Thursday, Apr 17, 2014
No Average Job: Will's Clock Shop
HERRIN -- This week we head to Herrin to meet a man whose work is all about helping others keep time.
Just off North Park Avenue in this little, white house in Herrin, Gery
Will stays busy managing time.
"People are just fascinated by it in general and probably more so than you realize because we're governed by time," said Will.
Growing up. Gery spent his time working for the family business, the
Herrin Coca Cola Bottling Company. But when his family sold the company in 1985, he decided it was time to start his own business.
In 1986 he opened Will's Clock Shop in Herrin.
"It's been steady since day one. I opened my doors on December the 6th and twenty minutes after the business was open, I sold my first new clock, and thirty minutes after that I had two or three clocks in the shop for repair," Will recalled.
A passion for clocks and working with his hands pushed Gery to put his degree in art education to good use.
Armed with a background in jewelry and metal-smithing, he bought some used equipment and started learning his craft.
"There seemed to be a need for it, and I was trying to fill a niche and
keep myself employed, and I really didn't know the niche would be so
Twenty-seven years later, the business continues to pour in and the work can be time consuming and tedious.
Gery showed News 3 first-hand just how labor intensive his work can get.
From small clocks, wind ups, grandfather and grandmother clocks, Gery has seen them all.
He gets customers from all over the United States, and when he's not in his shop working, he's on the road, making house calls.
"I get to meet a lot of interesting people. I get to see a wide variety of
different clock styles, and it keeps the work fresh."
While he enjoys the hands on aspect of his work, there's something more, an intangible fulfillment when he's able to salvage a piece of a family's history.
"Being able to repair these things and see them come back to life is very enjoyable."
Though repairing clocks is no average job, Gery believes it's a craft that will stand the test of time.
"The idea of monitoring time is as ancient as man, and there's always going to be a need for monitoring it."
Wind: 12 MPH
Humidity: 50 %