His father expected him to go into the textile business but Luther loved lichen. He studied and spent his life tenderly mounting and tagging specimens.
Although the senior Luther Erlich was disappointed, he understood passion from his own student days at The Vienna Institute of Textile Sciences. It was there his passion for baking blossomed, even pulling weekends in the kitchen of The Hotel Sacher, learning the magic art of stretching a 12 inch square of dough into a 3 foot sheet transparent enough to see through.
Over the years he perfected his recipe for apple streudel, combed by rivers of brown sugar and nuts, and mystifying his fans with his secret ingredient, black pepper.
Luther’s sister meanwhile, always had a scrap of paper, paints, a brush or a pencil in her hand.
But it never crossed her father’s mind that she would be the ideal successor to The Pantz Textile Mill.
40 years later, Anna was dining at her brother’s house, staring at the glass cases in the kitchen she’d seen a thousand times before, when she shouted “meh Dråck”! (“more dirt”!) In her mind’s eye the fluttering edges suddenly converted into fabric patterns, soft greens, yellows, browns, with specks of bright contrast, intricately interwoven.
Their collaboration began at that moment, Luther pulling out drawer after drawer of lichen samples, Anna madly interpreting and sketching until the sun came up.
They were joyful and only wished their father could have seen the renaissance of The Pantz Textile Mill. Luther and Anna did look at each other in silent awe a few days later when an employee offered them a slice of homemade apple streudel at lunch, and it was mysteriously spicy.