Saturday, May 18, 2024

114 West Elm Street
Graham, NC 27253
Ph: 336.228.7851

If anyone knows what time it is, Bud Coleman does!


After almost three decades repairing and collecting antique clocks, Burlington businessman Bud Coleman is ready to sell off his expansive stock.

For his first 30 years in the roofing business as the proprietor of Coleman Roofing, which he runs with wife Judy, the 83-year-old said he didn’t have time for clocks.

He had originally tried golf as a hobby, but by the second game found himself uttering, “If it’s pretty enough to golf, it’s pretty enough to work.”

Tinkering on the timepieces wasn’t even his first draw to the pastime. When he purchased his first two clocks years ago at an estate sale, Coleman brought them to O.T. Yoder for repairs, later re-selling them.

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Though Yoder piqued his interest, it was a New York transplant named Oscar, affectionately nicknamed “the Yankee,” who taught him the trade and became one of his closest friends until Oscar’s death.

The first clock, Coleman says, was, understandably, his most difficult to repair, with the then-amateur placing the clock’s spring in backwards — twice.

Ultimately, he told The Alamance News, the frustration paid off.

“That thing run so pretty, it just tickled me to death,” he remembered.

It was, to him, so much better than golf.

Now, the back of his clock repair shop boasts six long shelves of clocks, all American, with the oldest dating back to the mid-1800’s. The hundreds of clocks reflect styles of various eras, ranging from the ornate mid-to-late 1800’s to the streamlined and simple 1900’s.

Still, he says with a chuckle, “All my favorites are at home.”

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In the front shop, gears turn on an opened clock sitting on his worktable. A new addition to his collection, he explains, there’s nothing the matter with it; he’s just finding out what makes it tick. Even after all these years, he says, he’s still learning.

Coleman’s clocks that will be for sale include mantel timepieces and several others styles.

[Editor’s Note: Anyone wishing to talk clocks can reach Bud Coleman at Coleman Roofing, Burlington,  (336) 227-3065.]


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