Winding down vacation

Posted By on December 9, 2007

It’s Sunday afternoon: chilly, grey, a typical Cleveland day for well into December. I’m winding down my vacation, five days off from work. I worked hard this week, however: I took a pocket watch repair course at Lakeland Community College in Mentor, about 15 miles east of where I live. It was hard. I feel like I accomplished something: I can pretty much tear down a size 16 or 18 vintage pocket watch, clean it and reassemble it.

The reason I took the course was, first of all, prompting from a friend who took a course in grandfather clock repair; secondly, I figured if I learned about the workings of a watch, I might be able to maintain and even repair my own wrist watches (I have a collection that, depending on what I buy and sell, ranges from a dozen to 20). I learned, for sure; I can at least identify most of the components of a watch now. But I doubt I’ll be able to service my own wrist watches, because they’re a) a lot smaller than pocket watches and b) they’re much more sophisticated, even complicated.

Still, taking the course was instructive. The teacher, Lehr Dircks, an amazingly dexterous man from central Ohio, was the soul of patience; he told me the last day that as the most obvious novice in this class of seven (and one of only two still working), he was worried, on the second day, that I wouldn’t make it. High praise indeed; I felt pretty good about that.

It’s good to step outside your comfort zone. It’s even better when it’s about working hard and learning a little bit about mechanics (not my field, for sure) and, better yet, patience.


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I'm a veteran critic and business writer who reads and listens and writes about music, books, hotels and travel. I've been in the business for many years and still enjoy it. My pride and joy is my book, Cleveland Rock & Roll Memories. Follow me on Twitter: