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Time Traveler

November 18, 2013

Some years ago I developed an aversion to the wearing of wristwatches and acquired one that rides in the pocket instead.  An inexpensive yet durable Montgomery Ward special that survived, among other things, one trip through a washing machine and repeated thumpings when forgotten in the pocket of jeans thrown down at the end of day.  After the washing machine incident its hunter’s case lid closed crookedly, but close it did and the watch was honest about the time.
A while back for no apparent reason it gave up the ghost and laid in gold-plated death unable to wind, tick or wave its hands.  For over a year I have traveled without carrying time with me and discover that I still manage to make it to where I want to go.
Recently, traveling to a funeral, I crossed a time warp and regained an hour of my past making a day that, for me, was twenty five hours long.  Days later, returning along the same pith, I lost an hour and so came out more or less even.  After the trip I ran into another time-shift, this one legislated, and got my extra hour back, but in the spring it will be rescinded.
In 1973 I returned to North America from South Asia.  I left Guam International Airport at 7:30 on a Friday arrived in San Francisco at 7  the same day.  While flying for fifteen hours with a customs stop in Honolulu I traveled a half hour into the future.
Somewhere I have an ornate certificate attesting that I crossed the International Dateline at sea.  On his occasion the ship on which I was a crewman sailed into tomorrow, squatted there awhile for ceremonial purposes, then came back into today.
When I was a maritime radioman the exact time was a treasure.  We would twice daily tune a special receiver to a laboratory in Colorado where scientists and wise men measured the earth’s movements and tracked the stars and deduced from their calculations the exact time.  They broadcast this to the faithful and we listened, standing at opened clocks, keys in hand, ready to capture and lock down the precise second.


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