December 2, 2008

The Clock Man

I loaded the grandmother clock into the back of my pickup and took it to a man who has been working on clocks for thirty-five years. The man who worked on it last night, Dick Dixon, recommended it because the workings needed cleaning. Dick and this man have been friends for over thirty years and are both members of The National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors, Inc. (NAWCC). I picked Dick up.

"What's his name Dick?"
"Well, his name is J.R. Duncan, Jim Duncan, people call him J.R., but most of his friends call him Red."

J.R. Duncan is eight-two years old and retired from Western Union and put two daughters through college. He looks more like seventy. Dick and I carried the clock into JR's basement and my jaw dropped. There must have been at least fifty clocks, many of them grandfather clocks. JR collects, buys, sells, and used to repair clocks. Dick talked JR into cleaning my clock so to speak.

The oldest clock he had was made circa 1730 and had wooden clock works. He had restored the decorative wood surrounding the clock itself and it keeps time. I fell in love with a one handed grandfather clock made in 1830 that was fully restored and worth around 8000 dollars. The design was simple, primitive, and had alot of character. JR said I wouldn't want that clock though because you had to wind it everyday. Damn, I was just about to whip out my checkbook too.

When I go to pick our clock up, I'm definitely taking my camera and I'll post them in the future.
I've heard there's a fine line between a collecting hobby and madness but I find myself drawn to antique clocks. They have a indefinable charm to them, an almost life-like personality.


  1. Yep, that's how it starts ...

  2. Wow - looking forward to seeing the pictures, especially the one made in the 1700s!! Amazing.

  3. I can totally understand your interest in them. I want to say they're from another time but that just sounds like a bad pun. I too am looking forward to seeing the pictures.