Rosemarie Bergin was interested to read that the earthquake nine days ago revived the old grandfather clock that a Petaluma woman presumed was broken and forever frozen in time.
Bergin was in Sacramento when the temblor struck and didn’t feel a thing, she said. When she returned to her home in Santa Rosa, there was this tick-tick-ticking.
It was the hand-wound clock that her brother brought her years ago from Korea.
“It hasn’t ticked in over a decade, but there it was, ticking and chiming,” Bergin said.
For a professional perspective on this phenomenon of an earthquake reactivating old clocks, I checked with Lloyd and Rose Watson of Santa Rosa’s Time Standing Still clock-repair shop.
They’re busy right now, tending to clocks toppled or tipped by the quake. Regarding a temblor restarting rather than breaking a clock, Lloyd said it’s possible that a jolt will knock free a clock drum or wheel that’s been stuck on a pin.
But experience tells him also that sometimes a presumably broken grandfather clock simply hasn’t had its pendulum swung hard and far enough to get the thing going.
“Everyone’s afraid of their clock,” Lloyd said. He observed that wound, chiming clocks typically are durable machines, but folks tend to kid-glove and fret about breaking them.
An earthquake doesn’t have that problem.
HELLO, LOUISVILLE: Teacher and FFA advisor Beth Swehla of Boonville’s Anderson Valley High is catching her breath, counting money and making travel plans for five.
She has been delighted by the way people throughout Mendocino and Sonoma counties and beyond leaped to her support when she learned about a major honor coming her way at this fall’s national FFA convention, with only days to raise the money to get herself and four students there.
Bob Dempel brought her a quick $1,000 with the charitable sale of a half-ton of his Russian River pinot noir grapes. Far-flung donors sent checks.
“My mailbox at school has been overflowing,” said Swehla, chosen by FFA to receive its honorary American Degree.
When ranch and vineyard broker TJ Nelson of Windsor phoned his friend Dempel to see what he could do for Swehla and her students, they were just $500 short of the $5,300 needed to travel to the huge convention in Kentucky. Nelson put them over the top.
How’s Swehla feeling? “Amazed, blessed and grateful.”
DRONE ON: Petaluma’s Rose Nowak wondered aloud if anyone else had seen or heard the Unidentified Flying Object she perceived to be a drone.
A note from Ross Miller of Sunnyvale says that at just that place and time, he was demonstrating to his sister his DJI Phantom II Vision four-propeller flying camera. He sent a link to a video he shot over Half Moon Bay: youtube.com/watch?v=2kjI38nLYQM.
“It is a fun toy,” Miller said. He agreed with me that, for better or worse, drone sightings may soon cease to be rare.
“You are correct in that this is the start of a technological change in the way we do things,” wrote the drone pilot.
“I try to be responsible with the Phantom. It’s like any new technology. In the right hands it offers great promise. In the wrong hands it’s a little scary.”
Chris Smith is at 521-5211 and firstname.lastname@example.org.