Shut up, boy, and mind your job!
Josef Blinka was born on 31 January 1954 in Horní Bečva as the penultimate of ten siblings. His father Jan Blinka came from an agricultural family from Horní Bečva, was apprenticed in a construction company and participated in the building of the local dam. Josef’s mother Božena Blinková, née Rárová, came from a family of a manorial gamekeeper from Horní Bečva. The family experienced dramatic moments during the World War II, as most of the people from the region were involved in helping the partisans. At the end of the war, Horní Bečva was to suffer the same fate as the burnt villages of Prlov and Ploština, but due to the fast-advancing liberating Red Army, the Nazis on the run did not make it. Josef was apprenticed as a knitting machine mechanic in Jihlava, where he subsequently passed the maturita exam. He got a job in the textile factory Loana Rožnov, where he changed many positions and even became the head of the local trade union. At the beginning of the 1980s, he was investigated by the police because of a denunciation that he was in possession of religiously oriented samizdat. Josef Blinka also helped formulate a local petition for religious freedom during the 1980s. In 1994, he was elected the mayor of Horní Bečva and served in that position for twelve years. He was then a deputy mayor there until 2018. His lifelong hobby is collecting oral history with ties to his native region. Josef Blinka was instrumental in building the partisan trail in the vicinity of Horní Bečva, where he was still living in 2022.