It was 1976. Trudeau and Levesque were debating the future of Canada. Jimmy Carter was squaring off with Gerald Ford in the US. Disco-mania and the leisure suit were rampant. The Canadiens won the Stanley Cup. And I finally realized a lifelong dream and got a grandfather clock.
It was hand built by my uncle's old friend Luther Gaylord - Luther was about 68 at the time and had retired from a long career as a cabinetmaker. My uncles delivered it personally to my home in Beaconsfield. They're all gone now, I'm an old man but the clock remains.
However, the heart and soul of the clock - a Kieninger A60 Westminster movement - had fallen upon hard times. It received an extensive rebuild and re-bushing in 1998, but after 31 years its plates were worn, its bushings were bushed, its cogwheels had all kinds of play in them, it didn't chime all that well and lubrication by a local clock repair guy couldn't fix it. After consultation with the repair expert, we decided the movement must be replaced with a new one.
So after six weeks, an order to Germany, some slight modification to a 31 year old pendulum and a week of test bed running, grandpa is back.
Luther was a sensible man with an eye for value, so he chose a reputable and established clock manufacturer for the original installation. Kieninger still makes new movements to this day. In fact it's now part of the Howard Miller clock group. The fact that Kieninger is still around made replacement relatively easy, actually.
So here's to Luther - craftsman and overall good guy. I'm sure he'd be glad to hear that after a heart transplant his good old clock is ticking like the well oiled machine it was, is, and hopefully will be.