This past Saturday morning the family clocks were taken from the house for cleaning and regulation. They were taken by a man I have known since the early seventies. I have known that something needed to be done with them for many, many years. They used to run. I missed their chimes and the deep tick tock of the oak wall clock. There is nothing that whisks me back to childhood faster than closing my eyes and listening to that clock. There were times at my grandparents house when it was so quiet that was all you heard (I have to add that it is a particularly loud clock).
The story goes that this clock was taken from a factory by my grandfather. They were replacing it with something else I assume, I’m also assuming it came from a woolen mill. It was filthy, black I’m told. He painstakingly took it apart, cleaned it up and got it working. Then it was placed on the wall in his parlor on Stafford St. There it ran for most of my life, it probably ran for a good deal of my father’s. When my grandmother left the house for a nursing home it was the first thing that came to Rowe. There it ran on the wall in the living room for another 20 or more years. My children had the pleasure of growing up with it’s sound and presence for their childhoods as well.
The workmanship on this clock is spectacular. The woodwork, the brass is beautiful. It is the sound that is most important to me though. We complain about not knowing what time it is in the middle of the night because it no longer runs.
I have to tell you there was a little anxiety when these clocks went out the door on Saturday morning. The only reason they did is through a conversation I had with someone the day before. She told me her brother in law was repairing clocks now that he’d retired to Heath and gave me his phone number. I went to high school with him, worked a summer job with him, knew where he lived. The only other lead on clock repair I’d had was a guy in Conway. I didn’t know him but I knew he was good – I just couldn’t call him. I didn’t know where he lived and I couldn’t let them go.
I’ve been told it will take about 6 weeks to get them going again, they will then be returned, put in their respective spots and started up. They will be worked on until they are running perfectly. I’m beyond happy about this and so pleased they are with someone I know. I’m also looking forward to waking up at 4:00 AM and knowing what time it is.