I have a lot of things that had belonged to my grandparents – mostly things that were my Grandmother’s, but also some of Grandpa’s things. I am very pleased and proud to have them in my home and have always displayed them prominently or made sure they were in use and not just sitting in a closet somewhere for “their protection”. I get a lot of joy out of using them as they used them. Of course, I’m a little more careful with them than I am with my other things, but I want to enjoy them, as I’m sure my grandparents would want me to.
One piece that has particular sentimental value for me is a mantel clock that was in my grandparent’s living room for many years. My grandfather bought it on a trip to New York City with his bowling team when my mother was a little girl. The team earned a spot in the NY State Tournament of ABC Leagues. While they were there, he found this Seth Thomas electric mantel clock in a jewelry store and brought it home with him. He used to talk of walking the streets of NYC with this clock under his arm. The price tag is still stapled to the bottom of the clock – he paid $22.00 for it! Of course, that was about 70 years ago (give or take a year or two), so that was a LOT of money for a clock!
I grew up listening to the clock chime on the hour and half hour and the sound of it makes me think of my grandparents and the years that we lived with them. I get all warm and fuzzy when I hear the chimes and the clock means a lot to me! So, when my Grandfather asked me if there was anything that I wanted, I immediately told him that the clock would be the best thing I could possibly have because it single-handedly brought up every memory I had of them and that house and my childhood! So, it became mine. And I adored having it in my home.
Unfortunately, a few years after I got it, it stopped working! I searched for an antique clock repair shop to see if I could get it fixed. It broke my heart that it no longer kept time and, most importantly, no longer chimed! I found one near Sanford that kept it for several weeks only to tell me that clocks that old – especially electric ones – can’t be fixed and he recommended I let him gut it and turn it into a battery operated clock that wouldn’t chime. I told him it would sit on the mantle and just look pretty before I would let him do that to it! I continued my search. I talked to an antique clock dealer in Raleigh that said I had to have someone who specialized in electric clocks of that age and that he knew of only 2 or 3 in the country who did that kind of specialized work. He referred me to a shop in Virginia. I contacted them and was put on a 6 month waiting list for service. After about 8 months, I discovered they went out of business. So, I gave up and decided that it would just be a visual treasure and not a musical one!
After I moved up here, I had a hunch and posted a photo on Facebook to ask if anyone knew of someone in this area that may be able to help. I got a few suggestions and decided to call the first one, which was also the one that more than one person recommended. It is a gentleman in Lockport. He said he’d take a look at it, so I took it up to him today. He sounded very knowledgable and encouraging and was a very nice, kind man. I felt comfortable leaving it with him and am hopeful that he can get it fixed for me! I’m excited, but trying not to get my hopes up TOO high – just in case he can’t fix it and I’m left with a broken heart!
My drive to Lockport was a pleasant adventure. I rarely used to go in that direction, which is towards Buffalo. I typically went the other way if I wanted to shop or go for entertainment – towards Rochester. So, I wasn’t sure where I was going or how to get there. I plugged the address into my GPS and headed out Route 31 – I knew that was the most direct way to get to downtown Lockport! But, my GPS really, really wanted me to go via Route 104 (Ridge Road)! Every street I came to, it would tell me to turn right so that I would head to Ridge Road! Geez! I knew how to get to the general area – I just wanted help navigating once I got there! 🙂 It was still an enjoyable drive. It is a pretty day, today – cool, but sunny and bright and very pleasant! I went through downtown Middleport……..I don’t think I’ve ever been in downtown Middleport before! What a lovely little town…..very quaint and quiet with a cafe and a few shops…..small, though – if I had blinked, I would have missed it altogether! The sign entering the town said “Middleport – A Friendly Community” – I believe it! And, it was in Middleport that my GPS finally decided that it liked the way I was going and stopped trying to get me to go another way! 🙂 There were a few other things along the way that I noticed and may have to go back some day when I have more time and check out.
So, thank you to my friends who recommended this guy in Lockport! I hope it pays off and I’ll soon be listening to the beautiful sounds of Grandpa’s clock chiming throughout the day and night again.