The Impossible Takes Slightly Longer: The Story of Toymaker Richard Maddocks


Tuscany. Wood shaves piling up on a workshop floor. The humming of an old woodworker’s voice as his work nears finish. But the creation is no shoe, no table, no chair or bench. Nothing so simple and lifeless. On the counter before the gray-haired Geppetto is a wooden marionette, almost complete, awaiting the adhering of his last piece. The old man’s careful hand slides his knife across the ridge of the piece, pauses for a moment, and mumbles his satisfaction. A little glue, a careful placing, and Pinocchio has his nose. Geppetto pauses again. Perhaps… Perhaps that wasn’t the last piece after all. Out the window and in the sky, Geppetto’s eyes settle upon a star. He makes his impossible wish.

The story is Carlo Collodi’s The Adventures of Pinocchio, or rather, Walt Disney’s 1940 animated adaptation of that book. But, to those who have known him even briefly, the tale might just have been that of Richard J. Maddocks, toymaker.

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