Wednesday, February 6, 2013

My Granpap's Pigeon Clock

I'm feeling nostalgic today. All kinds of thoughts running through my mind. I kept thinking about my Granpap's Pigeon Clock and how it was in my bedroom collecting dust. Well no more! As soon as I got dinner in the oven, I got out the clock and cleaned it and found it a new home.
I have many memories of my granpap, (yes, that is granpap, not grandpap.) Most of them from when I was a little girl and we would go to my Gramma's and Granpap's house on Sundays. They lived on Good Lane which was a massive hill that was a one way street, down only, unless there was a fire, then the volunteer fireman would go up the hill because it was the shortest route to the fire house. We always entered their house through the kitchen which was on the first floor, to your right of the door was a radiator/heater type thing, to the left, a little place to hang your coat, then a window, then the refrigerator. To the right of the radiator was the stove, then a window. There was a little room, that had the kitchen sink in it, gramma kept her dishes and such in there and off of that another door that went to the other section of the house, the section we were NEVER allowed in. To this day it is sketchy as to why we weren't allowed in that part of the house. Back in the kitchen, the kitchen table was on the right hand wall and in the back of the kitchen was a root cellar. I can remember going in there with my gramma at times. She had a big tin full of buttons sitting on the shelf. She kept goodies in there and she ALWAYS had those jellied fruit slices, the ones that look like sliced pieces of fruit. Next to the root cellar was the stairway that went up to the rest of the house.
When we would visit, my granpap would meet us at the door, my gramma would be busy cooking dinner. Granpap would pick us little ones up, give us a hug, then do "skin the cat" with us. My gramma would yell at him, "Syl, stop that right now. Those kids are going to get burned." He never stopped and we never got burned. It was always a bonus when my granpap's brother, Chuck was there. He was so tall! Like a giant. He would do skin the cat with us more and of course gramma would scold him for doing it. All of the cousins would go outside to play in the yard if it was nice. In the back yard was Granpap's pigeon coop. My granpap raced homing pigeons. I remember begging him all day to take me in the coop so I could see the pigeons and the baby pigeons if there were any. Usually after dinner he would take me in, I would see the babies and touch them and hold them. Sometimes granpap would let me help feed them. I can still smell the smell of the coop and every time I see a pigeon it takes me back.
After my granpap died, my dad and his siblings cleaned out the house. My dad brought home my granpap's racing clock. It was on my mom and dad's mantle for a few years, then got moved to it's own shelf in the living room. After my dad passed, my mom asked us kids what we would like because she was getting her affairs in order. I asked for the pigeon clock. My mom let me take it home that day.
I'm not sure how it works, I'm not sure how old it is, just that it is very old. The writing is in German and I can not read it. The clock still has paper in it and the time is still set for when my granpap's birds came back from his/their last race. The wood is beautiful, all dove tailed built. The insides are brass. Someday I'll research it, but for right now it really isn't that important to me. What is important, I love that pigeon clock and the memories of my granpap it brings me.
The inside tape stamped with the time my granpap's last bird flew back home.

The big brass cover that covers the place where the bands go.    

The pigeon bands fit into these holes. 
The time is set for 9:33.

The top of the box, the bands get put into those holes.

The pigeon clocks new home. In the dining room next to a picture of
my dad holding his pride and joy, peaches from his peach tree. And
the "Hope" because you always have to hope a cure for cancer is found soon.

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