Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Still a 'fly boy' at 81

Model enthusiast Doug Shay sands the filler on a WWII era Hawker Hurricane Mk.I model airplane in his workshop, Wednesday afternoon. Shay has been crazy about airplanes since he was a boy and now owns over two thousand types of models. -- Wednesday, July 30, 2008. Photo by Geoffrey McAllister/Deseret News
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TAYLORSVILLE — Picture a 5-year-old boy looking on with awe at something he has never seen before:
A De Havilland DH-4 (the kind of plane that was used as a bomber in World War I) has landed in a nearby cornfield, and the pilot is taking people for rides.

"Of course, I didn't get to go up, but that piqued my interest," Douglas J. Shay says. "I've been crazy about airplanes ever since."

When he was 12, a friend gave him a model of a China Clipper. "That was back in the days when models were made out of blocks of wood. They gave you a general pattern, and you had to figure it all out." He's been crazy about models ever since, too.

Now at 81, Shay has had a good, long time to enjoy both passions, and he's not done yet. His Taylorsville home has two closets filled with kits — maybe a couple of thousand or more, he says — that he'd like to get to someday. (Read more of the related article: Still a 'fly boy' at 81)