Chris and Bob’s friendship was born in a barn. A round barn, that is, where hobbyists gather on campus. Chris occasionally ‘borrows’ Bob’s 90 year-old eyes to examine his tiny clock parts; Bob relies on Chris to ‘keep him in line.’ Or does Bob keep Chris in line? They enjoy each other’s antics and are happily surprised at their later-in-life friendship.
Mogens "Chris" Christensen did have to “right-size” his antique clock collection, but he certainly didn’t give it up! He collects and repairs antique clocks and sold more than 150 of them before moving to Western Home Communities in 2015. The collection editing process improved the overall quality of his remaining collection and gave him a “pass” to say yes to an exceptional clock he may find for sale in an antique store or auction.
“I love auctions,” he admits. “I used to buy old clocks because I liked restoring the wood cases.”
It became expensive to have the clock works repaired so he slowly learned that part of the restoration process, too. Pretty soon, he was an active member of the National Clock Collectors Association and a go-to restoration expert for high-value antique clocks. While living in Des Moines, Chris learned a lot from his restoration mentor Ralph Terry, a grandson of Eli Terry who was a famous clock craftsman in the 1800s.
Bob, on the other hand, has had his hands on crafts since he was a child. Wood-working was an early passion but he has tried many different mediums. Leaded glass is one of his current passions. When he is making specific pieces to hang in windows, he has a tendency to notice the slightest variances in the construction. "They tend to be off a quarter to a half an inch," he laughed.
Bob says his wife likes to call first "dibs" on the things he makes and the second or third edition make it into the hands of friends and family.
Bob said he recently celebrated his 90th birthday with several different parties. Chris laughed and asked where his invitation was.