Watch Case Repair Company
Frank Chekevdia or "Chick", as most people
knew him, was born in Royalton on July 27, 1923
in a section of town known as "Hunky Row". He grew
up in Royalton and graduated from
the high school in 1941.
Like most young men during WWII, Chick entered the
service and joined the Navy and stayed in
until 1947 when he discharged and moved to Chicago to look for
Chick began an apprenticeship that same year with
the Becker-Heckman Watch Case Repair Company. Eventually, he
became partner in the company only to sell out his part prior
to moving back to Royalton.
Chick worked on and off for the company for 20 years
while in Chicago. He got tired of the hectic city life that he
called a "Rat Race". His son was getting older and
he did not want him to
grow up in the city. In 1967, Chick moved his family back home
to Royalton. He would
not move back until 1969.
When Chick moved back, he made a deal with the owners
of the company. Either he would
quit or they could mail him the work that needed to be done.
They opted for the latter. Consequently, Chick bought a building
from O.F. Griffith on North Royal Street and
his shop opened.
Chick basically retired when he moved home. Gone were
the suits and ties that he wore in
the city. Most people around here never saw him in anything other
than a tee shirt and
dungarees, unless there was a reason to dress up.
When people in the area heard there was a goldsmith
in town, numerous, interesting people came to visit. I personally
remember a General, a Senator, and a member of the Washington
Redskins coming to get watches repaired.
Chick never turned anybody away. He liked to meet people and
have long B.S. sessions
that often led to interesting arguments. Many of the people who
came to get a ring fixed or a watch repaired became the same
ones who would visit the shop on a regular basis. His usual fee
was a package of chewing tobacco for the work he did. I do not
think that I saw anyone
go away dissatisfied.
On June16, 1990, Chick departed Royalton and this
life for his final journey. He left behind a multitude of friends
and neighbors. His wife Elva and son Mike still live in Royalton.
He is sadly missed.
Chick loved to visit people. He would wake in
the morning and spend the first half of the day going to the
post office, Brick's Barber Shop, and other places in town to
get the latest news. There was no telling where you would see
him. I cannot think of a place he was not welcome.
30 January 2003