Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Meet Colonel Don Decker
This is Colonel Don Decker, a Kentucky Colonel, who for the past three years has been the host at T.G.I. Fridays restaurant on Fourth Street Live in downtown Louisville. Don owns and wears a variety of different color traditional colonel tuxedos and ruffled shirts that he adorns with honorary medallions. He admits that his outfits are out of style for today, but comfortably says, "I am out of style too". Don's attire is, and at the same time, isn’t a costume. He would not wear his tuxedo into a business meeting, but would and does wear it around town. In fact, he owned all of his colonel tuxedos before he even started hosting at T.G.I. Fridays on Fourth Street Live.
Don, whose mother was a dancer, was raised in the entertainment business and began in Vaudeville dance at the age of three. He can act, dance and sing, and has worked in various phases of the entertainment industry throughout his life. He is most proud of his nightclub and movie performances, which include appearances in the 1960’s hits Can Can and Li’l Abner. As a child, Don dreamed of being on Broadway. "I went through New York, but quickly. I never did what was necessary to get on Broadway.... that's a real struggle”, he explains.
For many years, Don was also a bails bondsman in Florida. When he retired he moved to Louisville and found the job at T.G.I. Fridays a perfect way to supplement his social security. “I enjoy meeting people, plus I am getting old and if I don't do something, I would just sit in my chair and think, what, am I, waiting to die?"
Ten years ago, Don completed his first novel, Forfeiture, a story about a man named Danny Duncan, who shares many similar experiences as Don, and winds up robbing a bank. “A lot of people think I am Danny Duncan, or we are one in the same. And they might be right, I am not going to say one way or the other,” Don says with a smile.
Don enjoys his job at T.G.I. Fridays. On an average day between ten and twenty people ask to have their photograph taken with him. Don just happens to look a lot like Kentucky Fried Chicken's founder, Colonel Sanders. But he says it is not intentional and he does not sell chicken! Don believes that he is doing something unique on Forth Street Live, by attempting to create a greater since of hospitality.