FAIRBANKS, Alaska - In an excerpt from a book titled "Alias Pegge Parker,” Parker writes, "The Clock had no choice but to sit out it's days with me-all over the world." Words to describe how the clock given to her traveled as far as China to India and then back to the U.S.
Parker came to Alaska as a Young reporter in the Early 1940's. Writing articles on the “Ice pool”, she was bestowed Charlie Wilson's clock, the first chronometer used to time the Nenana Ice Classic. The Clock was then passed down to her son, Jim Hlavcek.
"This Clock to me is all part of the tangible history of my mother's time in Alaska. She came up here in as a 24 year old reporter, spent three years here. At a very interesting time in history, World War Two, and ferrying airplanes from here to Russia. And that this clock then has traveled half way around the world, because my parents were foreign correspondence. They met in India, got married there. This clock went to Harrisburg Pennsylvania, where my mother’s parents were from, to India, came back with us to America, and is now finally back in Alaska." Hlavecek says he and his wife arranged this trip specifically to donate the Clock to the University of Alaska's Museum of the North.
"This has been my own burden because it doesn't belong in my house, on my shelf, it belongs up here, for the people to enjoy. so I'm really happy," he said. Angela Linn is a senior collections manager and works to collect and preserve physical items that represent quintessential Alaskan Stories. She says the 'Ice Pool Clock' is a great addition not only because it connects people with the history, but the personal connection with the family really makes the piece come to life. "It's just a great way to come full circle. and to have the donation happen at this time of year, you know it’s a great way for us all to think about our own seasonal cycle. And when we put things like this into the collection it preserves that for everyone now in perpetuity,” she said. Jim Hlaveceks said he is very proud to share his mother’s remarkable stories with others, and to turn back time on this forgotten piece of history, bringing the clock home to where it's journey first began. The clock can be viewed at the UA museum of the North open house on March 30th from Noon to 4.