photo of Kennedy children

Allen, Lori and Sharon Kennedy 1967
Allen, Lori and Sharon Kennedy 1967

 My father’s family came from Ireland during the potato famine. Maybe this is why our family had a large potato patch that we tended in the spring and summer and harvested in the fall. As many good Catholic families, my parents had lots of children to help with endeavors such as this. My dad would plow the rows and all nine children would drop the seed potatoes and step on them before they were covered up with fresh dirt. After the plants blossomed, we picked off the “potato bugs” by hand. And finally in the fall just before frost, we had the satisfying job of following the tractor as it turned up big beautiful “spuds” before our very eyes. Our full buckets would be emptied into a wagon and delivered to the cave for storage. The smell of fresh dirt and the old army songs our dad sang come to mind when I reflect on this.  

Because they were so plentiful, our family ate these wonderful potatoes almost every day throughout the year. My mom would usually boil them in salted water and with the leftovers she made hash browns in bacon fat. For special occasions we had mashed potatoes with gravy. With eleven people around our large dining room table we might run out of meat or bread but there were always enough potatoes. For some reason I never grew tired of eating them. They were just part of who I am.  

Place(s): Nebraska farm

– Sharon Kennedy

Relationship:  Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more Great-grandchild of im/migrant or more