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Customers bring third-generation cobbler Jim Ackerman irreplaceable items, like this cowboy boot brought to him by a truck driver, which he estimates have a value of $400. Tribune photo by Eric Ludy

In downtown Willmar, two holdouts from a bygone era

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It's almost like the 21st century never arrived here at the Centre Point Mall in downtown Willmar.

Inside, clock smith Wes Carlson tinkers with the gears of an old mantle clock. The ticking of the dozens of others he has already fixed provides a mechanical rhythm for the slow, absorbing task.

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