Adjust two racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat oven to 350º. Line cookie sheets with baking parchment or aluminum foil, shiny side up and set aside.
Place the potato chips in a plastic or paper bag and squeeze the bag a few times with both hands to break the pieces just a bit. They should be coarse, not fine. They should measure 2 packed cups, set aside. Break the walnuts into large pieces. Set aside.
Sift together the flour and baking soda. Set aside.
In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until soft.. Add the vanilla and sugar and beat until mixed. Add the eggs and beat to mix. The add the sifted dry ingredients and beat on low speed only until incorporated. Add the oatmeal and beat to mix. Remove the bowl from the mixer.
Transfer the dough to a larger bowl (if you don't have one, you can do this in the same bowl, just not as easily.) With a heavy wooden spatula stir in the cherries and nuts. Finally, stir in the potato chips. The chips should still be visible. This takes a strong arm and some heavy stirring.
Each cookie should be made of 1/4 C dough. You can use two spoons and guess at the amount, a 1/4 C measuring cup or (this is best), or a small ice cream scoop (the scoop that measures 2 inches in diameter is the right size).
Place a large piece of aluminum foil next to the sink and place the mounds any which way on the foil. Then wet your hands under cold water, shake them off, but do not dry them and with your damp hands roll a mound of dough into a ball, flatten it to about a 3/4 in. thickness and place it on a lined baking sheet. Continue to shape the cookies and place them 2 in. apart (no more than 6 on a 12 by 15 1/2 in. sheet. Keep your hands damp as necessary.
Bake two sheets at a time for 18 to 20 minutes, reversing the sheets top to bottom and front to back twice during baking. (If you leave one sheet on the lower rack for too long, those cookies might become too dark on the bottoms). When done, the cookies should be lightly browned all over. Do not over bake. If you bake one sheet alone, bake it on the higher of the two racks and reverse it front to back once or twice during baking. When you bake one sheet alone, the cookies will bake in less time.
Let them cool briefly, then with a wide metal spatula transfer them to racks to cool.
These can be stored in an airtight box or they can be wrapped two together (bottoms together) in clear cellophane, wax paper or aluminum foil. (Always store these two together, bottoms together).