I’ve thought up yet another semi-regular feature for MBIP and that is to peruse the Yellow Pages (remember them, they’re in this ancient printed book thingy called, “the phone book”) and pick one local business from each letter of the alphabet. Today we begin with the letter “A” and under the listing of “Antiques,” I found this ad:
They claim to have the largest selection of clocks in the area—that’s a pretty bold statement! I’ve never been to a clock shop, so I think now is as good of a time as any to start. Get it? Time to start...clocks... time... aw the hell with it, our fingers have done the walking in the Yellow Pages, time to let the MBIP mobile drive us to this destination—the very first of our journey through the Yellow Pages.
Here we go, off on a gray and gloomy day. This is just the way I like it outside and most of the snow has melted. Oh happy day!
There it is, Whaley’s Clock Shop, let’s park and check it out.
This place looks really cool, I can’t wait to get inside!
I knew they’d be open, because I called to make sure before I left.
I dutifully rang the bell and someone inside told me it’s open so...
I went in and already I see three clocks! Let’s go say hi to the gentleman near the desk...
Meet Leo Whaley, the owner and sole employee of Whaley’s Clock Shop. Leo told me he’s been in business in this location for over 40 years. He worked at Caterpillar making crankshafts and the clock shop was something he did on the side. He both sells and repairs clocks. He retired from Caterpillar in 1981 and starting working in his clock shop full time, something he does to this day. Leo is now 81-years-old and told me I could walk around and take some pictures, so that’s just what I’m going to do.
This is Leo’s work area where he’s toiled on time pieces for over 40 years. Next time I come here I’m bring some parsley, sage and rosemary to complete this picture.
I think as we look around, we’ll find that was no boast in the ad where it read, “largest selection of clocks in the area.” There’s clocks all over the place in here, like this fancy ornate one on this table.
Golden clocks under glass domes are over on this table.
There’s clocks up on bookshelves...
And here’s another one on this table in front of a can of WD-40.
Check out these two grandfather clocks, the one on the left is an Anheuser-Busch clock. Very cool!
Voici une horloge français, merci!
There’s even clocks stuffed into boxes underneath the tables. Sheesh!
Here’s an article from the PJ Star about Leo that came out after Leo retired and started doing this timely business full time.
This is another PJ Star article that came out a few years later in 1986 and was a front page article. Leo told me that this was the first time they had run a color photo on the front of the paper. Yes, people, it’s this very photo that single-handedly killed the joke: “What’s black and white and read all over?” After this edition came out, the joke was changed to: “What’s CMYK and read all over,” and it never quite packed the same hilarious wallop of days of old. Sob!
Guess what’s in this back room?
That’s right, more clocks!
Here’s two on the floor...
And four more hanging high.
Phil Spector had his wall of sound and Leo has his wall of clocks.
Looking up we see another quartet of clocks.
This photo doesn’t do this clock justice, it’s a see though cuckoo clock and it’s too cool!
Wow, check this one out, it’s a clock with Leo’s house in the background. It’s kind of homely, isn’t it? Ouch!
In addition to about 9733 clocks, there’s also this vintage stereo receiver with a pile of albums below it.
I pulled one of them out...
And here’s Leo holding it. The Best of Buck Owens...hey, where’s the Buckaroos...oh, they’re down below. Keep your pants on and be patient!
I asked Leo to point out his favorite clock and he didn’t hesitate before pointing out this marvelous grandfather clock. Thanks to Leo for giving us this timely tour and if you’re looking for an antique clock or have one that needs fixing, give Leo a call. We’ll see you all tomorrow!
Whaley's Clock Shop
218 W Mc Clure Avenue
Peoria, IL 61604
(Be sure to call before visiting.)