PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The St. Patrick’s Day flood of 1936 had barely receded from the streets of Pittsburgh, when 19-year-old Simon Aleliunas got a job in a clock repair shop in Soho.
Now, 77 years later, having long since moved to Brentwood, the Iron City Clock Hospital is still ticking.
So is the clock repair man.
At 96 years old, Aleliunas’ eyes and mind are as sharp as ever, and his practiced hands work their way through bouts with arthritis. But times have changed.
“Everything’s throwaways,” he says. “Plastic, batteries — all we do is change batteries. You can’t take them apart. There’s no screws. Melted plastic keeps it together, keeps good time. But when they stop, throw the whole thing away, get another one.”
Long time customer Carmen Carletti brought his wife in to remove a few links from her watchband.
“I just told my wife he’s got all the little tools to do everything,” he says. “You’ve got to have the right ones. Those little clips, those little pins, they’re hard to get out.”
The clock repair man has made more friends than money, over the years.
“I like the people,” he explains. “Serve the people. You do a lot of favors. Make adjustments, here and there. Don’t charge for it, so they go out happy.”