foot the bill for her college education. My friend chose the post secondary route only for a while; still, I recall thinking fondly of a fast food joint that invested in the educational endeavors of its employees.
3. I've always felt a certain-kind-of-good-way about passing a Chick-fil-A on Sunday and seeing the lights out. Perhaps it conjures nostalgia for me, reminding me of the days long gone when a majority of businesses shut down on this day and when my family gathered for a southern fried chicken dinner at my grandparents' home. Chick's decision to shut the doors, despite lost income is a conviction I admire - even as I blaze past on my way to the restaurant that is open.