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Help & Pray For “The Tomato Man”
The sign at the corner of Hwy. 226 South and South Post Rd. in Patterson Springs
If you’re driving to Patterson Springs, at the corner of 2003 S. Post Road and Hwy. 226 South is where you will find Lowery’s Country Corner. Lowery’s is more than just a store, it is an institution in Cleveland County and home to Ronnie Lowery, the “tomato man”.
The last time I saw Ronnie, he was in his store, sitting on the side of the front counter with his trusty pocket knife. Beside him sat a jar of Duke’s mayonnaise, white bread and salt and pepper shakers.  Ronnie was making himself another tomato sandwich.  He looked up and asked if I would like one. That was before August 16th when he was found lying face down on Pleasant Hill Church Road.
 Ronnie’s son, Tony, and his grandson, Cy, were out taking a practice drive. Cy had just gotten his learner’s permit. As they were driving down Pleasant Hill Church Road, they saw a person lying in the road. Stopping to offer assistance, they found that it was Tony’s dad, Ronnie. When asked if he was okay, he replied, “I think I broke my neck.” Ronnie had just been involved in an accident on his tractor, and although he was able to jump off, he fell down a twenty-five foot ravine. Amazingly, he somehow managed to get up and walk to the road where he collapsed. The “tomato man” of Cleveland County was seriously injured.
People have been going to Lowery’s for years to buy gas, shop and to get those wonderful home grown tomatoes. Ronnie’s tomatoes were lovingly seeded on Valentine’s Day and picked, cleaned and sorted by size in June. You could tell by the great taste that Ronnie Lowery was very particular about his tomatoes. Customers repeatedly remarked “Ronnie’s tomatoes are the best tasting tomatoes I’ve ever had”.
Today, folks are going to the store to find out about his condition. A poster inside the store displays get well wishes from customers who still can’t believe what happened.  The sign outside boldly proclaims the Lowery family’s gratitude for everyone’s prayers and concerns. Cleveland County’s favorite “tomato man” is in a Charlotte hospital, where his devoted wife of 45 years, Gwen, as hardly left his side.  Just recently, Ronnie  began breathing on his own for a few hours a day.
People are asking the family what they can do. Perhaps the best answer is to go by Lowery’s Country Corner and lend your support.  Ronnie has a long road to recovery and as you know, his hospital bills are mounting daily. Your help and support is badly needed and greatly appreciated. By shopping at Lowery’s Country Corner, you can give back to the man who has always worked so hard and given you his best. Stop by the store often, do some shopping, leave Ronnie a note in the message box, and pray for the recovery of Ronnie Lowery, Cleveland County’s favorite “tomato man”.  

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