Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tombstone Tuesday

While no relation to me, this tombstone marks the final resting place of Aubrey Francis Reed. You will note the marker states "A Second Creek Gristmiller In The Gap Mills Tradition". See also the two grinding wheels on the marker.

Reed owned and operated the mill at Second Creek for many, many years. [The mill is currently owned and operated by Larry Mustain, a former elementary and junior high school principal.]

How well I can recall Mr. Reed with his pot belly grabbing a pound of cornmeal that he had stuffed into a cotton bag and tied with a bit of string when I asked for it. And it was the best cornmeal I have ever tasted! He ground it both coarse and fine. I always chose the coarse, as it had little bits of the corn remaining and it flavored like no other!

I go back to the mill every now and then, just to get a bag of the cornmeal. But it isn't the same. You see, Aubrey was a REAL miller. He once took my hand and asked if I knew how you could tell a real miller from one who played at it.

"How is that?" I asked.

Taking my fingers, he traced them over the hard knots and bumps on the palm of his hand.

"Feel that? That's bit of the stone. Little pieces and bits of it get under a real miller's skin, and you can't take the time to pick it all out. So, it just becomes a part of you. You and that old mill stone, well, you just become the same being!"

No, it's not the same! Aubrey died in 1989. But he'll be missed for a LONG time to come!

He lies buried in the Carmel Cemetery in Gap Mills, Monroe, West Virginia.

1 comment:

dustbunny8 said...

What a wonderful story.We lose something precious and irreplaceable when these craftsman pass on.And we are all the less rich for it.