About a year ago, I had the pleasure of listening to Don Barrett talk about his antique watch collection that he has combined into both a hobby and a business in downtown Kent. I have to admit, I wondered what you could possibly talk about for 45 minutes on watches, but (forgive the pun) time flew by and I thoroughly enjoyed his discussion. I suspect his passion for the topic had a lot to do with it, and in that spirit I’ve come across two more interesting perspective of timepieces with a particular Kent flair.
There are two new books being published about Kent Clocks.
The first book is, “Literary Amble, A Kent Clock Walking Tour” ($8 + $2 postage) and the second book is “Kent Clocks” ($10 + $2 postage). The walking tour is a self-guided walk-around book that will give you a great excuse to get out and enjoy the wonderful Fall foliage. The second book is a factual survey of clocks that grace the City of Kent and the KSU campus.
Much like the watches, we drive by Kent’s clocks everyday but do we really see them? These books give those clock faces a second look that can reveal their importance. Here’s a few excerpts and highlights to give you a flavor of the books:
From KENT CLOCKS —
“* When the verdin chimes were first installed on the 13th floor of the KSU library, the tone had to be brought down. Students in the dorms could hear the chimes sounding a little too clearly.
* The Ebel Clock installed at the Kent State University Museum (fashion museum) is the same model clock that graces the Avenue of the Americas in NYC. It was donated to the Kent State University Museum in 1992 by Ebel USA Inc.
* The Ray’s Place logo clock reminds us of glasses emptied over convivial conversation from the Kent bar scene. The logo was designed by Kenny Muenzenmayer in 1979. The clock oversees time spent by former employees of the bar/restaurant. The late Gerty Britton donated her recipe for batches of chile. A time-sensitive dessert is peanut butter pie, which takes an hour to prepare, and a few hours to freeze. A patron to Ray’s Place will notice that bar time is 10 minutes fast, thereby allowing the bar to comply with Driving While Intoxicated and liquor laws.”
From LITERARY AMBLE: A KENT CLOCK WALKING TOUR
“An interesting way to take a walk this fall is to visit the 10 clocks featured in the book, “Literary Amble: A Kent Clock Walking Tour.” At each clock, you are invited to recall a tidbit from a literary work, as well as do an activity, such as an invitation to find a poem to carry with you and ponder for at least a week …
Here are some other excerpts:
* At Taco Bell, there is so much activity around us that it is easy to think of Clarissa Dalloway in the book, “Mrs. Dalloway” by Virginia Woolf. The narration of the book takes us inside the mind of many characters. After Big Ben sounds, the hour is “irrevocable.” We learn there is not much time, and to spend our time wisely.
* When we cross the plaza at the Kent State University library, we look up to the top floor. We could mistaken our view for Big Ben at the Houses of Parliament in Great Britain. With a little imagination, we are somewhere other than where we actually are. Paddington Bear, who came to England and was adopted by the Browns, looks forward to “elevenses,” or time for tea or coffee taken at mid-morning and often accompanied by a snack.
* The new Kent Free library has a rabbit hole on the first floor. This is the little area at the bottom of the clock tower — a little reading booth. With Alice in Wonderland, we can read and fall down, down, down into Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The story came about after a rowing party on July 4, 1862 by ‘Lewis Carroll, a lecturer of mathematics.
Lucky for us, the architects of the new library kept the old Carnegie Building in safekeeping, and successfully blended the old and the new. As part of the old, Nellie Dingley, the Kent Carnegie library’s first librarian, is given tribute along S. River st. A Norway Maple tree and inscribed rock memorial read, “Dedicated to the memory of Nellie Dingley, who served as a nurse in the World War and died near Paris, France, on Aug. 28, 1918.”
If you’d like to learn more, or if you’d like to order the books, feel free to contact Diane Fencl: (330) 670-8965; firstname.lastname@example.org.