Marking Time Again

The clockmaker, Daryl, called to say my granddaddy’s clock was ready. We were pleasantly surprised that he checked and cleaned it in only nine days, which included letting it run several days in his home. I loved listening to him talk, because his speech was even and measured, much like the clocks he repairs. He took time to explain what he had done, included an anecdote about an old factory clock to which 10 others were linked, and reassured me that I couldn’t overwind my treasure. He showed us he was leaving his card inside the case with a list of the things he had done. We liked that, since we had a faded bill from the last repair done in 1996. He repaired a hinge that had been broken years ago and said he did not polish the brass ring around the glass. He felt such an old clock needed to look its age. I liked his thinking. Bet I could depend on him to agree I should not restore my gray hair to brown, so I’d continue to look my age.

071615 Grandfather's Clock Daryl Bridges JC N

We were surprised to get a postscript. Several hours after he left, Daryl called to add one more comment. He said, “You should stop the pendulum gently when you wind the clock, and restart it carefully.”

We had never heard that before. As you wind, there is pressure on the gear, then no pressure. If you catch it at the wrong place, it could bend teeth. That would have been most appropriate for my dad and granddad to know, since they were dentists. They would not have wanted to bend any teeth the wrong way!

I listened to the gentle tick tock and felt I had witnessed a resurrection. The dead clock was alive again, marking time with a steady beat.

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