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Old clock was like a friend

I had a friend in Pulaski who had a job that kept him busy day and night. If he ever slowed down or stopped, people in the town became disturbed. Until he was functioning properly again, there was a general state of unrest.
My friend went through several wars and celebrations that came after victories. During the awful flu epidemic of 1918 and the days of the Great Depression of the 1920s and ‘30s, my friend played his role in keeping things going. He withstood the discomfort of hard winters and hot stormy summers. Snow, sleet, and rain beat upon him, and I told myself that he would stand forever, proud and erect, looking down upon us as we rushed along Main Street, going about our daily tasks. My friend was looked up to by multitudes, and if he ever had an enemy in the world, I never knew it. My friend was the clock that stood in the old courthouse tower, and that clock was just as much a friend to countless thousands of Pulaskians.
Over the years, I was able to accept the loss of such friends as the Maple Shade Inn, the nostalgic sound of the old steam locomotive whistles and the tumbling down of the Dalton Theater as a result of old age. These things came about chiefly as a sign of progress, but, the day the courthouse clock came crashing down, it was more like a death, and I, as well as many other citizens, had a hard time dealing with it.
My attachment to the clock started in the early 1940s when my apartment window backed up almost against the old stone courthouse. Many lonely nights were made bearable by the comforting tones of the clock as it pealed out the late night hours, as if to say, “All is well.”
On Jan. 18, l911, the clock struck the hour for the first time, and at 11 a.m. on Dec. 29, 1989, it struck the last. In between, there were short to extended periods when it refused to run. Several years ago when a large pigeon population was roosting in the tower, it was just more than the old fellow could take, so it started showing a different time on each of its four faces. That was corrected but not for long,
The history of the old clock is an interesting one, and one that should be preserved.
Many years ago, there lived in the town of Pulaski, a Greek immigrant by the name of Dianysious Photopoulas, who operated a restaurant and deli in a building on Main Street across the street from the brand-new stone courthouse. Photopoulas had a deep love and respect for his hometown of Pulaski. He marveled at the beautiful stone courthouse standing so proudly on the spacious lot across the street, perhaps thinking of it as a symbol of what he had dreamed of America to be. As he gazed upon the structure, he must have thought, “There is something missing. Yes, there is. The tower needs a clock. One with a face looking out in four directions and a big loud bell that will tell the hour, night and day.”
He started a fund to purchase a clock, donating the first $200 to the fund, the llllargest individual donation. The Southwest Times cooperated, listing donations to the clock fund daily. By January 1911, $1,250 was raised, and the clock and bell were put into place. I was told by former Mayor Raymond Ratcliffe that Photoupolas gave himself the title of “Dr. Pho, doctor of gastronomy.” Let’s always remember the Greek immigrant, Dr. Pho, who gave so much to Pulaski.
Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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Old clock was like a friend

I had a friend in Pulaski who had a job that kept him busy day and night. If he ever slowed down or stopped, people in the town became disturbed. Until he was functioning properly again, there was a general state of unrest.
My friend went through several wars and celebrations that came after victories. During the awful flu epidemic of 1918 and the days of the Great Depression of the 1920s and ‘30s, my friend played his role in keeping things going. He withstood the discomfort of hard winters and hot stormy summers. Snow, sleet, and rain beat upon him, and I told myself that he would stand forever, proud and erect, looking down upon us as we rushed along Main Street, going about our daily tasks. My friend was looked up to by multitudes, and if he ever had an enemy in the world, I never knew it. My friend was the clock that stood in the old courthouse tower, and that clock was just as much a friend to countless thousands of Pulaskians.
Over the years, I was able to accept the loss of such friends as the Maple Shade Inn, the nostalgic sound of the old steam locomotive whistles and the tumbling down of the Dalton Theater as a result of old age. These things came about chiefly as a sign of progress, but, the day the courthouse clock came crashing down, it was more like a death, and I, as well as many other citizens, had a hard time dealing with it.
My attachment to the clock started in the early 1940s when my apartment window backed up almost against the old stone courthouse. Many lonely nights were made bearable by the comforting tones of the clock as it pealed out the late night hours, as if to say, “All is well.”
On Jan. 18, l911, the clock struck the hour for the first time, and at 11 a.m. on Dec. 29, 1989, it struck the last. In between, there were short to extended periods when it refused to run. Several years ago when a large pigeon population was roosting in the tower, it was just more than the old fellow could take, so it started showing a different time on each of its four faces. That was corrected but not for long,
The history of the old clock is an interesting one, and one that should be preserved.
Many years ago, there lived in the town of Pulaski, a Greek immigrant by the name of Dianysious Photopoulas, who operated a restaurant and deli in a building on Main Street across the street from the brand-new stone courthouse. Photopoulas had a deep love and respect for his hometown of Pulaski. He marveled at the beautiful stone courthouse standing so proudly on the spacious lot across the street, perhaps thinking of it as a symbol of what he had dreamed of America to be. As he gazed upon the structure, he must have thought, “There is something missing. Yes, there is. The tower needs a clock. One with a face looking out in four directions and a big loud bell that will tell the hour, night and day.”
He started a fund to purchase a clock, donating the first $200 to the fund, the llllargest individual donation. The Southwest Times cooperated, listing donations to the clock fund daily. By January 1911, $1,250 was raised, and the clock and bell were put into place. I was told by former Mayor Raymond Ratcliffe that Photoupolas gave himself the title of “Dr. Pho, doctor of gastronomy.” Let’s always remember the Greek immigrant, Dr. Pho, who gave so much to Pulaski.
Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.

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