Thursday, November 29, 2012

It's About Time

When I decided that I wanted to start journaling my childhood memories, I got a tablet and started listing them as they came to mind. Most of them came quickly. Some I had to ponder more. But they came to me, knowing that as time went on, others would make it to the forefront of my brain. It has been nearly nine months since I started this blog and it wasn't until just a couple of days ago that I inadvertently came across something that popped up on the internet. Something that I actually grew up with, yet somehow, I had forgotten completely about it! I guess that's how the mind works when we get...uh-hum....more mature :)

Anyway, some of you who visit my Facebook page, might have gathered that I am always doing some sort of decorating project in my home. You may have also seen my fireplace re-do and the large round clock hanging above the mantle. Well, I was looking on Google Images for some Christmas decorating ideas and typed in something like "Christmas fireplace with clock" in the search box. Of course all these pictures appeared and then ... I saw IT. The heck with the Christmas decorating ideas. What I saw stopped me in my tracks and it nearly brought tears to my eyes.


The search of images for "fireplace and clock" brought up exactly just that - a clock shaped like a fireplace. OMW! Where had this memory been all of these years? When I was a little girl, this identical clock sat on the desk in the livingroom. Sometimes I think I remember it on the end table as well. After finding some old pictures, I noticed that it kind of shows up in several places throughout the room. As you can see, it is a darling little clock. The fire in the fireplace actually lit up and a revolving something-or-other behind the logs made it look just like a real miniature fire that was burning. I remember gazing into those flames and wishing that I could somehow shrink down so that I could sit in front of it and warm myself. Or hang Christmas stockings from the mantle. Or toast marshmallows. I envisioned a cozy little cottage with this little fireplace creating a warm, comfy atmosphere.

We didn't have a fireplace in our home and I remember wishing so much that we know, so Santa could come down the chimney, of course! Instead, I just imagined that the old wooden desk in the living room which was always where we sat up our Christmas tree—as well as hung our stockings from—was really a fireplace in disguise. Don't ask me how, okay? I was just a little girl with a vivid imagination!

Here it sits on the old treadle sewing machine cabinet behind Mom's chair...
...and on the bookshelf behind Mom and Dad...
...and on top of the TV.
Oh, and let's not forget... there's that imaginary fireplace (the desk) I was mentioning before :)

Anyway, the day the picture of this clock appeared on my computer screen, not only did it surprise me but also puzzled me. How could I have forgotten such a fond memory from my childhood days? Isn't it funny how some things just seem to get lost in the deepest recesses of our brain? It doesn't happen to me often but it really surprised me that I had forgotten about that little clock. I immediately clicked on the picture to find out why this clock was even on the internet...OK what isn't on the internet, right? It opened up a whole page of them on ebay! I found out quite a bit of information about this little fireplace clock that day. First of all I discovered that this is one popular little collector's item. The clocks were manufactured in 1957 by Mastercrafters Clocks. The company actually made many different and unique types of clocks using various other whimsical elements. The main part of the body was made from bakelite, if you know what that is. I didn't before but I do now, thanks to Wikipedia as you see below.

Bakelite (play /ˈbkəlt/ BAY-kə-lyt), or polyoxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride, is an early plastic. It is a thermosetting phenol formaldehyde resin, formed from an elimination reaction of phenol with formaldehyde. It was developed by Belgian-born chemist Leo Baekeland in New York in 1907.
One of the first plastics made from synthetic components, Bakelite was used for its electrical nonconductivity and heat-resistant properties in electrical insulators, radio and telephone casings, and such diverse products as kitchenware, jewelry, pipe stems, and children's toys. Bakelite was designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark in 1993 by the American Chemical Society in recognition of its significance as the world's first synthetic plastic.[1] The "retro" appeal of old Bakelite products have made them collectible.

Now that we have all been educated about bakelite and it's history, don't you just feel so enlightened? Anyway, back to the story...
Ebay has many of them to bid on and I got so excited when I went down through the list and found a couple for under $10.00! A closer look at the description and I was disappointed to see that they were not in working order but just selling them for parts. There was one for $149.95 that was in very good condition and another in mint condtion for $265.00! Wow! I couldn't believe that we owned such a gem! I don't know how my family acquired this clock but I know Dad surely didn't spend a lot of money on it...probably didn't cost more than $10.00 back then. 
I checked with all seven of my siblings and no one seems to know what became of this sweet little clock. It makes me kind of sad to think about it getting away from the family but it sure has blessed my heart for the memory of it to have re-surfaced.
After all these years, it is about time :)