Ivan had been a clockmaker for decades. He could still do it well, in spite of his advancing years. Of course, it was more than that. He fixed clocks of all kinds, too. Ivan even cared for the clock in the town square.
All around his tiny storefront the town had grown. You could hardly call it a town anymore; it was now more of a city. Business wasn’t the same, either. There wasn’t the same call for what Ivan did, as there once was. Yet he continued on, feeling a purpose.
Ivan took great pride in his shop, as well as his craft. He surrounded himself with clocks of all kinds. He had fancy clocks, simple clocks, grandfather clocks, and cuckoo clocks among many others. He had new clocks, but he preferred the old clocks feeling a connection of age with them. He understood them, as if they were his family.
Every morning before dawn, Ivan would rise in his little apartment at the back of his shop. He would wind his pocket watch, and then go about winding each clock in the shop carefully. As he went he would inspect each one. It was important to keep them wound and in good working order. He didn’t do it for sales really, but rather feeling he was doing each one justice. He did his job so they could do theirs.
Finally, Ivan would check the time on his pocket watch once more. He was always careful to open on time; it was important. Sweeping his sidewalk, he would wave to the other shopkeepers. Seeing his familiar, dependable and friendly face, they waved back.
Ivan had clients who had come to him for many years. These days, however, most people usually came in to have their watches repaired or batteries changed. That was fine with him. On a good day, someone brought him a clock to fix. Sometimes they came in just to see his clocks. He liked to tell them about the clocks and their history.
One morning the sign did not turn to “Open”. People immediately knew this was not like Ivan. His routine was well known, running like proverbial clockwork. He was a fixture as much as the town clock was.
The police were called to assist with a well-check call. They found Ivan seated at his workbench. A smile on his face, he looked very peaceful they said. In his hands was his old pocket watch; both now still.
~McGuffy Ann Morris
As with many of my stories, this one came to me wanting to be told. Ivan, with his timely tale, is one of my own favourites. I hope you enjoy his story, too.