Curious if Anybody Here Knew John B. McLemore?

Discussion in 'Member News and Views' started by LittleSister, Apr 4, 2017.

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  1. LittleSister

    LittleSister Registered User

    Jul 24, 2014
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    McLemore is the subject of a recent and extremely popular podcast headed by Brian Reed. He is described as a brilliant horologist.
    They named the podcast "S-Town", which was the polite description of McLemore's term for his home- Woodstock, Alabama. He was known for being fierce in his opinions, his attitude of doom, his fascinating subjects, his heartfelt compassion for others... and his awe-striking abilities to cuss. He was described as a genius clock maker- capable of extremely advanced restorations. (And a genius at just about everything that captured his interest.)

    If you haven't listened to it, I do recommend. And if anybody has any stories about having come across John B, I'd love to see them here.
     
  2. Ralph

    Ralph Registered User
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    I don't believe I knew him, but I have heard of him and his clock genius.

    Ralph
     
  3. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Is there a link to this, would be interested to hear it.
     
  4. LittleSister

    LittleSister Registered User

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  5. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    The podcast is well done, and will hold your attention throughout. It is quite disturbing, however, especially the last couple of episodes, so be prepared.
     
  6. LittleSister

    LittleSister Registered User

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    Agreed. Disturbing and haunting.
     
  7. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User
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    Can you let e know what is disturbing about it Peter.
     
  8. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    I was feeling disturbed from the explanation about defining the region. I'm simply happy that I don't live there.
     
  9. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

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    love the description of the maze though.
     
  10. LittleSister

    LittleSister Registered User

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    There's photos around that show his maze.
     
  11. LittleSister

    LittleSister Registered User

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    (**Spoiler warnings**)
    For me- the disturbing element had to do with John's mental and emotional decline. I had never heard of fire-gilding, or mercury-gilding. So I only know what Brian Reed says about it in the podcast.
    He refers to it as a way of applying a layer of gold on to clock parts. A method that has a history going back hundreds of years. John wanted to be true to a lot of traditional clock methods, and he used this one since his teens.
    The podcast also talks about similar methods that were once used for felting hats. It is how the term "mad hatter" came about. The description of mercury poisoning seems to match well with what John was going through.

    The other disturbing thing was a person that was put in charge of a funeral, but had no regard for the wishes of the dead. No representation of who they were in life at the funeral, no respect for their possessions or even their remains. Not even a headstone. This person took over and just allowed no dignity at all for someone's memory. To me, that person was obnoxious and creepy.
    But- I think that there are different things that will be even more disturbing to different people- depending on your background. The racism and misogyny is of course disturbing. But I'm from a southern state, and I had no doubt that it would show up in the story. Brian Reed had never encountered it before and the shock he felt when he heard it was kind of refreshing- in a weird way. I guess I'm so used to knowing people that are already prepared for dealing with it.
     
  12. LittleSister

    LittleSister Registered User

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    (At the end there- I should have said that Brian Reed had never encountered racism so casually expressed. He has certainly encountered racism before, but not the way it is served in that region.)
     
  13. Jeff Hess

    Jeff Hess Moderator
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    Mr. Mclemore was supposed to be an accomplished horologist and very well known clockmaker. Has anyone ever heard of him...other than fromt he podcast?
     
  14. musicguy

    musicguy Moderator
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    was he a member of the NAWCC




    Rob
     
  15. Peter A. Nunes

    Peter A. Nunes Moderator
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    Yes, I was well aware of him. He flew pretty much under the radar, but was well known among a certain group of collectors.
     
  16. Markoftime

    Markoftime Registered User
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    I met John Several times. Mclemore and Maurice Burns would come to various NAWCC events. John and I discussed authentic methods of clock restoration whenever we would see each other. He had a brilliant technical mind in search of authenticity, and was the only guy I knew who was crazy enough to try bronze doré (fire gilt). On the first clock case he worked on for me, he charged less than the original estimate creating an instant bond, We would usually speak until another needed my attention. I provided many glowing referrals to fellow horologists on his doré work.

    With most of us NAWCC members Maurice was John's exclusive agent and expediter, making deliveries and processing payments. I wonder if that may have been a turning point for John as Maurice did 90% of the logistics for John. Maurice passed on November 30, 2003 and we lost our connection. Without Maurice, I think many of us lost touch with John.

    I just came across the podcast and just finished chapter V. Amazing story, adapted, would make excellent screenplay.

    BTW...my Mom's name is Mary Grace, should I worry?

    <grinning>
     

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