The Old Days of The NAWCC

Discussion in 'General Clock Discussions' started by claussclocks, Jul 22, 2020.

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  1. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    Mar 14, 2013
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    I was going through some old Bulletins, (Yes, I keep most of them), and found this map of the Chapters back when clocks sold for more and a number of chapters hadn't been born yet. I just thought maybe some of the oldsters would say, "Yeah, I remember that," and the youngsters will be duly bored.

    When I joined in Texas I originally joined Chapter 15. That's all there was near Dallas. Now we have the 124 in the Dallas area and the 139 in Houston.

    Just for grins. No real purpose


    DPC

    NAWCC Map.jpg
     
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  2. Dick C

    Dick C Registered User

    Oct 14, 2009
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    The old bulletins contain a wealth of knowledge about the organization, its members, the issues that continue today such as funding, the evolution of the museum, etc. Gives one a perspective of how it evolved into what it is today.
     
  3. Grant Perry

    Grant Perry Registered User

    Jun 5, 2002
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    Great topic. I may not be right on topic, but it is related....somewhat.
    I have not been a member of our chapter in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada for too long, but it must be close to 20 years. The chapter has been in existence since 1979.
    I have to say that I do miss many of the older members who have passed over the past two decades. Many were in the trade and offered valuable guidance, advice, assistance, and historical perspectives. More than a few were also WWII veterans, so we also had the added benefit of listening to a past that is unfamiliar to many today. Our chapter continues to bring in newer, and sometime younger members, but in my opinion our chapter has lost history, valuable knowledge and good friends. The current membership is a great group as well. They bring their own talents and enthusiasm to keep our club vibrant. It just seems different.
    Grant
     
  4. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2008
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    I too have been a member of the NAWCC for a long time and I do notice some changes. When I was an early member it seemed like we had a fair number of members who were "larger than life!" There seemed to be a fair number of the "greatest generation" that was just that, larger than life. There were some magnificent collections and folks seemed to be more open to sharing them. Not to suggest there are not great collections and sharing folks today, but it does seem they are different. Back in the day, there was a lot of enthusiasm that seems lost in some of our focused and often very expensive collections these days. I have seen some really great collections in the last 10-20 years, but it is not the same. One of the things that seem to be entirely different is the number of folks (or more properly put, lack of) that come through our place looking for clocks for sale, or wanting restorations, or wanting to sell, or just wanting to see what we have in our modest collection. There are 5 or so local collectors that have been very sharing in all things, but there are many others I have never been invited to see or have they been here. We have issued many invitations to very little interest. That is different for us than it used to be in the past. I guess that leaves me sounding like an old codger?
     
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  5. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Dec 5, 2014
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    I've read and heard stories about members who would check the directory when they were traveling and would take the time to visit other members all along the way. Groups also met in homes, and long-time members have talked about knowing other members' homes and collections as well as their own. When we joined in mid 2000, I saw what Jim is talking about - those folks who were larger than life, who knew everyone in the room and to whose table everyone migrated wanting to talk, ask their opinion or show them their latest find. There were also those who traveled to the shows together, and met frequently outside of the clock events. Still see this some, but so many of those horological giants are no longer around. I realize things have changed and times are different (even excluding the current situation), but perhaps the memory of these earlier folks and experiences is all the more reason for us to take the time to learn from each other and get to know other members while we can.
     
  6. Grant Perry

    Grant Perry Registered User

    Jun 5, 2002
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    Larger than life is a perfect way to describe it.
    One of our members that passed in 2018 was Charlie Beddoe. He was considered a super-ager. At the age of 98 he could talk about his WWII experiences with clarity that made it feel like it happened yesterday. He collected and repaired clocks as a hobby and was very active in our club. Always offering advice on repairs, but overall, he was the real deal. I was blessed to have the opportunity to have known him, and others like him in our club. I fear that my sons won't have these same opportunities. Anyway, here is a documentary on Charlie that was made just before his death in 2018.
    Thanks for giving me the space to share this.
     
