My dad liked to fix things. He tinkered. He also went through phases. He worked in a paint factory full time but for years he also repaired lawnmowers and boat motors. The nature of growing up in a lake town means that there is a steady trail of folks trying to upgrade boats and motors so it kept him busy and his reputation grew. He also did something that we called “scrounging”. He could find junk, fix it, and sell it for two and three times what he paid for it. It kept us fishing and water skiing as I grew up. It also provided me with a bicycle, a record player (for those of you who are not from my time – think of an iPod for dinosaurs), a sewing machine which I used for years, and many other things that we probably could not have afforded if not for his ability to create value from none.
One of his phases was clocks. For awhile there were multiple chiming clocks in our house and the hour and the half hour was a bizarre but not unpleasant combination of chimes and bells. You would think it would interrupt your sleep but it was one of those things that once you got used to it it was comforting.
My mother was always amazed that he could “tinker” with the tiny clock works because his hands were as big as baseball mitts! I know this was not just a family exaggeration because I brought a date home one time and as we pulled out of the driveway he said that was the biggest hand he had ever shaken. We got home from our date on time.
Today Dale finally hung a clock that was repaired years ago by my dad. When he passed on I got to pick from several and chose this one. Today Dale hung it in the living room and got it working again. The clock is a 1925 Junghans chiming wall clock. It’s mahogany and about 28 inches tall. The first chime took me back to living at home and hearing all the clocks and seeing my dad at the kitchen table at night with clock pieces spread out around him.
It still needs some work but now that Dale is interested it will end up spread out on my kitchen table and it will be keeping time again.