He knows a thing or two about time. He understands how to make time work. He gets that you have to make the most of your time. He knows how to make the good times roll. And he appreciates that there is no time like the present. He is Blake Eckelbarger, DJ and caretaker of the clock that sits atop the Elkhart County Courthouse.
Blake loves music, all types. What he is really keen on, though, is playing songs that rouse a crowd and gets them moving. Blake does this while performing under the name DJ Sticky Boots.
Whether is an assembly at a grade school gym, a high school formal or a party for college kids, Blake think it is “super exciting” to generate energy. He is particularly happy to do anything with kids.
Being part of wedding days are also great fun for Blake. He talks about how rewarding it can be to help couples celebrate one of the best days of their lives. Many of his wedding clients become friends and Blake is there to celebrate other milestones with them.
Blake’s work makes him keep up with the latest songs and hottest acts. Like lot of music geeks, he doesn’t have just one favorite song. He says what he is listening to Is constantly changing. “I am like a chameleon,” he says, “adapting to what is going on around me.”
Chances are if you found Blake alone you would hear the likes of Journey, Sade, Post Malone, Bob Seger or Dr. Dre. You might also hear them on his syndicated radio program found locally on Friday and Saturday nights on U-93.
Then there is the clock.
Opened in 1870, the county courthouse is a centerpiece of downtown Goshen. Its clock has been in the care of Blake’s family for most of the past 100 years. “I love machines and machinery,” Blake told the Associated Press. “To me, it’s just something that’s really cool.” He adds, “nothing says ‘machine’ more than a clock works, with all its gears, levers and things.”
The courthouse clock is a precision instrument that runs by gravity. It requires weekly maintenance, so Blake climbs up into the domed tower and takes care of business. He gets a kick out of being able to work on something so “old school.”
This spring work will start on a major refresh of the historic timepiece. It should be in tip top shape in time to celebrate its 150th birthday in 2020. You can be sure, Blake will be watching over the process and keep on top of things.
Blake is fortunate to have not one, but two jobs he is passionate about. You might say he is having the time of his life.