Fourth miller

One day even I have put miller apron on as the fourth miller of the Smajstrl family. Father Arnost died suddenly and there were plenty of pending orders in the mill. "You have to finish it Zdenek as no one else understands these machines" my neighbors told me and I was convinced. I had studied at the Pedagogical Institute and had spent thirty years of teaching experience at the Tatra Koprivnice School.

In the old mill, after my father, I finally milled the buckwheat for a year and a half. It was a long time for me to go back to my childhood at least in my memories and again I could watch grandfather Francis how in the spring he plows the fields before sowing or before the storm he hustle horses and carriage with buckwheat sheafs. In moments of leisure I browsed my father's notes. He wrote a variety of data about buckwheat in a thick black notebook. I saw him gradually becoming aware that this cereal will become an important food in rational nutrition in the future due to its healing effects. Together with son Vladimir, my older brother, he even organized a conference in Nitra which was visited by planters and buckwheat processors from all over the country. In front of the full auditorium father Arnost lectured on a special variety of buckwheat called pyra which has good fertility in the mountain conditions the same grain size and excellent taste qualities.

I succumbed to the mill's atmosphere after the year and a half and did not return to teaching. I knew that if I wanted to continue the miller's tradition I had to modernize the mill. Similarly as did my grandfather Francis. There was remodeling. Only the pillars and the roof were left from the original building. Inside of the mill is covered with ceramic tiles. I had to replace machines for peeling buckwheat. They were more like museum exhibits. My classmate Josef Gajdusek from Papratna helped me build the new machines. He still works as a technician for the machines in the mill today. The line he put into operation will process three tons of buckwheat per shift. Grandfather Francis put everything into his work yet he did not manage more than a ton per day. Well, progress is progress. But he certainly would not have envied me. Rather, he would be delighted.

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