Bill Wellman is a businessman and a former Marine who served during World War II. His latest business idea involves playing Taps every night all across the country, and one Indiana town is already on board.
Valparaiso, Indiana will be the first municipality to offer nightly Taps,and mayor Jon Costas likes Wellman’s plan, reports the Indy Star. “Bill’s an awesome guy, and this is a neat idea." Nearby towns Portage and Crown Point have also expressed interest.
But Indianapolis isn't as keen on playing the somber tune every night. “We are known as a patriotic place, and rightly so,” said Chris Gahl of Visit Indy. “But we are a city on the rise, upbeat by nature. We might want taps reserved for special occasions, like Memorial Day or Veterans Day, and not every night.”
Wellman, 88, came up with the idea when he saw on TV that a Tacoma, Wash., man has taken his bugle out to his veranda and played the notes every evening for the past two years.
Profile Systems, a subsidiary of Wellman's employer, Whiteco Industries Inc., sells digital timing devices designed for tasks such as turning parking lot lights on and off automatically. Those devices are easily set for automatic music. “You just set the ZIP code and the local time and add an MP3 file and let it rip,” said Todd Clark, Profile Systems’ vice president of technology.
In downtown Valparaiso, which already has 50 high-quality speakers mounted on streetlights, the playing of Taps is set to begin this week.