For about four years in the late 1970s, my family would only exchange potato-based foods for one another’s birthdays. Potato salad, potato chips, mashed potatoes, potato bread, hash browns, latkes, tater tots, baked potatoes, Russet potatoes, red potatoes, white potatoes, purple potatoes, yellow potatoes, Idaho potatoes, new potatoes. No clothes, no jewelry, no toys, no gift certificates, just potatoes and potato foodstuffs. I never knew why and no one ever questioned this practice. All I remember is that we stopped about the same time Reagan got elected. I don’t know if it was a coincidence or not.


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