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The Way It Used To Be: A 28 Karat Gold Heel

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Reprinted from June 1992

“Can you tell me if these are real diamonds?”

An anxious customer shifted uneasily as he brought forth a man’s ring from his pocket. His furtive behavior implied that his ring might be “hot.” He glanced over his shoulder repeatedly as though he half expected the local vice squad to burst through the door and arrest him. 

RB took the ring and checked it quickly. “No,” he said in a flat tone. 

“No, they’re not diamonds or no, you can’t tell me?” the customer asked.

“No, they are not diamonds!”

The Way It Used To Be: The Ballad of RB and the Safety Chain Problem

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Reprinted from May 1992

One of those kids with the long hair and out of tune guitar ought to write a song about my husband, RB, and his troubles with a certain safety chain.

One day a lady came in to purchase a new band. She was carrying a baby in her arms - who no doubt had contributed to her rash of broken watch bands and safety chains.

 “None of them seem to hold up for me,” she complained bitterly. She held up the broken band for RB to see.

The Way It Used To Be: Looking for Lost Watch Parts

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Reprinted from February 1992

For the record, every watchmaker who has ever drawn a breath has lost a part!

Perhaps watch parts are blessed with certain mysterious powers and they can at times simply disappear into thin air. No amount of hocus-pocus can make them reappear again. On occasion, even whole watches have been known to disappear… temporarily and otherwise.

Now a woman’s intuition does, indeed, help in recovery of these watch parts, which is why most watchmakers insist that their wives work in the store with them. Let me tell you about the time RB lost his parts…

The Way It Used To Be: Caught in the Generation Gap

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Reprinted from November 1991

Class ring manufacturers make a variety of school ring designs, so pleasing students is fairly easy, but try to please the parents!

A proud mama came in with her 16-year-old daughter, Margaret.

“Margaret wants to select a class ring,” mama announced briskly.

“Surely, Margaret,” I said. “Wont’ you step over to the display case? We have lots of new styles this year.”

The Way It Used To Be: Rick the Ripper

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Reprinted from October 1991

The train came in early around here last week. No sooner was the door unlocked, when in strode the challenge of the day, “Rick the Ripper.”

Rick’s the kind of fellow who strikes terror in the heart of every watchmaker, and today was RB’s turn to face the music.

Rick was arrogant in his manner and his gaze was icy cold. Obviously, he didn’t except any nonsense. I felt RB squirm under the pressure.

“This watch has stopped.” Rick plopped it down on the counter with such gusto I felt sure he’d broken the staff.

“Well, now,” RB tried to sound nonchalant, “let’s take a look and see what could have gone wrong.”

“You do that watchmaker,” sneered Rick. I seemed to detect a slight quiver in RB’s neck muscle.

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