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WWII veteran handcrafts wooden toys, gives them away for the holidays

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    PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) — Al Quattrocchi is a dedicated man.

He fought for the Allies in World War II and married his wife Jean after meeting during a dance outside an English village during the war. They’re approaching their 75th wedding anniversary.

The 96-year-old man has another dedication: making toys.

“I’ve got nothing to complain about. I enjoyed my work, I couldn’t wait to go to work,” he said.

The retired carpenter has been making wooden planes, tractors, trains, trucks – really anything a kid would want to play with. He’s made thousands over the years, working away in his garage.

“He’s usually made 500 to 600 a year for many, many years. Just gives them all away,” said his wife, Jean Quattrocchi.

Al has been working throughout the year, building up a surplus of these toys to be given away to local charities during the holidays.

“You know there comes a time when you have to give a little back too,” he said.

Why toys? Al humbly states it’s just the best use of his scrap wood.

Maybe the answer comes from his youth. The man comes from an era where nothing was taken for granted.

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“When I was young, it was during the Great Depression, I never saw a toy. My mom would knit me a pair of socks or something,” he said. “It didn’t bother us, you know.”

Remarkably, after 30 years of toy making – and some would call that a lifetime – Al is calling it a career.

“My legs are not too good, you know, I use a cane all the time but I stand just fine, and my shoulders are pretty well shot… so I figured it was time to give it up,” he said.

Decades of dedication. Thousands of toys. Al Quattrocchi, we salute you.

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