Under accustomed circumstances, Billy Ellis and Bret Oliverio ability not accept accustomed anniversary added the time of day. One man is growing his business; the added is retired. One has aloof started a family; the added is a great-grandfather.
But they accept one affair in common. Both accept the affliction of time cut abbreviate with addition they loved.
It has been added than seven years aback Oliverio absent his adolescent brother in a abode fire. A few months earlier, in May 2011, Ellis absent his alone son in a car accident.
When the two met anon afterwards 3 p.m. on Thursday, it was so that Ellis could present Oliverio with a alarm that he had made, conceivably to betoken the achievement that time can alleviate wounds.
Derek Oliverio’s name is engraved on the clock’s handmade board case. On the basal is the name of Ellis’ son, Billy Don.
That is the name that has gone on the base of every alarm Ellis has anytime made.
“I anticipation about time aback I put a characterization on with my son’s name,” he said. “The alarm goes forward. His name goes forward.”
Ellis, who began authoritative clocks in 2014, has been animate with copse aback his boyish years.
“When I was in aerial school, the abecedary accustomed me to go get a key from him and assignment in his boutique at night, aback I should accept been studying,” he said, laughing.
The Farmville built-in acutely had a adroitness for woodworking. Aback he and his wife, Marie, were newlyweds, he set about authoritative appliance for their home, from end tables to bedchamber suites. Afterwards the Vietnam War, he volunteered to advice advise veterans his craft.
While he fabricated a career for himself in insurance, woodworking remained a passion. But it was not a amusement that Ellis and his son shared. Billy Don, who formed in area bedrock and metal construction, adopted hunting and fishing. But he was appreciative of his father’s gift.
“My son admired my woodwork; he would blow on it,” Ellis said. “He anticipation my woodwork was good, alike admitting he didn’t affliction a accomplished lot about accomplishing it.”
A few years ago, Ellis begin that authoritative bigger pieces was acceptable too taxing. But he capital to accumulate animate with his hands, so he angry to clocks. His brother, Melvin, had been a jeweler and alarm maker.
Ellis, who had abstruse alarm adjustment from his brother, was not decidedly absorbed in authoritative the alarm itself. He was agreeable to adjustment alarm genitalia and focus his efforts on authoritative casings for crimson clocks, mostly from atom lumber.
It takes about a anniversary for Ellis to about-face planks of walnut, maple, tiger copse or nut into a copse case for a clock. Boards are apprenticed and alert instead of nailed. There is no metal, and there are no besom acclamation in the finish.
Ellis has fabricated dozens of them. Best are not for sale, but he has accustomed them as ability to businessmen and mayors, coaches and radio personalities.
“I’ve met a lot of bodies through it,” Ellis said. “People see me and go, ‘There’s the Alarm Man’. … I aloof don’t apperceive what I could accept done that would accept been added advantageous to me than this.”
About two years ago, he gave one to the “Voice of the Pirates,” Jeff Charles, in anamnesis of his daughter, nursing apprentice Heather Purtee, who died in a car blast 25 years ago. Her ancestors continues to armamentarium a nursing scholarship in her name.
When Ellis apprehend a bi-weekly commodity about how Bret Oliverio was accustomed on the assignment that his brother began at Sup Dogs, he absitively area his aing canonizing alarm should go.
It seemed an abnormal best aback Ellis had never met either of the brothers and had never eaten at Sup Dogs. Before Thursday’s meeting, he did not alike apperceive absolutely area Sup Dogs was. But commodity in the way the restaurant buyer talked about his backward brother in that commodity batten volumes to Ellis. He accepted the brothers’ tight-knit relationship. He additionally admired the actuality that Derek had been accommodating to blow his activity to accomplishment his pets.
“I can understand,” Ellis said. “I’d go aback to save my little dog.”
Ellis about absent his activity aggravating to save his dog about four years ago. The family’s Chihuahua, Lucky, pulled its bridle out of Ellis’ duke and was active against a active artery a his home. Lunging for the leash, Ellis fell to the ground. He suffered bristles burst ribs and a punctured lung and was not accepted to survive. He spent about a ages in accelerated care.
But it was added than a accepted adulation for dogs that drew Ellis to appetite to bethink Derek. It was additionally acknowledgment for how a drifter had remembered Billy Don.
Stephanie Hedgepeth heard the blast the night that Billy Don’s car chaotic a Black Jack. She ran out of her home and rushed to the scene, area she captivated his duke until the ambulance arrived.
After Ellis and his wife placed a band at the arena of the accident, Hedgepeth and Marie Ellis addled up a friendship. Hedgepeth helps to accumulate that canonizing maintained.
“She keeps the band up,” Ellis said as he relayed the adventure to Oliverio. “It’s still there. If it gets to attractive bad, she’ll go buy a new one. It’s absolute strangers, aloof like you.”
But afterwards aftermost week, Oliverio and Ellis don’t assume like strangers anymore. Oliverio arrive Billy and Marie aback for a meal; he took bottomward Ellis’ buzz number.
“When my dad’s in town, I’m abiding he’d like to acknowledge you and babble with you,” Oliverio told him.
“It array of tells me how appropriate my brother was as a being that seven years later, associates of the association still bethink him,” he said. “Strangers from the association still bethink him and booty the time and activity to accomplish us something. That agency a lot to me and my family.”
It has been advantageous for Ellis as well.
“Talking about (Billy Don) helps me to remember,” he said. “It has meant a lot to me.
“The best important affair to me is aback I accord a alarm away, I feel like I accord my son’s name and accumulate his anamnesis alive.”
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