Giving Back

Chatham's Davis 'Specializes' Clock at Reasoner Park

Jeff Davis, now in his 44th year, at Specialized Auto Craft in Chatham Credits: TAP Chatham
Longtime Chatham resident Jeff Davis hand painted the weather worn clock at Reasoner Park as his part in giving back to his home town Credits: TAP Chatham
Restored clock at Reasoner Park, courtesy of resident Jeff Davis Credits: TAP Chatham
What the clock base looked like before it was repainted by Jeff Davis at Specialized Auto Craft in Chatham Credits: TAP Chatham

CHATHAM, NJ - Jeff Davis was taken back to his college days of the 1970's when he volunteered to restore the clock that stands in Chatham Borough's Reasoner Park next to the fire house.

An art major at Moravian College in Bethlehem, Pa., Davis got out his old paint brushes to restore the Reasoner Park clock. Davis, the longtime owner of Specialized Auto Craft - an auto body shop in Chatham - did all the work gratis as a way of giving back to his home town.

"The guys were really busting me because I got an art degree from Moravian College back in 1972 and it was like I was back where I started," Davis said. "I got all my brushes out and had to mix the paint to get the correct gold color. When I first started out down here, I had my business in the first two bays and that's where they put me with the clock.

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"It's like starting all over again. Forty-four years I've been here and I'm back in the first two bays doing art work. I've gone full cycle now."

It took Davis about three weeks to sand and repaint the clock, which had been fading from its exposure to the sun.

"I had to hand paint all the detail and lettering," Davis said.

Davis did body work on the side while he was in college to help pay for expenses and he got into the body shop business to pay off his college loan.

"When I graduated, I had a college loan to pay off and it was $44.04 per year," Davis said. "I can't remember what I had for breakfast in the morning, but I still remember that it was $44.04 a year. I to pay off this loan. So I started doing this and it grew and grew and grew."


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