Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Kissing the Blarney Stone - an update

I wrote this little story a year ago. After reading it, my Aunt Dot told me that since she was the youngest and the smallest, it was her job to crawl under the house and plant the potatoes, and to harvest them when they were ripe. She also told me that Grandpa Pitt was as Irish as they come, a fact that does not surprise me. Now I can say that I inherited a bit of the blarney from both sides of the family. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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My Grandson Braden has red hair, just like my brother Jack had when he was the same age. Last night, we took my Dad to Bennigan's. He is eighty-eight and loves children. Since Braden has red hair, just as he and my Brother had, he has taken a particular shine to the lad. Last night, my daughter-in-law Taffy asked if we were Irish. Well, my Dad's grandfather was named O'Rear, about as Irish as you can get. It made me think about my other grandparents and my Grandfather Pittman.

Grandpa Pitt had some Irish blood but was probably more English. Grandma Pitt often made Mulligan Stew for family gatherings. One thing is sure; Grandpa liked potatoes as much as any Irishman did. He and Grandma lived in a tiny wood-framed house that sat about a foot off the ground on cinder blocks. Grandpa Pitt always raised potatoes under the house and never failed to have a good crop. When I was quite young, I asked him how he got under the house to harvest the potatoes.

"Well, boy," he answered in his best deadpan voice. "It's all in how you do it. I plant them all in a straight line, toward the center of the house. When I dig out the first spud, the rest roll into the basket after it."

Grandpa never cracked a smile but even at my very young age, I knew that he was pulling my leg. My Dad's side of the family was definitely Irish. I'm not sure about my Mom's but I can positively say that my Grandpa Pitt must have kissed the Blarney Stone some time during his life because he could tell a story as well as any Irishman I've ever met.

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