Builder Of Lighthouses

Hobby: Ninety-year-old Charles W. Scones Of Pasadena Has Made About 100 Miniatures, Many Of Them Copies Of The Real Versions On The Chesapeake Bay.

April 25, 1997|By Elaine Tassy | Elaine Tassy,SUN STAFF

Ninety-year-old Charles W. Scones of Pasadena found an enlightening hobby: making miniature, colorful lighthouses that look like those on the Chesapeake Bay.

He began making miniatures of houses and filling stations in the 1920s but in recent years he has turned to lighthouses. He's made about 100, including models of lighthouses that either once were, or still are, at Sandy Point, Thomas Point, Bodkin Point and Drum Point locally and the famed lighthouse at Cape Hatteras in North Carolina.

"It's just a hobby with me. It kills my time, keeps me from walking the walls," said Scones, a widowed father of six who grew up in South Baltimore and for most of his life owned a boat and worked as a mechanic overhauling marine engines.

Most of his models are made from cardboard or poster board and stand a foot high or less. Usually his only guide is a picture from a book or calendar.

He's meticulous with detail on the dining room table that has become his workshop: He has more than just paint brushes, paints, rulers and scissors.

Spread out across the table one day this week were green strips of poster board he will fashion into roof shingles. Next to those was a medal he uses to create a circle base for his lighthouses and the round turrets where the light is set.

His other materials include cotton balls made to indicate steam, gravel for a parakeet cage that will serve as stucco, tiny bulbs, and a big bottle of Elmer's glue.

"I can't believe it," said his daughter, Anna Bohuslav, 65, of her father's hobby. "He's been doing it for so long, and it seems like he's getting better. This is what keeps him going."

Scones said he can put together a lighthouse in about two weeks. "Two a month's my limit," he said. He keeps some, some he gives to his children and grandchildren, and the rest he sells for about $50 apiece.

But he can't guess how many more he will make. He recovered from a stroke in 1996 and say, "The older I get, the less I can sit. It's getting on my nerves to sit here."

Pub Date: 4/25/97

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