The peak of the summer season is in full swing here in Bozeman and there’s much to be grateful for. The last few summers have been consumed with smoke filled skies from the forest fires here in Montana and to the west of us, not to mention covid. Thankfully, we’ve not been subjected to that kind of calamity thus far this season. In early June, we had a torrential downpour that overwhelmed the Yellowstone River as it leaves Yellowstone National Park. Roads were washed away, bridges were destroyed and homes were literally swept into the river. This was devastating to the people and businesses that thrive along the river and those that border the park. Thankfully, the community rallied and within a few weeks, most of the park was open. All of us in Southwest Montana feel privileged to be on the edge of such a natural treasure. Please consider supporting the communities bordering the park to help bring their livelihood back to normalcy.
The shop has been busy as usual this time of year. Locals and tourists are out and about, keeping the businesses on Main Street busy. I felt compelled this evening as I sat at home in an empty house…. wife Amy is at a music venue in the Paradise Valley and daughter Brenna is at camp, to write about a customer that came into the shop today. Originally from Mexico City, he now resides in Salt Lake City with his wife. When he came in, I had no idea of his passion for watches. We shared stories, exchanged feelings about certain elements of watches and essentially had a great visit. What struck me most about this visit was that he’d seen an article or posting on a site about the Last Wind-Up and decided that he and his wife would take a road trip to Bozeman to visit my store. WOW. How could I not spend time with a guy who was so smitten with watches and virtually enthralled with my shop to drive that distance, just to see me? It was an honor.
This is exactly what it’s all about. There are folks who look at a watch and think it is just a time-piece and there are those who understand that there is much more to the story. Be it a new piece or an heirloom watch with provenance of the original owner, each watch has a story and a potential history.
My wife, last night as we were settling into bed, suggested (actually insisted), that I write down the stories of the watches and clocks that I personally own. “They are all in your head….and you need to write them down”. This brings to mind my very first journal post about Barry Marcus, a watchmaker from Milford, Mass. His book, Watches I Have Known, is about the people who own the watches…. Maybe I should listen to my wife and write about the watches and clocks of my collection. They all have a story and unless it is preserved, they are lost for future generations. A saying I heard once, kind of sums it up. “You never see a U-Haul following a hearse”.
My customer from Salt Lake recalled his dad, still alive, wearing a Mido wrist watch and still does. I asked if he had been promised it after his passing. He said no…. but I hope he someday becomes the new caretaker of the watch his father has worn for so many years.
With the summer upon us, there is fishing in the future. Off to Idaho in a week or so for new waters with Oscar (my certified watch-dog). Tight lines! Maybe I’ll bring the laptop and start my version of Watches (and clocks) I’ve known.