Leila S. Case: Time will tell

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, April 5, 2016

This is a story about a wristwatch bought at an estate sale last summer.
There is little difference between yard sales and estate sales. The latter consists of household goods and miscellaneous items collected and cherished by one family over the years and sometimes over the span of several generations. In many cases, the homeowners are downsizing and moving to smaller quarters or no longer living.
Yard sales are also treasure troves of castoffs that come with smaller price tags.
I love to peruse both. So do others in our family, and over the years we’ve found some doozy junk, good antiques, vintage and authentic at bargain prices. And they’re things we couldn’t live without. Like the newel post we used as a plant stand for years when the antebellum house in Athens that once housed former presidents of the University of Georgia was torn down.
Other folks’ trash just might become your treasure. And that’s what folks might find while perusing the mammoth yard sale Boy Scout Troop 21 is having today at the Fairgrounds on Ga. Highway  30. You never know what you might find.
That’s what happened when I found the watch.
Walking from room to room at the estate sale, Caroline noticed two boxes filled with dusty, old watches. I didn’t want or need a watch, especially one that didn’t work, but I began looking through them anyway. They were all priced at $3 each. Well, it’s worth looking, I thought.
And so I did.
Stirring through them we picked up a man’s watch obviously bought abroad. The large face, as round as a full moon, displays the national flags of the country where it was purchased and the hours are marked in bold black numbers we can’t read. All it needed to make it new again was a new band to replace the frayed one, a sign that it was well used and loved by its deceased owner, and a new battery to get the Swiss movement ticking again.
I decided to buy it.
Caroline questioned my decision, pointing out we can’t read the numerals to which I countered that didn’t matter, reminding her the hours are shown in the same place on all timepieces whether written in Hindu or Pakistani, English or Roman.
I handed over my three bucks and went straight downtown to Roberts Jewelers to ask Gary Roberts’ opinion on repair. He popped the back, studied the works and said he could get it ticking. Returning a day or so later, he was right. The new-to-me watch was humming and I couldn’t wait to wear it, frayed band and all, and promptly put it on my left wrist.
A few days later though, the watch began to show signs I attributed to its former owner who had a very strong personality and I wondered if he approved my wearing one of his favorite watches. Much less owning it.
The story gets complicated — stayed tuned.
Out and about is something I haven’t done frequently but here are a few items I’ve learned. Congratulations to John Watford, newly appointed president of South Georgia Technical College, who was honored at a delightful reception at the John M. Pope Center Thursday evening. Jessi and Rhett Simmons and daughter Milly, and Brian and Catey Simmons and children Banks and Turner, enjoyed a Disney cruise aboard the ship Magic, sailing through the Caribbean and visiting Castaway Cay. Jim and Billie Gatewood have a pretty little guest this week, their granddaughter, Fleming Gatewood, daughter of Crisp and Katie Gatewood of Albany. Chet and Mary Ann Crowley enjoyed the musical “Kinky Boots” at the Fox Theatre, Atlanta, earlier this week. Easter Sunday services at Calvary Episcopal and all houses of worship in the community were glorious. Some out of towners in our congregation were Anne Markette and Nita Lynn Cohen and her husband Ravi Parihar, all of Atlanta, Bardin and Hayden Hooks’ mom, Sally Headley, of Birmingham, and we even garnered Bardin’s dad, George Hooks, dapper in seersucker, who stopped by for brunch on his way to First Baptist, my sweet daughter Margaret from Acworth and my grandson Beau Barrett, who graduates from Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, next month with the master’s degree in business accounting. Congratulations to my other Barrett grandson, John Barrett, the newly elected president of Sigma Chi fraternity at Georgia Southwestern State University, and happy birthday to my favorite son, Mark Barrett. It’s not too late to grab tickets for tonight’s performance of “Almost Elton John” at the Rylander Theatre. Curtain is at 8 o’clock and the show promises to be another smash hit. We’ll see you there!

Leila Sisson Case lives in Americus.