Letters to the editor – Wednesday – 6-8-16

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, June 8, 2016

How we met Ralph Ketner

By now everybody in Salisbury/Rowan County has had an earful about Ralph Ketner, but here is a story I would like to share:

When my husband, Fleming Otey, and I moved to Eagle Heights in Salisbury in July 2000, our neighbor Dot Swing invited us to dinner at the nearby restaurant. She brought her chauffeur, her brother, Ralph Ketner. He was a nice gentleman with warm smiles.

As we sat at the table, my husband, a former supermarket owner in Nashville, Tenn., started to talk about his experience in supermarkets. Ralph asked how large the supermarket was. One was a corner grocery store with 1,600 square feet, and another one was a 16,000-square-foot supermarket called Northtown Big Star.  Ralph must have been chuckling under his sleeve and listened patiently to our story.

Then he dropped the bomb: He was one of the founders of Food Lion. Needless to say, we were stunned.  We had a great chat.

Following the dinner, I wrote Mr. Ketner a thank you note:

It was a pleasure meeting and dining with you and Dot the other night.  I had no idea Dot had such an interesting brother who is so intriguing, charismatic, dynamic and charming. I also had great pleasure reading your book. I laughed so hard till I cried. You see I, too, cannot hear so well, let alone being a foreigner. Reading your book made it all clear. I could not concur with some of your concepts but it’s all right, because that’s why you are a billionaire and I am not.

Thank you very much for the dinner.  We had a great evening.

A few days later came a phone call from our neighbor Dot:  She told us Ralph had been so busy looking for that billion dollars.

That’s the way our relationship with Ralph Ketner and Dot Swing started.

— Yoshiko Otey


Bring back senior pictures

I have been an educator in Rowan Salisbury schools for 10 years. Six of those years were in fifth grade. I told my students each year that I would look for their senior pictures when they graduated.

This year was my third group of seniors. I was highly disappointed in your decision to only post group photos of each school’s senior class. I was unable to decipher any face!

Please reconsider for next year’s edition of returning to posting each senior picture. I am sure many other educators do the same as me as well as parents enjoy seeing the accomplishment of their children.


— Melissa Ritchie