• 57°

Ketner deserves a lasting tribute

Ralph Ketner founded Food Lion (then Food Town) around 1957. He has provided thousands of jobs in Rowan County, not to mention tens of thousands in the eastern portion of America. Along with this, Mr. Ketner made many, many millionaires who invested in his dream and vision.
Only this is not enough to be said of Ralph Ketner. Mr. Ketner has donated millions of dollars to Catawba College and helped the school to raise tens of millions through the years. About 10 years ago, Mr. Ketner started affordable housing for people who couldn’t even afford a home and did this through no profit for him.
Mr. Ketner bought the Wallace Building (now called the Plaza) and spent a fortune remodeling it. He then donated it to the city of Salisbury. These are just a few things that Ralph Ketner has done for Salisbury/Rowan. He is truly a “super hero” with a heart as big as the state.

While visiting Oklahoma about 15 years ago, I flew into the Oklahoma City airport — and was amazed to see a statue of Will Rogers. My thought even at that time was that I couldn’t remember a lot about Will Rogers, but what I learned about him is that he doesn’t compare to our Ralph Ketner. If Oklahoma City can put a statue of Will Rogers in its airport, why can’t we put a statue of Ralph Ketner in Salisbury? He has done more than any one man in my life time. … He is actually bigger than life to most of us.
We have the new building on South Main, and it looks like we are getting a new school administration building on North Main, and we have a beautiful Confederate statue on West Innes.
I have looked all over town, and coming from I-85, the median at Long Street and East Innes Street (where the median widens) would be a wonderful place for a statue of Ralph Ketner. No one has done more for us.

It would be a wonderful tribute to a man who innovated low food prices and has done so much for so many. He’s more than 90 years old, and it would be marvelous to let this man know how we feel while he is alive, not after he passes.
I would bet the funding for this would be easy to raise, whether through a grant of some sort, a contribution between the city and county or even private donations. I further recommend to the school board that the two books on Ralph Ketner (“Five Fast Pennies,” an autobiography, and “The Lion’s Share” by Mark Wineka) be required reading by students of all ages. What better history could they learn?
On the statue, wouldn’t this be a great inscription:
“Five fast pennies is better than a slow nickel.”
— Ralph W. Ketner, Food Lion founder
Ralph Baker lives in Salisbury.

Comments

Comments closed.

Education

RSS budgeting for tens of millions in federal COVID-19 relief funding

East Spencer

‘Back in full swing’ for the spring: East Spencer community gathers for food, fun and fellowship at Spring Fest

Local

Rowan native Lingle among those honored with NC Military Veterans Hall of Fame induction

Business

Former pro baseball player, Tar Heel standout Russ Adams finds new career with Trident Insured

Education

Profoundly gifted: Salisbury boy finishing high school, associates degree at 12

Local

Cheerwine Festival will stick to Main Street, stay away from new park in September

Lifestyle

Celebrating Rowan County’s early cabinetmakers

Education

Service Above Self announces youth challenge winners

Business

Economic Development Commission creates search tool for people seeking Rowan County jobs

Columns

Amy-Lynn Albertson: Arts and Ag Farm Tour set for June 5

High School

High school baseball: Mustangs top Falcons on strength of hurlers

Business

Biz Roundup: Application process now open for Rowan Chamber’s 29th Leadership Rowan class

Sports

Keith Mitchell leads McIlroy, Woodland by 2 at Quail Hollow

Nation/World

States scale back vaccine orders as interest in shots wanes

Nation/World

Major US pipeline halts operations after ransomware attack

News

NC budget dance slowed as GOP leaders differ on bottom line

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting

Coronavirus

People receiving first dose of COVID-19 vaccine grows by less than 1%

Education

Rowan-Salisbury Schools brings Skills Rowan competition back to its roots

Business

Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending

News

Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City

Sports

Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow

Business

Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh

Nation/World

California population declines for first time