Welder creates sparks

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 12, 1999

Sparks are sure to fly when Willie Shaw begins his work. It isn’t because Shaw has a bad temper. Far from it, Shaw is by a nature a quiet person.

Shaw, 45, is a welder and is subcontracting with his brother Adolph to renovate the Prentiss Inn on U.S. 61.

Shaw’s role in the renovation is the railing along the stairs and walkways of the hotel.

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&uot;I&160;have to make the rails childproof,&uot; he said, adding that the current rails might allow children to get their heads stuck between rails.

Before starting that task, Shaw had to raise the height of the railing so children would not easily flip over.

The renovation has been going on since December 1998. Once the rails and stairways are completed, Shaw will construct a fence around a pool that is also under construction.

As the sparks fly as he goes to work, but Shaw is used to the fireworks.

&uot;As long as I have good gloves and glasses, I’m alright,&uot; he said.

He tries to keep his operation close to his hometown of Natchez. He uses local businesses as his source for supplies on any job he works.

Shaw also owns and operates the Crew Pit car shop.

&uot;I started working on cars as a nine-year-old,&uot; Shaw said. &uot;I’ve been working on them ever since. If it has a motor, I will work on it.&uot;

The major change in the mechanic business is the need for computers.

&uot;It feels like you need a computer to work on just about anything,&uot; Shaw said.

Shaw began his welding career at Natchez Salvage. He started his own business about 13 years ago.

&uot;Owning your own business is tougher than it looks,&uot; Shaw said. &uot;It usually calls for more hours spent on the job. I like it that way. I’d rather work for myself than working for someone else.&uot;