Michael Dunn sends this recollection of Ron Caron.
Rarely in my life have I ever met the likes of Ron Caron.
Caring, generous, dedicated, talented, unstinting, humble, husband, father, maple syrup maker, electrician… I could go on farther but would like the readers to know about one of his acts of kindness that my partner, Sue Evans, and I experienced.
Sue, when she moved to Almonte, brought with her a grandfather clock. It seemed to survive the move well and ran for a couple of years with no problem. Then, for some reason, the pendulum ceased to swing for longer than half an hour or so. Having known Ron for a number of years, I asked him for help. Within a few days, he arrived with his usual quiet smile and tools in hand.
He took stock of the clock and after about half an hour, had the pendulum swinging again in even strokes. We shared a cup of coffee, he packed up his tools, we said our thanks and he left. Then, within about twenty minutes the clock stopped.
We called, he came again and repeated the process taking it apart, making various adjustments and reassembling it all the while listening intently to its “tick tock” rhythm like an old fashioned family doctor. And, given the clock’s undependable nature, he insisted we call if it stopped again and so we did –a number of times. It had become “Ron versus clock”. Sure enough, each time he came, the clock stopped within a short time of his departure. Finally, Ron took the workings of the clock home with him and put it on his clock stand. There it ran perfectly for weeks. He brought it back and reinstalled the workings. The floor was level, the clock case was level, the wooden supports were level. He joked about a poltergeist in the clock. And, when he left sure enough it stopped again.
Finally, after much perseverance and head scratching, Ron discovered the problem: the pendulum was rubbing against the wood structure on which the workings were sitting. He made one small adjustment and ever since the clock has been working well.
Sue tells me that in Ottawa, such a service would have cost her $350. We offered Ron compensation for all his efforts but he refused. “Well, I was coming into town anyway,” he would say.
Each time now when I wind the clock I think of Ron.
Lucy Carleton sent this Almonte Gazette article about Ron’s dedication to the Almonte clock tower.