Stan Munro, from Salina, is a patient man. You have to be, to turn an estimated 2,000,000 toothpicks into models of famous buildings as a very elaborate diversion from unemployment.
The former Rochester TV reporter, magazine writer and standup comic stayed home while his wife went to work as a podiatrist. Now, The Syracuse Post Standard tells us Stan has sold his creations to the owner of the Ripley’s Believe It Or Not museums for well over $65,000. Maybe that doesn’t work out to a great hourly rate for years of painstaking word with toothpicks and glue. But it’s enough, apparently, to pay off medical school loans for Stan’s wife, Dr. Suzi Campanaro.
She also gets a free trip to the Spanish island of Mallorca, where Stan will put in a week’s work setting up his “Toothpick City” for its new owners. The layout takes up about 250 square feet, and when island tourists are not soaking up the sunshine, they can marvel over Stan Munro’s creation at an elaborate new curiosity museum called “House of Katmandu.”
It’s being promoted as a place of mystery- somewhat in keeping with Stan’s explanation for why he took the time and trouble to faithfully render many of the world’s most famous building in slivers of wood. As he says on his Web site,
“After a year of gluing toothpicks together, one could say I’ve learned a lot about ‘life, the universe- and everything.’ And I have. But I don’t expect to tell anyone just yet. Perhaps I’ll tell you someday.”