Last month Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear commissioned me as a Kentucky Colonel. Best known for being bestowed upon KFC’s iconic founder, here’s some background on the designation:
The highest honor awarded by the Commonwealth of Kentucky is that of Kentucky Colonel.
Commissions for Kentucky Colonels are given by the Governor and the Secretary of State to individuals in recognition of noteworthy accomplishments and outstanding service to a community, state or the nation.
A list of Kentucky Colonels is a Who’s Who of outstanding men and women around the world. The certificate, signed by the Governor and the Secretary of State and bearing the Great Seal of Kentucky, has hung on the walls of such distinguished leaders as Presidents Lyndon B. Johnson and Ronald Reagan, and English Prime Minister Winston Churchill. Certificates are also proudly displayed by great second grade teachers and brave volunteer firemen who have performed in an extraordinary manner.
So what did I do to merit inclusion in a group that includes two of the most influential people of the last century, Louisvillians Muhammad Ali and Hunter S. Thompson? I’m afraid telling would cheapen the honor for all parties.
That being said, I’m contemplating the professional impact of asking that “Colonel” be included on my byline.
[Updated May 25, 2011: There are many individuals worthy of becoming a Kentucky Colonel. Please don’t ask me for a nomination, however—nothing personal, I just don’t feel comfortable recommending someone I don’t know.]