Hello, Dali

Photo by Ian Moraino

UPDATE: A Chase bank manager just called to say the clock is being fixed right now — and the broken rim has been removed, though she doesn’t know by whom.

Crank up the cliches! A broken clock is right at least once a day! As if you could kill time without injury eternity (Thoreau)! Time is making fools of us again (Dumbledore)!

Or perhaps the most relevant reference is Nancy Drew’s “The Secret of the Old Clock,” because nobody seems to know exactly how the clock tower at the intersection of Valley Road and Bellevue Avenue in Upper Montclair got so banged up, or whose responsibility it is to fix it.

Meg Beattie Patrick spotted it a week ago, and even then the damage was a few days old. People working inside the Chase Bank noticed that a nearby trash can was mangled about the same time, leading to a theory that the damage was caused by a truck taking the corner too sharply. Gail Goodman of the Upper Montclair Business District didn’t even realize it was broken until we sent her a picture last week.

Meanwhile, whose clock is it, and whose job is it to fix it?

Even though the bank’s name is clearly on the clock’s face, Shantel Comick, branch manager at Chase, says it’s the town’s responsibility. “The last time it broke, the whole face fell off,” she said, and the broken pieces remained in her office for six months before the town fixed it. “It doesn’t belong to us,” she said. “We’re not allowed to handle it.”

But Montclair’s Community Service Department, which handles public works, says otherwise. A clerical worker in the department checked with a supervisor and reported back that Montclair expects the bank to do the repairs. “It’s Chase Bank’s responsibility,” she said.

Until someone figures it out, let’s consider it a public art  installation — an homage to the famous time bender Salvador Dali. Really, is it any weirder than the mind-bending voting referendum saga playing out at 205 Claremont?

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  1. The cover on the can looks kind of warped a la Dali as well. If that was a barrel of pickles instead of a trash can, it could be called a Dill y Dali.

  2. ”It doesn’t belong to us,” she said. “We’re not allowed to handle it.”

    Then why is your employer’s *name* on it?

  3. I am still shaking my head at this story. Who sets the clock on Daylight Savings day? Who fixes the clock when it’s not working? You mean to tell me that this is the first time the issue of clock repair and maintenance has come up in all the years it’s been there?

  4. A broken clock should be right twice a day. I think the clock was replaced years ago by the bank. there was a article in the Montclair Times.

  5. PAZ gets credit for the Hello Dali line.

    When you meet the Dalai Lama is it bad manners to say Hello Dalai?

  6. I wish they had left it like that. It’s like public art. Otherwise its just a regular clock. Oh, a real nice clock, but just a clock.

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