Repurposing My Dad’s and Harry’s Blue Watch


Vitality Stories

Tiger Drive Teri Case Blue Watch

Repurposing A Blue Watch

A second chance

Those of you who have read Tiger Drive will recognize the blue watch above, and you will know that the watch is a symbol of ideals, dreams, life choices, and our inability to turn back time and do things differently. And while Harry is not my dad, Harry and my father had things in common such as alcoholism and a blue watch. My dad wore his blue watch all through my childhood. My mom doesn’t know the story behind the watch, only that he already owned it when she met him while she was bartending at a VFW bar in Lakeville, Minnesota, in the 1960s. In her words, “He was always drunk at the VFW, but he sure was charming.”

In 2011, my youngest sister was going through our dad’s keepsakes box and found the watch. It no longer worked and the blue band had shriveled up and crumbled. At that time, I was writing the first draft of Tiger Drive, and when my sister called to tell me she found the watch, it felt like a sign that I was on the right track because I had already used the sentimental watch in the story. She sent it to me in 2014 as inspiration to not give up and to continue editing my novel. And I’d need it because it took me four more years to publish Tiger Drive.

And then, a month ago, I sent it back to my sister. She has become the “blue watch whisperer,” and she had identified someone else who needed the watch for inspiration: her son, Willard, was graduating from high school and preparing for college. But this time, she had the watch repaired. When the watchmaker pointed her to a display to pick a new band, smack dab in front of her was a blue band. It was a sign she was on the right track with this gift and life transition.

When my sister gave him the watch, he cried. She included this quote:

“If our watches were truly accurate the only thing they would ever say is now.” –Damien Echols, Life After Death

Tiger Drive Blue Watch Teri Case

How do you approach or “keep” time? Or have you ever been inspired by a family keepsake? I’d love to hear more. Email me:

As always, thanks for being you!


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