Mooney is the warm and homey biography of an amazing individual who earned the title “World Master Carver.” Undoubtedly a genius and savant, Ernest “Mooney” Warther had the strange gift of being able to visualize, in sequence and in advance, the thousands of cuts required carve his famous tree of 511 pairs of wooden pliers of diminishing size. That someone even conceived of a pliers tree is mindboggling enough. Mooney spent close to sixty years carving mainly models of steam locomotives in the small Ohio town of Dover where he played the role of local hero to generations.
I was especially anxious to read the story of Mooney Warther as it was my luck to have met him at his original museum when I was a boy, and naturally, he carved for me his famous wooden pliers which I regretfully lost somewhere on my long strange trip. A few years ago, while driving through Ohio, I made a point of visiting his current museum and found the experience even more transporting as an adult. This review, however, is not about me; it is about Mooney by John P. Hayes, PHD, which I found charming and informative. Mooney is the story of an incredible life. Read it and you may want to go to Dover.
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