Busy hands create new business

BILL WAITE of Oak Harbor, a retired federal fire inspector, contemplated what to do with the extra time on his hands. As he took a sip out of his soft drink, a brilliant shaft of light struck the spot and a chorus of angels . . . Well, that’s not exactly how it happened.

Bill has taken recycling aluminum cans to a new level, however, by building model aircraft from recycled soft drink and beer cans. His A.C. (Aluminum Can) Aircraft Company builds and sells more than 20 different types of scale model airplanes, from WW1 and WW2 fighters to more modern, light civilian aircraft.

Depending on the model and design, each plane takes from six to 12 hours to build and contains between 12 and 20 recycled aluminum cans.

Bill calls his creations “active art,” as they are designed hang from the ceiling, under the eaves or just sit on a desktop where even a light breeze sets the propeller spinning.

Wing span on the typical aircraft is 17 to 20 inches; and from nose to tail, about 12 to 13 inches.

About half of the planes he sells go to people who simply love a particular type of aircraft. The rest are those who are loyal to a specific brand of soda or beer.

“It’s tough to sell a Coors plane to a Budweiser guy, or a Coke model to a Pepsi drinker, but since I can build any model in any brand of can, it all works out,” said Waite. “I’ve had a lot of requests for P-3 Orions and EA-6B Prowlers locally. Unfortunately, the shape and dimensions of the standard 12-ounce beverage can doesn’t lend itself well to multi-engine or jet aircraft, though I am working on a Prowler design.”

Check out for the range of products and ordering information. Want to see before you buy? Stop in at Flyer’s restaurant, the Pizza Factory and U.S. Bank to view typical creations.

Bill fills special requests, so call him at (360) 679-2800.

Take a look at Tim . . .

Voters will have a chance to meet TIM KNUE when he announces his run for State Representative, District 10, on Sunday, May 21, from noon to 5 p.m. in the Oak Harbor Library meeting room.

Knue, who will oppose BARBARA BAILEY, was raised in Oak Harbor and graduated from OHHS in 1972. A Vocational/Agriculture teacher at Mount Vernon High School for 25 years, he is passionate about education, the environment and creating more family-wage jobs.

Two years ago, another Democrat candidate called for ordinary Americans of good conscience to consider a life of public service. Tim Knue is just an ordinary American who wants to make a difference.

Tour time returns . . .

Central Whidbey historian and author ROGER SHERMAN will conduct tours of Sunnyside Cemetery on three Sundays: May 28, July 2 and Sept. 3. Tours start at 1 p.m. and cost $5 per person and may be purchased at the cemetery the day of the tour. Call the Island County Historical Society at (360) 678-3310 for details.

There is a special lecture at the Coupeville Recreation Hall at 7 p.m. tomorrow night featuring Theresa Trebon, an expert on burial customs, who will talk about burial practices in the 1850s. There is also a $5 charge for this lecture.

And don’t forget the Society’s yard sale May 20 and 21 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. 577 Scenic Heights Road. Take Hwy. 20 to Monroe Landing Road, left on Scenic Heights.

No early birds.

Active duty treat . . .

Once again, USELESS BAY GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB is offering a free round of golf and lunch to active duty servicemen and women from May 21-28. “Last year’s invitation got rave reviews by those who participated,” said “PETE” PEDERSEN, who just happened to be with ERNIE GHEZZI recently when Ernie got his third hole in one on Hole #3 at Gallery Golf Club.

Thanks, ladies …

Drive-through customers were backed up to the highway at Wendy’s recently, and a line about 12 people deep waited patiently inside.

To NICHOLE FLOYD and SUMMER TATE working behind the counter, all that mattered was giving each customer a friendly greeting and good service.

Dave Thomas would say, “Nicely done, ladies.”

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