Published 10:11 am Wednesday, March 25, 2015

It’s a question that has been posed on countless Tshirts and bumper stickers over the years. And the answer, of course, is that Franklin is the town you’re in when you once again find yourself at Fred’s.

Fred’s Restaurant is an institution, but not nearly as much of one as the man for whom it is named. Fred Rabil, for 70 years, was Fred’s Restaurant. He founded it, rebuilt it, and then rebuilt it again. In that way, he was much like Franklin itself, rising from the ashes and having stood tall after floodwaters receded.

Or maybe, in that way, Franklin more closely resembled Fred than he did the town.

We too casually throw around today labels such as “iconic” or “legendary.” But make no mistake, Fred Rabil was all that and more to the community he fed, and served, for decades.

We will miss Fred. But we will always remember that FRANKLINVA is better because Fred Rabil was in it.