RENO, Nev. The first thing you notice when you meet Marvin Mitchell is the pair of suspenders he wears with a tape measure design.
The second thing you notice; he is very reserved. But he also has a gift, and it all started with a little wooden car Grandpa Marvin made as a gift to his grandson.
"We gave it to him when he first was starting to chew," Grandpa Marvin said. "He used it as a chewing toy and he loved it all the way to Nebraska and back."
The rest is history. When Grandpa Marvin retired about 20 years ago, he decided he needed a hobby and turned to wood work.
He now makes old-fashioned wooden toys, like fire trucks and airplanes, even doll furniture. He says everything he makes is designed to allow boys and girls to explore their imagination and senses.
"There's nothing that gives me more satisfaction than when you give a toy to some kid and you see the glow in their eyes as their eyes light up."
None of the toys require batteries, which Grandpa Marvin says is a good thing.
"My kids preferred the wooden fire trucks over the plastic fire trucks, because they could make their own noise and do their own things," he said. "The kids can have more imagination with these toys."
He also makes things for the young at heart; like cutting boards, bookends, even holiday decorations.
"They will last, and in many cases you may say one of a kind or two of a kind and they're something you can very seldom find."
You can only buy his toys at his workshop, but you can see what he has to offer on his website, www.grandpamarvinstoyshop.com. Grandpa Marvin can also create custom ordered gifts to help celebrate anniversaries and other celebrations.
"It's fun to get into, and it's fun to do!"