WOODSTOCK — When Hugh “Cubby” Swan was two years old, his father passed away and left behind a series of wooden, hand-crafted toys in the shape of popular cartoon characters.

There were wooden replicas of Popeye and Olive Oil, Mickey and Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck.

“I don’t remember my dad at all, but I remember that me and my sister grew up with those wooden toys,” Swan said Thursday afternoon at the Whitman Memorial Library, speaking to a small audience of friends and residents.

Swan, who worked as a machinist for most of his life, said that he started making his own wooden toys using the same designs that his father used.

“I sort of stole the idea from the way my father made his toys, and the way that they made the toys at the factory,” Swan explained. “I used his original design.”

Swan brought two large boxes filled with the various toys and gadgets that he had crafted over the year. Some were made of birch wood, while others were made of stainless steel or leather.

“Some of these items I made for the Boy Scouts,” Swan said, lifting up a strip of leather with knots tied at either end and a washer stuck between them. “This item here would keep the kids busy. The idea is to get the washer off of the leather without untying the knots at either end.”

A chorus of “oohs” and “ahhs” rang out when Swan pulled out a large bowl made from the head of a sunflower, and again when he pulled out a stainless steel whistle that resembled the same one found at the mill he used to work at.

“They would ring that whistle at the mill at 6 a.m., at 10 minutes of 7 a.m., at noon, and again at 4 p.m.,” Swan said. “It was a loud piercing whistle.”

Swan then brought the whistle he crafted from stainless steel to his lips and quickly blew into it, producing a shrill noise that made the audience laugh and cover their ears.

Swan later showed those in the audience the different cartoon characters he had crafted over the years, including wooden replications of the Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf; Donald Duck and his three nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie; Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Daffy Duck.

Library trustee Marta Clements asked Swan if he ever considered selling his toys for a profit.

Swan smiled and shook his head.

“No, I have too many grandchildren,” Swan said to Clements. “I know that they’ll want those toys someday.”

Near the end of Swan’s presentation, a resident looked at Swan and said, “Cubby, I always knew you were a good machinist, but you’re a really good engineer too.”

“Probably just as good as your father was,” the resident added.

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