Dennis Congdon

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My dad was a dairy farmer in Southern Rhode Island and he told me many times about the Depression years when sad, hungry men would knock on his mom’s door and ask, hat – n – hand, for any work. They would stare at their feet, humiliated but too hungry not to have knocked. Their shoes were nearly worn out. All work on the farm was covered, but my Grandmother said to each one, “You come in and fix a plate, son.” They could not come in… too embarrassed. Dad’s mom brought food heaped high out to them. They ate on the stone doorstep. My dad gave away everything as his mother had taught him. We have a roof, we have our cows, we have our fields and garden. I have his heart behind me as I work, empathy and caring for others connects me to my family.


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