Daddy’s Potato Soup

Posted in short story | 15 comments

Homemade Potato Soup

Daddy’s Potato Soup

Being a child of a large family in 1950, we experienced many childhood viruses. Of course, there are now vaccines for diseases we had, such as mumps, measles, chickenpox, whooping cough, polio, flu, etc.

All of these childhood illnesses did not have vaccines back in the 1950s.  We were all vaccinated for smallpox, which made an ugly sore on our arms, then once vaccinated, a clear, plastic cap covered the site with white tape holding it in place. The cover was to keep us from scratching the vaccination, possibly spreading it.

Also, we took a DTP shot in the 1950s, which was a combination of diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis.  I remember in 1955 when the first Polio Vaccine came out.  Mom and Daddy took us all to stand in line to get the vaccination shot; later, they came out with the sugar cube version to take by mouth. Oh, for your information, those shot needles were not like these new wimpy ones, they were huge.  I thank God for modern technology, and you should thank Him too.

1950 Shot Syringe

In the first ten years of my life, I had German measles (rubella), chickenpox, mumps (both sides at one time), three-day measles (rubeola), and anything else going around. These diseases came with high fevers (about 104 degrees or higher), which were hard to break.   Some of these diseases caused injures to eyes, ears, and other body areas.

The above is a telltale sign of how old I am, but I needed it to set up the background for the story.

When one of us siblings came down with something, all of us did, which is what happened when Jimmy, Grady, and I came down with the German measles, but the unexpected part was my Mom came down with the flu at the same time.  I think Mark was a baby at this time, but I do not remember.

Daddy was home with us that weekend, and he made gallons of Potato Soup with lots of pepper.  Not sure if that was a family remedy, or if it was a holdover from Daddy’s KP duty in the Army. Wishing I had asked him, but I do know we ate hot potato soup three times a day.  I would watch him peel the potatoes, boil them in water until done, then add milk, salt, and pepper when they got soft.

Dad could not get our fevers to break, so he hired a lady to help because Mom was so sick. The lady told my Daddy, “I will break them chill’uns fever!”

The first thing the lady did was to put Jimmy, Grady, and I in a big bed together in a room with a space heater, then she cranked that flame up high, gave us hot lemonade to drink, piled covers on us, and closed the doors to the room. Well, she broke our fevers, and with the sweating and fever breaking, came measle spots all over our bodies, even the bottoms of our feet. Meanwhile, Daddy was in the kitchen, making more Potato Soup.

When anyone mentions Potato Soup, the first thing I think about is my Daddy peeling potatoes, cutting them up, and standing in front of that stove, stirring the pot making Potato Soup.  In my memory, my Daddy looks like a Super Hero, which he always was to me.

Now, if you tell me you are sick, I am going to make you some of my Daddy’s Potato Soup knowing it will comfort you and cure all that ails you.

I Love You, Daddy.

James Milton Blakley

James Milton Blakley, My Superman Daddy








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  1. I Loved both of your parents , they were awesome 🥰

    • Thank you so much, they loved all of you all too. Thank you for your comment.
      God Bless You and Stay Safe.

  2. I remember “breaking those fevers” that way

    • Yes, that was the way back then. I think now they strip them down and put them in a tub with ice water.
      Thank you for your comment, Chuck.
      God Bless You and Stay Safe.

  3. For some odd reason I got chicken pox in 4th grade…with almost no fever. A week off from school and able to run around the farm! I was almost in heaven lol….great story, and more great memories, I’m sure.

    • Thank you, Kim. I remember the chickenpox as very itchy, but those dang German Measles were awful and made a lasting impression. The Mumps were no picnic either.
      God Bless You My Friend and Stay Safe.

  4. Oh,beautiful, Nancy.

    • Thank you so much. Writing this blog brought back so many memories of being a child.
      God Bless You and Stay Safe.

  5. I followed your link here. Thank you. I always wished I would have had your dad as my teacher (I was unlucky and got the other one). I thought he was a great principal. Any school system would have been lucky to have him. He was fair-minded, funny, and had movie-star good looks. I do plan to make me some potato soup – with lots of pepper! Maybe it’ll help if I come down with this new scourge.

    • Thank you so much for your comment Gat. Dad was a very gifted man. I wish that he could have taught you.
      God Bless You and Enjoy the Potato Soup. Stay Safe.

  6. I had all those things, but in a rather mild form as I remember. And I had mumps only on one side. What I did have more seriously was tonsillitis. That did make me very sick and miserable. I even had a bad case of that when I was in nurses training. I would have been 19 at the time. I don’t remember anything like your breaking of fevers. Thanks for sharing this beautiful memory. God bless.

    • I am so glad you had the mild form of those viruses. While writing this blog, I was amazed at the viruses that have been eliminated with vaccines. Unbelievable.
      Thank you for your comment Diane.
      God Bless You and Stay Safe.

  7. Wonderful story…So many beautiful memories..Xx

    • Thank you, Eva Marie. My Daddy was a very special good man. I loved him very much.
      God Bless you and thank you for your comment.

  8. Thank you

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