When Stephenville native David Stafford started putting jigsaw puzzles together at the age of 10, he had to go to the toy store to buy them.
Of course they weren’t remotely as complex as the 33,600-piece mega puzzle he ordered online, assembled at home and donated to Chamberlin Elementary.
The 19 ft. by 5 ft. 3 in. beautiful jungle scene titled “Wildlife” is now mounted on the wall in the hallway leading to the school cafeteria.
“I went to school here when I was a kid Where we’re standing right now was a pasture back then, so this is a real pleasure to see it up on the wall in this beautiful campus now,” David said Tuesday morning.
Chamberlin Principal, Jennifer Salyards explained, “We wanted to put it somewhere that all the kids would see, and since it’s so big, we decided this wall on the way to the cafeteria was the perfect spot. Everybody just loves it and we are so pleased that David donated it to Chamberlin.”
Cindy, his wife of 41 years, was a big part of the effort as well.
“It took David 10 months to do this; it came in separately-bagged sections so it would be manageable,” she said. “When he would finish one section, I would move it to the permanent mounting board and he would start the next one. This is the biggest one he’s done. It’s pretty amazing.”
For readers who have frequented Higganbotham Bros. & Company — the building supplies store on Lingleville Road — you may remember David as the manager there before his retirement and second career as a full-time jigsaw puzzle master.
Oh, and as if this giant masterpiece wasn’t enough, he also built a 4,000-piece, large-Lego fire station.