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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Profile: Bernie Tekippe, clock repairman

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Bernie Tekippe has been repairing clocks in Atlanta since the ’60s. He says he can fix any mechanical clock made in the last 300 years.

“One of the difficulties is trying to diagnose what’s wrong with it, especially if it almost works. You can spend a lot of time fixing the wrong thing.”

He builds clocks, too, usually a dozen at a time. He’s built about 200 in his life and occasionally gives clock-making workshops.

He doesn’t wear a watch, saying it would get in the way and isn’t necessary. “When I’m in here I have clocks all around me.”

He says he’s not punctual, but is aware of the irony.

On digital clocks: “They’re wonderful. They’re what we’ve been trying to make for 300 years. I think we should put them in nicer cases, though. We think they’re cheap, so we put them in cheap cases.”

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