Archive for August, 2010
My grandparents, like many of the other senior citizens I’ve encountered in my life, love to collect things. Thankfully they haven’t gone too overboard, but my grandma does have several china cabinets, bookshelves and curios which are chockfull of little tchotchkes. She’s been collecting little figurines and glass statuettes for decades, so her collection is extensive.
As an engineer, my grandfather is drawn to any type of machinery or mechanisms. But the one thing that interests him the most is antique clocks. He’s converted his garage into a workshop where he repairs and restores old clocks that he finds at antique stores, garage sales, Craig’s List…pretty much anywhere. You’ll find every type of clock you can imagine in his workshop—from ornate anniversary clocks to eight day cuckoo clocks.
You won’t find many of them anymore, but when I was little I loved going with my mom to the local clock shop. I could spend hours inspecting all of the timepieces in the shop—from ancient sundials, to decorative coo coo clocks. But the one thing I remember most about the shop was the store owner.
He was a small, spindly man with shoulder-length grey hair and a small pair of spectacles that rested perilously close to the tip of his nose. Every time we came into the store he would be hunched over a clock behind the counter at his makeshift workstation, performing some sort of detailed repairs. Over the years I developed a relationship with him, and he showed me the intricate inner workings of many of the clocks and explained some of their history. Although the shop has been out of business for awhile, I still think about it every time I see an ornate timepiece.