Clock Shoppe

A long walk around Spring Lake and Lake Ralphine this morning yielded shots of goslings, herons, people fishing and a father on a bike with very fat tires, a child in front of him and an older version behind him. All were wearing helmets and sunglasses, and I can just picture Mom making sure they werel slathered with sun cream as well as properly equipped before they were allowed to leave the house.

We decided a few weeks ago to give my grandmother's "crystal regulator" clock one last chance to behave and dropped it off at the clock repair shop, undoubtedly one of the last of its kind judging from the time warp feeling we always get when we enter.  It is a family business, which I believe is now run by a brother and sister who are so unchanged every time we go there, it is hard to imagine them ever emerging from the dim recesses of the cluttered shop.

Although we went to the Cottage Garden nursery/garden center, which is always full of interesting plants and garden ornaments, fountains, ceramic and terra cotta pots and bird baths all artfully and carefully arranged to look careless, I opted for a picture of the interior of the clock shop because of the story that goes with the 12 foot long counter alone one whole side of the shop. Apparently it was originally the bar in a drinking establishment that stood right across the street, owned by the grandfather of the clock shop pair. Pictures of that building can be seen on the wall behind some clocks.

When the building housing the bar had to be torn down to make way for civic "progress" of one sort or another, the bar was carried, in pieces (except for the stone countertop) across the main street of town by an army of volunteers and reassembled in the clock shop. It is just possible to imagine bottles rather than clocks ranged in front of the mirrors between the solid wooden pillars and cold beers filling the refrigerated compartments beneath the bar.

We were told as I gingerly carried the clock out the door that we shouldn't have to bring it back for ten years or so. That may be a job for our heirs, who might just prefer to give it away.

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