- Associated Press - Sunday, February 19, 2017

OAKLAND CITY, Ind. (AP) - The sign in Don Lutz’s driveway alerts visitors they are entering the operating room of a master technician. Known around Oakland City as the “clock man,” 87-year-old Lutz says fixing things is what he loves to do.

“I love fixing things for people,” Lutz said. “I’m known as a fix it man. I work on clocks, watches, washers, mixer, toasters, electric drills, typewriter tape recorders.you name it.”

Accompanied by his little Yorkie dog Skipper, Lutz spends much of his day working in the workshop behind his apartment on clocks and other electronics.

“I’m an inventor; sometimes I’m here sometimes until midnight, the other day I was in here 17 hours.”

His workshop is a testament to his work, lined with photos, tools and other electronics in the process of being repaired. A room filled with different creation, in the corner is a homemade coffee warmer he made out of an iron, and a fishing cart and tackle box holder he fashioned from an old golf cart.

He says one of his favorite projects so far has been repairing wooden gears on a 200-year-old Swiss clock.

“This clock was made sometime in the early 1800s, it’s got all wooden gears- there are very few of those around. It’s worth about $2,000,” he said.

“It doesn’t tell the minutes only the hours, I’ve never seen one like this one, but I got ‘er fixed. “

Nick-named ‘lucky” after being hit with shrapnel while in the service, Lutz refuses to let anything keep him away from work for too long. He underwent back surgery after helping a friend load a grandfather clock in December, and was back in the shop three weeks later.

The Mount Carmel native and Korean War veteran has been living in Oakland City for 20 years. He takes pride in his time in the Navy Air Force. With over 8,000 flying hours, Lutz only recently retired his wings about five years ago.

He’s built clocks for churches in town, and repaired wristwatches and pocketwatches for dear friends.

“My friend Truman Rice…, I fixed 22 grandfathers and 14 cuckoos for him; he collected watches and clocks,” Lutz said. “I also worked on a pocket watch for a man from Mount Carmel who had taken it off of a German prisoner of war.”

Friend Bob Zasadny says he has known Lutz for years, and is still shocked at how he can make things come to life.

Don is very accommodating and is fulfilling a very important need in the small community by helping recycle and repair their different appliances,” said Zasadny. “And he’s saving people money by not having to purchase new things. He’s able to interact in a positive way with customers and friends that come by and see him.”

“His knowledge on how to get things working again amazes me. Not only that, he is a proud service man and shows a lot of pride in that fact. He was an asset to this country.”

Serving customers from a 60-mile radius in Indiana and Illinois, Lutz says whether you send something in the mail or simply drop by the workshop, he’ll be there to get the job done.

“Whatever people bring me is what I’ll fix.”

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Source: Princeton Daily Clarion, https://bit.ly/2ku4e1a

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Information from: Princeton Daily Clarion, https://www.tristate-media.com/pdclarion


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