A broken clock and a bent guardrail

Several years ago I wrote an article entitled, “A broken clock and a bent guardrail.” I don’t know why, but it is things like this that bother me.

Maybe it’s because I realize that if I continue to drive past this bent guardrail, one of these days the roads will be covered with ice, and I will slide to the side of the road, and over the guardrail and down a 100-foot embankment.

Or maybe my concern is that someone else will do that, and end up at the undertaking establishment.

Now, about the clock. First, I want to ask a question.

What is the sense of having a clock in the center of town that hasn’t moved its hands for many years? After all, a clock is not a historic shrine, or a monument to some past city hero.

I’m sure that when the clock on the building at the northeast corner of Washington Avenue in Pulaski was put there, those who erected it had high intentions of it ticking away
for many years.

I’m sure they expected it to furnish those citizens who looked at it as they moved along Washington and Main with the correct, or nearly correct, time – along with pleasing chimes to soothe the ears of all who heard it.

Many times over the years since Johnny climbed up there and got the old clock running again, I have driven by and looked up to see the time of seven-thirty five – wishing Johnny might some day return and repeat that good deed.

Or I have wished that those who own it would either have it fixed or removed.

I suppose that would eliminate the possibility of passing tourists, or strangers in town, saying to one or another, “My what a quaint little mountain town, having a clock in the center of town showing the exact time an important event took place. A very unique way to remind the citizens. I just wonder what the event was – or the year it took place? We must stop a citizen and ask. Let’s get a picture of it.”
“No, Mother, you must remember that we took a picture of it when we passed through here five years ago. We still have the photo in our album, and the clock shows the same time it did then.”

Now, getting back to the bent guardrail. It is located about 50 feet from the Route 611 highway bridge over the railroad at Wurno.

Every time I approach that bridge traveling from Newbern, I hold my breath as I pass the bent guardrail. So far, I am still breathing.

Some branch of government should fix it.

I certainly would hate to someday pick up the paper and read the headline, “CAR PLUNGES OVER BANK AT WURNO BRIDGE.”

Maybe when that happens I will have gone to my reward.

Lloyd Mathews is a retired land surveyor and a historian who lives in Pulaski.



4 Responses to A broken clock and a bent guardrail

  1. Kathy Bopp

    October 27, 2011 at 9:45 am

    This is a great article! I, too, have wondered why the clock doesn’t work and wish Johnny would climb up there and fix it.

  2. Ronda Lambert

    October 30, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Great lil’ read! I’ve often looked at that clock and just thought what a shame to have had the courthouse redone after the fire and the clock still not work. Wurno birdge is just a scary place anyway in my book. Thanks Lloyd :)

    • Amelia

      December 21, 2011 at 4:44 pm

      Your answer shows real intelilegcne.

  3. Larry Bentley

    November 2, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    I can remember that old clock from my boyhood. I remember passing by it on family “hamburger” night, and hearing it chime. Yes, it did chime at one time as it also kept time…once upon a time. It is a shame that as of the day that I left the area in search of work, it hadn’t worked in years. I do hope old Johnny shows up and does his magic, so that upon my return to the area one day, I can fully feel like I’m truly back home

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