“Time is the key,” said a sweet and wise 8-year-old Bella Grimm. Bella enjoys working with clocks, from old-fashion clocks to her favorite alarm clocks, including a pink Wizard of Oz alarm clock. Bella wanted to share her hobby and love for clocks with other kids, so she became the inspiration behind the educational Lone Star Chapter 124 Bella’s Traveling Library Exhibit, a display and awareness of learning clocks.
The exhibit displays multiple clocks that go back to the 1800s, including a B-26 bomber airplane clock, a 400-day anniversary clock, and an Ansonia gingerbread mantel. Some of these clocks originated from Germany and Britain, and included ladies and men watches and watch jewelry. The display makes room for fun and kids by displaying colorful clocks painted with or shaped of cartoon characters. Bella is especially very interested in these and other fun clocks, especially her favorite pink and yellow Wizard of Oz clock. The display also held a Dr. Seuss alarm clock, a SpongeBob clock, and a Thomas The Tank Engine alarm clock.
This exhibit not only shows a unique assortment of beautiful clocks, but it shares the value of learning time, clock history and repair. Bella is the daughter and granddaughter of Lone Star Chapter 124 members Hugh, Evelyn, and Chris. Their local Dallas chapter is of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors (NAWCC), which is an organization formed to learn, teach and preserve horology, the science of measuring time.
The exhibit is surprisingly cool and is like a mini museum. In the process of learning clocks, students gain calculating and stronger math skills, mechanical skills, measurement and accuracy skills, and increase thinking skills. They also learn how to work with their hands and with tools, learn construction of timepieces, and organization.
Some may take education for granted, but for others it can be a luxury that could mean life or death, which is why Bella’s dad values education and the clock education program intensely. Chris explained how he has a heart condition that keeps him out of work sometimes, so “making it through high school and even college was a risk,” and an accomplishment for him. He believes children are our future and we must do our best to give them the knowledge they need.
Their next big step is making the Bella Exhibit a permanent, traveling exhibit within their organization where other chapters across the nation can continue the Slough family’s journey and spread the education of clocks and learning time.
The family has also assisted in providing clock and time-telling books for kids in local libraries. They also plan to host a fun time-telling clock class in April in Duncanville, TX.
I personally never thought about the importance of clocks, and forgot how much of an obstacle it is to learn time as a child, so I support the exhibit and hope it continues.
(-Want to read the full article?This story will appear in south suburban Dallas' Southwest NOW Magazine in May. The article is also posted on my Current Journalism page.)