  7. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2008
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    One of my friends has inquired as to what I mean by "larger than life" sorts of folks. Early on, in the mid-1970's I joined the NAWCC. Within a couple of years, I had met and seen the collections of several people who were in my thinking larger than life. Let me mention a few, all were in the Midwest. One fellow had more than 50 period tall clocks, he lived only a couple of miles from me. One of his later hall clocks had a hot air engine powered Regina music box in its base. He also had a collection of nearly 50 full-sized and properly restored army tanks he rented out for movies and the like. He was well known for the tank collection, the clocks, not so much.

    A second fellow clock collector, also in Indianapolis, had bought up a very large manufacturing plant consisting of several very large factories. In a couple of his buildings, he had more than 200 Mustang convertibles, in all sorts of conditions from near junk to downright nice. In another build(s) he had nearly 300 Caddilac convertibles. He also had several really big steam thrashing machines all under roof in his shop. He also had a nice collection of mostly English skeleton clocks and Victorian bracket clocks. And I didn't count the cars, but looking over the warehouse(s) I wouldn't dispute his count.

    Another fellow had a fairly mundane clock collection but he also had a huge collection of some of the finest cylinder music boxes I have ever seen. One of them, Swiss made, had a cylinder that was 3+ feet long, and it set on a matching cabinet, heavy on fine inlay, that had maybe 8-10 more cylinders for the box. And he might have had 50 more fine boxes in the house. I asked him what his favorite piece was and he produced a very fine little box that held a Faberge enameled over gold flintlock that when the trigger was pulled a flower shot out of the barrel and sprayed perfume while a music box played a tune I didn't recognize. Years later I found that particular pistol had gone through an NYC auction in 1948 for $180,000. It was very similar to these except one of these is a singing bird and the pair I am not certain.

    Then there was a tour after hours by the owner of the Rockford Museum of Time....and others also, but I will end here. 4 examples of larger than life types IMO.

    Double-barrelledpistol with singing bird ∏ 2011 Fondation Ed.jpg fabrege pistols.jpg
     
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  8. roughbarked

    roughbarked Registered User

    Dec 2, 2016
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    Have to admit. You are an awesome collection of old codgers. :)
     
  9. Kevin W.

    Kevin W. Registered User

    Apr 11, 2002
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    I feel the same about our chapter as Grant does. He joined shortly after i did. We have lost some great members through the years and its too bad. Like we have lost some great people on the mb as well.I truly enjoy what the older members bring to the chapter and the knowledge they freely share.Thanks Grant for sharing the video on Charles.He was such a nice guy to talk to.
     
  10. DeanT

    DeanT Registered User

    Mar 22, 2009
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    Maybe many collectors are too scared to share their collections?

    But whats the point of having interest in the history of clocks without sharing and having friends to discuss them with?

    I know i have appreciated the friendship and knowledge of many on this website, some of who have become friends.

    For example, Jim has provided me with much interesting information and helpful restoration advice.

    Cheers
     
  11. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Jun 14, 2008
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    Thanks to some friends I have seen a number of fine collections in recent years. There are several significant collections in this area, of which I have visited. There are also several significant collections up and down the eastern states I/we have seen in recent years. So, the stuff is there and these collectors have been more than welcoming to us in our seeing them. And I am of the opinion that every one of them was opened to me as a result of friendship, either directly or 2nd hand. Maybe that is the real takeaway on this subject, where friendships thrive then opportunities exist? And IMO making friends is substantially different today than it was years ago. Emails and websites and online sharing do not build the same relationships or offer the same opportunities as does shaking hands and sharing in person. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages; one is not necessarily better than the other, just different with a different result. And Dean, thanks for the good words, and thanks for all you share with us here and elsewhere. You have some magnificent clocks, museum-quality, and as early as one could hope to find these days, short of an Antikythera device. I wish you were down the street from here......
     
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  12. SteveC1964

    SteveC1964 Registered User
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    We lost a giant this week.
    Years ago there was only one NAWCC Chapter in Texas. That was Southwest Chapter #15. Some of us wanted to make it bigger. They allowed one meeting. It was a huge success. We asked to have another. They said no. At that time, it only took 12 NAWCC Members signatures on a petition to start a new Chapter. Bob Wingate took it to Dallas. I took it to Fort Worth. Byron White took it to Arlington. Others also got signatures. In two weeks we had gathered about 90 signatures, a record. We were granted Chapter 124.

