This Spud’s For You


That’s what mom said got us through the hard times. Potatoes.

I honestly never knew we had hard times, but if she said we did, we did. And during those financial bumps in the road, we ate potatoes. Lots of them.

Like many families, my parents had a garden. I always thought they grew okra, tomatoes, and other itchy vegetation to make my life miserable. But the potatoes I never minded.

That’s because potatoes are the most versatile food on Mother Earth. The ...

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Just Desserts

It’s hard to beat pie. You can go to any fancy restaurant and order a $20 item from the dessert menu, but it won’t be as good as a slice of my momma’s chocolate pie. Or pie made by any respectable lady who grew up in the South – which is anywhere below Little Rock.

There’s magic that happens in the kitchen when grandmas pass on their secrets of how to make pie, cobbler, and pudding.

Southern women learn early in life ...

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Credit Where Credit Is Due

At Shur-Way, my parents always carried a ticket. Shur-Way was our local grocery store in Ashdown, Arkansas. On the front of the building, it proudly said, “Our Meats Are Better.”

This was a widely-known truth.

My dad always said they had the finest center-cut baloney you could buy.

The package always said, “bologna,” but baloney was what we all called it. Baloney was also the best term for lots of things my dad would say.

The Popes owned Shur-Way. The whole family ran the ...

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The Saturday Night Opry

My grandfather was driving us back from Broken Bow. It was late on a Saturday night. At least it was late for me. My bedtime was usually 8 o’clock. It was at least 8:30, and I was tired.

My grandfather was a blacksmith. He went to Oklahoma each Saturday for an auction a woman named Barbara held. It was unusual for a woman to be running a business at that time. It was also unusual that someone was still a blacksmith.

Blacksmith ...

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Look At The Time

The last few years of my dad’s life, he would often say, “I don’t want to learn anything new.”

He was serious.

I would show him something new on a cell phone, or the latest item that was all the rage, and he wasn’t impressed.

“That’s nice son, but I don’t want to learn anything new,” he would say.

How could you not want to learn anything new, regardless of your age? Well, I’m starting to see things his way.

I was dragged, kicking and ...

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