Monday, May 30, 2011

Time Traveler?

Not every RVer travels with a grandfather clock.

OK, we don't either, but now we will be traveling with a "grandmother" clock, so called because it is somewhat smaller than a grandfather clock. In the 1970's I built, from scratch, nearly a dozen clocks. I bought patterns and adjusted them to my own desires; I bought and cut the hardwood myself, including using a tool to shape the moldings; I bought the clockworks from a mail order company. I worked my butt off preparing these clocks. Those we didn't give as gifts stayed with us until we retired. Then we moved them to other family members' homes.

I stopped making these clocks (although I loved the hobby) when I kept hearing the question, "Oh, did you make this from a kit?" Hell, no, I didn't! But if people couldn't tell these from a kit project (like a model airplane) then I wasn't about to bother any more. I switched to writing as a hobby.

Here on the road we don't have any of our clocks, and we don't have pictures of many of them. We do have a picture of the clock I made for my parents' 40th wedding anniversary (and now we have celebrated our own 50th last year -- and we have that clock in our own home in Benson now!). Unfortuantely, search as I may, I cannot find that picture right now, but I know I have it. Somewhere. Gotta start labeling my pictures!

So what am I getting to? Daughter Kathie and her Shawn have kept our masterpiece all these years as they have moved ahead in their own lives. Now they have returned it to us!!!! Our "grandmother" clock! They brought it to us in our RV park yesterday in the back of their pickup truck! Here is Shawn unloading it and bringing it into Rosie's warm embrace. (The clock crown needed to be removed for travel.)

Kathie and Shawn were also taking stuff to be donated.

Kathie is standing by to lend a hand if necessary.

Let's see now, which way should I approach this?

That's it, head first!
The guts of this clock stopped working some time back, and none of us has wanted to pay to get her repaired. The cost now would be prohibitive. And to replace her works with Swiss or German clockworks would be worse. So when we get her home to Benson, we'll buy an electronic works so she can still keep good time and chime out the hours and the quarter hours as she used to do. Oh yes, there's a little cosmetic work to do, but I'm up to that.
This is where the clock will ride -- standing right behind the passenger seat. Wrapped and protected, of course!

She's taller than I am by about two inches.
In the meantime, as we travel through the highways of Nevada, California and Arizona, she will stand mostly mute, strapped in place like a sentinal waiting to be set free. Oh, she'll bing and bong her presence, because her internal organs are still attached. She'll ring out the miles one by one down the highway, and our hearts will rejoice and break at the same time, hearing those clear chime tones, yet knowing that they will have to be replaced by electronic beeps and boops.

Before closing, we do want to say a huge thank you to all those of you who have ever served in our armed forces. This is a day to remember not only those who have fallen and given their all for this country, but those who served in any manner at any time. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. You have enabled us to live ... Our Life on Wheels ... in this great, if imperfect, country.


  1. That clock is a beautiful piece of artistry. Glad you got her back and will give her a good home :)) Hope you enjoy her.

    Reminds me of the time many years ago when we went to visit my brother and spent the night on the hideabed in the living room. He didn't think about silencing the grandfather clock and every 15 minutes we got a nice little chime and every hour we got the appropriate number of teeth-rattling BONGS! We only spent the one night - I wonder if there was a method to this madness!!

  2. That is a beautiful clock, I know how you feel I look at the passenger train I modeled and when people see it at the club they think it is something like a Lionel that anybody could buy. Little due they know the hours that went into making each car a replica of the original Pheobe Snow that my GrandDad was so proud of of. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

  3. Beautiful clock. I have always wanted to own either a grandfather or grandmother clock, but unfortunately, never have. Enjoy. Great workmanship.

  4. The clock is gorgeous and what wonderful memories it holds. Sometimes we too get new internal workings (like pace makers) but that doesn't change our character. She's beautiful

  5. I have a mantle clock that belonged to my great-aunt. It is over 100 years old. I restored the case when I rescued from the damp basement of my mother home in the late 60's. I tried to have the works repaired but it never kept good time until after taking a shattering tumble in the 1989 Loma Prieta (7.2) Earthquake, my husband took it to good clockmaker and had it fixed with some new parts. It has kept good time and bongs the hours regularly.

    Were we to ever sell the house, it is one item that would go into storage at my daughters home.

  6. Aha, an American rival to England's Big Ben. Your clock is probably the largest time piece traveling in the RV world at the moment. Must have taken a lot of patience to put that all together.

  7. Beautiful work on that clock, Jerry. As an amateur woodworker myself I can understand how much work went into making that and how chagrined one can feel when someone asks 'was that made from a kit'?

  8. What a beautiful clock! I can't wait to see her in person. It's great that you're able to make room for her in your coach for such a long ride. That's a treasure that deserves special handling, for sure.

  9. WOW...what an absolutely gorgeous piece of art and creativity! I can't even imagine the work that goes into a piece like that so I'm totally in awe!


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