• Passing Time, Father to Son
  • The 61st Missouri Photo Workshop / Festus & Crystal City, Mo.
  • Vernon Graham, known as “Father Time” and a fixture on Festus’s Main Street for the past 23 years, has decided to retire … again. His first retirement was at age 54 after a successful career as an electrical engineer. Along the way, Vernon taught his son Mike clock repair, and it is Mike who will now run the hobby-turned-business.

    Vernon’s love of clocks began in 1961 when his wife bought a broken timepiece from a sale. Vernon’s inclination was to get it working.

    “I’m outta work,” Vernon said to Mike while they worked in the crowded but comfortably familiar shop. “I just gave my business away. I ain’t got nothin’ to do.”

    “Doesn’t it feel good?” Mike replies.

    “Yeah,” grins Vernon.

    The self-taught clock enthusiast plans to continue tinkering in the shop with his son, but without the stress of running a small business. Mike is determined to make this retirement permanent and give his father back his hobby.

    Vernon Graham trained pilots while serving in the U.S. Air Force from 1951-1955 and dutifully posts the colors in front of his Main Street shop before opening for business. Like many veterans of the armed forces he maintains proper flag etiquette and retires the colors at the close of business before sundown.

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