Street Clocks do More Than Tell Time
When I was 18 years old I moved to a little town in Southern California called Monrovia. I had been born and raised in Southern California, Glendale to be exact. This was different. Monrovia had a charm to it. I would make the quick drive down Huntington Dr and up Myrtle Ave to drive through the street lights, illuminated, their little flames waiving hello as I drove by.
It was on one of these drives that I realized that one of the lights was out, or so I thought. It wasn’t a light at all but a post clock. It was disguised as a street light, what I was looking at was a beautiful street clock. I was fascinated by it. What a strange thing in such a progressive state I thought. In my eyes this was dated.
A street post clock and gas lamps lining the streets just outside of Los Angeles, strange. I kept driving not thinking much about it but then I started to think about the process. How did this get here? Why would a jewelry store/watch company purchase a clock to be placed on the street? Why has everything around this town changed except for the lamps and this clock? I was fascinated.
Quickly, I started to drive past it more and more and the post clock, tall and metallic, became a meeting point for my friends and I. “Hey lets go down to the farmer’s market, I’ll meet you by the box clock/post clock.” It became a staple in giving directions. “Go down and just past the street clock you’ll see the bakery on the right.” It became my favorite area as I sat by it on bench when I experienced my first heartbreak.
It stood all as I wiped away tears at 2am on a weekend as if it were looking over me and silently telling me the time and that in due time I would be ok. I loved this so much that over the years, with every move I began to look for them. Who needed “slug bug” when we could spot these tall metallic beauties as if they were playing “Where’s Waldo” or “I Spy” with us. The most insane part of it all was that every time I moved they seemed to follow. As if they knew that I had some sort affinity towards them.
I went down to The Americana one day to accidentally stumble upon the big reveal of, you guessed it, the street clock. This gorgeous and I do mean insanely gorgeous four faced clock towered over me. Now I sat by the clock once again in my hometown outside drinking lemonade and watching its delicate hands tell me how much time Id wasted with friends. They began popping out everywhere.
Montrose, a city that I’d been too often for girl scout troop meetings seemed to have procured one from thin air. There it was one day as I took a detour to my father’s house. Taunting me as if letting me know that it had been there all along but my selfish ways as a child had failed to acknowledge its beauty. I was changed. This crafted metal, hand painted and assembled had been placed in various corners of the earth for me to find. For me to remember moments as I passed them.
As if to serve as a visual diary of moments that I had shared with friends or teen angst. When I finally made the journey cross country I was so scared. New York City swallowed me. I looked up and buildings were everywhere, people were rushing past me and it felt as if no one was aware that I was there, lost, trying to find my way to my next location. I crossed the street quickly as I noticed it wasn’t as crowded when I kept walking down the street I came across a tower clock in the heart of the Flat Iron District. I stopped for coffee and looked outside at its strange shape. This one was different, older looking. I wish it had a voice to tell me about all it had seen. I found comfort in seeing something familiar. I began once again finding excuses to go back to that general area as it was something familiar in the unknown. Quickly, work moved us again. This time we were in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
I never in a million years thought I would be living here. There is were I found a clock on a rainy day that welcomed me to my new home in PA on my first day. It showed 2:22pm as the time. It wasn’t digital but it was the afternoon so I knew that it was definitely pm. I stopped once again. Market Square, a place where the forgotten go to play chess and pigeons go to (hopefully) find their next meal and where I went to see the familiar. This gypsy, as my mother calls me, has always found a home not in an apartment or 4 walls but on a bench next to the tower that tells time. The one thing in the world that is truly priceless. Please obtain more information on Street Clocks at https://chomkola.com/street-clocks/