Shakespeare, Kahn, and my friend Gary

by Alan B. Combs

Many of you are familiar with our Fearless Leader, Gary Hallock, Punster Extraordinaire, from whose lips wordplay flows like photons of light from a Fourth of July sparkler. I’ll bet, however, you haven’t heard of his long-forgotten uncle, a poverty-stricken clock-maker from Ye Old Country. This gentleman’s specialty was refurbishing large grandfather clocks. His work was of excellence that these mechanisms became known for their elegant workmanship and great accuracy.

It was during the War, however, and materials for the clocks became more and more scarce. Finally, it became a matter of just keeping the old clocks going, rather than repair new ones as they broke. Even that became more and more difficult as time went on.

He tried hard. He really did. He was very skilled and he tried all the tricks he could think of. Even then, wear on the timing mechanisms would decrease timing accuracy. Gears became so worn that they could no longer hold, and they would slide by each other unimpeded. At the sad end, all he could do was to hang his head, and lament as he gave up, “Cry, Hallock, and let slip the cogs of yore.”

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