CityView Magazine

August 2021

CityView Magazine - Fayetteville, NC

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38 August 2021 "For a short period of time, when I was 14, my sister Elaine and I became the 'Ice and Change Brigade' for the Hillcrest," she says. "And we had to be ready on any weekend night for the 'ice and change run.' My dad would call my mother and say, 'Send the girls to Colonial Ice to get ice.' is would occur mostly on pay-day weekends when the ice machine could not put out enough ice in time. Other times it was a run to VEMCO, a vending machine company located downtown on Hay Street, to get change in coins. Later, when we were both in high school, Elaine and I managed time to join the Friday or Saturday night Boulevard caravan and cruise the Hillcrest, usually with our friends Angie and Hedy Vurnakes." Elaine Fasul died at age 22 on March 13, 1970, the result of an automobile accident in Durham. Anna Fasul Finch worked at the restaurant in the summer when attending the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and aer her graduation in 1971. She later joined the Paris & Potter Management Corp. team in 1979. All the while, Steve Paris was busy, even ordering and erecting a Kentucky Fried Chicken bucket highway sign that towered along Bragg Boulevard. "e Colonel authorized it," he tells Dena Potter. "Your dad really got upset with me. We got the bucket sign. We doubled our business the next month. We were selling 1,000 heads of chicken a day in the mid 1960s. Every year we were increasing our volume and doing better and better." And the Hillcrest had become something else – a social gathering place for high school teenagers from Fayetteville High School aer Friday night football games, on Saturday nights and Sunday aernoons, too. It was a time of innocence, and the Hillcrest was a part of their young lives. 'WE WANTED TO EXPAND' Nick Fasul, because of heart issues, retired from the business by 1967, when Dena Fasul's late husband, Ralph Potter, a lawyer, joined the business with Paris. He would work in the courthouse as a prosecutor by day and at the Hillcrest by night. KFC had become an American tradition that reached worldwide. A KFC was a popular stop for college kids planning a football tailgate party and the place to be aer a Sunday morning sermon. "We wanted to expand," Paris says. "One store was not enough for three families – my family, the Fasul girls and the Potter family." Ralph M. Potter was 75 when he died June 12, 2012, at the Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Today, son Nick Potter follows in his father's footsteps as chief operating officer of the corporation. Nick Potter, who joined the business on Aug. 8, 1994, shares Paris' appreciation of customers in the 60th anniversary. "We talk about how wonderful our customers have been to us," he says. "ey have been so loyal, and in the COVID 19 health pandemic even more when our dining rooms were closed. Our customers have been there through thick and thin with us, and we could not be more thankful to them." FAMILY AFFAIR Truth be told, KFC in the Cape Fear region has been a Fasul, Paris and Potter affair since Steve Paris drove his black 1956 Chevrolet Impala to Shelbyville, Kentucky, to meet with Colonel Harland Sanders in 1961. Dena Fasul Potter, Anna Fasul Finch and Katherine Fasul have been members of the Paris & Potter Management Corp. since its formation, dating to 1961. Rebecca Potter Cooke, daughter of Ralph and Dena Potter, has been with the corporation since 1998. eodoros Perivolaris and Delia Paris, son and daughter of Steve Paris, have been part of the corporation's personnel department. Colonel Harland Sanders sold his KFC franchise in 1964 but remained a KFC ambassador and still is its signature icon. He died at age 90 in 1980. AUGUST 2, 1961 Construction on the restaurant with the long, glass windows began in 1961, and the restaurant opened Aug. 2, with employees to include Mike Pagos, Danny Ewing, Arthur Samanis, James "Slim" White, Daisy Lybrand, Vera Zelzak and omas Farmer. Hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries cost 25 cents; cheeseburgers 35 cents; onion rings 30 cents; hamburger steaks 85 cents; so drinks a dime; milkshakes a quarter; and two pieces of KFC chicken for 69 cents; three pieces of KFC chicken for $1.10; nine pieces of KFC chicken for $2.25; a Family KFC Bucket for $3.50; and a barrel of KFC – 21 pieces – for $4.95. Katherine Fasul remembers working at the restaurant as a cashier in the summers of 1962 and 1963 during her years at Greensboro College, and in the summers aer she became a fih- grade schoolteacher, including five years at VanStory Elementary. Her sister, Anna Fasul Finch, also worked at the restaurant in the 1960s and 1970s. "I did so enjoy getting to know many of our wonderful repeat customers," Katherine Fasul says. "We all worked hard, but also had fun. Arthur Samanis, our friend and co-worker, was always making us laugh when we were fortunate to have a break. My cousin, Steve Paris, and my Uncle Mike Pagos along with James "Slim" White were the fastest workers. I have many good memories of those years." So does Anna Fasul Finch. KFC in the Cape Fear region has been a Fasul, Paris and Potter affair since Steve Paris drove his black 1956 Chevrolet Impala to Shelbyville, Kentucky, to meet with Colonel Harland Sanders in 1961.

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