This week’s Fish out of Water took me to in downtown Hopkins.
When I first arrived, the "tick-tock" of all the clocks instantly transported me back to the sitting room in my grandparents’ home. Suddenly I was 10-years-old, sitting on the "Davenport," dressed in my fancy clothes (trying, per strict order from my Swedish grandmother, not to mess them up) and waiting for it to be time to go to church. The tick-tocks of the big clocks placed throughout the room kept me company.
And owner Mark Purdy said many of his customers are into their clocks for that reason—because of the nostalgia and memories that they evoke.
But once the shop opened, gone was the quiet that brought memories flooding back. The place was suddenly packed. In the couple of hours I was there, honing my clock repair craft, the phone rang off the hook and customer after customer stopped in with clocks for repair, to pick up their clocks, and even to just see how their clocks were coming along. I assured them that none of their treasured pieces had been—or would be—my training-clock. They were glad.
Although he said he never had an interest in clocks growing up, Purdy took to the craft as a young man and has been a clock repairman for more than two decades. And while the job of fixing clocks is delicate and tedious (and, in my opinion, much better done with a fake English accent), shop owner Mark Purdy seems to have fun with the job.
And in case you were wondering (as I was) yes, he watches a lot of "Antiques Roadshow," is great at the Rubik's Cube and is very rarely late.