My Hungarian Watch Repairman and Garage Cleaning

Got up early as usual and went to the gym.  Following that, it was errand city.  I drove to see our little old Hungarian watch repair guy.  That is always a trip and a half since it is not easy to get out of his shop which is a tiny room with a separate entry on a small cape cod in Glenview.  He is a piece of work, the type of person I love going to for specialty work.  Years ago I thought that once a watch or clock died, that was it.  I even ended up throwing out my high school graduation watch, an Elgin that I loved.  What a mistake.

Let’s call my watch repair guy, Mr. Kovacs.  He is amazing.  He speaks with a nice Hungarian accent much like that of my grandparents.  It is like a step back in time for me. He told me once of his entry into the USA.  He escaped Hungary by walking out of it, into Austria.  He ended up going to the Caribbean and working there.  He worked his way to the United States and ended up marrying an American. 

He took the gold pocket watch my grandfather got in the early 1900s and repaired it, it keeps great time.  He also took my father’s high school graduation watch, a Mathey-Tissot, and repaired it.  My father received it in 1937 and wore the death out of it. It was actually sweat damaged.  Mr. Kovacs repaired it,  I wear it all the time.  He is amazing, inexpensive, and extremely reliable.  When he puts in a new battery, he tests it first to make sure he is selling you a good one, then he writes the date on it and installs it.  The best part is that he doesn’t even charge much! 

I worry a lot about him.  He had a bout with some facial cancer a few years ago and that took its toll on him.  Now he has Parkinson’s disease.  That makes it hard to work on watches but he still does.  I call that the Hungarian work ethic!

I took in a bunch of watches needing new batteries, They will be ready tomorrow although I won’t be able to pick them up then.

After my visit with Mr. Kovacs, I went to my in-laws’ house where my son and his fiancée are living.  I went because he is still dealing with the aftermath of the dissolution of the brickpaving business that he shared with his older brother.  The garage is serving as the new warehouse for the time being and the overflow of materials from the now vacated warehouse in Waukegan is distressing.  I gave him my time after taking him out to lunch.

We managed to clean up a lot of junk and I organized all sorts of things for him to make it a bit easier to get things under control.  Although early in the season, his snow plowing has kept him busy and we are supposed to get more snow tonight.  I was just thinking that I spend far too much time in garages.  Is there something wrong with me?  Ask Mary Kay, I am sure she will agree with that conjecture!

Tomorrow, I am helping Mary Kay as a chaperone for her German class as we go to downtown Chicago to the Christkindlmarket.  That is always fun as it is great to be with high schoolers again and going to the Christmas Market is always like being in Europe.

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