I only remember my Kentucky grandfather (1886-1964) from the few minutes I saw him when I was nineteen and had just enlisted in the Navy.
He was tall like me, and I suppose I have some of his traits.
Years later, in my fifties, my wife and I moved from Alaska to Kentucky, where we lived for a few years. In an antique shop in Paducah, I found some of his belongings in a consignment display case. There were some letters he had written, some photographs and his railroad watch. He had worked for decades with the Illinois Central Railroad. I bought his watch and my cousin bought the rest of his consignments.
The watch never worked properly, and it has remained in one of my drawers for over twenty years.
I posted earlier about jobs that have been replaced by technology. There is a jewelry store in our town, that has been here longer than anyone can remember. The owner is near my age, and he inherited the store when his father retired many decades ago. He is a jeweler and a watch repairman. He recently sold the store, but returns on Tuesday through Thursday to repair watches. Soon watch repairmen will be consigned to history, replaced by cheap, disposable electronic watches.
With that in mind, I decided to have my grandfather’s pocket watch repaired.
Each morning I wind the watch. All my jeans have watch pockets, so now this is the only watch I carry. This watch is a touchstone to my time of life, that will soon become history.