Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I went through my old BLOGs and looked to see if I had written about my father's affinity for timepieces. I'm sure I did, but I can't find it, so I'll reiterate.

This BLOG came about from a reminder from my niece, Lori, about the clock in our living room. Lori remembered and now that her family has a clock that dings on the quarter hour, she was reminded of my father's clock.

My father had three clocks that I know of. One I received when I moved to Cincinnati in 1975. I doubt my brothers and sister would even remember it. It was black and old and square the case was made out of metal (like in the picture). I recall my father winding that clock -- it sat at one time on the bookcase in the living room, and when it was replaced with the mantle clock which Lori remembers, it was moved to his bedroom and resided on his high-boy. It did the quarter-hour thing, until it broke. I had it fixed once, and it broke again. My son, Phil has it now. I don’t think he’s had it repaired.

The mantle clock that was in the living room, either my sister or my brother (Mark) received. That chimed every quarter hour. And dad was very precise about winding it. He did it exactly at the same time every week. And he would check it against Navy time, and his pocket watch. He was always saying how he could hear it ticking. He couldn’t hear me talking to him, but he could hear it ticking!

Then there was a similar clock that was his father’s and it was over in the church study. Either my sister or my brother (Mark) got that one. I don’t know who has what at this point, except for the one I got back in ’75.

And then my dad liked wind-up clocks -- you know those little ones you used to be able to get at the drug store. He had several of those around the house. He had a pocket watch which he loved to hold to his ear to check his hearing. When he couldn't hear it ticking, he assumed the watch had stopped, when in reality, he just couldn't hear it ticking!
Oh, and does anyone remember the clock in the kitchen that was on the wall beneath the cabinets where mom stored her glassware flanked by dad's pill cabinet?

Then he had a couple of wrist watches. I have one of them in my jewelry box, my son received one when we cleaned out my dad's house, and I believe he had two more. He always bought the best watch available (not Rolex) -- it had to be a wind-up watch. So he preferred Whitnauer wrist watches. When he bought my mom a watch, he got her a Bulova. I just had that watched repaired. Believe it or not there is ONE watchmaker/repairer in Cincinnati. He was amazed that I still had an old Bulova, wind-up watch. He (the jeweler) said everyone is into disposable these days. He's right. I buy a watch and rather than getting a new battery, I pitch it and buy another $2.00 watch.

I think I might have caught my father's watch affinity. I do have several watches -- that I do get new batteries for them periodically because I paid a lot for them when I bought them. I also have a couple of cheapo watches that I wear for everyday. And then there is the watch (engraved) which my husband gave me for a wedding gift, my mom's wrist watch, her pendant watch (it's a wind-up also), and dad's watch. That's it. I don't collect clocks, although there is a clock in every room except the living room and the library. In the bedrooms you have to have alarm clocks, right? And in the kitchen, there is a clock on the microwave, on the stove, on the coffee pot, and ...I guess that's it for the kitchen. In the dining room, I have another clock radio. So there you have it.

I'm as dingy as my daddy -- you gotta love that!

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