We didn’t have to drive but a mile when we spotted a man off in a distant field. We pulled over and asked if he knew who to talk to about pressing apples at the mill. He replied “well that there would be me.” Elated, we explained to him our intended plans and asked if we might be able to use his press. He was in the middle of harvesting potatoes, but just happened knock over a bucket of foul smelling liquid. He eyed our cargo; it wasn’t much. He eyed the bucket.
The mill, much like an old steamship, is large and cumbersome and only fit for voluminous pressings. We had no idea that our bushel of apples was, at best, a mockery in the face of this workhorse and, at worse, a nuisance. Maybe it was the stench that permeated the potato patch that day, or the glow of youthful hope, fueled by naiveté, radiating from our eyes, but he jabbed his fork in the soil and said, “okay, let’s go”.