LINCOLNTON, N.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – It’s the business of counting seconds, minutes, and hours.

‘City Life’ southern hospitality is simply the norm

“I’ve got plenty of clocks,” said Ben Parker.

Ben spends every day surrounded by the sounds of time.

“If I didn’t hear them ticking, I know I’m not doing my job,” said Ben.

Some call him ‘Father Time,’ or better yet…

“Most of the time, I’m the clock doctor,” laughed Ben.

Ben has been the keeper of the clocks in downtown Lincolnton for the past 27 years; only some have noticed.

“I’ve been here all these years, and it just didn’t dawn on them,” said Ben.

He learned how to fix clocks from the previous owner of ‘Clocks & Collectibles.’

“The challenge every time you go in a clock, you kind of feel like you learn something every time you go in one because you find something different,” said Ben.

The sounds of his shop blend together like a chaotic symphony, one that sticks with him long after he heads home for the day.

“I think about them all the time,” said Ben. “They come up in my dreams.”

There aren’t many clockmakers or fixers anymore, and there’s a lot of work to do.

“I’m really wanting to try to get somebody that would be interested in taking over whenever I do,” said Ben.

Void left after a constant presence in Lincolnton

While time may feel endless, that’s not the case.

“Time just got away from you,” said Ben.

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The seconds and the minutes are measured the same for everyone, but how they’re spent is what matters.

“Like doing what you’re doing, you never work a day in your life,” said Ben.