Although a worldwide pandemic has kept him in his apartment, Ken Jennison has always felt right at home on the radio.
Jennison began working at KSAL Radio fresh out of Kansas State University in 1949 as a copy writer. It wasn’t long before the station boss asked him to find a way to brighten up the live commercial reads with some sound effects.
Without any recordings to work with – Ken decided to use some baby chicks to help sell Purina chicken feed during the newscast.
Salina’s “radioman emeritus” continues to keep an office at KSAL and is looking forward to returning to work when the Coronavirus pandemic eases. “I would like to come in more often and stay busy,” Jennison said.
The former general manager is well known around the region for his efforts in helping with, Salina Downtown Inc., Smoky Hill Museum, Salina Business Improvement Board, The YMCA, Salina Community Theatre, Saline County 4-H, Salina Symphony, Kansas Wesleyan University, Central Kansas Foundation, Salina Area United Way, Friends of The River, Salina Boyscouts, First United Methodist Church, Salina Arts and Humanities Commission, Sunflower Lions Club, Salina Rescue Mission and the Smoky Hill River Festival.
Jennison, who celebrated his ninety-third birthday this past June spent his childhood days on a farm near Rush-Center, Kansas collecting arrowheads and Native American artifacts. He donated a bulk of the collection that once filled an entire room in his basement.
His collection of every Smoky Hill River Festival Poster is also on display at Presbyterian Manor in Salina.