Watchmaker Past

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  • #48058
    wingman
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    • Topics Started: 34
    • Total Posts: 91

    Hello Bob and all

    The other day I was thinking about when I was a kid growing up in Whitter and I remember being in awe of the watchmaker at the Owl Drug Store on the corner of Greenleaf Avenue in uptown Whittier. As I recall his workshop was right out front in the store. I believe it was where my Mother had my Sessions clock repaired after my botched attempt at spring let-down. You are a couple years younger than me but you might remember the place. It would be interesting to hear where everyone got their inspiration to get into watch/clock repair?

    Steve

    #50665
    stevefitzwater
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 48
    • Total Posts: 385

    My maternal grandfather was a watchmaker, he passed when I was in my teens, even though I have great memories as a child, like most teenagers, I never really got to know him well during my teenage life.

    From my memories, I can remember his basement full of all the tools I am looking for now.

    The spark that rekindled my interest in watchmaking was going through a dresser drawer and finding his personal watch that he willed to me, and the desire to have it restored.

    #50666
    wingman
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 34
    • Total Posts: 91

    Its interesting that many of our interests were passed on by Grandparents.

    I found out my old Sessions clock was a repaired by the Clockmaker who had the shop next to the Wardman Theater on Greenleaf. He had done a good repair because it ran well for 40 years.

    #50667
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1552

    Great thread topic Steve, thanks for starting it!
    Wow does that Owl Drug Store bring back memories. Remember the ice cream shop a little further up Greenleaf on the same side of the street? Can’t remember the name but Best malts I ever had. That watchmaker had a lot to do with my getting into watch repair. I also used to watch him from outside his window as well as another watchmaker/jeweler who was closer to my home. The one close to our house got tired of me staring at him just about everyday on my way home from school (12 years old) and finally called me in. I used to sweep his shop, dump trash and wash his windows a couple times a week and got some lessons in return. I learned to completely disassemble, clean, oil and assemble a watch over the next several months. He finally sold his store to a not so friendly guy and moved away but the seed was planted. Tinkered with them through my teens a bit but girls were just much more interesting. Started getting serious again when I was around 20.
    It will be interesting to hear from more about their beginnings into insanity!

    Thanks again Steve!
    Bob

    #50668
    wingman
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 34
    • Total Posts: 91

    Very interesting to hear how you got into this. Hey any other newbies jump in its alway interesting to hear how our interest motivated us into this.

    Ah the The Malt Shop. It started down (I believe) on Philidelphia St. as the Whittier Ice Creme factory. When we were flush with allowance we’d ride our bikes uptown and go there for a chocolate malt or soda. Then in the mid to late 60s moved near the Owl Drug store. My aunt used to work there. There were two places in the western US to get good Malts, however others might differ. Whitter and Independence, CA. Canadians don’t do malts and so we languish up here. I try to get one whenever I’m in the US but they just aren’t the same. One of my early memories as a kid was going to “Nixon’s” (owned by the late Presidents family) and having a hamburger and chocolate malt.

    Steve

    #50669
    Bob Tascione
    Moderator
    • Topics Started: 38
    • Total Posts: 1552

    Hi Steve,
    I don’t remember “Nixons” at all so might have been before my time.
    I haven’t had a real malt for…well can’t remember how long. Nothing like that down here in Mexico. They call them “Shakes” now and just not the same.
    Oh well…those were sure good times.

    Bob

    #50670
    townhallclock1947
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 16

    Hello Wingman,Bob & All, I to have childhood memories about my interest in watches and clocks. every Tuesday I would go with my Mother by train to visit my Grandparents. On our return we would walk up a hill to the Bus Station, Which took us past a watchmakers called Charles Groves. I would look at a pocket watch which was made by the Smiths Company.After much debate my father said if I could save half he would give me the rest for my eighth birthday. ( This was 1955) Many years later I bought my Wife her Wedding ring at the same shop. Sadely the shop is no longer there.But Im happy to say The Wife is. Clive in cornwall U.K.

    #50671
    clam71
    Participant
    • Topics Started: 8
    • Total Posts: 83

    In so many ways, weren’t we all steered and gifted by the generations who have built this nation.
    God bless them each and every one. Comforting to hear nostalgia from you’se !

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