He Hears The Ticking Of The Clocks

Two years ago we spent a couple of weeks in Germany, traveling with my sister-in-law. Both Martha and Ruth were German majors in college, and they had separately spent extended time there in the past, so it was natural to want to take Ben to visit. Mostly we were in large cities: Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich; Ruth knew several people in the last of these through her work, including one who had a son just a few months younger than Ben. We made arrangements one day for Ben to take the train to where Ludwig attended school. The day was so hot that school got called off midday (no A/C); Ben wound up going with Ludwig and several of his friends to visit a festival taking place near the site of the 72 Olympics. And that’s where Ben came across a vendor selling, among other things, clocks made from vinyl LPs. It didn’t take long for him to find something he thought his old man might like.


We’d seen Dylan in concert the previous fall, on Ben’s 16th birthday (I tried to make it a memorable day for him), and my boy knew well how I loved a number of Dylan songs, especially “Tangled Up in Blue.” It was incredibly thoughtful and kind of him to make such an impulse purchase; the seller sent him off with it in a pizza box. Of course, determining how to get it home on a transatlantic flight without damage required some thought. We were fortunate to have a non-stop flight back to Atlanta, and I managed to keep it safe in my carry-on.

I’ve been meaning for some time now to set it up in my office at work—for years I’ve had a hole where a wall clock should go. Ben’s imminent departure spurred me finally to take action this week. Yesterday, he came over to the college and we discussed what we might do. The imbalance in the clock’s weight due to what had been cut out made it impractical to hang from a hook.  Ben scanned around my office and noticed the Zometool construction set I keep to make geometric figures occasionally for my classes.  Pretty soon he’d put together a stand.


It fits on like this:


And now that sits on top of one of my bookshelves (you can see where the wall clock was–I’m working now on hanging something in a frame over it).


Thanks so much, Bud.

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