Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Keeping time

 I came into possession of an old mantle clock. This clock was the property of my great grandfather.  Actually he had two and my sister got the other one. There were at my parents house for a time after the passing of great grandfather Floyd. I remember then sitting on the shelf next to the fireplace.  I don't recall then running though, not back then. There are a couple of stories associated with these clocks but no one really knows the truth of it. One story says my clock was a wedding gift. I rather like that story, but there is no proof of that.  The other version of the story is far more likely.  Great Grandfather Floyd worked for a well to do lady named Mrs. Morris. She had  an estate uptown somewhere. Rich folks always have estates, poor folks have houses. Anyway, when Mrs. Morris passed it was told to me that Grandfather was allowed to bring whatever items he liked home with him. It is said he brought the two clocks. I do question why he would have two of them though. Now these clocks were sold by Tiffany & Co. and so are of a very good quality. The cases are brass and glass. The one I have is in an oval shape, my clock repairman assures me that is rare, and my sisters is a rectangle. Mine was made at the turn of the century, the 20th century that is, guess we have to be clear about that nowadays. I recently had it repaired and it sits atop my computer desk now, ticking away and chiming the hour and half hour.
 This morning I had to wind it up. I opened that door in the front and retrieved the key. I keep that lying in the bottom of the clock case. Sliding it over the winding peg I gave it a twist. I like the sound and feel of it. You can hear the little cog going click, click as it engages the teeth of the wheel.  I checked the time by glancing at the lower right hand corner of my computer screen. I did have to adjust it. It was then I thought about that. I can easily check the time to the second. When that clock was made it wasn't that simple. You had a professional clockmaker set your clock up at your home. He would  " set the beat " on your clock. The beat is the tick-tock that you hear, my clockmaker explained it to me. There's more to it than you think. Then once the beat was set the time was set. The clockmaker had a chronometer, part of his toolbox, and the rest was up to you. You had to remember to wind that clock. And that is what I did this morning. The moment wasn't lost on me  That clock is well over a hundred years old. I can't but wonder how many years it has run and how many it has sat idle. My clock man replaced a few pivots he told me were worn and then he cleaned and lubricated the mechanism. I'm told that should be done every six months or so. Back in the day, clockmakers traveled door to door doing just that. I couldn't readily find anyone that would do that. My guy is an older gentleman and doesn't provide that service anymore. He gave me a quick lesson in " setting the beat " and after a few attempts I've got. It runs a bit slow but I nudge it forward every now and again. I could continue to adjust it as I am told it will keep the time within two minutes a week, pretty accurate timepiece for 1900.
 The monetary value of that clock isn't very much really, a few hundred dollars will get you one just like it. Old clocks, with a few exceptions, just aren't very valuable. In my hometown a family named Dominy made clocks, those clocks are quite valuable. I don't have a Dominy clock but my grandmother did at one time. No one in the family knows what happened to that clock. It was given to her by one of the Dominy ladies. A nice gift to be sure but one not especially valued, as the Dominy family made clocks all the time, no big deal. Isn't that how it works ? It was like living next door to Picasso and he gave you a painting. Thank you very much and then you stick it in the attic. The clock I have is no Dominy but it is a Tiffany. I know it sat idle for a number of years. I take pleasure in having it running and hearing it chime the hours. My great, great grandparents may have heard that if the clock was a wedding gift. I know for certain great grandfather did, and grandma did, and my father. Generations have listened to its' chime and I hope to continue that. My grandchildren hear it all the time now. I'm hoping one of them will keep it running and when they wind it up, a new beginning as it where, they think of me. I always think of my grampa Floyd. I'm certain he is pleased. To keep it running one has to " set the beat " and then keep it wound up. It requires attention, just like our memories. In that way time is " kept. "

still keeping time