Larry LaRue

Clockmaker now has an apprentice

Clockmaker Shayne Buchanan's biggest problem the past four days was answering his telephone.

The subject of a Saturday column, the Tacoma businessman said he received more than 50 telephone calls after it ran - some looking to give him work, some from those hoping to find it.

"We'd get a call and no sooner hang up than the phone would start ringing again," said Buchanan, who runs AAA Clocks in Tacoma. "We had five clocks come in and another 15 people who said they would bring them in."

And then there were those hoping to fill a niche Buchanan had: a clockmaker's apprentice.

"Found one," he said. "His name is William, he's 16 and going through high school online. He's open-minded, has a pleasant attitude and anticipates what I'm talking about. He's got ambition - in a good way."

After spending more than a thousand dollars advertising for an apprentice and getting no response, Buchanan, 67, was overwhelmed with interest. 

"I had retired folks call, 47-year-olds call, men and women call," he said. "William is the right age to start this process. Teaching him what I've learned, what a clockmaker needs to know, will take years."

Here at the News Tribune, there were 24 e-mails asking how to reach Buchanan after the column ran. Of those, 20 were interested in being an apprentice. There were 21 telephone calls, and 18 of those wanted the job, too.

It's filled now, by William Paiza, a Graham teenager.

"It's a cool skill to have, and clocks have always interested me," he said. "I met with (Buchanan) on Tuesday, we talked and he wanted to know if I was committed. I am.

"I'll work all day a few days, a few hours other days, learning the job. I'll get paid for each clock I repair."

Paiza laughed.

"I probably won't be cashing too many checks real soon."

Buchanan was his typical philosophical self when asked if he believed his new apprentice would stay on and learn the craft.

"Time will tell," he deadpanned.