March 22 • 08:36 AM

'I never met a potato I didn't like'

May 13, 2009
When telling Carol and Bob of growing crops of potatoes 'way back when,' Carol suggested I tell you the little story and call it, "I never met a potato I didn't like.'' She wonders if my story, told many times before, is why she loves potatoes.

In the good ol' days of farming, in addition to fields of wheat, oats, corn and sometimes barley, there were fields of potatoes. It seemed every farmer had a field of potatoes, at least in our neighborhood of Hough and Shoemaker Roads.

One fall Grandpa and Grandma Miller came from their home in Port Huron by train to Almont. There was a depot a little east of the Country Corner store and elevator. There was also what we called a 'turn table' where the steam engine would ascend and be turned around and headed back to Port Huron. For a short while we kids thought it fun to hurry down at noon (we were going to school in the basement of the Library at the time), taking turns pushing and riding on the turn table. The powers that be soon put a stop to it.

Back to the potato story. Grandpa and Grandma came to visit so Grandpa could drive the team of horses on the potato digger. It dug the potatoes out of the ground and left them in neat rows down the field. The Messer children, Helena, Elizabeth and Walter would come and help pick up our potatoes and we would go help pick up their potatoes. We had different ideas on how to spend our hard earned money. Helena and Elizabeth got permanents. I don't remember how Walter spent his money. Big brother, Floyd, took Roy and me to a football game at University of Michigan. What a thrill for a couple of country bumpkins.

The potatoes were put in bushel crates, loaded on a wagon and ours were taken to a part of our basement with a dirt floor where they were dumped out of the bushel crates. The whole house would smell of the good earthly smell of new potatoes.

Our potatoes were sold to a potato chip factory in Detroit. I thought they should have brought us a bag or two of potato chips, but they didn't.

— Country Cousin

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