96-year-old is retiring after years of turning scrap wood into toys

Posted at 6:52 AM, Dec 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-24 08:53:04-05

PORTLAND, Ore. - At 96, retired painter Al Quattrocchi turns scrap wood into Christmas memories. As a one-man operation working out of his garage, he said he's made about 500 wooden toys. Over the years, he estimates he's created 20,000.

Now, Quattrocchi is hanging up his tools and putting the finishing touches on his last batch of toys. Before his retirement, Quattrocchi said he made 18 different kinds of toys and various charities in northern Oregon would distribute them to kids in need, like the ones at a Ronald McDonald House.

"They're what every kid thinks of when they think of Santa's workshop — literally handmade toys with love," said Jessica Jarratt Miller of Ronald McDonald House.

They're the kind of toys Quattrocchi missed as an adult.

"I grew up during the Depression and I remember," he said, adding that most Christmas mornings, he didn't even get a toy. But now he's spreading holiday cheer to others.

"I love these kids," he said. "They're little angels."

He said he "sure hopes" every little angel deserves a toy.