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08/20/2003 Entry: "My Grandfather's Clock"

My grandmother, years ago, bought my grandfather a clock at the local atinque store (Arlene Drinkwater's shop). She thinks she paid $8 for it. I admired it for years. And, as tactfuly as I could, I made it known that when their estate was settled, that that clock had better head my way. Now that Father (that's we called him) is dead, Ma thought it appropriate to give the clock to me now.

"Do you still want Father's clock?" she asked me in church.
"Of course I do."
"Well, why don't you pick it up next time you're down. There's no reason you can't enjoy it now. Everyone knows it's going to you anyway."

I was choked up. That was several months ago.

Fast forward. Last night I was giving a computer lesson to my friend Jim. When Jim's not driving foreign sports cars, or playing Irish music, he's a clock maker. Since the clock wasn't running too well, I took it to him for a looksee. I described the problem, and he said it just needed a cleaning. He explained that whent you wind the clock, you tighten the spring. OK, I got that part. As the oil dries out, it gets sticky. So when you tighten the sping, the sticky parts rub together and, well, stick. But as the spring loosens, the sticky parts aren't bound tihtly together, and the clock runs fine. That explained why, if I wound it too tight, it would stop. But if I kept at swinging the pendulum, eventually it would run ok for 3-4 days.

While it was in the shop, I asked him about it. (It looks very much like this one.) Jim says it's French, and from 1890-1900. It's made of onyx, not marble like I thought. It has a rubby tipped open escapement. (That's fancy clock talk for a part that swings back and forth on the outside instead of the inside.) He'd tag it in his shop at $600. Good return on $8. Ma gave me permission to sell it, if I wanted to. It wont be sold while I have anything to say about it!

Replies: 3 people have rocked the mic!

I agree, the sentimental value far outweighs any monetary value!

Posted by beloved @ 08/20/2003 06:01 PM EST

It is hard to believe, but I remember the day she bought it. Contiue to give it a good home. If you are ever forced to sell it, sell it to me. I love you. Dad

Posted by Dad @ 08/20/2003 08:54 PM EST

Yet another thing we have in common. I too have a clock my grandfather gave me. Mine is about from the same period. Perhaps I will have to ask your friend to look at mine. I wish mine worked. I also need a key for it.

Posted by Jim @ 08/20/2003 09:31 PM EST

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