Friday, May 11, 2012

You've got to have heart

Making a wish with the Fairy Godmothers

Last night Dee and I walked a half-block up to the old PIX Theater, now the Waukesha Civic Theater, to see the two new occupants of 517 Arcadian Ave
our old house
perform on the boards, spreading their energetic messaging act of love, strength, and
faith in good outcomes, amid high amusement for an audience of theater-goers of all ages.

We had been given complimentary tickets by the fairy sisters and could not refuse
an offer like that.

These be-wing-ed creatures
danced and sang
bewitched, no, befairied us.  

All in the audience, on leaving the theater
were given a hug if they wished and a talisman symbol
a feelie
representing the attenders' ungreedy wishes granted.

I got a glass heart, Dee got a butterfly.
I hold it this morning to the light streaming
in our Odd Fellows window
and think:
'I want to know more about these women!"


On summer Saturdays they will be holding forth at the expanded farmers market
in back of the PIX along the Fox River
doing pleasant things about which I currently do not know.


If you can start the day without caffeine,

If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can relax without medicinal help,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when your loved ones are too busy to give you any time,

Then You Are Probably A Dog!


Remember this?

(from the Waukesha Freeman)

The former gas station on the East Five Points, now gone for reasons illustrated
in part above, had a clock in it above the front door.  It was just about where the mechanical grabber is taking a chunk out of the roof in the quick removal of the historic residential-style
gas station. In  later years the building was used as a fruit stand where I shopped many a time as a neighbor.  Then it was used for a little second-hand car sales building and lot.

I grew up in that neighborhood so was one among many who lamented the station removal.  But, the old clock was saved, largely through the efforts of the Waukesha Car Club and  car club member and retired engineer Mel Stark who reconditioned the clock in his workshop. Mary Emery of the Waukesha Historical Society played a major role as well in working out the arrangements.

Emery got the clock in a disposition of remants and thought it could go to the historical society.
Mel Stark of the car club was asked to restore the nearly time-ruined mechanism, and he agreed.
The Raccoon News was invited out to Mel's to photograph the clock before it is turned over, not to the historical museum as planned, but to the family of the man who built the station in the 1920s.  This, everyone agreed, was where the clock should end up.

These people are the Jones', longtime owners and operators owners of Glen Rock Motors on Hartwell Ave near Arcadian.  Stark and the Jones' are members of the car club.

All things are connected.

Mel points at the face of the gas station clock
he re-did, including the mechanism inside that he took apart and reworked. The gears
 needed special attention because, he explained, of the low torque
the clock puts out.  Everything has to move smoothly.

Mel, who knows wood, too, built a display case for the clock that picks up the motif of the gas station, suggesting the dormered roof-line and the white and green colors of the station's exterior.

True to the original, Mel completely restored the face which was beyond cleaning up. Behind the new glass, the Roman numerals were crafted by Mel and reattached via circular guidelines he drew with a string and a pencil.

Stark built the case with glass windows in the sides so viewers can get a look at the gears inside.

Mel is a constantly busy man after retiring from his long-held engineering job.  As a member of the First Congregational UCC , he has restored many precious items for the church, and he's cured certain repair problems for the SRN editor, including a resatoration of Festoon Fox who holds forth at night as an illuminated constellation on our Odd Fellows loft ledge, visible to passers-by on the downtown streets below.

Mel also restored a tired Esbergs Jewelry store advertising clock that hangs and tells accurate time in our kitchen here.

Behind Mel stands his wife Marge.  She did not want to be in these pictures but we just happened to catch her reflection in the clock face. That should not violate our stated intent to keep her out of it.

Sometime back, in recent years, Marge has her chest sawed open and heart motor repaired, about the same time that I did.  Both heart mechanisms are still ticking, maybe because of our knowing Mel Stark.  It certainly doesn't hurt.


It is believed the Waukesha Freeman will cover this clock restoration soon.