David Kloberdans runs his camera repair business out of his home. Sandwiched between a store filled with found items called “Ed’s Stuff” and a residential area, 16 Hall Road looks like any other house, large and painted white. What lies inside, a collected life, is far from ordinary.
A little more than 30 years ago, Kloberdans settled here with his wife, a Bath native, after their daughter passed away in his native Colorado.

“It was really, really hard for my wife to stay [in Colorado], so she wanted to go back home.”
A former undercover police officer, Kloberdans began repairing cameras after a doctor recommended he take up a hobby to relieve stress from work.

The trade came naturally to him. As a child, he spent afternoons after school with his grandfather, a clock-maker named Shep (the namesake of his shop), who let him fiddle with the extra clocks he had lying around. Kloberdans finds the inside of a camera to be similar.
“See, a clock, that clock up there, times out the hands on it, and the chimes, that’s what it times out,” he explained. “A camera times out shutter speeds... but it’s still the mechanism.”

I first met Kloberdans as the tough and consummately competent camera repairman. My photography professor, Mike Kolster, recommended him when I needed to replace a small and relatively obscure piece of my camera.

When I knocked on Kloberdan’s door, I had low expectations. He introduced me to his garage, and I left with not only the piece I was missing, but also a filter that he found and fitted to my lens free of charge.

“I opened up a shop. I started going around to different camera shops, telling them who I was, and what I did, gave them my card. That stuff just started trickling in,” he said of his large collection of camera parts. “After a while, you just collect them.”

His camera parts collection dominates his garage, though he manages to store other eclectic objects there as well. The collections companions include a Seth Thomas banjo clock, some motorcycles (his Harley has an engine designed by Ferrari), two retro slot machines that entertain his grandchildren, and stacks of bagged wood pellets that fuel the wood burning stove in his basement. The clutter floods into a workshop and his living room, mingling with his living space.

“This stuff is valuable,” he says.

Over the years, Kloberdans has developed a large network of friends through his business. More than two decades ago, he fixed the camera of Claude Montgomery, a local artist known for his landscapes and presidential portraits. As a favor, Montgomery offered to commission a nude portrait of Kloberdan’s wife at a wholesale price of $4,000. The couple politely declined. Today, both Montgomery and  Kloberdan’s wife are deceased.   

“Once they’re gone, you realize what you should’ve done,” Kloberdans said.