    That encouraged the Houston members. They started the San Jacinto Chapter. Both 124 & 139 have grown. Chapter 124 has been named Chapter of The Year many times.

    We lost Byron White this week. I met Byron at a Chapter 15 function. We have been close friends since. What a wonderful man! He will be missed.
     
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  13. bruce linde

    bruce linde Technical Admin
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    i've only been a clock nut for about ten years. i was fortunate to glom on to my clock mentor from the start, and started going to our local chapter meetings with him. unfortunately, i seem to have missed the good old days as the guys i really liked have been dropping like flies (except for my mentor). the demographic was mostly guys in their eighties, dealing with vision issues, shaking hands, etc., who weren't really interested in lugging clocks to meetings any more... which meant that there were only books, tools, and (mostly) watch things... and i'm a clock guy. i've gotten most of my rewards online, from the message board... yes, there are some crusty cases (and i'm not talking clocks or watches!), but mostly amazingly generous and knowledgeable folks who have put up with my incessant (and often dumb) questions. truly wish i'd been around for the good old days (but, on the other hand, i couldn't have afforded many of the clocks i have now :)). i am most appreciative.
     
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  14. claussclocks

    claussclocks Registered User
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    I am a member of the 124 and 139. I am too far away to attend local functions of the 139 but I have a number of friends there and look forward to their Regional every year. It's a shame it was necessary to cancel it this year. Even the threat of Harvey didn't keep us away. We went and left early. You can outrun a hurricane but not a virus. I remember the name but I don't think I personally interacted with Byron. I remember others who have come and gone. We have lost some good people with a lot of knowledge as well as good friends. Both groups have some excellent members with a great deal of knowledge and I look forward to the opportunities we have as an organization.

    DPC
     
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  15. PatH

    PatH Registered User
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    Dec 5, 2014
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    Byron and his wife Annette were both some of those supportive giants of the organization who are no longer with us. For many years, Annette was the "Voice of the Mart" in charge of all the announcements and "information central" in the Mart room at the Regionals. She was also a talented artist who enjoyed reverse glass painting and stenciling. It was always a treat to have her join us "newbies" at one of the classes. They are both missed. Maybe this is all the more reason for the rest of us to step up our game to introduce others to this great organization and share our knowledge?

    Pat
     
  16. Jim DuBois

    Jim DuBois Registered User
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    Not only do we lose a lot of knowledge when our members pass away, but many times their collections are not documented, they are often given away to unappreciative family members or friends or sold willy-nilly at auction, or estate sales, or yard sales. Loss of knowledge is extremely sad and can't be recaptured, but sometimes we can do better with our collections.

    As much as I hate to admit it we all need to do some estate planning after about age 50. . We should have an accurate inventory of our collection, what we paid for it, no matter how good of a deal or how bad it was. We should also give some thought as to "do we sell it and put the $$ in the bank or donate the funds to the AWCM, or the BHI, or the NAWCC?" Or, do we contact the group of our choice, be it our local historical society or one of the above-mentioned groups and plan a donation (if it fits the group or museum's needs or collection focus) and make a donation, either now or as part of our estates with a paperwork commitment on file and part of your will with copies to the place you want certain things to go?

    A far better than an average effort at documentation was done by Russ Oechsle working with Chris Brown on Chris's collection. Not only did it generate a nice book, but it also made Chris's auction a much better happening and most likely generated more $$$ too. That was one effort at doing it right I think. Another was Lindy Larson's disposal of his long term collection several years ago. In both cases, clocks were recognized for what they were, properly represented, and many if not all went to places where they were honored and cherished. Until father time swings on by again.

    Most of us will never have that large a collection, but few of us want our treasured clocks and watches to be sold at a yard sale or estate sale for $20 either. And that seems to be a common disposal methodology these days, toss it all in the estate sale and be done with it. I think many of us can testify we have found things in yard sales/estate sales/Goodwill etc at a few cents on the dollar of what should be a fair value. While we all like bargains, I find these unappreciated misunderstood items in wrong places and wrong prices, to be more than a bit sad.

    So, how much of this have I completed? Well, I am working on it! I am only 25 years in arrears!
     
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