Donated clock arrives home

By Samantha Tucker samantha@prairiepress.net
Posted 7/19/21

Tiger Senior Apartments has just received a handmade, antique grandfather clock from Paris native Jeff Runyan, with free transportation from Florida courtesy of Herrington Transportation.

Runyan …

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Donated clock arrives home

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Tiger Senior Apartments has just received a handmade, antique grandfather clock from Paris native Jeff Runyan, with free transportation from Florida courtesy of Herrington Transportation.

Runyan has fond memories of seeing the clock in his grandparents’ house. It was made by his grandfather Lloyd “Pidge” Saughers, a railroad worker, avid fisherman and craftsman. His skill is evident since the clock still keeps time, chimes and rotates its moon dial more than 60 years later.

“I’m not sure when he (Lloyd Saughers) made it, but he was very crafty like that,” Runyan said.

Runyan kept the clock for more than 20 years following his grandparents’ passing, even bringing it with him to his current home in Fort Charlotte, Fla. But moving a grandfather clock is nerve-wracking, he said, and as he found himself moving into a multi-story condo he realized he did not even know if the clock would fit in the elevator. He also dreaded it being damaged in transit.

“It’s just a very big hassle to move it, and it’s probably not good for the clock itself,” he said.

Still, he did not want to sell it. Runyan mulled the dilemma over until he hit upon the potential of donating to his former high school. He credits his friend Michael Morris, who lives in the recently completed Tiger Senior Apartments, with indirectly inspiring him.

“I think it popped in my head because I’d been talking to Mike Morris,” he noted.

Property manager Theresa Campbell was thrilled to accept the donation both for its historic and aesthetic value.

“I think it’s awesome. I was very excited, and I was hoping it panned out,” she said.

Runyan put out a call on Facebook seeking advice or volunteers to move the clock, but transportation flummoxed him and Campbell until Morris stepped in again and tagged Brian Walker of Herrington Transportation in the post.

“Herrington’s was so nice, and stepped forward and offered to move it for free,” Runyan said, adding he was glad to bring them on because he recognized them as a trustworthy local name. Herrington is based in Paris.

Walker said moving the clock was easy, and the challenges were more logistical than anything. Fortunately they managed to arrange a partial load in a truck that was already in Florida, allowing them to recoup transportation costs.

“Herrington has trucks in Florida just about every week, and we decided we would carry it up here at no cost because we were able to get a partial load on it,” said Walker.

Runyan’s family clock was carefully disassembled and hauled without incident to Paris. Walker said Herrington Trucking was happy to help.

“Any time we can help the community, honestly, it’s something we like to do,” he said.

The delivery arrived Monday morning July 12, where it was carefully reassembled in the apartment library. It soon began ticking and chiming as it always had.

The library remains in the same room as it did during the building’s Paris High School days, according to Campbell, and the new addition fits right in with its vintage décor.

“We wanted to kind of keep the library feel,” she said about the space.

Runyan is glad the clock is safe and appreciated in its new home but admits he hated to part with it. When he needs to know the time, he catches himself glancing to its old place against the wall. His living room is also quieter now.

“I’ll miss it,” he said.

The project is not over for Runyan. Next, he plans to commission a plaque for display next to the clock in honor of the Saughers family: Lloyd, his wife Mae, and their daughter Cindy.

Tiger Senior Apartments is an affordable housing complex located in the former Paris High School building at 309 S. Main St. Staff is open to donations of good condition furniture and decor from the community. More information is available at www.laborershom.org/tiger-apartments, on the Tiger Senior Apartments Facebook page or by calling (217) 466-4943.

More information about Herrington Transportation can be found by calling (217) 463-8432 during standard business hours or visiting htransinc.com.