Found an Old Clock under the Couch…

IMG1433AI found an old Soviet made wind up alarm clock. It was covered in dirt and in pieces as I found it. I gathered all the pieces and later after finishing cleaning the corner I found it in, I sipped a cup of coffee and worked on it. The front glass is broken, someone painted it blue (The Soviet blue so popular in the old days!), it had layers of hard crusty dirt all over it and the mice had made it part of a nest…

I set down, sipped coffee and decided to save it…

I took it apart and found that it was very well built. The internals were excellent in both quality and being sealed against the outside world. This was a case of looks can be deceiving. It looked like a $1.95 Sears special on the outside, but inside it was a $100 alarm clock. This is what I have been finding through out my adventures in Russia. The Soviets seemed to not care about the way something looks, they just care about does it function and this same philosophy holds true to this day in Russia…

I remember those days in America, as a child I had many things that I see around me everyday here. Things that were not flashy, but they lasted forever…

Remember when we bought things that you would only buy once and use that item for your life and hopefully hand it down to your kids. Be that something a rifle, car or refrigerator? You bought Maytag washer because that would be the last one you most likely would buy. You bought a 6 cylinder 300 cubic inch Ford truck for the farm, because it would last for 10 years under hard work. You bought a Winchester lever action rifle in 30-30 because it put food on the table, protected your family and lasted three to four generations of family members…

I find this true still in Russia, but as in America, it is fading and the desire for instant gratification, be it physical, mental, visual or audio has become more and more prevalent in Russia also. I call it, “The McDonald Syndrome!”

The example that I think about is the car Sveta and I own. We have a 1999 Volga Wagon and it is not a sleek, fancy nor flashy looking car, but I will tell you that it is tough. It is as tough as any 1/2 ton pickup that I have owned in America and a Volga is not a pickup! But she is as tough as  pickup and I should know, I have owned both in my time…

A Volga is simply built to survive Russia and that my friend says it all. Russia is not a forgiving place to own a car in and Sveta and I have tested the Volga to extreme. It can be fixed with bailing wire, duct tape and a basic set of tools. It is the best car I have owned in many years and I have owned a bunch of cars in my time. Therefore, just like the alarm clock I just fixed, the Volga is the same way. Looks cheap on the outside in materials, but underneath where it counts, quality…

So, after a bunch of thinking’s by me, I am on a quest to do the body work on the Volga we own and get it repainted after I am done. It needs a few body parts replaced and I am definitely pushing to have a Volga Gaz van drive line installed. We need the six speed transmission, heavy rear end with positrac and extra heavy larger clutch assembly. It also needs a new dash assembly for the old one is simply dead and maybe a quarter of all functions work or exist at all. Sveta sees that this needs to be done and since she likes to navigate as we travel and finds that running through deep rivers and over rutted roads is a fun way to travel, maybe this winter it is time to put the Volga in the shop and get some things done…

Wow, all that over a simple old alarm clock…

Post by Kyle Keeton
Windows to Russia…


kKEETON @ Windows to Russia…

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